About the Author

Katharine JohnsonI am a teacher and writer who grew up on a rocky farm on the Mesabi Iron Range of northern Minnesota. It is there I heard many languages and tasted diverse ethnic foods of the people who lived there. My own grandparents emigrated from Finland. When writing, I dig into a deep well of family stories, ethnic lore, and persistent night dreams.

It seems that my favorite fiction author is the one whose book is on my lap at the time. To name a few that I read over and over: Sherman Alexie, Karen Cushman, Amy Tan, Ellen Hopkins, David Baldacci, Louise Erdrich, Sharon Creech, Neil Gaiman…. If you notice any logic in this list, let me know. I’ve never been able to find it.

I write fiction. Mostly historical fiction. In the process of writing, I have discovered that fiction is often so entangled with the truth that it is impossible to separate the two. That’s what I like about it.

My favorite children’s picture book is The Mukluk Ball. Written by yours truly. Illustrated by Alicia Schwab. Launching in 2019!

Some real boring facts about me are:

  • I live in rural Cloquet, Minnesota on the Fond du Lac Reservation.
  • My guilty pleasures are old-fashioned chocolate malts.
  • I earned a double major in Spanish and English from the U of M and have taught both as well as being a high school librarian.
  • I have a Masters in Educational Media from the College of St. Scholastica.
  • My short stories and poems have been published in various anthologies and magazines.

Now for the fun facts:

  • Machu Picchu fascinates me, as do all the pyramids around the world.
  • I studied in Mexico for two summers and hailed peso cabs to ride up and down the Reforma.
  • Once, and only once, I rode in Superman’s car. (Christopher Reeve’s Volkswagon Beetle)
  • The real Archibald “Moonlight” Graham of Field of Dreams fame was my school doctor.
  • I have never danced with Bob Dylan.