Kathy Otten is the mother of three grown children and one grandson. She lives in the open farm country of western NY, with her husband of 34 years.
She is the published author of three historical romance novels, multiple short stories, and novellas. She writes primarily historical romance, but has also been published in contemporary romance, historical fiction, and western.
Her novel, Lost Hearts was a Utah/Salt Lake RWA Hearts of the West finalist. A Tarnished Knight was a second place finalist in the Pennwriters, Inc. Novel Beginnings contest and Kathy was a recent winner in the 2016 Northwest Houston RWA Lone Star Writing Competition.
Kathy grew up in a small Vermont farm town where her parents owned the general store. Her mom collected antiques and her dad loved old cowboy movies. Consequently, she and her brothers grew up watching Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, and John Wayne. They visited places like Mystic Seaport, Old Sturbridge Village and the Shelburne Museum. Always a nut for horses, her parents gave her a Quarter Horse mare and she had horses in her life for the next thirty-four years.
The Nation's Bicentennial sparked an interest in Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain boys and she and her brothers spent many hours tromping through cow pastures looking at the ruins of forts which once guarded Lake Champlain. She found it fascinating to think about the forgotten men who long ago, trod those historic places and left remnants of themselves behind. On the parade grounds of a fort at Crown Point, NY is the carving of a cannon on a large, flat stone. Done well over two hundred years ago, by some anonymous British soldier far from home. Kathy always wondered who he was, if he made it back to his family, or if he was killed by a ball from an American long rifle. Images like these became fodder for Kathy's imagination, and notebooks began to accumulate under her bed.
She actually began her writing career in elementary school, creating such work as Lucky the Dog and The Lost Uranium Mine. Her mom praised them both as the greatest pieces of literature ever written.
Her high school days were spent with her nose in books by Max Brand, Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour. History, English and Creative Writing were easy A's. She won't discuss Algebra, Biology or gym class. But during this time Kathy wrote a short story called The Letter, about a teenage boy dealing with the death of his brother. She entered it in a contest and as a winner the story was published in Young Ambassador, a magazine for Christian teens.
Not much writing was done during the next few years. Marriage, kids and a dairy farm came along.
It wasn't until the cows were sold and the kids were all in high school that a neighbor offered her their old computer. And what could be done with an old computer lacking internet service? Out came the notebooks. The old stories were revised and rewritten. Her Mom was a great moral support, but all her feedback was positive. Kathy needed more objective opinions and joined Pennwriters Inc., an organization which offers support, workshops, and critique groups for writers of all genres.
The help she received from her local group has been invaluable and her writing has been moving forward ever since with
To relax she enjoys taking long walks with her dog, who likes to root through the tall grass and underbrush of the woods and fields they trek. In the winter she often curls up with a good book and one or two of her three cats, while the snow blows outside. In between her family, job and animals, she is usually found in front of her computer, weaving stories of laughter, heartache, and love for the crazy cast of characters swirling around in her head.