Colorado hiker. Daydreamer. YA reader. Author.



Thank you for visiting my “Secrets of Best Selling Authors” blog. I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful place that critically-acclaimed authors visit often. I love attending their presentations to learn and be inspired. Writing posts about the events is my way of giving back to a wonderful and supportive writing community.

I grew up in Southern California wanting to be an astronaut or Vicky Austin in A RING OF ENDLESS LIGHT by Madeleine L’Engle. Instead, I became a newspaper reporter and nonprofit communications director (and 13er and 14er peak bagger after moving to Colorado in 2002).

I spend my days hiking, reading, writing, and embarrassing myself when meeting famous authors (which you can read about on various sites, including this blog.) I plan to never introduce myself to Jandy NelsonRainbow Rowell and John Green, lest I dissolve into a puddle of blissful nothingness.

Contact me at KatValdezWriter@gmail.com

Social Media


Essay “Climbing Down The Mountain” in Rise: An Anthology of Change, edited by Northern Colorado Writers

Essay “Voice Lessons” in Pooled Ink

Flash fiction “The Monster In Her Bedroom” in Havok Magazine, Issue 1.1

Flash Fiction “Expiration Date” in Baby Shoes: 100 Stories By 100 Authors

Short Story “Little Red Riding Hood Seeks Vengeance” in Open Doors: Fractured Fairy Tales


Book launch party in November 2019 for Rise: An Anthology of Change


Baby Shoes: 100 Stories By 100 Authors

Flash Fiction, Microfiction, Short Stories

  • Flash Fiction “Expiration Date”: Baby Shoes: 100 Stories by 100 Authors (July 2015)
  • Flash Fiction: The Monster in Her Bedroom (Havok Magazine, Issue 1.1) https://www.magzter.com/US/Splickety-Publishing-Group/HAVOK/Fiction/204301 and Splickety Magazine’s first flash fiction anthology (July 2015)
  • Second Place out of 700 entries, April 2018 Zathom contest, for microfiction “Head For The Hills.”
  • Honorable Mention (Top-10 Finalist) out of 600 entries, March 2018 Zathom contest, for microfiction “Your Average, Everyday Hero.”
  • Microfiction “The Last Voyage” and nonfiction “Do Cereal Boxes Count?” and “Family Snapshots” selected for payment in January 2018 Zathom contest.
  • Microfiction “Mr. Snuggles” chosen for October 2017 launch of the new literary platform Zathom.
  • Honorable Mention (Top-6 Finalist), 2012 Grey Sparrow Journal Flash Fiction Contest (international competition)



Guest Blog Posts



This website features the following authors:

  • Ann Patchett (November 2017)
  • John Calderazzo (October 2017)
  • Sue Ring deRosset (October 2017)
  • Nadia Hashimi, Paulette Jiles, Eowyn Ivey, Robert Olen Butler, Amor Towles (September 2017)
  • Sandhya Menon (July 2017)
  • Gayle Forman (March 2017)
  • Ethan Canin (January 2017)
  • Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Jessica Cluess, Kiersten White, Arwen Elys Dayton (January 2017)
  • Teresa Funke (December 2016)
  • Benjamin Dancer (November 2016)
  • Edwidge Danticat (November 2016)
  • Mary Kubica (July 2016)
  • Rainbow Rowell (June 2016)
  • Grant Blackwood (May 2016)
  • T. Jefferson Parker (March 2016)
  • V.E. Schwab, Brenna Yovanoff, Emily Hainsworth (March 2016)
  • Elizabeth Gilbert (January 2016)
  • Chris Bohjalian (November 2015)
  • Jim Shepard (November 2015)
  • David Sedaris (November 2015)(July 2013)(November 2017)
  • Donna Cooner (October 2015)
  • Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancatti  (October 2015)
  • Patrick deWitt (October 2016)
  • Jess Walter (October 2016)
  • Lauren Groff (October 2016)
  • Anthony Marra (October 2016)
  • Jessie Burton (October 2016)
  • Ethan Canin (October 2016)
  • Cheryl Strayed
  • Amy Kathleen Ryan
  • Colum McCann
  • Elizabeth Silver
  • Khaled Hosseini
  • John Searles
  • Laura Pritchett
  • Ann Brashares
  • Hannah Kent
  • Ruth Ozeki
  • Natasha Wing
  • Andrew McCarthy
  • Peter Heller
  • Steve Almond
  • Stephanie Perkins
  • Lauren Oliver
  • Geraldine Brooks
  • Margaret Stohl
  • Kami Garcia
  • Richelle Mead
  • Libba Bray

Articles on Book Festivals and Writers’ Conferences

  • Northern Colorado Writers
  • YALLWest
  • StoryCatcher Workshop
  • Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
  • Literary Sojourn
  • AnomalyCon

Gamble everything for love, if you’re a true human being. – Rumi

(quoted in HIGH INFATUATION: A Climber’s Guide to Love and Gravity by Steph Davis)


  1. Katherine, thanks for the nice comments about my blog on Pat Stoltey’s website. Flash fiction is fun. A friend of mine and I try to outdo each other weekly with 100-worders, but they should include at least one horrible pun. Cheers, Mark Bacon

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