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 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


  • 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.
  • One of 13 finalists out of 65 applicants for a 2017 Summer Fishtrap Fellowship (nonfiction)
  • Honorable Mention, 2014 Northern Colorado Writers Personal Essay/Creative Nonfiction Contest (national competition). “Voice Lessons” was published in November in the winners’ anthology, POOLED INK: Celebrating the 2014 NCW Contest Winners, available on Amazon.
  • Honorable Mention (Top-6 Finalist), 2012 Grey Sparrow Journal Flash Fiction Contest (international competition)

Flash Fiction, Microfiction, Short Stories & Essays



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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