The passion to write has been at the core of Katherine Shirek Doughtie’s life since early childhood. An only child of divorced parents, she grew up in Southern California in the early 70’s. By the time she was in high school she had become angry, idealistic and political. She left Pasadena eager to get involved in the social revolution she had watched evolving out of the 60’s.
Katherine worked her way through college, doing anything she could to stay alive and keep in school. At various times while pursuing her studies she was employed as a busboy, waitress, projectionist, legal secretary, stagehand, pizza deliverer and cook. She changed schools several times, finding unexpected avenues as she struggled to sustain her passion to learn; she attended the University of California at Santa Cruz, U.C. Berkeley, and Bennington College before returning to UCSC to get a BA with honors in Literature and Creative Writing. Her thesis project consisted of a 1930’s detective novel and accompanying screenplay. She went on to apply to the Screenwriting program in the UCLA Motion Picture and Film school. After being accepted, she returned to Southern California and earned her Masters Degree in 1983.
After graduate school, Katherine spent several years writing scripts and trying to break into Hollywood. She wrote six audio adaptations of short stories by Louis L’Amour, produced as fully dramatized books-on-tape by Bantam Audio. She oversaw the writing of three more adaptations, mentoring other writers through the arduous adaptation process. These productions were cut for radio production and are currently syndicated on over 100 stations nationwide. She went on to write and sell several film scripts based on the most successful adaptations. During this time she also wrote ten original feature scripts, a spec TV episode and a Western epic novel.
Katherine learned early on that hard work, tenacity and a bold spirit could accomplish many things. She traveled around the world when she was in her early 20s, staying at Shakespeare & Co. in Paris, taking a train down the Malaysian peninsula, and visiting mainland China. She has been the technical director for a Gilbert & Sullivan opera company since the early 1980’s, and has toured the country many times.
After the birth of her first child, Katherine began shifting from novels and screen writing, and began to focus more on essays and magazine articles. Many of the essays in her current collection, Aphrodite in Jeans: Adventure Tales about Men, Midlife and Motherhood, were written during the years when her children were young, her father was old, and she was in the middle attempting to balance a multitude of responsibilities. She also wrote numerous articles about technical theatre for several magazines nationwide.
Katherine trains in martial arts, practices yoga, and studies a Filipino percussion style called Kulintang. She helps nurture as many passions as possible in her children’s lives. She is a seeker of truth, an adventurer of the spirit, and considers that living life mindfully is one of our few true imperatives as human beings.