Kate Ristau is a folklorist and an author. She first fell into mythology as a child, staring at the pictures in her mother’s Greek mythology books and trying to understand the magic and the life within the stories. She kept searching for those stories in books, movies, and in the words of her family and friends. She followed those words across the ocean, studying Celtic mythology and literature in Ireland. After volunteering with AmeriCorps, she moved to Oregon, where she completed her Masters Degree in folklore at the University of Oregon. Along the way, she learned to write her own stories — stories of magic and myth, fairies and folklore.
She taught at the University of Oregon and Western Oregon University, and despite her love for teaching writing, she abandoned her red pens to build her own worlds. She wrote a grammar handbook (full of dragons and elves) with her fellow professor, Maren Bradley Anderson. It’s called Commas: An Irreverent Primer. Anderson and Ristau also edited an anthology of poems, essays, and short stories called Coarse Grounds: A Coffee Anthology. Kate now spends a lot of her time with Willamette Writers, where she is the Business Manager.
Her first novel, Shadow Girl, will be republished by Not a Pipe Publishing in 2018. Shadow Girl tells the story of fairy teen Áine, who is haunted by a fiery dream, where her mother loses her mind and her father makes a devastating choice. Áine escapes into the Shadowlands to discover the secrets of her family and her past. But the moment her foot crosses the threshold, Áine is thrust into a war that has been raging for centuries. Guardians, fire fey, and a rising darkness threaten the light, and Áine must learn to fight in the shadows — or die in the flames.
Kate is working on the follow-up to Shadow Girl, and her new series, Clockbreakers, launched in October 2016. Clockbreakers is a middle grade novel that tells Charlie’s story. You see, on her eleventh birthday, Charlie receives a magic key to go back in time. But before she blows out her candles, she rolls her wheelchair right into Ancient Greece with her best friend Maria and her former best friend Trent. She’s a Clockbreaker on an action-packed adventure with a mission: to save her father, and perhaps even save the world.
Kate loves writing, and in her ideal world, magic and myth combine to create memorable stories with unforgettable characters. Until she finds that world, she will live in a house in Oregon where she found a sword behind the water heater and fairies in the backyard.