About K. Lang-Slattery
Born during World War II and raised in 1950s Southern California, Kathryn Lang-Slattery enjoyed a childhood filled with reading, drawing, camping, and long days at the beach. College took her to Los Angeles where she studied art and English at UCLA, graduated with a BFA, and then undertook graduate work in art and education at the University of the Americas in Mexico City. In the following years she taught art, English, and cooking, travelled around the world, raised a daughter and a son, and devoted over 20 years to the Girl Scouts as a leader and community supervisor. Finally, she returned to her early love of writing. She has had stories and articles published in several highly rated magazines for the youth market, including Spider, Ladybug, Jack and Jill, Boys’ Life, and Faces.
In the 1990s, Lang-Slattery became fascinated with her uncle’s World War II stories and began taping his memories. Soon she knew she had found a fascinating untold story of Jewish refugees who became silent heroes. More than a decade spent researching, interviewing Ritchie Boys, and turning the true story of her uncle into fiction became an odyssey of discovery that resulted in her first adult novel, Immigrant Soldier, The Story of a Ritchie Boy. “I wanted to tell this story,” she says, “because it was different from any other Holocaust story I had read. The young Jewish hero is not a victim, but a young man who gradually grows from a frightened and frustrated teenager, looking for a place to belong, into a confident US Army intelligence officer who struggles with the conflicting emotions of hate and forgiveness.” Published in 2015, IMMIGRANT SOLDIER has earned a string of awards, including the Independent Publishers Bronze award (2015) in the military/wartime fiction category and a finalist Eric Hoffer Award (2016), in general fiction.
Kathryn has become an expert on the secret heroes known as The Ritchie Boys and her experiences as an indie-publisher have given her insight into this long and complicated process. Always an educator, she is happy to share what she has learned along the way and gives talks to many organizations, including libraries, Senior centers, Veterans’ organizations, professional clubs, and museums.
After two years spent promoting her novel, Lang-Slattery has returned to children’s literature. Her early chapter book, TAGALONG CAITLIN, is based on one of her favourite childhood memories of summer camp days where her mother was the life-guard and backpacking specialist. Written for ages five to nine, TAGALONG CAITLIN is about a little girl with big ideas, a plan to reach her goal, and determination. Slattery has recently finished a memoir, WHEREVER THE ROAD LEADS, about her two years traveling the world in a VW microbus with her new husband in the early 1970s.
Kathryn (who prefers to be called Katie) lives in Laguna Beach, only steps from her childhood home. Besides writing, her main interests are traveling, cooking and painting. She finds tranquillity simply by looking out the large windows of her living room toward a view of her garden and Aliso Peak beyond.