The clue that Kathy Stinson has enjoyed a lifelong love of reading is in the wide range of books she has written. Picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, stories in anthologies and magazines! The author of the classic Red Is Best has written them all!
“What you read,” she says, “influences what you write. And so does the day to day life that you live.” That’s why Kathy’s characters ride bikes along dirt paths, fall in love in summer, argue and have cozy chats with parents and friends, sometimes have trouble sleeping, and walk on beaches and city streets.
Kathy says, “It’s also fun, as a writer, to imagine yourself into situations unlike your own.” That’s what she did when she wrote about Marie-Claire living through a smallpox epidemic in Montreal in 1885, and Mr. Elliot deciding as a grandfather that it was time he learned to read. (Kathy herself grew up in a west-end suburb of Toronto in the 1950s and 60s and was lucky enough to learn to read before she started school.)
In addition to writing her own books, Kathy works as a freelance editor for a number of publishers. Editing projects have included fiction for children, young adult and adult audiences, picture books, and non-fiction. She has served as Writer-in-Residence for several library systems and has led writing workshops all across Canada and in Africa. And she is a regular volunteer reader and technician at the CNIB Recording Studio in Toronto.
The mother of two grown children who inspired some of her earliest books, Kathy also has two grown stepdaughters and five grandchildren. They all know that at birthdays and at Christmas, odds are good that their presents will be books. Kathy currently lives in Rockwood, Ontario with her partner, Peter Carver, and their dog Keisha.