And a few extra facts for no reason at all.
Both The Legend of Sleeping Bear and The Legend of Mackinac Island were developed into animated stories for television, and both were narrated by actor Jeff Daniels.
She is also an accomplished ghostwriter, but will never tell you anything about that.
Kathy-jo was the first Michigan writer with the distinction of having two books designated to the Read Michigan Notable Book List in the same year.
Along with her husband, photographer Ed Wargin, they have the distinction of being the first married couple to first have a joint book and later separate books on the Michigan Notable Book List in the same year.
Her first children's book, The Legend of Sleeping Bear, is Michigan's Official State Children's Book.
Very Odd Jobs.
At the age of five she stapled tags onto braided rugs from the basement of Ping's Family Store in Tower, Minnesota. She thought working was fun, and took her job quite seriously even though she was barely tall enough to see over the table. She's been working hard ever since.
She was a professional Ski Instructor in northern Minnesota during high school and all the way through college.
One summer in college, she was a member of a small musical touring group called The Mesabi Hills Players. They performed the history of the Iron Range through song and dance in a program called This Land of Iron.
She once had a summer job playing evening campfire songs on guitar at a resort 30 miles from her home in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Her father determined there were too many deer on the highway the time of night she was to be driving back home, thus ending her campfire-guitar-playing career after two weeks. (He was right about the deer.)
Advice to Writers.
"I think the most important edict is to show up for work everyday. By this I mean to mentally show up as a writer each and every day and also...
Be observant. Be quiet. Ask questions. Be curious. Work for it. Be organized. Be prepared.
Plan. When you begin your research, plan your investigation. Organize your findings. Plot your progress. Commit to your deadline.
Let first drafts be the fiery pathway forged from your heart to the paper. Fix it later, after you've told your story.
Know when to say it's done. There will always be a better word or thought to delete, add, change. Know when to let it be finished.