Kathryn Brown’s childhood was spent being enamored by the outdoors and the animals that called it home. It’s no wonder, then, that the content of her books tend to have non-human main characters.
“I was always shy growing up,” Brown said. “As a kid, learning about and being around animals just made sense. An animal is just itself, and doing the best it can to survive in its world. If it can have a little fun and enjoy itself while it’s at it, then it does that. The first “real” book I remember loving was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. My third grade teacher, Mr. Gray, read it to us. I was hooked, and it started a love of reading that has persisted to this day.”
Finding books with animal protagonists was no walk in the park, however. After racing through books like Richard Adam’s Watership Down, Kathryn Lasky’s Guardians of Ga’Hoole, and Kenneth Oppel’s Silverwing series, Brown recalls the hilarious moment the local librarian threw her hands up in surrender when asked for more recommendations.
“I’d finish a series I really enjoyed, and then it would be a while before I found another one I really liked,” Brown said. “I knew that I wanted to create books that could tell a great story, while also including elements I found fun to write and research. A lot of my work focuses on these unique creatures, and I have a blast figuring out how to keep them believable while retaining a fantastical element. I hope younger readers who are like my past self find something special in the works, and that my older readers have just as good of a time consuming my work as I do creating it.”