Bio Information


(bio updated through July 28, 2001)

Professional Affiliations

  • Science Fiction Writers of America (1979 - 1985)
  • Sisters in Crime (1988 - 1990 and 1993 - 1995)
  • Horror Writers Association (1987 - present)
  • Mystery Writers of America (1995 - present)
  • Police Writers Club (1998 - present)
  • International Women Writers Guild (1998 - present)

    A Brief Biography of Kathryn Ptacek

          Kathryn A. Ptacek was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She received her B. A. in Journalism, with a minor in history, from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, where she was graduated with distinction in 1974. While attending the university, she was a student of award-winning mystery writer Tony Hillerman and well-known YA writer Lois Duncan.
          Afterward, she worked briefly for a political party best left unnamed, was a telephone solicitor for the New Mexico Assn. of Retarded People, and spent two years as an advertising lay-out artist for a regional grocery warehouse co-op, and then worked for the University of New Mexico first as a secretary in the Dept. of Speech and Hearing, then for the University's Computing Center as their only technical writer and editor. After the sale of her first novel, an historical romance, in July 1979, she quit to become a full-time novelist.
          Married to dark fantasy novelist Charles Grant, she shares a 116-year-old Victorian clapboard house with Charlie, as well as five cats, Huckleberry Fang, Lovejoy, Tinker, Lenore, and Poko in Newton, New Jersey, and also through a remarkable coincidence has the same birthday as her husband. Her hobbies include gardening, jewelry making, and various needlework. She also has a large collection of gila monster memorabilia, and collects unusual teapots and cat whiskers.
          She has written an historical fantasy series, numerous historical romances under various names, and five horror novels, the latest being In Silence Sealed and Ghost Dance, both published by Tor; her dark fantasy have won the Silver Medal and Gold Medal awards given by the West Coast Review of Books. Her suspense novel, The Hunted, was published by Walker Books, and reprinted by Berkley in a paperback edition. She has also edited three anthologies, the critically acclaimed Women of Darkness and its companion Women of Darkness II (both Tor), and Women of the West (Doubleday). Editions of her books have appeared in England, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Germany. Her short stories have appeared in Greystone Bay, Doom City (Greystone Bay II), Fantasy Tales, the Post Mortem anthology, Pulphouse 5, The Horror Show, Freak Show (HWA anthology), A Confederacy of Horrors, Into The Fog, The Ultimate Witch, and Phobias. She is a member of Horror Writers Association, Mystery Writers of America, the International Women Writers Guild, and the Police Writers Club. She also prepares a market report for Hellnotes, is the editor of the Horror Writers Association's monthly newsletter, and publishes a market newsletter, The Gila Queen's Guide to Markets, which goes to writers and artists around the world.