Early Life and Education
Katerina Katsarka was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. Two events shaped her psyche—the sadness of occupation and the long illness and early death of her mother as a consequence of war. The strength of faith that runs through her life originated within a loving and highly verbal extended family. She attended a remarkable high school on the hills of Thessaloniki, a formerly American missionary endeavor and now a highly respected high school-cum-college, called Anatolia. This is where she learned English and was taught by young Americans whose style and ethos predisposed her kindly to studying in the United States.
When a scholarship offer arrived from a small college in North Carolina, she decided to take the chance. She was only sixteen years of age, so those years of study were crucial to her development. The scholarship was offered for music but soon she fell in love with English poetry and knew that literature would be her field. She started writing early but it took years to perfect her writing style in English and to feel the rhythm of the language.
Katerina’s desire has always been to use her writing for good. She says, “I cannot write about violence as easily as other writers do. I am not interested in the darkest recesses of the human psyche. I long for what is good and whole, even though I am quite aware of the darkness. Jesus expects us to be the light of the world, and I try to remember this—always. Writing for me is a response to the Light.”
Katerina loves teaching and spent quite a few years teaching people of all ages, but she prefers the college-age students she taught at Appalachian State University. The other career she enjoyed immensely was that of church journalist. She worked in communication at the diocesan and national/international level for two decades traveling to twenty-six countries in that capacity. She served as editor of two church newspapers, freelanced for years, and for the past two decades has concentrated on writing her books.
Widowed after fifty-six years of marriage, Katerina Katsarka Whitley is the mother of two daughters and four grandchildren. She resides in Louisville, Kentucky.
Photos from Katerina's travels in Greece.
Roman Ruins near PatrasRoman ruins, flowing Judas trees and the blue water--the city of Patras
Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior11th century Byzantine church in the village of Hortiatis located on Mt. Hortiatis on the edge of Thessaloniki
Diogenes and Alexander the GreatThe Gulf of Corinth. The philosopher Diogenes says to Alexander the Great, conqueror of the then world: Move, you are blocking my sun.
Corinthian CanalThe Corinth Canal that separates the Peloponnesos from the mainland. Nero tried to have it dug and, when his engineers did not succeed, he ordered them to whip the land.
Wildflowers"The silver of the olive, the red of paparounes and the yellow wildflowers hit Helena with a shaft of joy."
(from A New Love)
The sea of the city of Volos"The goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
Church candlesThe hope of the faithful: lighting a candle in church
The ever present seaIn early spring the branches are beginning to bud; the sea is always present; the blue blesses us.
WaterfallThe land is rich in waters that run from the mountains to bless the people.
PelionPelion, where the Centaurs were imagined and where Theseus was taught. Mountains and sea ever present.
Evia Island, GreeceThe Island of Evia as seen from the mainland. Dark evergreens, the sea, and mountains against a morning sky.
Convent BellsConvent bells in the Peloponnesos in southern Greece.
Lake KastoriaLake Kastoria is at the City of Kastoria in northwest Greece. The people, surrounded by beauty, are environmentally conscious.