Katherine Center in 1972

1973 • From the beginning: a well-behaved rule-follower with a hearty appreciation for trouble.

Image 20

And food.

Image 1

1975 • Me with my cowgirl mom on our family’s Texas ranch.

SJS kgtn photo

1977 • Kindergarten.  I remember learning to read and thinking, “This is so hard.”


1979 • Sisters. I’m the one missing a tooth and thinking deep thoughts.

Image 13

1979 • With my fabulous grandmother, who I adored.

Image 6

1980 • Yes, that’s ketchup down the front of my dress. One of my signature moves.

Image 17

1981 • Out at the ranch.

kpc photos_0012

1984 • Middle school. Enough said. Fast-forward.

Image 3

1987 • The Sylvia Plath-slash-Molly Ringwald year.

Image 19

1992 • Vassar College. By far The Best Photo of Me Ever Taken.

kpc photos_0007 - Version 2

1993 • Kind of a tough guy.

kpc photos_0002

1994 • Won the Vassar College Fiction Prize and got Distinction on my thesis, a novella (here, with my beloved teacher Beverly Coyle).
That was some LIPSTICK, huh?

Image 8

1994 • Met this terrifically kind-hearted guy (& married him few years later). Also: Got a fellowship to the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, and moved home to Texas.

K w- 3 wk A

2003 • Did some very impressive creative work that year.

(2004 • Wrote a novel.  Don’t have any photos, but it bears mentioning.  Had, “Sell novel!” on to-do list, but then . . .)


2005 • . . . made another very high caliber baby instead.


2006 • First attempt at an author photo.

Katherine Center

2007 • Second attempt.* When I got home, I had so much make-up on, my kids said, “Mama! What happened to your face?!”

Image 11

2013 • Every year, I go on a Girls’ Weekend with my mom and sisters.


2014 • This is where the magic happens*.  #LuckySofa!  *The magic also happens in the bubble bath.


2010 • This is how I write. Type it all in, print it all out, then scribble the heck all over it.


Photo on 6-28-13 at 11.33 PM #4

2013 • Sometimes when I have a long way to go on a book, I make a color chart, just for fun.

Image 25

2013 • I do a lot of mama-stuff, but I do plenty of authorly things, too. Like school book fairs–

Image 8

–and speaking at luncheons–

Image 30

–and drinking fancy coffees—



–and painting words from my books on friends’ bodies (that’s Jenny Lawson, by the way)–


–and, every now and then going to a fancy People Magazine book party on a rooftop in New York.

Photo on 10-24-13 at 12.00 PM

But mostly I  goof around at home, and I just keep trying like heck to make the most of my one sweet, ordinary, utterly magical life.

 blue mail list

*Author photo by Brett Chisholm.

Cafe photo by Karen Walrond.

Photo of Jenny Lawson by Jenny Lawson.