Seven Books in One Month

by Kathryn on September 20, 2017

I guess five articles in a few weeks doesn’t seem so impressive any more! I had seven books come out in August 2017. Here they are:

  1. Robotics Engineer, Cutting Edge Careers, ReferencePoint Press, August 2017
  2. Virtual Reality Developer, Cutting Edge Careers, ReferencePoint Press, August 2017
  3. Real-World STEM: Develop Fusion Energy, ReferencePoint Press, August 2017
  4. Kimberly Bryant: Founder of Black Girls Code, Leading Women, Cavendish Square, August 2017
  5. Hydrogen, The Chemistry of Everyday Elements, Mason Crest, August 2017
  6. Gold, The Chemistry of Everyday Elements, Mason Crest, August 2017
  7. My Teenage Life in Russia, Customs & Cultures of the World, Mason Crest, August 2017

I wrote all of these books beginning with Hydrogen in August 2016. I finished the last one, Virtual Reality Developer, in April 2017. So really, I wrote seven books in nine months.

My favorite to work on was also the one that took the longest: Develop Fusion Energy. I liked it because I learned the most. The topic was very difficult — I had to wrap my head around some complex concepts, including plasma, magnetic confinement, and inertial confinement. But that’s what I love most about writing nonfiction for kids. My job is to understand cool, complex ideas completely enough to explain them to anybody. What fun!

I’ve only received author copies of three of these books so far:



Five Articles in Three Weeks

by Kathryn on June 14, 2017

Apparently, I’ve been busy! In a span of three weeks, five of my articles came out on Science News for Students.

June 8, 2017: Cool Jobs: New tools to solve crimes

June 5, 2017: Underwater robot vaccuums up lionfish

June 1, 2017: Are fidget spinners tools or toys?

May 25, 2017: Cool Jobs: Counting calories and Explainer: All about the calorie

I didn’t write them all at once, though. This represents several months of work. I only work on one feature at a time for the website, though I will write shorter news stories whenever I get a chance. I wrote the piece about Calories starting in January, then moved on to Forensics in the spring. Those two pieces were like night and day. With Calories, I couldn’t get in touch with some of my first choice contacts, and I wound up with an unwieldy story that was difficult to pull together (lots of rounds of edits). One section of the article got turned into an “explainer” – so it’s not quite a separate piece, but I had to do a fair amount of work to get it to stand alone, so I’m counting it.

Forensics on the other hand, was quick and easy. The story came together smoothly, I had great sources, and the editing process was much faster. I think the opening scene (a fake burglary) may be my favorite from any of my stories on the site.

For the fidget spinner story, my editor asked for a quick turn-around so it could go up before the end of the school year. I did a whopping nine interviews for that story – a personal record! Four of them were with my husband’s cousin and her kids – they are featured in the story, which they thought was super cool.

Oh yeah, and I also wrote a short news story about lionfish. I’ve got another story on lionfish in the works. Stay tuned for that one!

Edit: Here’s the new lionfish story:

June 26, 2017: Camera catches new fish species — as it’s eaten!



Robots and Cyborgs

April 20, 2017

Recently, I’ve written two articles for Science News for Students about robotics: Teaching robots right from wrong and Wired and weird: Meet the cyborg plants Artificial intelligence has always been one of my favorite things to learn about and think about. When my editor at Science News for Students said she’d like to see a feature on […]

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A Love of Language and Letters

March 9, 2017

A very special article just came out in Muse magazine: “Communing with the Letter Spirits.” This piece is about Douglas Hofstadter’s Letter Spirit project, which was an attempt to model human creativity through a computer program that created its own fonts. But for me, the meaning goes much deeper. When I was a teenager, I […]

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Climate Change vs Fracking

February 13, 2017

Four years ago, I attended a fascinating talk by Richard Alley about melting ice and climate change at the AAAS conference in Boston. Read my post about it here. When I found out that Muse magazine was going to focus an upcoming issue on climate change, I immediately remembered that talk and pitched an article […]

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How to Make a Dream Journal

November 21, 2016

I had the most awesome college job ever. I worked in the library repairing books. An elderly gentleman named Chuck taught me how to reinforce spines, replace covers, and repair torn pages (with a tiny iron and special fabric – never scotch tape!). I even learned some binding techniques. I loved that job. For Muse’s […]

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Happy Halloween

October 28, 2016

Ever since I first learned that a fungus can turn ants into zombies, I’ve wanted to write about it. I finally got the chance! My editor wanted a piece on “real zombies” in time for Halloween. This was a dream assignment for me. I love bugs, especially spiders. Ants are pretty cool, too. Here are […]

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October 25, 2016

Hooray! Author copies of my most recent book arrived over the weekend: The Science of Dinosaurs, part of the Super Awesome Science series from ABDO publishing. The book is aimed at grades 3 to 6, a much younger age range than my usual audience. And it’s about dinosaurs. My son (almost 2) loves dinosaurs. So […]

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More Video Games

October 14, 2016

Well, I guess I’ve found my niche in children’s nonfiction: video games. My husband used to work as a software engineer on games (like, 5 years ago), and conversations with him way back then led me to propose an article on video games to Odyssey magazine. Well, that article eventually landed me my first book […]

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From Brainwaves to Mind Reading

September 26, 2016

My latest article was just published on Science News for Students: One day, computers may decode your dreams Along with it, I wrote this explainer: How to read brain activity When I set out to write this article, the only real guidance I had was to write something about the science of brainwaves, including what […]

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