Kathleen Schrenk grew up in New Orleans where, as a young child, she spent her summers catching toads, building subterranean clubhouses in vacant lots, and wading barefoot in streets flooded by afternoon thunderstorms. When she was twelve, she discovered greater adventures in the books of her neighborhood library. She practically camped out between the stacks to finish reading Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl and Nevil Shute’s post-apocalyptic On the Beach.
A graduate of Louisiana State University, Kathleen worked as a speech and language therapist in the public schools and taught middle school science and language arts for twenty years. After leaving the classroom in 2001, Kathleen continued to work with children—as a volunteer tutor in Start the Adventure in Reading and as a docent for school groups in the New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park. In 2005, following the devastation of her hometown from Hurricane Katrina and the floods that inundated the city, she focused her volunteer work on the recovery of New Orleans and on coastal restoration.
Kathleen serves on the board of the Louisiana SPCA. She is a supporter of the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival and an affiliate of the Drawing Room Players of Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre. Kathleen is a member of the Louisiana/Mississippi Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Women’s National Book Association.
Kathleen’s travel articles about European carnival celebrations have been published in Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide. Her personal essay on Katrina recovery, Coming Home, appeared in Six Hens Magazine. A Dog Steals Home, her debut middle grade novel set in New Orleans, was released by Pelican Publishing Company in Spring, 2017. Her chapter book, The Case of the Left-hand Trombone (Pelican Publishing 2019), is set in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter.