Katerina Katsarka was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. Two events shaped her psyche—the sadness of war and the long illness and early death of her mother. The strength of faith that also runs through the years of her life originated in a loving, highly verbal, extended family, and the faith of the house church of her childhood. 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 College. She learned English there and met teachers from the U.S. whose teaching style and personalities predisposed her kindly to studying in the states. When the scholarship offer came, she applied for a Fulbright travel grant and at 16 arrived in a small southern college called Mars Hill, a biblical name but a place quite unlike the original Mars Hill of Athens and the Acropolis.
Thus began her American saga. At first the dream was focused on music, but when the English language entered the rhythm of her mind and speech, she fell in love with the English poets and decided that literature would be her field. She never lost the desire to use her writing for good and not just for looking into the darkest recesses of humanity. “I long for what is good and whole in humanity, 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.”
The same is true with teaching, Katerina says. She has taught children and adults of all ages, but her favorite groups are the college students she has been teaching at Appalachian State University as a communication adjunct since 2001.
Please visit her website: www.KaterinaWhitley.net