Katharine (Kay) Pfaltz was born to parents who taught school (her father at university, her mother in Kindergarten) and who instilled in her a deep and lasting respect for nature and animals, as well as a love of travel. Travelling across their own country, hiking, backpacking, seeing and learning, the three Pfaltz children grew to understand the natural world. Kay's travels took her farther a field as a young adult when she travelled the world solo for many months, often spending time giving aid in the poorest of developing countries such as Bangladesh. Her love of different cultures, peoples and food has brought her a greater love and respect for all life and all beliefs.
As well as a great love for the outdoor world, Kay is passionate about the arts, in particular great literature. She began her writing career late in life, hoping to become a philosopher instead. While the dream of philosophy still sizzles, writing fiction or, more recently, memoirs about her dogs, was more rewarding.
She grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia. She received a B.A. from the University of Virginia, moved to Manhattan and worked for Chemical Bank. Deciding the corporate scene wasn’t for her, she moved to Paris where she would live and work off and on for the next fourteen years. She studied English literature at King’s College, University of London, earning her M.A. and Ph.D., and taught English literature, while doing freelance writing. She has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.
In addition to writing, today Kay conducts wine tastings at the small restaurant/wine and cheese shop that she created with Judy Nelson in 1997, www.basicnecessities.us. The restaurant specializes in wines from the south of France. Photographs of her dogs adorn the walls. And every now and then, a furry face is found tidying up bread crumbs from the restaurant’s floor. Lauren’s chair still sits in the front of the restaurant at a small Italian marble table, where Lauren sat every day until she died in May of 2002.
Kay leads wine tasting tours to her favorite spots in France. For more information or to go on one of these tours see www.beyondordinarytravel.com. Kay has taught for Mary Baldwin College, James Madison and Southern Methodist universities. She writes a monthly wine column for Blue Ridge Life, Dine, Wine and Stein and Cigar Brief, and is a contributing editor for La Joie.
Kay is passionate about helping to make the world a more peaceful and loving place for all beings. She believes that her passion for literature and the welfare of animals can be intertwined and, to work toward this end, she donates profits from books back to the animals. Kay lives in Virginia with Sasha, Olive, Isabelle and Sparkle all rescued hounds from the local shelters.