A high school English teacher from Pine Island, Minnesota, Kate Laack will release her debut novel In the Shade of Olive Trees in November 2022 with Olive Street Publishing.
A writer who teaches | A teacher who writes
A longtime lover of writing and reading, Kate Laack remembers writing her first story on the family desktop computer at age eight or nine. It was not an instant classic.
In college at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, Kate wrote for the university newspaper where she also sat on the editorial board as head of the Lifestyle section. She earned degrees in English and secondary education, as well as a minor in theater arts, and began teaching high school honors English, modern literature, and speech shortly after graduation.
Kate turned to writing and distance running as relief from the pressures of a first year teacher, and her, now retired, blog Heels or Sneakers chronicled the challenges of both life in the classroom and training for a half marathon. Additionally, she began freelance writing, and her work has been feature on Thought Catalog, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and The Comedy Show Show among others.
After moving to Minnesota and marrying in 2015, Kate turned her writing mostly to professional avenues, completing a master’s degree in curriculum design and technology integration, and writing for numerous professional and trade publications. In particular, her work in building the theater program at Pine Island high school was spotlighted in the National Federation of State High School Associations, and recognized with one of just fifty R.I.S.E. America grants.
She wrote the original manuscript for her debut novel In the Shade of Olive Trees in three months, over summer break 2021. She signed with Olive Street Publishing in early 2022, and the novel is set to be released later this year.
Kate lives in Minnesota with her husband, Josh, in a home they built with their own four hands.
** I’ve completed 17 half marathons, 3 full marathons, and 5 triathlons
** I once aspired to go to law school
** In the Shade of Olive Trees is set in Italy, based on a 2016 trip I took with my husband
** I turned down a chance to play college golf