ShareThis Page

Dawson woman awaits word on publication of 5th novel

| Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, 6:21 p.m.
Author Katherine McClelland of Dawson recently published her fifth book.
Trib Total Media File Photo
Author Katherine McClelland of Dawson recently published her fifth book.
Katherine McClelland of Dawson leafs through her copy of 'Ruthless.' It's her first book and her favorite book
Bill Shirley | Daily Courier
Katherine McClelland of Dawson leafs through her copy of 'Ruthless.' It's her first book and her favorite book
Portrait of Katherine McClelland at her home in Dawson, on Monday, January 20, 2014
Bill Shirley | Daily Courier
Portrait of Katherine McClelland at her home in Dawson, on Monday, January 20, 2014

Katherine McClelland set a goal to publish a book by age 30. Now at age 31, she's published four books, and she's finished writing a fifth.

McClelland, of Dawson along the Youghiogheny River in Fayette County, works full-time as a novelist and full-time as a customer service representative for TeleTech near Uniontown. She and her husband Terry also are raising their 6-year-old daughter Jordyn.

“I wanted to write a book before I was 30. I started at 28, and it took me two years to finish the first one,” she said. “I just sat down and started writing. It was one of those things that I knew I always wanted to do.”

An avid reader who devours 20 to 30 books each month, McClelland said she decided to try her hand at writing about seven years ago.

“I figured why not give it a crack. I read enough,” she said. “Words have been there for thousands of years. They'll be there for thousands more after we're gone.”

Her four books so far — “Ruthless,” “30 Days in Scotland,” “Patience” and “Second Chances” — are fictional romance novels. All have published within the past two years.

“Ruthless” scored five-star and best-selling ratings on bookseller

She published “Second Chances” this month.

It chronicles the story of a ballerina and a former military serviceman struggling with the effects of coming home from war. It's set in “woodsy, very beautiful” Jackson Falls, N.H., where McClelland has traveled.

“They kind of find love through each other,” McClelland said. “I think everybody's a romantic at heart.”

McClelland said she doesn't have a formal writing degree. A Connellsville Area High School graduate, she always scored well in English. She then attended the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics where she studied airframe and power plant work.

She credits the Scottdale Writers Group for their help to transform ideas “from the head to the paper.” To this day, McClelland continues to participate with the group.

When she writes, she lets the characters chart the course.

“I don't always have a true destination in mind,” she said. “I never really know where it's going to go. I kind of let the story tell itself.”

Her advice to young writers: Set a clear goal and be persistent.

“It doesn't matter how bad you think it is, write it out all the way first. Don't get a chapter in and erase it all,” McClelland said. “This day and age, the written word is dying. ... It takes a lot of will to write this day and age.”

Publish America published her first three books. Oklahoma-based Tate Publishing and Enterprises published the fourth and is reviewing the fifth.

To buy the books, visit bookstores nationwide or shop online at, or

Rossilynne Skena Culgan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.