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Kathleen Shoop at a book signing.

Featured Article

Writing the Past

Cozy up with a good historical fiction novel this winter by local author, Kathleen Shoop

Growing up, Kathleen Shoop was an avid reader and lover of books, but didn’t think about a foray into writing until much later in life. “I had just finished my PhD in reading education” says Kathleen. “During this time, I was a research associate at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh, where I also taught courses for master level students and undergraduate students as well.”

After her children were born, Kathleen worked and consulted for Pitt in a part-time capacity, and truly began her exploration into writing as a career. “In 2011, I published “The Last Letter,” which is the first book that I put out,” Kathleen says.

Inspired by love letters written in the 1870s-1880s between her great-great grandmother and great-great-grandfather, Kathleen pieced together her first historical fiction novel. “The Last Letter,” flourished into a series once readers started writing to Kathleen asking for the story to continue. “People would write and say to me that they wanted to know more about x, y, or z…and again, that’s really how ‘The Last Letter’ turned into a series,” continues Kathleen.

With the recent January release of her new novel, “The Thief’s Heart,” Kathleen marks the fourth book in the series. In addition to the three other series she has started since 2011: “The Donora Stories,” “The Bridal Shop Series,” and two anthologies from the “Mindful Writers Retreat Series.”

Sold online and locally at the Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, Kathleen’s novels have truly resonated with readers of all ages based upon the feedback she has received. “I definitely listen to a lot of reader input,” says Kathleen. “I write to be read and I love that people are engaged with the series.”

For more information and to purchase her books, visit

  • Kathleen Shoop at a book signing.
  • The family letters Kathleen was inspired by.
  • Kathleen's newest novel in "The Last Letter" series
  • Kathleen's first novel.
  • Kathleen Shoop