Kathy Cassel is the author of ten books for Christian preteens and girls. Reaching children comes naturally to Kathy who has a B.S. degree in elementary education from Grace College, Winona Lake, Indiana, and a M.Ed. with a reading specialty from The University of North Dakota. She has received Disney’s iPArenting Media Award.
Kathy has worked with children of all ages in a variety of educational and church settings. She and her husband, a retired USAF member, also have eight children (four sons, four daughters), five of whom are adopted, three of those from Haiti.
In addition being a wife, mother and author, Kathy is now a Padi certified diver. She decided to try a two-hour scuba diving introductory class last year because of a fiction book she was working on. She figured the little she learned in that class would make the diving scenes more authentic. During the intro class, she found she enjoyed scuba and went on to get her Padi Basic Certification. She is now working toward her advanced certification.
Scuba diving and snorkeling are only two of the activities Kathy and her family spend time doing together at the beach. They also kayak and play beach volleyball. Kathy is also enrolled in photography and ukulele classes!
Her goal is to write faith based books that will appeal to today's youth. She strives to make them both fun and practical.
Kathy is working on writing teen fiction after years of writing preteen devotions and practical Christian living books.
Early Years and Education:
Kathy Cassel was born January 7, 1962 in Elkhart, Indiana, where she was the youngest of three children. She attended Mary Beck Elementary School and Elkhart Baptist Christian School (now Elkhart Christian Academy) grades 7-12.
During high school she played volleyball and basketball and was the yearbook photographer. She wrote for a special section of the local newspaper dedicated to high school news reporters. Kathy did not pursue a journalism degree because that wasn't the kind of writing she wanted to do. So instead, because of her love for children, she pursued a degree in elementary education at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana.
Marriage and Family:
She then married a childhood friend, Richard (Rick) Cassel and moved to England where he was stationed with the United States Air Force. At the time, he had a five-year-old daughter, Ashley.
That was followed by a move to Grand Forks Air Force Base, ND. Where Kathy taught at a small school before giving birth to son Tyler in 1990 and daughter Jessica in 1991. During this time Kathy earned her MEd in elementary education with a reading certification. In October of 1991 the family moved to Okinawa Japan for nine months, during which time they visited Tokyo Disneyland.
Then they moved to Ellsworth Air Force Base, SD. While there, the family enjoyed riding the bike trails through many of the tourist attractions and local sights with Tyler and Jessica enjoying the view from a bike cart.
Just before the family moved to RAF Mildenhall in England, son Adam was adopted. The family enjoyed traveling around England and even went to Euro Disney in France. While in England, the family adopted Jeff, then almost five, from Haiti.
In 1999 the family moved to Valdosta, Georgia, where they became foster children to eleven children over the four years they lived there. One of them, Jasmine, came to them at 21 days old and was able to join the family permanently when she was three.
Rick and Kathy thought their family was complete, but in 2006 they felt led to adopt again. This journey took them back to Haiti. The whole family made one trip to Haiti to visit the orphanage they were going to adopt from. Other family members made additional trips as the adoption stretched out over three years. The paperwork had just cleared court when Haiti suffered a major earthquake January 12, 2010. The twins were part of the thousands of Haitian children who were sent to the United States on refugee status. The twins adoption was domesticated, and they became citizens of the United States.
Rick and Kathy live in the Florida panhandle with four of their children. Daughter Jessica lives nearby with her husband, Hunter, and two children, River and Winter. Adam is a marine, and Jeff is in the army. Daughter Ashley lives in Indiana with her husband, Mike, and their two children, Phoenix and Griffin.
The family often ran in road races in Georgia. One time while at the Plains Peanuts Festival, Kathy placed in the one-mile run. After receiving her trophy from former President, Jimmy Carter, Kathy decided to give him a copy of one of her books. So she simply jogged up to Carter, but quickly found herself surrounded by his security team who searched the book before allowing her to give it to the former president.
Most interesting thing she did for a character:
While writing about a character who was a scuba diver, Kathy decided to go out of her comfort zone and take a four-hour intro-to-scuba class, not expecting to enjoy it. Her equally skeptical 15-year-old volunteered to
do it with her. However they both found they enjoyed it so much that they started Padi Basic the very next day.