Cate Touryan writes fiction and creative nonfiction—this after a long career as a technical writer, editor, and college instructor. Her love of writing didn’t start with bedtime stories but with her first visit to the optometrist at age five. That eye chart with the descending rows of numbers and letters—that’s what hooked her. Because she could finally see.


It began like this…

When her father told her to walk inside the crosswalk, little Cate planted one careful foot after the other inside the painted white line. When her mother told her to come home on bus #8, she dutifully climbed onto bus #3—and never got home. When her kindergarten teacher told her father and mother that Cate squinted at the chalkboard, they all finally saw what she couldn’t. The poor child had astigmatism in the worst way. 

The topsy-turvy world of Cate finally righted itself at the age of 5 with her first pair of glasses, and ever since, she has lived inside the worlds of books, reading them, writing them, and editing them. And she has helped other people see—the music of a poem, the story in the wind, the runaway "r" in "libary."

With an MA in English and a JD in Law, she built a career as a technical writer, editor, university instructor, and business owner. Among the many classes she has taught are technical writing for engineers at Cal Poly, SLO, editing for UC Berkeley Extension, and technical writing for forensic scientists for UC Davis, a class she developed for the university’s graduate program. She has come far since those squinting days of kindergarten and owes much to the astute Mrs. Young.

Five years ago, she moved back to her hometown of San Luis Obispo, California, from a long stint in Sacramento, leaving her career (mostly) behind and returning to her childhood love—fiction. When she’s not editing engineering reports or teaching technical writing for forensic scientists in the crime labs, the grown-up Cate is working on short stories, creative nonfiction, and a second novel. She lives with her husband and daughter a stone’s throw away from her childhood home (and her mom), and recently secured an agent for her first novel.

Through her stories, she hopes to help others see just a little bit better.