Katie Showalter visited the Southwest for the first time on a grade-school field trip to New Mexico's Anasazi ruins. While there, she ate lava-hot green chile that sent her howling for milk (this from a girl who regularly ate handfuls of chili pepper flakes at pizza joints when friends dared her). She also sat in a kiva, hiked an arroyo up a red canyon and narrowly escaped sitting on a cactus. Almost 20 years later, she finds she's at home in Santa Fe--and able to consume large quantities of green chile.
Before landing in the City Different, the Denver native studied creative writing and Mandarin Chinese in Tacoma, Washington, and wrote her journalism master's thesis on "adventure in magazines" in Columbia, Missouri. In between her degrees, she lived briefly in Yellowstone, Taiwan and China, and for a few years in Boulder, Colorado.
Aside from guidebook writer and student, she has been editor, teacher, nanny, waitress, photo lab assistant and, for fifteen minutes, an actor in a Chinese beer commercial. These days she spends her time practicing Wing Chun kungfu, learning to rock climb and working on a freelance career. Over the years, she has published an occasional poem, letters about teaching abroad and articles for trade and consumer magazines; her most current pieces were for Outside Online and Outside's annual Travel Guide.