Kathy’s upcoming memoir, It’s Not About the Gun: Lessons from My Global Career as a Female FBI Agent, is her first book.
Kathy is a Kentucky girl, having grown up on a beautiful tobacco and dairy farm. But she left a long time ago - headed over the horizon with shining idealism in her eyes and adventures rattling around her head. She was going to make a difference and change the world and do things that most women don’t get to do, let alone want to do. So, she became an FBI agent. She lived, worked, and traveled extensively throughout the United States. Later in her career, she moved overseas and served as the head of FBI operations in India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, and Mongolia.
When Kathy was overseas, it was always inevitable someone standing in line to talk to her would ask if she was carrying a gun. When her negative response was met with disappointment, she would whip out her badge and credentials, trying her best to use the same style and flourish they had no doubt seen on TV. It always brought a smile of delight, fingers outstretched for a touch.
The FBI is viewed with awe in other countries and Kathy could never travel in an official capacity internationally without large groups of people surrounding her, wanting to know more about the FBI, asking “Is it true you know how to read minds?” “Is it true you can tell when people are lying?” And her personal favorite, “What is it like to be a woman in the FBI?” Kathy never failed to be amazed that the people she met abroad thought the FBI could do just about anything.
The curiosity and excitement engendered by Kathy’s presence everywhere she went made her realize the sheer number of people worldwide who have an insatiable curiosity about the FBI.
Upon her return to the United States, Kathy initially began to tell stories about her experiences, focused on her time working in other countries. She found that her audience was drawn to stories that were humorous, those “you-can’t-believe-it happened” moments. Later, as she began writing those stories down, she started to realize she wanted young women to understand what a career in the FBI could look like. She wanted to shine a light on an organization that is full of contradictions, populated with personalities that supported a woman’s role in the FBI and those which did not. In her memoir, Kathy has attempted to paint a picture of a career punctuated with excitement, frustration, disappointment, and extreme pride. But most of all, Kathy wants the reader to know that a career with the FBI is like no other.
Kathy also writes narrative non-fiction and essays related to international travel, the current political and social climate, and growing up on a remote farm in central Kentucky. One of her essays, “Kentucky Windage,” which also appears in her memoir, was published in the April 2020 issue of Under the Gum Tree. She is currently researching topics for her next book.
When she isn’t writing, Kathy loves to renovate her 115-year-old house; refinish and reupholster unique pieces of antique furniture with fabrics and textiles she’s collected from around the world; and browse used books stores to add to her collection, which numbers in the thousands.
Most of all, Kathy loves to plan the next international trip she and her husband, Keith, will take while learning the history, culture, and language of the country in which they’ll be traveling.