Kathryn Lynn Davis

Kathryn Lynn Davis (born June 19, 1955)[4][5] is an American romance writer specializing in historical romances set in Scotland.

Between 1983 and 2001, Davis published eight historical fiction novels, including the New York Times bestseller Too Deep for Tears.


  • 1 Early career
  • 2 Success
  • 3 Personal life
  • 4 Selected awards
  • 5 Bibliography
    • 5.1 Historicals
      • 5.1.1 Historical romance
      • 5.1.2 Southern Gothic
    • 5.2 Contemporaries
      • 5.2.1 General fiction
      • 5.2.2 Romance
      • 5.2.3 Too Deep for Tears trilogy
      • 5.2.4 Dream Suite
    • 5.3 Anthologies
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Early career

Davis’s first book was Child of Awe, written in 1980 while she was studying for her Master’s exams, but it was the fourth book published.[4]

Instead she met an editor who wanted her to write a trilogy about the meat packing industry in North Dakota.  She ended up signing for the trilogy, and these were the first three books that were published.  She said she learned more about writing from these three books since she had to find a way to make other people’s ideas interesting.[4]

Her first published novel,  The Dakotas: At the Wind’s Edge was set in the town of Medora, North Dakota.  Davis received nationwide attention when the book was banned in that town. [4]

In the meantime her editor died, and another editor suggested she write a southern Gothic, which was Memories and Ashes.[4]


At that time she renewed her acquaintance with Page Ashley, an editor who had loved Child of Awe, and they had a pivotal conversation about all the countries she loved: England, China, Scotland, and India.  Page jokingly suggested she combine them all. After talking four hours with her husband, Davis had the basis for Too Deep for Tears. Page was no longer an agent, but she connected Davis with Andrea Surrillo, who remains her agent to this day. After a year of working with editor Linda Marrow, the book was published as a hard cover and was a success.[4] It made the New York Times Best-seller List in 1990, and stayed at number five for seven weeks, selling more than five million copies.[7] 

The next book was Sing to Me of Dreams, written as an exercise.  Another book was started, as there was as yet no intention of a sequel to Too Deep for Tears, but it was shelved, and instead Davis wrote the sequel All We Hold Dear nonstop. The sequel was accepted by the publisher, and Davis kept writing.  Finally the book Somewhere Lies the Moon tied all the character lines from the other two books together.[4]

Davis had always had great confidence in her ability as a writer, that people would want to read her books, but by 1996, she had become unsure of herself, since her later books had not done as well as Too Deep for Tears, which people had found profoundly emotional.  She stopped writing for a year, but then turned to anthologies, as a low pressure way to write. Eventually several of her earlier books were republished as e-books.[4][7]

W_KATHRYN DAVIS_0405akfm.jpgIn 2000 Davis acquired the rights to her books from her publisher, but did not do anything with it for several years.  Eventually friends guided her through the process. She pays several hundred dollars to scan the books and for cover art. The books typically sell for $4.99 a copy and the publisher takes 30% of the purchase price. While  authors do have to do their own marketing – several historical romance novel colleagues have promoted Davis’s books – they also get more editorial control over the product. Davis’s first e-book, Child of Awe, was rewritten to make the original heroine more sympathetic, before coming out in 2014. Two of her books, “Too Deep for Tears” and “Child of Awe,” have been on Kindle best-seller lists.[7]

As Davis started republishing her old material, she remembered the passion that went into them.  “I feel happy and joyful again,” she told an interviewer at her home at the age of 59. “Never decide it’s the end.”[7]

Davis continues to teach creative writing at the University of California,  specializing in courses on works-in-progress for their extension program. She has taught university-level journalism and copyediting, and has presented workshops in public schools encouraging students to write. She has been a guest lecturer at the James Joyce Cultural Centre in Dublin, Ireland.[5]

Personal life

Davis was born in Riverside, California, where she still lives.  She has a sister and a brother who is a radio personality.[4]

Davis received a BA in English and history from the University of California, Riverside, graduating Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa.[2]. Later she received an MA in history from the same university with an emphasis in England, and minors in China and medieval Europe. A portion of Too Deep for Tears is set in historic China.[4]

Davis met her husband Michael at the University of California Riverside when she was an undergraduate student.  She was 18; he was 30 and had nearly completed a PhD in American literature. He was working as a scientific editor for one of her college professors, but started doing photography shortly after they married. Davis tried to work and write at the same time, but her writing suffered, and her husband encouraged her to write full time, and supported her financially while she did so.  As soon as Davis became successful as a writer, her husband was able to leave his editing job for photography.[4]

In the 8th grade Davis wrote two novels.  A friend was reading one of them in class and tears were streaming down her face.  This was when Davis realized she wanted to be a writer.  A second pivotal moment came in her teens when she saw a movie with a ghost piper in it, “Francis the Talking Mule & the Haunted Castle,” and on hearing the sound of the bagpipes, had a friend drive her to the library and checked out every book about Scotland.  This is where her love of Scotland came from.[4]

Heather Sullivan (l)

After the publication of Somewhere Lies the Moon, Davis went on tour with with singer/songwriter Heather Sullivan, who had written the song that inspired it, “Somewhere There Lies the Moon”.  The tour ended in Ireland, where Davis spent time touring with her husband.

Selected awards

  • 1989 – Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Historical Saga, Too Deep for Tears [1]
  • 1990 – New York Times bestseller list Too Deep For Tears [2]
  • 1994 – one of “40 Alumni Who Make A Difference” for the University’s 40th Anniversary[2]
  • University of California Riverside’s Creative Writing Alumni Award for Fiction[2]
  • 1999 – Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Historical Novel, Somewhere Lies the Moon[1]
  • RT Career Achievement Award for the Too Deep for Tears trilogy[2]



Historical romance

  1. Child of Awe (1987)
  2. Too Deep for Tears (1989)
  3. Sing to me of Dreams (1990)
  4. All We Hold Dear (1995)
  5. Somewhere Lies the Moon (1999)
  6. The Endless Sky (2001)
  7. Highland Awakening (2016)
  8. A Tear for Memory (2016)
  9. Once Upon a Highland Glen (2019)

Southern Gothic

  1. Memories and Ashes (1985)[5]


General fiction

  • The First Thanksgiving (2010)
  • Wake Up! Wake Up! (2011)
  • Weave for Me a Dream (2017)


  1. Dakota Series: At the Wind’s Edge (1983)[5][6]
  2. Dakota Series: The Endless Sky (1984)[5][6]

Too Deep trilogy

(or “Victorian Trilogy”)

  1. Too Deep for Tears
  2. All We Hold Dear
  3. Somewhere Lies the Moon
  4. A Tear for Memory , novella (prequel) published in Highland Winds: the Scrolls of Cridhe (2014)
  5. Highland Awakening , novella (prequel) published in Highland Flames (2015)

Dream Suite

  1. Sing to Me of Dreams (1990, 2016)
  2. Weave for Me a Dream (Volume 2) (2017)


  •  “Clouds Across the Moon,” short story, Mother (1996), ed. Claudia O’Keefe: an anthology of short stories and poems by authors including Maya Angelou, Amy Tan, Joyce Carole Oates, Barbara Kingsolver, et al. [3]
  • A Tear for Memory (novella), Highland Winds: The Scrolls of Cridhe, historical novellas set in Scotland, along with Ceci Giltenan, Tarah Scott, Lily Baldwin, Suzan Tisdale, Sue-Ellen Welfonder, and Kate Robbins.[4]
  • Highland Awakening, Highland Flames: Guardians of Cridhe, (2015), with above authors, including Victoria Zak.
  • Child of Awe, Highland Charm: First Fantasies,  a collection of paranormal historicals, (2015) full-length novels written by Kathryn Lynn Davis, April Holthaus, Victoria Zak, and Dawn Marie Hamilton.Also on Captured Hearts and Stolen Kisses.
  • Highland Heartthrobs and  Snowswept Moors, along with Ceci Giltenan, Lily Baldwin, Emma Prince and Parris Afton Bonds.


External links

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