Meet the author.

Kristin von Kreisler writes articles and bestselling books about animals.  To get her stories, she followed a grizzly bear for a week, went hang gliding to see how an eagle felt soaring through the sky, and watched in awe as millions of bats emerged from a cave at dusk like clouds of smoke.  She loves all creatures, and she loves writing about them.  In five minutes anyone who meets her for the first time knows of her concern for animal welfare.

Kristin’s first two books, The Compassion of Animals and Beauty in the Beasts, pioneered the topics of animal emotion and morality.  To research, she collected thousands of stories of animals who had performed acts of kindness, generosity, and courage.  Her next book, For Bea, a memoir about a beagle freed from a medical lab, received warm praise from fellow animal lovers. “Bea is unforgettable,” said Mary Tyler Moore, and Betty White called the book “a lovely story.”  Kristin’s books have been translated into ten languages, and The Compassion of Animals was a Book of the Month Club selection.

Now she has ventured into writing animal fiction, and her first novel, An Unexpected Grace, will be published in January 2013.  It’s about a woman and a golden retriever who help each other recover from violence and abuse.  The story shows the healing power of human-animal relationships and explores what Flannery O’Connor described as “the action of grace in territory once held by the devil.

Before her books about animals, Kristin spent ten years writing art and drama reviews and feature articles on subjects ranging from edible flowers to the trafficking of Eastern European women.  Her articles have appeared in anthologies and textbooks and in the Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, Parade, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, and Reader’s Digest, where she was a staff writer.  She has taught English at the University of Hawaii and journalism at California State University at San Jose.

She lives on an island in Washington, where, she says, she’d rather work in her garden than breathe.  Her kale grows to looming giants, and her lavender and catmint are sirens calling bees.  From her desk she watches ospreys and seals, and every hour a ferry passes by.  She and her husband have just renovated a historic Victorian farmhouse, where the island’s first postmistress and sheriff once lived with their seven children.  During the renovation, newspapers dating from 1879 were found under layers of wallpaper, and the yard yielded up a long-buried, rusty revolver.

Why the Peaceable Kingdom?


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