Katherine Neville was born in the Midwest and attended school there and in the Rocky Mountains, spending summers in the Pacific Northwest. She developed an early interest in the myths and tales of other cultures like those of the Native Americans and the Mountain Men of the Rockies. From childhood she wanted to be a writer, and began writing at the age of eight. After college, Neville went to New York City and entered the new and fast-growing computer field. Over the next five years, her work was diverse; she wrote programs for the stock exchanges and for the transportation industry, developing systems for railroads, motor freight and ocean shipping. Her career in computers and subsequent interests would take her, over the next twenty years, to countries on three continents, as well as half of the United States.
In New York, Neville was inspired by her African American colleagues to learn more about African cultures. Among her other interests, she worked mornings for the Black Panthers' breakfast program and began studying and collecting African art. She still has her first acquisition, a hundred-year-old Mende female dancing mask from Sierra Leone. While continuing in the computer field, Neville did her postgraduate work on "Form in Black Literature in French and English, in Africa, Europe, and America."
In the 1970s, Neville went to North Africa as an international consultant to the Algerian government, and was living there when the OPEC petroleum embargo took place. These experiences--her first-hand view of global turmoil caused by the shift in economic power from the Cold War confrontation toward the Third World--would provide the fodder for her first published novel, The Eight, a story revolving around a chess game plot set in two different time frames: the French Revolution of the 1790s and the OPEC embargo of the 1970s. In the fifteen years since its publication, The Eight has become a cult classic translated into 20 languages.
Whenever in school or between jobs, Neville often supported herself by painting and fashion modeling. These activities, and working with photographers over the years, helped her develop her own photography skills. Upon returning from North Africa and finding computer jobs scarce, Neville started her own photography business with the aid and support of male photographer friends, and operated for several years as one of the first female commercial photographers in Colorado.
In the late 1970s, thanks to her previous work in the energy field, Neville was called to Idaho as a consultant at the Department of Energy's nuclear research site in the high desert where she helped develop automated methods to identify, track, and manage toxic, hazardous and transuranic materials. This experience, along with her re-acquaintance with the northwest of her youth and a year spent in Austria and Germany, would later provide the core of The Magic Circle--a novel about Uranus, uranium, the Rockies, the Russians, and the millennium.
In 1980, Neville moved to San Francisco where she remained for the next ten years and became a vice president of the Bank of America. Having initiated her career on the stock exchanges of New York and finding herself now, twenty years later, in the world banking arena inspired her international caper, A Calculated Risk, a tale of high-stakes intrigue and skullduggery in the world of global money markets.
At age forty, Neville left the computer world behind and moved to Europe with her best friend and "significant other," Dr. Karl Pribram, the world-famous brain scientist renowned for his holographic theory of memory storage and for his discovery of the functions of the brain's limbic systems and frontal lobes. After living for some time abroad, Neville and Pribram settled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with their cockatiel-atura, Cosi Fan Tootie, and Tyger, the cat.
Neville is presently working on her new novel about painters, set in the sixteenth century and in modern times, in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Americas. She is also working on the sequel to The Eight.