Susan Taylor Chehak

California, United States

Susan Taylor Chehak is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers Workshop and the author of five novels, including Smithereens, The Story of Annie D., and Harmony. Her short stories have appeared in Folio, Coe Review, Guernica Magazine, and The Adirondack Review, among other places. 

As her pseudonymous alter-ego, Kathryn Dow, Susan has recently published a new novel: The Great Disappointment, A Confession, as an e-book from Foreverland Press. Kathryn's other ongoing projects include All The Lost Girls a website devoted to exploring the  lost girl archetype and the grip her story continues to have on our cultural imagination; In Hollow Hill, where she documents evidence for the existence of goblins in the 60 acres of undeveloped woodland at the edge of Nowhere, in Linwood, Iowa; and The Foreverland Chronicles, where she assists Susan in creating detailed narrative record of Foreverland and its denizens. At present, Kathryn is at work on a new novel, the first in a projected trilogy, about a world in which everyone over the age of 27 has disappeared.

Susan is also the driving force behind Foreverland Press, an e-book publisher devoted to bringing back the backlists of fine writers who might have otherwise been overlooked. Other of her online projects include, What Happened To Paula, a collaborative web-based investigation into the as yet unsolved murder of a former schoolmate, and The Truth About Paula O., a blogged memoir of Susan's ongoing 12-year investigation into the Paula Oberbroeckling murder case. 

Susan has taught fiction writing in the low residency MFA program at Antioch University, Los Angeles, the UCLA Extension Writers' Program, the University of Southern California, and the Summer Writing Festival at the University of Iowa. She grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, spends as much time as possible in Colorado, lives occasionally in Toronto, and at present calls Los Angeles her home.


Twitter Username: @stchehak


  • Smithereens , Doubleday, 1995; Foreverland Press (1995)
  • Rampage , Doubleday, 1998; Foreverland Press (1998)
  • Harmony , Ticknor & Fields, 1991; Foreverland Press (1991)
  • The Story of Annie D. , Houghton Mifflin, 1989; Foreverland Press (1989)
  • Dancing on Glass , Ticknor & Fields, 1993; Foreverland Press (1993)
  • The Great Disappointment, A Confession , Foreverland Press (2012)
  • What Happened To Paula: The Anatomy of a True Crime (2014)
  • Don Quixote Meets the Mob: The Craft of Fiction and the Art of Life , Foreverland Press (2000)


  • Associate Faculty at Antioch University MFA Program (2000 - 2010)
  • Instructor at Iowa Summer Writing Festival (1998 - 2012)


  • Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from University of Iowa Writers Workshop (August 1975)
  • Bachelor of Arts in English from University of Iowa (December 1973)

Genres of Interest