Per Aspera Ad Astra

The Desert Muses is thrilled to announce our May guest blogger. Please help me welcome writer and journalist Katrina Shawver.

Katrina never set out to be a writer. Her writing began by accident, and it is marked by two things in particular: serendipity and the desire to tell a great story.

The hardest part of writing for Katrina is simply “Keep butt in chair and type.” Writing a book is much harder than she ever imagined. Her motivation has fluctuated from quitting with a “There’s no way I’ll ever do this” to restarting with the Little Engine Who Could mantra “I think I can, I think I can.” She stays motivated by surrounding herself with other writers, joining two writers groups, and finding a great critique group. The journey has included blogging every day for over eight months, honing the craft of writing, learning social media, and a massive amount of research.

Katrina’s current project is a narrative nonfiction novel based on a Polish gentleman who she met via a random phone tip. Henry Zguda, a Catholic Pole, was arrested by Germans in 1942 and endured unspeakable hardships as a prisoner. Their unexpected friendship, during a time when Katrina was “sandwiched” between her three young children and an aging parent with severe COPD, forms the core thread.

Henry Zguda had been to hell and back, but it was this death camp survivor who showed Katrina how to really live, with humor and preferably a shot of good Polish vodka.

Per aspera ad astra. Through hardship to the stars.


Katrina Shawver has a BA in political science and Masters from the School of Trial and Error. She cut her journalism teeth writing newspaper columns for eleven years for The Arizona Republic. Her work has also appeared in Arizona ParentingPhoenix Downtown Magazine, a parenting web site, and two national magazines.

By day Katrina is a paralegal; by night she blogs, works on her book, and dreams that sweet potato fries count as a vegetable.

Genocide Awareness Week was in April and Katrina delivered a riveting presentation at Scottsdale Community College. If interested in listening to the presentation, please click here.

Please be sure to check out her regular blog on her website. You can also find Katrina on Facebook and Twitter.


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