Cathy Snodgrass was born and raised near Galveston, Texas. Her first experience with desert was watching western movies.
In 1976, driving through what was then Joshua Tree National Monument, Cathy rounded a mountain and found herself looking down on the 'quaint' town where she and her then Marine husband would be stationed. Cathy knew immediately this was home and made it a condition of her second marriage that they never leave 29 Palms – that was 40 years ago. Cathy will tell you, “I’m very heart bound to the area”.
Describing a time she went back to Texas to visit, she says she couldn't wait to get back to the desert, feeling "smothered by all the green."
Over and above her love of the desert landscape, Cathy loves the people and the camaraderie and community that comes through being involved in the 29 Palms Historical Society or those days she helped to organize the annual Weed Show.
Cathy describes her ‘super power’ and how she used it and other skills in her Civil Service roles on the Marine base. She started as a C4 clerk typist and worked her way to GS11, becoming one of the first civilian paralegals in the Legal Assistance Office, then taking an early retirement at 50.
An author of a plethora of award-winning romance novels (under the pen name Caitlyn Willows) Cathy says, “The writing gods decree that you will write – and you do." Cathy started writing in 1986 and was writing while working full time on base, each day rising early and writing two hours before heading off to work and then again for two hours in the evening, before bed. She describes the life of a dedicated writer, locking herself away on weekends - in addition to her weekly morning and evening writing - didn't leave much time for fun or friends.
Without any formal writing training, Cathy just began writing, later joining an organization that taught writing where she says she learned a great deal about the process. Even with that, it took Cathy 13 years of writing before she was ever published. Cathy provides a cautionary tale of sorts about what her life as a writer was like, taking a step back last year to regroup. In doing so, or to quote Cathy, ‘letting the universe have it’s way with me” and says she has found she is now happier than she’s ever been.
With more time in her schedule now and feeling no grieving after leaving her writing career behind, Cathy works creatively in mosaics and pottery. She has also become a reiki master and has obtained a degree in spiritual healing.