Mills English Professor Celebrates Publication of 20th Novel

Oakland, CA–March 07, 2017

Mills College English Professor Kathryn Reiss is celebrating the publication of her 20th novel, a mystery about a girl who finds a message in an abandoned California gold mine that hints at long lost treasure—and a bit of danger.

Reiss, whose published works include mystery, suspense and historical fiction for kids and teens, currently teaches Craft of the Young Adult Novel and Beginning Fiction at Mills. While her 20th book, Message in a Bottle: A Julie Mystery is a milestone and cause for celebration for this prolific writer, the growing stack of a dozen or so books in her office written and published by former Mills students is equally as gratifying.

“That’s what I love,” said Reiss, who has taught at Mills for 28 years. “I’ve had hundreds of students over the years, and many have gone on to publish.”

While she tells students that they don’t have to aim for publishing a book when they take her classes, she also lets them know that “people write because they want to be read.”

As a professional writer who also teaches, Reiss is glad to pass on tricks of the trade she developed over decades of disciplined practice.

“I write long fiction, so I focus on that in my courses,” Reiss said. “And I teach them how to envision writing as a long haul.”

At Mills since 1989, Reiss also teaches Writing Fiction for Children and Young Adults for undergraduates and graduates, and Graduate Fiction Workshop. Her interests in fiction writing include time travel, reincarnation, ghosts and the intersection of past and present.