Katherine was born in Shanghai, China to Russian parents who fled to Australia in 1950 after the Com-munist Revolution. She graduated from the University of Sydney and Sydney Teachers College, and taught English and History at the high school level. In 1977, with her husband and children, she moved to Chicago IL, where she worked in real estate / relocation. In Chicago she began writing family stories from the dangerous and tense times her family faced during WWII, the Japanese occupation of China and the civil war that followed.
McCaughan was published in The Chicago Tribune and later in The South China Morning Post and New Idea magazine in Australia. In Hong Kong, Katherine wrote book reviews, personal essays and taught creative writing. Chinese and British cultures in Hong Kong
inspired the writing of the fictional novel, Natasha Lands Down Under. Now she spends summers in Chicago and the rest of the year in Jacksonville.