Cathleen Rountree Photographed
by Mike de Boer

Cathleen Rountree, B.F.A., M.A., Ph.D., a seventh generation Californian, is a writer and writing consultant, film analyst and scholar, visual artist and photographer, educator and cultural mythologist. She is the best-selling author of eight books including the most recent on the art and craft of writing titled The Writer's Mentor: A Guide to Putting Passion on Paper. Her coaching and consulting service, also called The Writer's Mentor, offers editorial assistance in developing both fiction and nonfiction projects, writing proposals, finding agents and publishers, and the business of being a writer. Her articles on writing appear in The Writer magazine and Writer's Digest.

Cathleen is nationally celebrated for her efforts to bring women's midlife issues to public attention. She is the author and photographer of the five-volume series that documents women's life stages: On Women Turning 30: Making Choices/Finding Meaning, On Women Turning 40: Coming Into Our Fullness, On Women Turning 50: Celebrating Midlife Discoveries, On Women Turning 60: Embracing the Age of Fulfillment, On Women Turning 70: Honoring the Voices of Wisdom, as well as The Heart of Marriage: Discovering the Secrets of Enduring Love and 50 Ways to Meet Your Lover.

For her books of interviews, Cathleen met and interviewed such well-known artistic and public figures as Doris Lessing, Isabel Allende, Gov. Ann Richards, Betty Friedan, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Ellen Burstyn, Mary Travers, Gloria Steinem, Marion Woodman, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gloria Allred, Molly Haskell, Andrew Sarris, Jacob Lawrence, Gwen night, and Dolores Huerta, among many others. She is often referred to as "the Barbara Walters of interview books."

For over thirty years the visual arts have been one of her greatest passions. Using the mediums of painting, photography, assemblage and mixed media, the artist ventures to make visible the inner world of the spirit. Accompanied by text her work maintains a tension between the verbal and the visual. The renowned artist Judy Chicago referred to the artist as "a feminist Joseph Cornell." A self-taught chef, Cathleen owned and operated the Berkeley restaurant, Rountree's, during the early 1980s and, later, was a Personal Chef to celebrities in Los Angeles. As a single parent she raised her son who is now 33.

For twenty years Cathleen lived and worked in Berkeley where, at the University of California, she first studied Comparative Literature and Psychology, received a B.F.A. in Painting and Art History, and was a candidate in Berkeley's M.F.A. Program. She received an M.A. in Mythological Studies, with an emphasis in Depth Psychology, from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, where currently she is a Ph.D. candidate. Her dissertation topic is the confluence of the cinema and depth psychology in the twentieth century: "Cinema and Psyche: How the Movies Mirror Our Minds."

Cathleen with Dios, her companion and Muse.
Photographed by Mike de Boer

Her passion for movies has led to work as an archivist for the San Francisco International Film Festival and to writing for their festival catalogue, to being appointed as a board member of the Santa Cruz Film Festival, and to her own column "Femme Film Reflections" on Her film commentaries and analyses are published in a variety of venues, including The San Francisco Jung Library Journal, on, and in the forthcoming anthology on the Argentine director Eliseo Subiela, Under Other Skies: The Films of Eliseo Subiela. (ed. Nancy J. Membrez). Her next book about how to "read" a film for deeper meaning and the potential transformative nature of movies will be published in 2003.

Cathleen lectures throughout the United States on a broad range of topics including Cinema Studies, Creative Writing, Women's Studies, the Visual Arts, and Cross Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Extension (where she has taught for thirteen years), and the esteemed University of California, Los Angeles, Extension, Writers' Program. Many of her presentations use multimedia, in particular, cinematic images.

Curriculumn Vitae.

Cathleen's specialty is using film clips as the basis of her presentations on a diverse range of topics, including the following: artists and the creative process, women's issues, men's issues, childhood and adolescent issues, business, marriage and divorce, love and romance, singles, mythology, psychology, health and healing, friendship, travel, politics, prejudice, death and dying, and spiritual quests. She works closely with organizations to develop presentations that meet their specific agendas. Cathleen is available to design a presentation on any topic for your organization. She may be contacted at

Her coaching and consulting service, The Writer's Mentor, offers editorial assistance in developing both fiction and nonfiction projects, content editing, writing proposals, finding agents and publishers, and the business of being a writer. Contact Cathleen at