Navy Nurse Enjoys Second Career as Romance Writer

It took Katrina Pringle some time to write her first book but once she started writing, the stories poured out of her.

Her love of books started at an early age.

“I was a latchkey kid growing up, and I spent a lot of time at the library instead of going straight home. That’s when I fell in love with stories,” she said.  “Writing was something I always wanted to do, but I didn’t do it right away.”

Katrina started her first career in another field she felt strongly about growing up.

“My grandmother always wanted to become a nurse but wasn’t able to. Her passion became my passion.”

She worked hard to save and pay for school and was determined not to take out any student loans. When the money she had earned ran out before her junior year of college, she looked to the Navy to fund the rest of her education.

“I believe this program can help me be a better writer."

That choice would lead to a 23-year career as a Navy nurse that took her from her hometown of Jacksonville, Fla. to the Washington, D.C. area to Okinawa, Japan and around again. During her time in the Navy, Katrina also earned two master’s degrees, one in public administration and another as a clinical nurse specialist/practitioner. Her work as a pediatric nurse practitioner covered a wide range of responsibilities from managing clinics to training nurses to working in the emergency room during the H1N1 pandemic.

When she retired from nursing in San Diego in 2013, she knew it was time to get around to something she hadn’t had much time for during her first career.

“In my 20s I realized how much I relied on fiction writing to relax, bolster my mood, and unwind from the day. It was then I thought I would love to tell my own stories,” she said.  “When my husband and I got married I told him, ‘I’m going to write a book.’ He bought me notepads, pens, papers, recorders (this was in the 90s), and I never did.”

“When I retired I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do,” she said. “My husband said, ‘When are you going to write this book you’ve been talking about forever?’ And that’s when I really started taking this seriously.”

For her first character, she chose a nurse. When her self-published novel, “Chasing Ava,” made more than it cost to produce and found a receptive audience, she began to see her future as a romance writer.

Katrina, a second year student in Ƶ’s Writing Popular Fiction Program, came to the university having written 30 books across eight series. The she started the program with an agent, an editor, and a book contract, some students asked why she was there.

“The more I write, the more I realize what my strengths are and what my weaknesses are as a writer,” she said. “I believe this program can help me be a better writer."

This story originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2023-24 issue of Ƶ’s . Since then, Katrina’s book “Fake it Till You Make It” has been released to positive reviews.