Katherine McCaughan was born in Shanghai, China to Russian parents who fled to Australia in 1950 after the Communist Revolution. She graduated from the University of Sydney and Sydney Teachers' College, and taught English and History at the high school level. In 1977 she moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she worked in real estate and relocation. It was in Chicago that McCaughan began writing down family stories from the dangerous tense times the family faced during the Second World War, the Japanese occupation of China and the civil war that followed.
In 1993 she moved to Hong Kong where she lived for ten years. Here McCaughan wrote book reviews for B-International Magazine, personal essays for AWARE magazine, published a short story in Australia, and taught creative writing at the Hong Kong YWCA. The nostalgia brought on by the Chinese and British cultures in Hong Kong inspired the interweaving of the family stories into a fictional novel, Natasha Lands Down Under. Drawing on her life experiences, it explores issues of migration and adaption. In 2009, the novel was awarded a gold medal n the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards for Young Adults, Historical/Cultural fiction.
McCaughan was invited to be a 'featured author' at the Amelia Island Book Festival held in February, 2010, and to take part in the Florida Heritage Book Festival in St. Augustine in September 2010. She now spends her summers in Chicago and the rest of the year in Jacksonville, Florida.
She is a proud member of Jacksonville branch of the National League of American PEN Women and of the Society of Midland authors.