Katia Spiegelman was born in France to American parents, a musician and a teacher. She was raised in Massachusetts and New York, with an older sister and younger brother and graduated from Sarah Lawrence college and at the age of 19 then ran off back to Paris. After six months she returned to New York and got a job in publishing, and published her first two novels.
Katia also published a couple of novels under the name Kate Pepper, but her career really took off in this country with the crime novel "You Are Next". This was the first of the Karen Schaeffer novels. She now writes under her married name Katia Lief. Three more books in the series have followed, her latest being Dead Rich published in 2013. She has a master's degree in literature and creative writing and teaches fiction writing as a part-time faculty member at the New School in Manhattan. Katia lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two children, two cats, and several fish.