Katie Goldman was born in New York City in 1960 and grew up in Los Angeles, where she attended public schools, skipping one grade. As a child, she was influenced by her mother, Susan Goldman Rubin, who has published several books, including two novels for young adults. Rubin bought her children books regularly and encouraged them to develop the library habit.
Thanks to this encouragement, Goldman was always a great reader. She also showed an early interest in writing: after being heartbroken over the ending of Dr. Doolittle, she wrote an additional chapter to provide a more satisfying conclusion. In high school, she took creative writing classes, where her short stories always came out reading more like first chapters of novels. After high school, she chose to attend the University of California at Santa Cruz because that institution's loosely structured curriculum allowed her to pursue her interest in writing novels. Goldman wrote her first, highly autobiographical novel, In the Wings, while she was a college sophomore. She chose to write a book for young adults because, being only eighteen years old herself, it was the genre with which she was most familiar. She knew how to structure such novels from having read a large number of them as a teenager, so her writing technique developed in large part from her reading experiences.
During her junior year, Goldman wrote Pay as You Exit, and the following year, she published In the Wings (1983). That same year, while Goldman was working full time, Dial Books purchased Pay as You Exit, which came out in 1985. Goldman's writing pace slowed during the next five years because of her marriage to writer/editor Norman Kolpas and the birth of their first child. She has recently completed her first, as-yet-unpublished adult novel a love story set against the backdrop of the computer industry in San Jose's Silicon Valley. Although this book features adult characters, Goldman sees no stylistic difference between it and her first two novels, and she may write for young adults again.