Sara Catterall was born in Ankara to Peace Corps parents, grew up in South Minneapolis, majored in Drama at NYU (via Strasberg and the Experimental Theater Wing) and completed her MLIS at Syracuse University.

She was a librarian at Cornell University for a few years, recommended books and interviewed authors for Shelf Awareness, and is a professional freelance indexer on pause. She serves on the Executive Board of her local independent bookstore, Buffalo Street Books, where she also does some shelving once a week.