Please excuse the involuntary blushing

Kaitlyn Roby
Review staff

I am a storyteller.

Whether it’s a hard-hitting investigative piece or a feature article on a local, I aim to tell a story accurately, fairly and well.

The story that is my least favorite to tell is my own. So, when my boss told me I had to write an article on myself, my cheeks got hot and I felt a familiar urge to hide under my desk or run away. 

I prefer to be the one who takes an idea and makes it into an article that’s engaging, informative and timely, but just not about me.

I can meet stranger after stranger for interviews and ask about things that some people would rather I not ask about, but the second a conversation shifts to me, I turn red or struggle a little to form sentences with my, you know, that thingamajig I use to talk.

It’s sort of because I’m a private person, but it’s also because I am inherently shy.

I think I get it from my mom. She hates public speaking, but has said and done numerous bold and seemingly outgoing things as a nurse and a mother of four.

Although I have tried to avoid it, I guess my introductory column should include specific things about me.

I grew up in Hastings, and excelled in English and writing classes, but I started to notice the journalist part of me -- that part that has asked “why” since I learned to talk -- when I worked at a coffee shop in my hometown.

I familiarized myself with the regulars, their drinks and their hopes and dreams in the couple of minutes it took me to hand over their change, pull an espresso shot and froth some milk for a latte.

While trying to figure out what to do with my life at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (and while working at another coffee shop), I realized my background in writing and my ability to ask critical questions -- and listen intently to the answers -- could be useful in something like journalism.

I took Journalism 1001, and then applied and was accepted to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. I then sought out every internship and reporting opportunity I could fit into my schedule.

I went into barista mode when I had to approach random people on the streets of Minneapolis for a story or call up someone who was older and smarter than me. And it worked.

I am confident in barista (now reporter) mode, but, despite my best efforts, I still have some bouts of involuntary blushing (Thanks, mom).

I’ve had work published in the Star Tribune, Super Lawyers magazine and the St. Cloud Times.

Most recently, I was a staff reporter at the Northfield News and the Lonsdale Area News-Review, covering public safety stories, the city councils and community news. I loved what I was doing, although the commute from Minneapolis was long, and construction and weather made it longer.

After our wedding in August, my husband and I lived in a small apartment near downtown Minneapolis. At the end of October, we moved into a turn-of-the-century house that our landlady gutted and transformed into a duplex a couple of years ago.

My husband and I signed the lease for our St. Paul home just before I applied for a staff writer position at Lillie Suburban Newspapers, whose office is, fortunately, about five miles away from our new neighborhood.

As the newest member of the Review team, I am excited to continue to learn about Lake Elmo, Maplewood, North St. Paul and Oakdale.

I want to tell your stories and look into things for you.

If you have an idea, a question or just want to introduce yourself, please contact me at 651-748-7814 or kroby@lillienews.com. You can also find me at twitter.com (@KRobyNews).

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