Being in the Shadow: Stories of the First Time Total Eclipse Experience


My motivation for writing my third book  ‘Being in the Shadow’ (2017) was to fill a much-needed gap.  I knew I could capture something special by interviewing people before and after they saw their first total solar eclipse. Multiple perspectives of the same event over time create a unique and powerful way of describing totality.

In every region preparing for a total solar eclipse, leaders and stakeholders need to understand WHY tens of thousands of people will come to see a celestial event lasting a few minutes. Eclipse Coordinators have to convey the difficult-to-verbalize experience at public events and in the media — not easy when you haven’t experienced totality yourself.

This book gives essential insights for those living in the path of totality and needing to know what to expect.

Also, this is the perfect book to give to someone who has never seen a total eclipse and needs convincing to get into the path of totality.

I think this is my best book to date. I was able to use rigorous phenomenological methods (Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis) to inform the key themes for each person, which gave the structure for each of the stories. So essentially, this narrative non-fiction book uses creative storytelling techniques to convey psychologically informed themes. Stealth mode – and it’s a really great read.


As an individual on my maiden voyage to witness this awe-inspiring event, I am bubbling with enthusiasm and excement for the big day after reading these insipring accounts. Brooke Jung, Eclipse Co-ordinator 2017, Hopkinsville KY.

Dr Kate Russo, Totality, author, eclipse 2012
(c) Kieron Circuit

Totality: The Total Solar Eclipse of 2012 in Far North Queensland


I published my second book (2013) following the total eclipse within my home community of Far North Queensland. I hadn’t really planned for this book, but I was inundated with people sharing their stories, experiences and photos.

This book provides a great overview of what it is like for a community to be within the path of totality, and what happens when the day finally arrives.

I provide the central narrative of the story, and supplement this narrative with individual stories and photos from locals and visitors, along with featuring professional eclipse photography. A unique book for sure. Available as a download, and I have a few physical copies left of the Australian print run. Click here for more information.

Dr Kate Russo, Total Addiction, author, eclipse chaser

(c) Kieron Circuit.

Total Addiction: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser


Published by Springer (2012). I will never forget the excitement of landing my first publishing deal with an academic press. Prior to this, my experiencing of publishing was limited to academic papers, conference proceedings, and large scale academic theses. The book was an epic undertaking, a labour of love, and a steep learning curve in writing a book for a general audience.  How I have grown!  

Written in more of an academic style, I delve into the lives of eclipse chasers, using questionnaires, surveys and in-depth phenomenological interviews to tease out the commonality in the totality experience. This research was one of the first to really understand the lived experience of awe, and highlighted how much eclipse chasers could guide our knowledge in this area.

A must-have for anyone wanting to make sense of their totality experience. Available as a download, in bookstores, and signed copies from this website.  Click here for more information.