Posted on January 11, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we're interviewing author Kay Bratt, who writes women’s fiction, historical fiction, and small town mysteries.
Her books have fueled many exciting book club discussions and have made it into the hands of more than a million readers across the world.
SADYE: What experience in your past or general aspect of your life has most affected your writing?
KAY: I wrote my first short story as therapy, requested by my third-grade teacher when my best friend was struck by a car and killed right in front of me.
Though I could not speak of the incident, and suffered from long-term nightmares about it, I found I could write it all out and with it, some of my traumatized feelings. From then on, I wrote as therapy.
When I left home at sixteen and married into an abusive relationship, I never thought those memories would be useful. I struggle with some of my relationships, like with my mother, and that too helps me get into character with my books.
I write about women in hard situations and how they strive to build better lives, and to find forgiveness, not only for others, but for themselves. Like I’ve had to do.
SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?
KAY: I grew up writing in journals. Diary-type stuff, as well as poetry and some short stories.
When I moved to China at age thirty-two, I volunteered in an orphanage and came to know and love many children there for several years.
It was a very unique experience and challenging to overcome my outrage and keep it inside so that I could continue helping where I could. At night, I’d pour my tears and anguish out in writing the details.
Eventually I put it all together in a memoir called Silent Tears, a book to tell their story to the world, as I’d promised. That was my first published work, and I built a platform from there.
SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?
KAY: I would like readers to close the covers of my books and feel that they too, can find a way out of any circumstance life throws at them, and that forgiveness is not just for others but can be beneficial to yourself.
SADYE: What has been the most touching or memorable piece of reader feedback you’ve received?
KAY: Many of the readers from Silent Tears have written to tell me that because of my book, they went on to build their family through adoption.
Others have told me that the difficult mother-daughter relationships I’ve written about has helped them come to peace with their own situation.
SADYE: Tell us something about your writing process that’s unusual or that you haven’t revealed before.
KAY: Some writers can write from anywhere. A coffee shop, their porch, or on a beach.
I’m a creature of habit and routine. I have to be at my desk, in my usual office, with my doggos around me for my creativity to kick in.
One time I rented a house in Key West for an entire month to use as a writing retreat. I couldn’t get any new writing done because I was out of my normal routine and away from my comfort cocoon.
(However, I did a lot of research and used it in Wish Me Home, a book that turned into a big bestseller.)
* * *
Know an author you'd like to see featured? Email us with a recommendation!
Categories: Author Interview