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Interview with Kathy McKinsey

Kathy McKinsey recently released her second collection of novellas, Gift of Grace. Each story deals with a serious topic such as grief, insecurity, and forgiveness. She says there was no specific “aha” moment for her with regard to the inspiration for the stories and subject matter, but as the ideas grew she “quickly became excited about the project.” She does not create a full outline, rather has a basic story in mind and allows the process to flesh it out as she writes.

While writing as a teenager, Kathy had a few stories published while she was in high school. More than thirty years would pass while she finished college, started a career, and raised her family. When forced to quit full time work because of health issues, Kathy saw the times as an opportunity to get back to her writing, and she has enjoyed the journey to publication.

Reflecting back, she says, “In those early years, I was pretty sure the story was as good as it needed to be the first time I wrote it out. No need for re-dos or editing. When I came back to writing in my fifties, I was much more willing to take advice and work harder to learn this craft.”

Sharing messages of hope in her stories is important to Kathy. “I always want Christians to know that God is watching for us to turn back to him, no matter how far away we may feel we’ve wandered. I also want people to know God will walk beside us daily, to guide us and to comfort us when we feel alone and overwhelmed.”

In addition to her two novella collections, Kathy has published a children’s book, Millie’s Christmas. Her process for writing for adults and children is “pretty much the same. I’m excited when I start a story, but then I have to force myself to continue the labor of finishing it.” As far as the one piece of advice she’d give her younger writing self: “Although I believe coming back to writing with age was a benefit for me, I would still recommend trying to write, even for a few minutes, most days.”

Kathy is an avid reader and currently has Thin Ice by Irene Hannon; A Certain Truth by James Scott Bell; and A Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar sitting on her nightstand. As a child her favorite books was My Friend Flicka. Her mother read it to her before she learned to braille.

An intriguing fact about Kathy is that she creates braille drawings. She doesn’t make up her own, but “I can follow a pattern, and I’ve found some fun patterns, online and in a book. I use my braillewriter. The patterns are written out line by line, dictating which letters and contractions to put together to make circles and angles and boxes and body parts. I’ve drawn Christmas trees, and snowmen and horses and dogs and cowboys, and bunnies, a teddy bear, trucks and trains, birds, a pumpkin, a turkey, sailboats, Darth Vader, so much more. I just wrote “Braille drawings” into Google, and I got so many links, I could hardly pull myself away.” Want to check it out? See

She also like readers to know “I thank God for spring. Today is only the third or fourth day this year I’ve felt comfortable sitting outside to work. I have such a feeling of hope and motivation as I feel a gentle breeze and warm sunshine, the smell of rain, twittering of birds. It makes me smile.”

The good news for Kathy’s fans are that she has started a new story which involves three siblings. She loves stories about close relationships between brothers and sisters, so be sure to keep an eye out for her next publication.


Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland she was born a stone's throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.

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