A first-time novelist uses his family ties to create his character

All those years of writing, finding a publisher, and finally the big day had arrived. Her first fiction book was launched into the world last March on a cold and windy day, and to celebrate the momentous occasion, Colony author Kati Rose decided to visit the cemetery where her parents and older brother were buried.

“I had been anticipating this day for so long, and when I woke up, it felt like Christmas morning with no presents,” Rose said. “I had no idea what I was going to do with myself all day, so I got in my car thinking I was going for a walk, but instead I drove to the cemetery. My mom, dad, and brother were all a big part of my inspiration for writing this book, and it felt fitting to visit them.

His book “Kennedy’s Goodbye” (Post Hill Press, $17) is a coming-of-age story set in the Capital Region and told from the perspective of Kennedy, the youngest member of a Catholic family. devout, trying to find her way through her turbulent teenage years in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

“There’s a lot of me in this book,” she says, “and when the writing wasn’t going well, I sent prayers to my parents and my brother. ‘I’m stuck,’ I prayed. “I don’t know where to go. You have to help me.” It was instinctive for me to go to the cemetery the day my book was published because those were the people I had to thank. I remember standing in front of their tombstones and saying to them, “We ‘Have done”.

In the book, Kennedy desperately tries to connect with her father, especially after her favorite brother, Roger, moves out to join the Air Force. “Like Kennedy, I also grew up in a very Catholic family,” Rose says, “and I was also the youngest in my family. I took parts of my life, but I became Kennedy in the writing, and she’s very different from me. Some of the feelings she had about loneliness and sadness and the love she had for her big brother are all feelings I had at the time. Music and his Catholic faith were also big parts of his life as they were with me.

Rose says Kennedy’s voice has a stream-of-consciousness style. “It’s been my style of writing since I was in high school where I took a course and we were supposed to keep a journal and write down our thoughts on what we read. The teacher called it open stream consciousness. and he encouraged me to keep writing that way…. This style allowed me to get Kennedy thinking bold thoughts and expressing his feelings much like a journal entry.

“Mr. O’Brien, my English teacher at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons High School unblocked me,” Rose continues, thinking of the teachers who had a big influence on her. to have my own thoughts and feelings, and most important to share them. In his class, it was good to be smart. We read great stories like “The Catcher in the Rye” and “I Am the Cheese “. Really thought-provoking stories. I also had a fifth-grade teacher, Miss Goodman, who stopped me one day after class and told me I was a good writer and had to keep going. It meant so much to me, a typical insecure little girl.

She grew up in a family where everyone read. The book “Little Women” also had a great influence on her.

“My mother gave me the book and encouraged me to read it,” Rose says, “which immediately meant a lot to me. I loved the family dynamics of this story. I identified with the book because I also had three sisters. The book was written in such a casual style, and I was amazed at the magic of how a writer could organize all those words to create such a wonderful story that would allow me to feel so much emotion.

She worked on her book for 10 years. “I was stunned the day I received the box of books, opened it and held that first copy with my name on it. That was a while ago, but I still feel overwhelmed by the whole experience.

“I hope readers will identify with Kennedy and think, ‘This is how I felt when I was that age,'” Rose says. “It would mean so much to me because that’s how I felt reading books like ‘Little Women’ and ‘The Catcher in the Rye’.”

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