Babette Hughes

Please join us this Wednesday as we speak with novelist Babette Hughes about her Kate Brady series, a gritty trilogy of novels, now all out and available.

We broadcast Writing on the Air every Wednesday from 6-7pm Central Texas Time on 91.7FM KOOP. You can also stream the show live by clicking on the mini player at the top of the page.

Listen to the interview


In her first published work, a national article penned back in 1963 for The Saturday Review titled Confessions of An Unpublished Writer Babette Hughes wrote these words that turned out to be more than a little prophetic:

It (writing) is no easy calling, but its rewards go so far beyond the mundane that I expect to practice it for as many years as I have left on this earth.

Almost half a century later she is keeping her word. Her Kate Brady series, a gritty trilogy filled with guns and gangsters, retribution and atonement will be published by Post Hill Press in April-May-June of 2015. The Hat will be published in April, The Red Scarf in May, and The Necklace in June. “It is an unusual way to publish a series like this,” says Post Hill Press President Michael Wilson. “But after you read the first one you are not going to want to wait long to read the other two and find out where Kate Brady goes in life. We just wanted to facilitate that.”

Born in Cleveland Ohio, Babette grew up in the time of Prohibition and bootleggers. Her father was one of the first bootleggers in the country, and was murdered by the mafia in a turf war at the age of 29. Babette’s mother, a tragic figure even before the death of her husband, sank into denial, telling Babette that her father had died of an incurable disease.

When her older brother revealed the unvarnished truth about their father, he sent her to the public library to read the archived copies of The Plain Dealer for herself, with all the gory and troubling details. “I look back at all of that now,” she says, “and I must have been pretty brave to go and read for myself about it, and learn all of that and then to keep it to myself for all those years.” She was just 12 years old at the time.

Writing has allowed her to draw from those unusual life experiences to create her characters and tell their stories (and sometimes cautionary tales) in vivid detail. Gangsters and guns, women and wine, sin and society all melded together in riveting detail for readers from all walks of life who somehow relate to the characters she creates. She explains that phenomenon by saying that “I find that the personal is universal. Though these stories are loosely based on real characters I have known and my own experiences, I find it gratifying, but not surprising, really, when readers tell me that they identify with them and their plight.”

Now 92, she writes every day with a fluidity and grace of a woman half her age. Why does she keep writing? “The truth is liberating, but sometimes elusive.” She explains. “I’m always looking for it and how to best write about it, and I probably always will.”

She is married to JD Hughes and lives in Austin, Texas. They are the parents and step-parents of 8 children.

To learn more about Babette Hughes, please go to:

And, watch this short video: