Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and fifty-first, is of non-fiction author Kathryn Vercillo.
Kathryn Vercillo is a San Francisco-based freelance writer, blogger and crochet lover. Her most recent book, Crochet Saved My Life, is a non-fiction account of her experience using crochet to heal through depression.
Kathryn has also authored two previous books (Ghosts of San Francisco and Ghosts of Alcatraz) and a booklet of articles called When Grandma Isn’t Crocheting, She’s Hunting Big Game. She has been a contributing author on other book projects.
Kathryn’s work has been published in magazines including Latina Magazine and Skope. She has worked as a professional blogger for numerous websites including PC World, Dial-a-phone, SF Travel, and Houzz. Her online articles about crochet have been published around the web on sites that include Crochetvolution, Crochet Liberation Front, SF Indie Fashion and Handmadeology.
Kathryn writes from the heart of personal experience, using her own unique view of the world as a starting point to connect with others. She fervently believes that writing should not only be used as catharsis and confession but also worked as a tool to create connections between people.
And now from the author herself:
I am the kind of writer who would write even if nobody ever read my words, the kind of writer who keeps journals and pens compulsively because of a deep inner need to put my own experience down.
I am lucky to live in a place and time where I am able to share my writing with others because I believe that writing can be an amazing way to connect with other people. We each have this great individual story to share and by doing so we open others to our world and open ourselves a bit to theirs as well.
My newest book, Crochet Saved My Life, really epitomizes my experience of this as a writer so far. The book begins with my own story of surviving a fifteen-year battle with depression. One of the ways that I did that was through the craft of crochet, which I found to have a multitude of benefits. It allowed me to relax, break a negative cycle of rumination, create something productive that rebuilt my waning self-esteem and served as a starting point of connecting with others in the crafty community.
I went on to interview nearly two dozen amazing women who shared their own stories with me about how crochet had helped them to heal from conditions as diverse as schizophrenia and pregnancy labor pains. I felt touched to be entrusted with these women’s stories and worked hard to share them in a clear, honest, approachable way.
I then supplemented all of this writing with extensive research into why arts and crafts are healing for people with many types of ailments. I looked at occupational therapy history, the history of crafting, art therapy models and found research to support the idea that a handcrafted hobby can be healing. So in the end, the book starts from my personal experience, includes the true stories of others and is rounded out by the research to be a whole project that is approachable by people from many walks of life, whether or not they’ve dealt specifically with depression or enjoy the craft of crochet.
I hope to continue this approach in all of my future projects as well. I want to always draw from the well of personal experience, hear different experiences from others and see what studies have been done that support this anecdotal evidence no matter what I’m writing about.
You can find more about Kathryn and her writing via…
- Her website: www.kathrynvercillo.com
- My book’s page: www.crochetsavedmylife.com
- My Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Kathryn-Vercillo/e/B001JPC6IO
- On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kvercillo
- On Twitter: @KathrynVercillo
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with novelist Rebeccah Giltrow – the six hundred and fourth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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