In her first published work, a national article penned back in 1963 for The Saturday Review titled Confessions of an Unpublished Writer, Babette Hughes wrote these words that turned out to be more than a little prophetic: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, was published by Post Hill Press in April-May-June of 2015. Her new novel that some are calling her best work, Searching for Vivian, published this past February.
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.
Writing has allowed her to draw from her 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 94, she writes every day with ever increasing fluidity and grace. 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 watch this short video.