With over 60,0000 followers on social media, Kat’s emotive and expressive poetry has resonated with people all over the world. It is cleverly and delicately written, covering a range of topics about being a woman in an overwhelming world.
Kat had always written poetry on and off throughout the years but she hadn’t purposely set out to be the poet she is known as today. For her, poetry was a personal distraction from a very harsh and devastating reality.
In November 2013, Kat’s sister Angela was murdered.
After the death of her sister, and in a bid to keep busy, she put pen to paper and quickly realised that she had a lot she wanted to say.
“I love the classics. My favourite poets include EE Cummings and Sylvia Plath. I love the poetry of some fellow artists in my circle too, including J.R Rogue, Christina Hart and Alicia Cook.”
Kat self published her first collection of poetry and purchased the cover artwork from Ashley Elliot, an illustrator she admired the work of. Having fallen in love with her creative, Kat now owns no less than 8 of her works. With her poetry being so close to her own experiences and feelings, each decision made about her work is personal.
“The inspiration for my poetry is drawn from mostly internal memories, emotions, and stirrings. Mixed with a little fiction. Past relationships, heartaches, grief. I pull on everything really. My novels are different. All fiction with hints of truth or quirks of my own I work in to add a layer of realistic feeling to it.”
As a writer in a digital world, Kat isn’t sure whether she’d have a career without the reach of social media. She began sharing her work as an outlet and hadn’t realised the impact that it would have.
“Social media is pretty important for the indie author. Nearly everything we do is centric to social media.”
As we know, social media is a free platform that helps anyone market themselves, share and publish valuable content and build up a network of followers or contacts to further a career. As it turns out, regardless of the negative press it gets, social media helped Kat with coping, providing a place to share her thoughts and express herself freely, whilst reaching a large audience of like minded people.
As with anything, living in a digital world has its ups and downs. Kat says: “I’m conflicted. In some ways, I miss the simpler days, when cell phones and internet were not part of everyday life. And yes, I can remember that time. At the same time, I’ve moved around a lot and I’ve made friends all across the US and in other countries and that wouldn’t have been possible without the digital world.”
Kat’s advice for women looking to follow in her footsteps and go down the self-publishing route is simple. “Don’t be afraid. If it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, just do the research and pursue the road that best fits what you truly want.”
For Kat, the biggest challenge is the over-saturated market, with content being published daily, hourly and every minute. “Being seen and attempting to grab the attention of new readers in the digital world can be difficult. Grabbing their attention in a brief few seconds as they scroll through social media… It can be tiring and frustrating.”
Speaking of the highs of her career, Kat is thankful that it enables her to meet people from all over the world. She says that she has often felt like giving up. “It’s one of those love-hate relationships.”
Her advice to those suffering from grief, PTSD and other mental health issues is sobering.
“You’re not alone. I suffer from depression and anxiety. I can’t think of a single person I know who doesn’t suffer from something. And although that’s a sad reality, there’s comfort in it too. We are not alone. There shouldn’t be any shame in something so widespread. And grief? I know that. I carry my sister and mother daily. Grief is a bucket of rocks. And it never gets lighters. But you get stronger the longer you carry it. That’s life.”
Kat, whose real name is Katherine Pelfrey, has published a new collection of poetry. This one is different to the others in a number of ways. It is raw and unapologetic. This collection is dedicated to Kat’s sister Angela, who in November 2013, was brutally murdered by someone she knew. Last year, her murderer was finally sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Kat has written her new collection with the view of keeping the memory of her sister alive. A woman whose story should never be forgotten.
“Counting Backwards from Gone is just 18 poems long. It is specifically designed to only be 18 poems long because she was killed by 18 blows from a hammer to her head and face. I realise that’s very graphic but it’s the reality of my grief and her story. I miss her everyday.”
It was Kat and her sisters that had the last word in the end. They were given the opportunity to directly speak at Baldwin’s sentencing, directing their message at him.
“But are you sorry in your bones the way I am sad in mine? Can any amount of regret you have outweigh my heartbreak? I want you to remember what you did. I will leave this courtroom today and I will hardly think of you. I will remember my sister, her life and her beautiful laugh. I will remember to share all the good things about her with her daughter. And I will not think about what you did and that’s the difference between you and Angela. Everyone loved her and was hurt. I doubt anyone can say the same about you.“
There is no denying the power of words.
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