Mystery author tells Brentwood residents about her life’s work

Published 2:32 pm Monday, January 31, 2005

By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Terri Kay had always dreamed of becoming a writer and publishing a book.
After many years of putting it off and just not having the time, Kay's dream finally became a reality.
Kay decided if she didn't start writing a book, she never would. Beginning in 1998, she took ideas from notes she had been keeping over the years and started to take form and the result was her mystery novel.
Kay was at Brentwood in Niles on Friday, talking to residents there about her book.
When Kay finished she had her first book, A Promise of Revenge. She sent out queries letters to many different publishers around the country to see if they were interested in her book.
The feedback from these letters was not what Kay wanted to hear. She didn't become discouraged. Kay simply set about finding another way to publish her work, which meant digging into her own pockets and doing it herself.
Self publishing is when you the author deal directly with the editor, book designer and printer. You also handle all of the marketing and distribution of your book, she explained.
When you self publish your own book you then get to press sooner and get complete control of your book.
In order to actively start marketing her book, she attended the Book Expo convention, where she got her name and her book out to different distributors and stores.
Kay who was born and raised in Indiana, received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University in 1979 and then attended the University of Wisconsin for law school.
After graduating from law school in 1982 she worked in various positions within the legal profession before establishing a private practice. She then worked for a number of years closely with hospitals and nursing homes in the Milwaukee area.
After years of not getting anything accomplished with her writing, Kay and her husband finally decided to sell her law practice and other properties they owned, and move back to Elkhart, Ind., where they now reside on a small farm.
With the move back to Elkhart, Kay thought that she would have more time to do her writing, but that wasn't the case due to the fact that she was still practicing law.
Her first book A Promise of Revenge was published in 2003, and was drawn from her past as an attorney for hospitals and nursing homes. Its setting is the Midwest, and the series combines medical and legal subplots, as it follows two lovers and their families as the key characters who face some tough questions. They often react surprisingly.
The characters must also repeatedly decide what they would be willing to do for a family member.
Kay published the second book of her series, The Secret at St. Sans, in late 2004. A third book, More Than Guilty, is scheduled for release sometime in 2005. Other books for the series are in the works.
Kay has this advice for anyone who has ever thought of writing a book. "Anyone can write a book, with just a little work," she said. "If you do start to write, don't give up, stick to it and you will eventually have a book."