Interview with Kathleen Bailey, Author of Silence Says the Most

26 Oct 2022

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Silence Says the Most: An Olivia Penn Mystery?

The inspiration came from my experience of working with children on the autism spectrum as a pediatric physical therapist. I often treated children who had expressive and receptive language impairments. Though many on the autism spectrum may not use verbal language to communicate, they often express themselves through other means.

One of the main characters in Silence Says the Most is a boy on the autism spectrum who doesn’t speak. He witnesses a crime and then draws a picture of what he has seen, implicating Olivia as the key to solving the murder. It’s up to Olivia to make sense of his drawing, because in his silence, he holds the key to the mystery.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Silence Says the Most: An Olivia Penn Mystery, what would they be?

For Olivia Penn, “Heart of a Hero” by Cathy Heller. For the antagonist, “Trouble so Hard” by Amythyst Kiah & Her Chest of Glass. For Mikey, a boy on the autism spectrum, “Colors” by Black Pumas.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I don’t have an absolute favorite, but I lean toward mysteries, especially cozies. I enjoy romance, magical realism, paranormal women’s fiction, and lots of varied non-fiction.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Anam Cara by John O’ Donohue, and The Magpie Key by Sarah Painter.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

The climax. It’s the first scene that came to me. It’s a moment when Olivia doesn’t have time to think, and she must only react and do the unthinkable to save her life.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I don’t have any quirky writing habits, but my kitten has a quirky habit when I start my workday. As soon as I open my laptop, she trots into the corner of my room and then won’t stop meowing until I come over and devote all my attention to her.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

“The past is finished. Learn from it and let it go. The future is not even here yet. Plan for it, but do not waste your time worrying about it. Worrying is worthless. When you stop ruminating about what has already happened, when you stop worrying about what might never happen, then you will be in the present moment. Then you will begin to experience joy in life.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

You can’t dismiss what others are trying to communicate just because they express themselves differently than you do.


Kathleen Bailey is the author of the new book Silence Says the Most: An Olivia Penn Mystery

Connect with Kathleen Bailey

Author Site

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