Interview with Kathryn K. Abdul-Baki, Author of Dancing Into the Light

26 Sep 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Dancing Into the Light?

As a young girl growing up in a bi-cultural family, my happy life was disrupted when my brother and mother died when I was eleven. Social dancing and music helped to lift me up from depression. In later life, immersing myself again in dancing and teaching dance I reconnected to my happy childhood before the tragic losses.

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

I currently read and write memoirs and essays. I am also a novelist and short-story writer.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Maria Leonard Olson’s “Fifty After Fifty”, and Bill Bryson’s “In a Sunburned Country.”

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

My favorite scenes were writing the dance scenes, whether as a child dancing with my father, or in later life when teaching Argentine tango, Latin dancing, and belly dancing.

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

I like to sip coffee and look out my window at the leafy garden and flowering trees for inspiration.

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

Be kind and generous to all. It’s what really matters in life.

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

Cultivate hope. The darkness and grief will pass and there will be joy again at the end of the tunnel.


Kathryn K. Abdul-Baki is the author of the new book Dancing Into the Light: An Arab-American Girlhood in the Middle East

Connect with Kathryn K. Abdul-Baki

Author Site


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