Kat Yeh is the award-winning author of middle grade novels The Truth About Twinkie Pie (an NPR Best Book of 2015) and The Way to Bea (coming September 2017) from Little Brown Books for Young Readers, as well as the picture book The Friend Ship from Disney-Hyperion.
The Truth About Twinkie Pie was awarded SCBWI's Crystal Kite Award for the New York regional division and Kat was selected to deliver this year's Crystal Kite keynote.
As a kid Kat had something terrible happen to her and because of that, she felt very alone.
The idea that there was someone out in the world who felt the same seemed impossible.
Stories help us feel connected and let us know that we are not alone in the world. When we decide to write stories we can let others know they are not alone either.
"I knew I wanted to be a writer, but it took me a while to be brave enough to try."
"We keep our secret truths behind locked doors to keep us safe, but it doesn't make us safe, it makes us feel alone. Those secret truth are the things that kids need to read and to see and to hear."
People often ask Kat if The Truth About Twinkie Pie is autobiographical. It's not. The actual story is not Kat's story, but there is emotional truth to the story that does belong to her and it's a truth that can belong to the readers within their own personal story. Like her characters, Kat says, "I know what it feels like to have a secret that so painful I might never share it." Readers can connect with this too.