Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Alisa Divine and Kate Ranta | Killing Kate: A Story of Turning Abuse and Tragedy into Transformation and Triumph

kate ranta, alias divine, surviving domestic violence, nonfiction book, Domestic Violence, Gun Violence, Overcoming Obstacles
Today we are interviewing Alisa Divine co-author, along with Kate Ranta, of “Killing Kate: A Story of Turning Abuse and Tragedy into Transformation and Triumph.”

Describe the book, “Killing Kate: A Story of Turning Abuse and Tragedy into Transformation and Triumph,” in a few sentences.
Killing Kate is a story of what happened when one woman did "just leave" as many domestic violence survivors are asked. Kate's estranged husband showed up at her apartment and shot her and her father in front of the couple's 4-year-old son. Killing Kate shares the journey as Kate rebuilds her life and becomes an advocate for gun and intimate partner violence.

What inspired you to share this story with the world?
I met Kate through a book I was writing, #SheWins, I interview and photographed her for, along with several other women across the globe. I knew Kate's story was shocking from the warning signs she missed to the way the court system let her down in denying three restraining orders before the shooting. Telling Kate's story can bring change and awareness to many.

Who do you think would most benefit from reading "Killing Kate"?
Anyone who has been affected by domestic violence or knows someone who has. The statistics are 1 in 3 women will have experienced domestic violence. Add in knowing someone and the audience grows significantly. 

What are some misconceptions about domestic violence?
If women are being abused, they should just leave and that would solve everything. Not necessarily. Leaving is the most dangerous time for a woman. The man has lost the control and power he once had over her and he may attempt to get it back by stalking or worse. If there are firearms in the home, her risk of homicide goes up 500%.

Was it difficult for Kate to revisit traumatic memories while writing the book?
It was difficult for Kate to revisit the trauma she experienced and that is where I came in as the co-author to help the book-writing process along. Survivors often feel shame and blame themselves for getting into an abusive relationship, the red flags they missed, loving someone too much, not leaving sooner and the friends and family affected along the way. 

Can you tell us some of the things Kate did to heal from her trauma?
In Killing Kate, you can follow along on her healing process and see how there were many small factors that led to her healing. Details such as changing her hair color as Kate's husband liked long, blonde hair and she wanted anything but that to making choices that were in her personal interest rather than going by the opinions of others. Speaking out and advocacy helped Kate to turn her pain into power. There is a beautiful process of transformation.
kate ranta, alias divine, surviving domestic violence, nonfiction book, Domestic Violence, Gun Violence, Overcoming Obstacles

Do you have any advice for someone who has been in a domestic violence situation?
Please find one person you trust and share your experiences with. There are people to help — you have to make the first move and know you deserve freedom and happiness. Get the help you need to make a safety plan. Let go of the shame, forgive yourself and reach out for help. You are worth it!

On a similar note, do you have any advice or things to consider for someone who knows someone in a domestic violence situation?
If you are concerned, approach the person from a place of compassion rather than judgment that they are in, or still in an abusive relationship. Often there are circumstances outsiders are not aware of such as emotional abuse,  financial control, custody threats, or homelessness that scare women from leaving. Offer to help them — or find a service who can assist. A safety plan is important to have before leaving.

How did the book evolve from the initial idea to the finished manuscript?
Kate and I discussed the warning signs, the ways in which they were difficult to identify at the time and reasoning behind that. We worked closely through her experiences and stories to have a theme for each chapter. The first half of the book is a back and forth where readers can see how there are crazy signs and also the thread of wanting to have a loving relationship and family. The second half of the book goes through the court process and where Kate begins to rebuild her life. We actually had a rough draft in 16 weeks, a year ago. This past year has consisted of editing, restructuring, along with the layout and printing process.

Can you share how your interest in writing developed? Did you always know you wanted to write or was it something that evolved with time?
I've always been a writer, I never thought there was a place for me in writing. That is until I began the book, #SheWins. I wanted to show women overcoming abuse as strong and powerful. As a survivor myself, I wanted to change the way society sees abused women and open the conversation — abuse thrives in secrecy. Once I began walking the path of #SheWins, I was offered a position as Vice President of a publishing company, Personal Power Press. I met Kate and knew her story had to be shared with the world. I have never looked back. Helping others tell their stories of overcoming is where my passion is. We work with individuals and also offer theme-based anthologies as a platform to help others.

More Information
Buy the book on Amazon. 
Buy the book on Barnes and Noble. 

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