Where are you from? Royal Oak, Michigan
Tell us your latest news? I sold out of Just try it Wyatt (100 books) in less than two weeks. I am currently working on book 2: Please be quiet Wyatt and expect it to come out December 1st. I am having a reading at the Funky Monkey in Oxford on November 12th and the book will be available for purchase at Toyology in Royal Oak.
When and why did you begin writing? As cliché as it sounds, I have always liked to write. It wasn’t until recently though that I decided to persue it as a career.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? I don’t think it hit me that I was a writer until I had my first published piece in my hands. Sometimes still I don’t believe how far I have come.
What inspired you to write your first book? My husband Steve really inspired me to do it. I wrote my fist book Just try it Wyatt almost 4 years ago now but was apprehensive of it. I am very critical of my writing and get nervous that people won’t like it. It sometimes holds me back but after seeing the success of this book and having the support my husband gave me, it’s empowered me to want to write more!
Do you have a specific writing style? As a former kindergarten teacher I try to tailor my books to lower elementary levels. I write my books with words that younger children frequent often so they can be active in the reading process. I also like to introduce newer and more difficult words so their minds are stretched and challenged. I try to keep patterns in my book so they can develop a rhythm and read fluently.
How did you come up with the title? The title was the easy part! I actually started with the title and went from there. I knew I wanted to write a book with the concept of trying new things so I took the title and worked it into most of the pages in the book.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? For this first book, I want my readers to walk away wanting to try new things. I want children to understand that the world is full of endless possibilities and experiences and not to turn things down or away just because they are new or different.
How much of the book is realistic? Though my children’s book is fiction, in theory it’s 100% realistic. It’s a little fox that is apprehensive about experiencing new things. Something we can all relate to.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? My story was based upon a little boy I had in my first year teaching.
What books have most influenced your life most? I can’t narrow it down. I read so much that titles escape me at times. Some of my favorite books are children’s books. Pete the Cat, Little house on the Prairie, and the classics like Peter Rabbit are my top choices.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I would love to have met Laura Ingles Wilder. Not because I write like her, but because I loved her books as a kid.
What book are you reading now? Currently I am reading the “2015 Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market” book! I also teach 4/5 grade reading so have about 4 books going at the moment to keep up with my student literacy circles.
What are your current projects? Currently I am working on “Please be quite Wyatt”. A story about how Wyatt learns when and where he can shout and when he needs to use an indoor voice at school.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. My best friend Melanie. She is always willing to read my drafts and doesn’t make fun of me if I create silly mistakes or errors. She’s so supportive and has always wanted what’s best for me!
Do you see writing as a career? Yes. I am working very hard to get picked up by a publishing house so I can focus full time on just being creative and marketing my brand.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? I think the only thing I would change would be little esthetic aspects like making the pictures bigger but other than that no, I am very pleased with my work!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? In school we had “free write journals” we could use if we finished our work. Sometimes our teacher would write us notes back in them and I just always thought that was really cool. I do that today with my students too. I try to foster writing in any form I can.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? Of course. I would be happy to send a copy of my book to you. Please just let me know where to send it.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? I find I can be lengthy. I want to describe in detail too much. I have to remember I am writing a children’s book not a novel.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I have not had the opportunity to travel yet, but if it comes around I would love to. My husband has already planned my book tour in his mind!
Who designed the covers? My illustrator captured my ideas perfectly! I was able to describe to her what I wanted and she delivered. We went back and forth many times until everything was exactly as I wanted it to be. I wanted simple yet colorful.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? The wait for it to be made. Once my book was good to go, I wanted it the next day but had to wait over a week for the printer to finish!
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I have learned that it’s very hard to stand out in the children’s book field. Especially as a self-published writer. Big box stores won’t carry your book without an agent. The marketing has been the hardest part.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Just do it! Save your pennies because it’s expensive, but if you have the opportunity to do what you love then make it happen!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Simply, thank you for the support!
More from the author: www.booksbykelseyfox.com
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