Upcoming Author Sightings

Monday, November 19, 2018
Storytime With the Author
Preschool Classes
St. Joseph Catholic School

1375 Motherhead Road
Cottleville, MO 63304

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Author Visit with 4th Grade Classes
Progress South Elementary School

201 Knaust Road
St. Peters, MO 63376

Saturday, April 6, 2019
Young Authors' Conference
St. Clair county School District
Westhaven Elementary School

118 Westhaven School Road
Belleville, IL 62220


Recent Author Visits

Book Launch at Main Street Books in St. Charles, with some hippy, hoppy readers! March 24, 2018

With Kim Vernon (R) and Rhonda Roberts (L), wonderful coordinators of the White County Creative Writers' conference in Searcy, AR! 9.2.17

White County Creative Writers conference in Searcy, AR on 9.2.17

Reading from NAME THAT DOG at the St. Charles Arts & Literary Festival on 8.26.17--with help from Author, Stephanie Bearce.

Even Batman and Superman stopped to read at the Arts and Literary Festival in St. Charles! 8.26.17

Making paper-cup puppies at the St. Charles Arts & Literary Festival on 8.26.17

Providence Classical Christian Academy May 2017

Guest author at Nancy Polette's children's writing class April 2017

South Central Elementary School, Kinmundy, IL April 14, 2016

ICD School visit March 1, 2016

With Nancy Polette, Writing for Children instructor, October 1, 2015

Picture Book Intensive, SCBWI conference September 2015, Soaring to New Heights

Author visit, with Author and Instructor (Writing for Children), Nancy Polette May 2015

Author visit at Troy Buchannan HS March 2015

Scholastic Book Fair, St. Charles, Missouri December 2014

Scholastic Book Fair, Fenton, Missouri December 2014

Scholastic Book Fair, Columbia, Missouri December 2014

Saturday Writers presentation on writing and marketing a picture book, June 2014, St. Peters MO

Lakeview Elementary School, O'Fallon, MO in April 2014

With Kim Piddington, Missouri SCBWI Regional Advisor, at the Missouri Association of School Librarians convention in St. Louis, April

Indiana SCBWI Spring conference April 2014

Chesterfield, MO children's writers group at Christmas 2013

scholastic Warehouse Book Signing December 7, 2013

At Main Street Books with owner, Vickie Erwin November 30th

B&N with authors Mike Force, Chris DiGiuseppi, and Valerie Battle Kienzle November 22nd

Local Author Open House at MK Library in O'Fallon, November 21st

Carlin Park Elementary School Angola, IN

Sherwood School Scholastic Book Fair in Arnold, MO

ICD Scholastic Book Fair with students--Immaculate Conception Dardenne Prairie, MO

Peggy with children's author Karen Guccione-Englert at the MK Library Local Authors Open House in O'Fallon, MO

Book signing at Indianapolis Fairgrounds, with Mary Igras

Author Visit to Immaculate Conception School (ICD) April 2012

ICD library staff

Edison Elementary School Hammond IN

Lincoln Elementary School Hammond IN

Beta Delta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, Hammond IN

Keynote Speakers
MO SCBWI Fall Conference

Heather Alexander, editor at Dial Books for Young Readers

Quinlan Lee, agent, Adams Literary Agency

Suzanne Morgan Williams, author of BULL RIDER

Author Visits
Spring 2011

Kids Ink Independent Children's Bookstore, downtown Indianapolis

Shirley Mullin, bookstore owner, with children's authors Janna Mathies, Peggy, and Nathan Clement

Thank You cards from Holy Family School in South Bend

Fieler Elementary students

Ms Hanneman's class at Northview Elementary

In the classroom at Northview Elementary School

Talking to students at Northview Elementary

Working together to create a poem in Starke County

Talking with students at Starke County

Author Judy Roth and students at the Starke County Young Artists Day

Indiana SCBWI PAL Luncheon and Bookfair at B&N Bookstore

Booksigning at B&N Bookfair

Anderson's Bookshop Children's Literature Breakfast

Anderson's Children's Literature Breakfast, with author and keynote speaker Tim Green

December Booksigning at The Bookstore in Michigan City

friendly staff at The Bookstore

Holiday Author Fair
Hosted by the Indiana Historical Society

Author Book Signing

Butler University Chorus entertains with Christmas Carols

Bellaboo's Play and Activity Center

Turkey for Thanksgiving?

Stuffee and the author

Stuffe's lunch!

November: Picture Book Idea Month

October Author Events

Author Panel: the Road to Publishing--Kathryn Page Camp moderating

Kate Collins: adult trade publishing, mysteries

Peggy Archer: children's trade publishing, picture books

Katherine Flotz: self-publishing, memoir

Michael Poore: adult trade publishing, fiction

Cynthia Echterling: e-publishing & small press, science fiction

Author visit to Portage Public Library, October 23rd

IN SCBWI presents Esther Hershenhorn:
Getting Your Stories Right
October 9, 2010

Esther Hershenhorn talks about the Reader's story and the Writer's story

Esther shares resources, experience, and opportunities

Trish Batey, Indiana RA

Yellow paper on your back gave a hint of 'What author are you?' for the day

Smiling faces

Peggy Archer gives an overview of the 2010 SCBWI conference in LA

Karen Kulinski gives an update on Indiana's HoosierLinks

Janna Mathies at the piano sings "Why It Matters" by Sara Groves

door prizes

IN SCBWI steering committee with Trish: (L to R) Karen Kulinski, HoosierLinks, Kristi Valiant, Website Coordinator, Alina Klein, Listserv Coordinator, Peggy, ARA (not pictured: Sharon Vargo, Illustrator Coordinator)

New Regional Advisor, Kristi Valiant, talks about plans for 2011

Indiana SCBWI: Outgoing RA Trish Batey, ARA Peggy Archer, Incoming RA Kristi Valiant

Author visits at Citizen's Financial Bank and ROAR's (Reach Out and Read) Evening With the Authors

Visiting with author/illustrator Nathan Clement and son Theo at the ROAR author event

Autographing for a young reader

Story Time at ROAR's (Reach Out and Read) Evening With the Authors Event in Indianapolis

Reading to young bankers at Citizens Financial Bank in Valparaiso

2010 SCBWI Conference for Children's Writers and Illustrators in Los Angeles, CA

Some of the crowd at the SCBWI conference in LA

Ashley Bryan, Golden Kite winner for Nonfiction

with Keynote speaker and Golden Kite winner, Marion Dane Bauer

Illustrator and Keynote speaker, Loren Long

E.B. Lewis, Keynote speaker

with Keynote speaker, Gennifer Choldenke

Keynote speaker, Gordon Korman

Chris Cheng, Australia RA and SCBWI Member of the Year

Kris Vreeland, Independent Bookstore manager, Vroman's Bookstore

Eva Mitnick, LA librarian and reviewer for SLJ

Greg Pinkus and Alice Pope on networking

Bruce Hale--Skyping

with Lin Oliver, co-founder of SCBWI

Steve Mooser, co-founder of SCBWI, with Sally Crock RAE

Indiana SCBWI members Mary Jo, Shannon, and Peggy celebrate in LA with Heart and Soul.

East and Midwest members celebrate at the Golden Kite Luncheon in LA--Peggy, Courtney, Julia and Mary Jo.

Peggy with Alice and Lisa, co-RAs from IL--friends and roommates

Linda V., formerly of Indiana, with her 'dog-in-training,' Dusty.

IWC Writers' Picnic

Anyone for Literary Bingo?

Children's Corner

Knee-high by the 4th of July!

This is the cornfield just down the street from my house on July 13th. That's me with the boot on my foot again!

Springtime Author Visits

Local Authors Day, Valparaiso B&N

Welcome to the Young Artists Fair in Plainfield, IN

Signing books at Van Buren Elementary School in Plainfield, IN

Book Launch Party for NAME THAT DOG!, Valparaiso Public Library

Happy Birthday, Name That Dog!

Little reader loving that dog book!

Celebrating the Book Launch!

Doggy treats at the book launch party

More springtime author visits

With Jocelyn at the Porter County Expo Center for the Be Kind to Animals Celebration

Speaking to readers and writers at the LaPorte County Public Library in April

Our new grandpuppy, Dudley!

Chad & Sara's Wedding Day

The new Mr. and Mrs. Biggs!

Focus on the Novel:
Indiana SCBWI Spring Conference

Trish Batey, Indiana SCBWI RA, Stephen Roxburg, Lisa Graff, Helen Frost, Peggy Archer, Indiana SCBWI ARA

Stephen Roxburg, Publisher of namelos, talked about writing the YA novel, the current state of publishing, and his new company, namelos

Lisa Graff, Middle Grade author, talks about writing the middle grade novel and the Slush Pile

Lisa autographs books with a smile

Introducing Helen Frost, YA author and poet

Question and Answer panel--Lisa, Stephen, and Helen

Registration, getting to know you

Schmoozing with other writers

Trish with author, Valiska Gregory

Books for sale--writers can never have too many!

Taking it all in.

School visits
Chesterton, IN

Mitchell, IN
Library Event

Afternoon Tea with the author in Mitchell

Alexis talks about storytime for the very young

Starke County Young Artists Day
North Judson, IN

My little corner--I love when students come up to talk.

HOW many dogs do you have?!

Authors of the day

Keynote address: Growing an Author with Peggy Archer

Making a book with Katie Mitschelen

Research--detective work, with Peggy Miller

Crafting a poem with Mary Ann Moore

Becoming an artist with Edwin Shelton

Music with the Band

One small hand holding onto another

Sharing the Christmas holiday with writer friends

Name That Dog! Sharing F&G's and write-up in Dial's catalog with group.

Writers Christmas lunch and meeting in Michigan City

Meeting up with Esther and Karen in Chicago

F&G's for Name That Dog!

Name That Dog! ISBN: 978-0-8037-3322-0

Christmas Writing Celebrations

Writing friends from the beginning!

November Author Visits

Drawing a turkey at Hussey-Mayfield Public Library-- Zionsville, IN

Autographs at Hussey-Mayfield Library, Zionsville

"Who likes to eat turkey at Thanksgiving?" --Morton Elementary School, Hammond, IN

Thank you cards from Morton Elementary students

Reading to my grandson's pre-school class at Zion Lutheran School-- Bethalto, IL

Ladies Tea
St. Mary's Church

Family Book Basket

Indiana SCBWI Fall Picture Book Conference

Courtney Bongiolatti, Editor S&S

Laurent Linn, Art Director S&S

Terry Harshman, Editor CBHI

Author-Illustrators, Kristi Valiant and Sharon Vargo

Kristi Valiant, IN-SCBWI logo winner

Our volunteer crew (minus a few)

author Katie Mitschelen and Peggy enjoying the conference

...Pawprints on the heart.

Snickers 2009

Snickers 1998

IWC Dinner Event
The Business of Writing

Janine Harrison, opening remarks

Sharon Palmeri, President IWC and speaker

Kathryn Page Camp speaks on Taxes for Writers

Kate Collins, mystery book author and Keynote speaker

Gordon Stamper, secretary IWC

Peggy, Sally, and Karen--writing friends enjoying the dinner event together

Autographs with a smile :)

Smokies in the morning

Writing the Picture Book
Rensellaer, IN

Smile and say 'author'!

Ready to start!

"Ghostwriting" with Sara Grant, Editor,
Working Partners

Sara Grant, Editor, Working Partners

One on one with Sara

Author and Editor...

Getting to know you...

Sharing thoughts... connecting


Smiling faces...

Our Kentucky friends...

Trish, RA, Peggy, ARA, Christi and Alina, steering committee members

Writing the non-fiction picture book

Picture book author, April Pulley Sayre, speaking in South Bend.

Writers and Friends


Esther and Heidi

Esther with Steve and Sally from National SCBWI

Heidi and Peggy, friends and poets

We came from Indiana...

...from California and Iowa

and enjoyed the friendships.

Peggy, Karen & Esther--connecting once again.

Summer Critique Meeting

Critique group gathering at Peggy Miller's house. Karen, Fred, Mary Ann, Katie, Judy, & the two Peggy's in front.

Songwriters in the Family

Our daughter, Sarah & our son, Dan both sang original songs at the Porter County Fair in the Colgate Country Showdown.

Indiana SCBWI Summer Schmooze

From Fort Wayne to Whiting, we gathered to talk & gain some bit of insight into the world of creating children's books.

Enjoying the company of other children's writers & illustrators.


Meeting other children's writers.

Sharing thoughts.

Smiles were free.

Peggy Archer talks about trade publishers.

Judy Roth talks about working with a small publisher.

Karen Kulinski talks about working with an agent.

Karen fielding questions.

ALA 2009 Chicago

Peggy with the Cat in the Hat

Katie and the Cat in the Hat

I won a collection of autographed books from the IL SCBWI (Society of Children's Writers & llustrators) booth at ALA for the Valparaiso Public Library. An awesome prize! Thank you IL SCBWI!

Peggy, presenting books won at ALA to Connie Sullivan, Branch Manager and Leslie Cefali, Youth Services Assistant, Valparaiso Public Library.

Shifting Places in America--Happy Fourth of July!

June 29, 2011

At this time, I'm feeling a bit of a longing for our home and friends in Indiana, and at the same time looking forward to settling into a new place in life in Missouri. My husband and I have sold our house in Indiana and are moving on to new adventures.

Mixed blessings. In Indiana were leaving behind some wonderful friends and family, including our grandson who will soon be off on his own adventures. In Missouri we're looking forward to spending more time with other family and grandchildren, watching them grow and sharing their lives.

Right now we're in limbo for a couple of weeks, visiting family here in Ohio, and celebrating Independence Day. My blogging comes in spurts. I'm trying to keep up at least now and then, until we get more settled.

Here are a few riddles that I found on line, courtesy of Jest for Kids.

What kind of tea did the American colonists thirst for?

What protest by a group of dogs occurred in 1773?
--The Boston Flea Party!

What happened as a result of the Stamp Act?
--The Americans licked the British!

What would you get if you crossed a patriot with a small curly-haired dog?
--a Yankee Poodle!

What did one flag say to the other flag?
--Nothing. It just waved!

What quacks, has webbed feet, and betrays his country?
--Beneduck Arnold!

What's big, cracked, and carries your luggage?
--The Liberty Bellhop!

What happened as a result of the Stamp Act?
--The Americans licked the British!

Happy Independence Day to you all!

Find more riddles at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/puns-of-the-day/messages/4339

Author Interview with Daniel Stefanski

June 9, 2011

Tags: autism, Daniel Stefanski, HOW TO TALK TO AN AUTISTIC KID

Daniel Stefanski is a 14-year old middle grade student and the author of the book HOW TO TALK TO AN AUTISTIC KID. Having been diagnosed with autism about three years ago, Daniel gives the inside scoop on what goes on inside the head of an autistic kid and offers humorous advice on how to be a friend to those with autism. Written in a very direct and straightforward manner, HOW TO TALK TO AN AUTISTIC KID will help readers of all ages to understand and talk to people with autism.

I had the privilege of interviewing Daniel about his book. Here is what he had to say.

What was your inspiration for writing your book, HOW TO TALK TO AN AUTISTIC KID?
I told my mom that I didn’t like the way some of the kids were talking to me at school, so my mom asked, “how would you like to write a book?” and we did.

How long did it take you to write your book?
About two years.

Did you have any help along the way?
Mom and I have been writing down my experiences in a journal for years. Mom typed these up for me and helped make it into a book.

How did you find your publisher?
Mom sent a letter to publishers telling them about our idea for the book.

Did your book receive any rejections before Free Spirit Publishing accepted your book for publication?
Two publishers accepted our book and two publishers rejected our book. We chose Free Spirit Publishing because everyone who works there is very nice, and they write important books for kids.

What were the challenges you encountered in writing the book?
Getting my words out so they make sense. Trying to communicate what I mean.

How did you balance school work with writing? When did you do your writing?
We wrote mostly when I was on school breaks. Mom says “homework comes first.”

Did you encounter any obstacles along the way? What about being only 14? Did that make a difference when you were marketing your book?
I don’t know if being 14 made a difference. I don’t think so. Publishers and other people seem to think it’s pretty cool that a kid wrote a book.

What about doing book signings, and meeting the public since your book came out? Is that hard for you? Do you enjoy it?
It’s been fun. I’m learning to shake hands but it’s still hard to look people in the eye. Mom says looking people in the eye might always be difficult because of the autism.

What has been the most fun part of writing this book so far?
Getting respect from the kids at school. Even the popular kids say “hi” to me now.

What has been the hardest part of writing this book?
Still getting used to seeing my face on a book. It’s kinda strange but a good strange.

What tips or advice do you have for other teens and students who aspire to become an author?
Just do it. If you enjoy writing and being creative, have fun. Don’t worry about what others think.

What’s your favorite book (other than your own book)?
Probably, The Star Wars Character Encyclopedia.

Do you plan to write another book, or was this just one topic that you wanted to write about?
Yes, we are working on a book about Tourette Syndrome because my friend, Patrick, has Tourette’s. Like Autism, I want people to understand that it isn’t a kids fault if he has Tourette’s, and it’s not nice to tease.

Is being an author a career that you would like to pursue, or is there another career that you’d rather do someday?
I want to draw, write, plus make movies and video games.

Did you do your own illustrations for the book? If not, who did the illustrations? Did you need to find your own illustrator for the book? Are the illustrations similar to what you had pictured for the book in your mind?
Free Spirit Publishing hired an illustrator named, Hazel Mitchell. She did a good job of making the illustrated Daniel look like the real Daniel. He even dresses the same.

Adopted from an orphanage in Bulgaria at age four, Daniel now lives in Valparaiso, Indiana. He has a passion for writing and drawing, and is a talented golfer. An animal lover and shelter volunteer, Daniel is surrounded by the love of his mom, dad, stepfather, brother and five dogs.

Here are some links to sites about Daniel and his book.

Free Spirit Publishing: http://www.freespirit.com/catalog/author_detail.cfm?AUTHOR_ID=337

U-tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daqc2qAa0uw&feature=youtu.be

Facebook Daniel at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/How-to-Talk-to-an-Autistic-Kid/206146182737967

e-mail Daniel at: help4kids@freespirit.com

Happy Birthday, Kids Ink!

June 3, 2011

Tags: Kids Ink bookstore, Janna Mathies, Nathan Clement, independent children's bookstores

Talking to young readers and their dad who were there to join the birthday party.

Happy 25th Birthday to Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore! Thank you for promoting children’s books and supporting children’s authors for a quarter of a century.

I love independent bookstores. They’re warm and fuzzy. It’s like family. The staff is creative and loaded with enthusiasm. The people who browse and shop there are so friendly. And let’s face it, where else do you get to autograph the bathroom wall?! Seriously, check it out!

I was invited to join in on the celebration, and a couple of weeks ago my husband and I drove down to Indianapolis where Kids Ink is located. I signed copies of my picture books, got to talk to writers and artists and readers of all ages, and schmooze with the staff and other children’s authors who were there. Janna Mathies signed copies of her picture book THE GOODBYE CANCER GARDEN, and Nathan Clement signed copies of his newest picture book, JOB SITE. My own picture books NAME THAT DOG! and FROM DAWN TO DREAMS were there for the signing.

Congratulations, Kids Ink, and many more years to come!
Find Kids Ink on facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Kids-Ink-Childrens-Bookstore/84267983634