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.

MOLE MUSIC by David McPhail

September 7, 2012

Tags: picture books, David McPhail, Random Acts of Publicity 2012

Mole Music
David McPahil has written and illustrated some great children’s books, but the one that I love the most is MOLE MUSIC (Henry Holt & Co. 1999).

“Mole has always led a simple life, but he feels something is missing. When he first hears someone playing a violin, Mole realizes that he longs to make beautiful music, too.” During the day Mole digs tunnels. At night in his home under the ground, he plays his violin. As he gets better, he wonders if his music could reach into people’s hearts, or even change the world.

In the watercolor and ink illustrations, McPhail tells another story, from a different perspective, that shows how Mole’s “music has an effect on others that is more magical than Mole will ever know.”

MOLE MUSIC is a wonderful story of hope and peace. It shows the difference one person can make in the world, and the wonderful influence of music on the heart.

Children's Author Websites and Blogs

September 6, 2012

Tags: children's author websites

I thought that I would share, once again, the websites of some of my friends who write for children. Some are famous, some are not. All are wonderful writers, and many are good friends.

Indiana was my home for most of my life, and I met some wonderful children’s writers there. Following are a few of their websites.

Katie Mitschelen: http://www.kathrynmitschelen.blogspot.com
Visit Katie at her author blog site, Droppings, then check out her chicken blog, Fowlin’ Around at: http://fowlinaround.blogspot.com/2012/04/epic-eggventure.html

Peggy Reiff Miller: http://www.peggyreiffmiller.com/index.html
Peggy’s passion is the seagoing cowboys. Visit her website to learn about Peggy and her writing. Then click on the link to go to her Seagoing cowboys website and read stories from some real cowboys: http://www.seagoingcowboys.com/

Judith L. Roth: http://judithlroth.wordpress.com/
Visit children’s author and poet at her website.

Kristi Valiant: http://kristivaliant.blogspot.com/
Wonderful author/illustrator of children's books.

Helen Frost: http://www.helenfrost.net/
Award-winning YA author and poet.

When I started out in SCBWI, some of my first contacts were authors in our neighboring state of Illinois, specifically in the Chicago area.

Esther Hershenhorn: http://www.estherhershenhorn.com/home.html
You can find Esther’s smiling face and information about her on her website. Then link to the Teaching Authors website where she and five other children’s authors blog about writing and things related to writing for children: www.teachingauthors.com

Heidi B. Roemer: http://heidibroemer.com/
Visit Heidi’s website, then check out Wild About nature where she and two other children’s authors blog about non-fiction books for children: http://wildaboutnaturewriters.blogspot.com/

Carolyn Crimi: www.carolyncrimi.com
Visit Carolyn’s website for a peek at the humor that matches the style of her hilarious picture books for children.

Since I’ve moved to Missouri, I’ve met some other wonderful children’s authors. Here are some websites to check out.

Sue Bradford Edwards: http://www.suebradfordedwards.com/

Cynthia Reeg: http://www.cynthiareegblog.com/

Katie Gast: http://katiegast.com/

Lynda S Burch: http://www.lyndasburch.com/

Shannon Moore: http://www.jacketflap.com/profile.asp?member=sbmoore

Some other author websites that I enjoy are:

Alexis O’Neill: http://schoolvisitexperts.com/
An awesome website for anyone who does author visits to schools.

Greg Pinkus: www.thehappyaccident.com

Debbie Ridpath Ohi: www.inkygirl.com

Bruce Hale: www.brucehale.com

Chris Cheng: http://www.chrischeng.com/index.htm

Kenn Nesbitt: www.poetry4kids.com

I hope you have fun surfing the web for these and other children’s authors!

Interview with Karen Kulinski, Author of THE CABOOSEMAN'S GARDEN

September 4, 2012

Tags: Karen Kulinski, The Cabooseman's Garden, author interview, trains, Random Acts of Publicity 2012

Children’s author, Karen Kulinski, has had a lifelong interest in trains and railroading. Her father was a railroad man, and for many years Karen has been curator of the Griffith Historical Park & Depot Museum in her hometown of Griffith, Indiana, where at one time more than 180 trains passed each day. She has many train stories to tell, and THE CABOOSEMAN’S GARDEN is her first published book for children.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen about her book. Here is what she had to say.

Can you tell us a little bit about your book, THE CABOOSEMAN’S GARDEN, and what inspired you to write it?

While children, and some adults, still love trains today, most people have no idea of what an important part they played in people’s lives in days gone by. This is particularly true for those living in the latter part of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. And it’s this time frame in which The Cabooseman is set.

What I hope this story does is to convey the real connection that the crews on many of the freight trains had with the families living along the rail lines. Children never failed to wave at passing engineers and then wave again at the conductor and brakemen who rode in the caboose. These children felt they got to “know” the crews, and it was frequently the same for the men on the trains.

You come from a ‘train’ family, and you also have your own background related to trains. Can you tell us about that?

I was one of those kids who waved at the men in the locomotives and in the cabooses. But more than that, I came from a railroading family. My father was a railroad man, albeit one who wore a suit and tie and worked in the administrative end of railroading.

In his job, he traveled quite a bit, on trains, of course, and always brought home souvenirs to me. Decks of playing cards with different railroad company logos immediately come to mind. But my favorite railroad souvenir was the yearly calendar the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad put out every year featuring Chessie, the company’s mascot kitten, which hung proudly in our kitchen all year.

From the time I was born, I rode trains. Not the freights like the one in The Cabooseman,
but passenger trains. Because my father worked for the railroads, we rode free so we traveled frequently. My favorite memories were sleeping in Pullman bedrooms – we had to pay some for this luxury – and eating in dining cars. I even remember the evenings spent in “club cars,” at the end of the train that featured plush chairs and couches, drinks and snacks, conversation with other travelers and even music sometimes.

Heady experiences for an impressionable child, and one that prepared me, for sure, for the stories I write. And for my work with the Museum.

THE CABOOSEMAN’S GARDEN is published by CreateSpace. Can you tell us a little bit about that, and why you decided to publish your book there?

THE CABOOSEMAN’S GARDEN doesn’t fit the parameters that today’s publishing firms require. It is much too long for a picture book and much too short for a novel. But it was a story close to my heart and a part of railroading that that I feel would’ve died with me and been lost forever.

So, I turned to Amazon’s CreateSpace, which allows writers to publish books of any and all lengths for free, or a nominal fee. It’s a do-it-yourself program, which leads you through each step and answers questions as you go along. Professional help with covers, editing, and other facets of publication is available for a fee, but having done newsletters for years, I didn’t feel the need to use these services. It took work, but I am extremely pleased with the way the book turned out.

Will I sell a lot of copies of THE CABOOSEMAN’S GARDEN? Not at all, since marketing independently published books is still a major hurdle. But the story that was close to my heart will now live on after me.

What can you tell us about yourself? Did you always want to be an author? What other interests do you have besides writing?

I was always a reader, which was a blessing since I was an only child and my railroad man father moved us more than a half a dozen times before my high school years, and once during them. I could always count on books while I was making new friends and losing old ones.

But it was a high school teacher who convinced me that I could be a writer and I never looked back from that moment. I majored in Journalism in college because I knew it led to a paying job and, in fact, worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for several years until I had my first two sons.

It was then that I tried my hand at other types of writing, four years as a humor columnist for our local daily newspaper, and ten years writing and editing a monthly employee publication for a local manufacturing facility. Jobs that fed my creativity and that could be worked around the lives of my four sons.

I came late to writing for children, but it’s what I’ve done for the past 15 years or so, and will do until the day I die.

What other books are you working on now?

Oddly enough, the book I’m now revising for the umpteenth time, a middle grade novel entitled Haunting Mom, has nothing to do with railroads. It’s about a boy whose life is changed forever when he meets a young girl ghost who inhabits the attic of the house his mother has just inherited. Determined to rid himself of both the house and the ghost, the boy discovers through the course of the book that in the right place at the right time with the right person, or ghost, change can be a good thing.

I do have a couple of railroading books that are finished and making the rounds to editors. Railroadin’ Harry is a picture book about a rabbit that is saved by a conductor and comes to live aboard a caboose with him. Rescuing Ivy tells the story of a girl who loves an elephant and must risk everything to save the innocent animal when it is condemned to death for killing a man and only the girl knows the truth. She teams up with a young circus boy, two hoboes and her older brother to spirit the elephant away to safety.

What tips or advice do you have for aspiring children’s writers?

Keep on writing. But know that children’s publishing, in fact all of publishing, is a tough business right now because the whole industry is in flux. Join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (www.scbwi.org) and go to their conferences and events. And, above all, try to join a writer’s group – local SCBWI chapters can often help with this – because the feedback you get from your critique partners will be invaluable in your growth as a writer.

Is there someplace on the web where readers can learn more about you and your book?

I am in the process of building a website, but you can check me out on my agent’s website: Alp Arts.

Karen Kulinski, author, Eileen De Sando, illustrator
CreateSpace, May 2012
ISBN—10: 1470087073
ISBN—13: 978-1470087074

Amazon: The Cabooseman's Garden
CreateSpace: The Cabooseman's Garden.