September 22-24, 2017
Author book signing
Friday, September 22nd
12:00 noon to 3:00 pm
Saturday, September 23rd
2:30 to 4:30 pm
ICD Catholic School Book Fair
Dardenne Prairie, MO
Listen to a past Author Interview
with Brenda Fraser of
Butterfly & Moon
November 11, 2016
Click to listen to the recording
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
Heather Alexander, editor at Dial Books for Young Readers
Quinlan Lee, agent, Adams Literary Agency
Suzanne Morgan Williams, author of BULL RIDER
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
Booksigning at B&N Bookfair
Anderson's Children's Literature Breakfast, with author and keynote speaker Tim Green
friendly staff at The Bookstore
Author Book Signing
Butler University Chorus entertains with Christmas Carols
Turkey for Thanksgiving?
Stuffee and the author
November: Picture Book Idea Month
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Anyone for Literary Bingo?
This is the cornfield just down the street from my house on July 13th. That's me with the boot on my foot again!
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
Happy Birthday, Name That Dog!
Little reader loving that dog book!
Celebrating the Book Launch!
Doggy treats at the book launch party
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!
The new Mr. and Mrs. Biggs!
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.
Afternoon Tea with the author in Mitchell
Alexis talks about storytime for the very young
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
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
Name That Dog! ISBN: 978-0-8037-3322-0
Writing friends from the beginning!
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
Family Book Basket
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
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
Smile and say 'author'!
Ready to start!
Sara Grant, Editor, Working Partners
One on one with Sara
Author and Editor...
Getting to know you...
Sharing thoughts... connecting
Our Kentucky friends...
Trish, RA, Peggy, ARA, Christi and Alina, steering committee members
Picture book author, April Pulley Sayre, speaking in South Bend.
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.
Critique group gathering at Peggy Miller's house. Karen, Fred, Mary Ann, Katie, Judy, & the two Peggy's in front.
Our daughter, Sarah & our son, Dan both sang original songs at the Porter County Fair in the Colgate Country Showdown.
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.
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.
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.
September 7, 2012
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.
September 6, 2012
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!
September 4, 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
THE CABOOSEMAN’S GARDEN
Karen Kulinski, author, Eileen De Sando, illustrator
CreateSpace, May 2012
Amazon: The Cabooseman's Garden
CreateSpace: The Cabooseman's Garden