Upcoming Author Sightings

September 28-29, 2018
ICD Book Fair
School Visit and Book signing
Immaculate Conception Catholic School

2089 Hanley Road
Dardenne Prairie, MO 63368

Saturday, October 6, 2018
Storytime and Book signing
Barnes & Noble Mid Rivers

10:00 am to 1:00 pm

320 Mid Rivers Center Drive
St Peters, MO 63376

Saturday, October 13, 2018
Local Authors Day
Spencer Road Branch Library

10:00 am to 1:00 pm

427 Spencer Rd
St Peters, MO 63376


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.

Join the Blog Hop--check it out!

June 27, 2013

Tags: author interviews, author's blogs, Blog Hop, children's authors, children's books

Check out my friend, Cynthia Reeg's blog celebrating Blog Hop!

While you're there, look around her site for some great posts for children's authors and for young readers.

Reading—Then and Now

June 25, 2013

Tags: e-books for children, reading with kids

My husband is on a mission! It’s called ‘de-cluttering.’ Lately he’s been pulling out boxes of old photos from the shelves with a plan to divide them up and give them to the kids. That’s about seven shelves, and it doesn’t even count the dvd’s since photos went digital!

So far we have six small piles of photos to give away. Mostly we look through the boxes and ‘remember when.’

‘Back then’ kids liked hide and seek, sand boxes, and bikes. They liked playing games of all kinds and reading stories. Kids still like the same things, but what’s different in today’s world is the many ways that kids can do those things.

They still count to ten out loud when they play hide and seek. They still dig and build roads in sand boxes, and they still ride bikes. But when it comes to games and stories, it’s a brand new world.

Today some games can be played on a board at the table, and some can be played outdoors. They can also be played on a video screen, hand-held or desk-top, or with many different game systems. Electronic games have their place, but just as ‘back then,’ kids still enjoy the interaction of having someone who will sit down and play a game with them.

When my kids were young, books-on-tape was something new. I remember them listening to a tape of BEDTIME FOR FRANCES. They would listen to the part that says “U is for underwear, down in the dryer,” giggle, and re-wind the tape and play that part over and over. The thing is that they had the book in front of them and turned the page when the ‘beep’ sounded. They were reading along with the tape. Just as today kids can read along on an e-reader. I think that our kids still enjoyed the stories best when we all sat close together on the sofa and read them out loud.

Today books can be listened to on cds and on all kinds of e-book readers. Have you ever watched a baby swipe his hand across a book page, waiting for it to change the picture? Some of these babies know more about electronics than I do! E-books can be interactive, read-only or with someone reading it as you go along. It can show the spelling of a word in the story, make a dog bark when you click on it, and more.

Electronic books or the board and paper kind—it’s all reading. The difference is the format. What electronic games and books doesn't change is the personal interaction, bonding, and closeness of playing together or reading together. No matter what the format, we can still read books together out loud, sitting close together on the sofa.

Hoping that this summer all kids have someone to play games and read books with them, no matter what the format. Happy summertime!

Twitter Link to Books Dads Love

June 15, 2013

Tags: Father's Day, picture books dads love

Just saw this link to a u-tube video where the dads at Scholastic talk about what books they like to read to their kids.
Scholastic Dads Talk Books.

Picture Book Dads

June 14, 2013

Tags: children's picture books, Father's Day, books about dads

This week-end is Father’s Day, a great time to share some picture books about dads or books with dads in them. Here are some that I especially enjoyed.

SAY DADDY! by Michael Shoulders, illustrated by Teri Weidner, Sleeping Bear Press 2008.
This book begins with the day that Baby Bear was born. Mother and Daddy, brother, Aunt Grace, Uncle Roy, and Grandma all welcome Baby Bear into the world, and read books to him. Each one hopes their name will be the first word that Baby Bear says. His first word is a surprise to everyone, but Daddy doesn’t give up on teaching Baby to say his name. A very sweet book about babies, family and the power of books in a young child’s life.

BERTIE: JUST LIKE DADDY by Marcus Pfister, NorthSouth Publishing 2009.
Bertie wants to do everything just like Daddy. “When you’re older,” Daddy tells him. This is a fun book with Bertie and Daddy interacting in each scene. Even though Bertie can’t do the things that Daddy does, there is always a good alternative. And in the end Bertie has the right answer when Daddy is the one who wants to be just like Bertie. I picked up another ‘Bertie’ book featuring him and his dad, and found it to be just as much fun.

DADDY ALL DAY LONG by Francesca Rusackas, illustrated by Priscilla Burris, HarperCollins Publishers 2004.
In this book Owen and his Dad keep trying to one-up each other in how many ways they love each other. This counting book shows every-day ways that kids and dads show their love—“…more than six monster tickles!...more than seven scoops of ooey-gooey chocolate caramel ice cream!” and so on.

PIGGY AND DAD GO FISHING by David Martin, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, Candlewick Press 2005.
Piggy is excited about his very first fishing trip with Dad, but there are things about fishing that Piggy is not fond of. In the end of the book Piggy invents his own way of fishing. It’s a compromise between Dad’s way and Piggy’s way, and shows fun times with father and son.

A LION AT BEDTIME by Debi Gliori, Barron’s Educational Series 1994.
Dad doesn’t show a huge presence in this book, but Ben knows he can count on him when he needs him. When Ben sees a lion in his bedroom at night, his father “bumped about in the dark, banging doors and saying, ‘Listen lion. Back to the jungle. Scat, big cat!’” In the end, Ben solves the problem on his own.

HUNTING THE DADDYOSAURUS by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by Benrei Huang, Albert Whitman & Company 2002.
The rhyming text in this book is such fun, and is easy to read. Brother and Sister dinosaurs follow clues to find ‘the marvelous Daddyosaurus,’ chanting along the way “Hunka-cha, hunka-cha, rooba.”

DADDIES DO IT DIFFERENT by Alan Lawrence Sitomer, illustrated by Abby Carter, Disney-Hyperion Books 2012.
In this book, Daddy doesn’t do anything like Mommy does. At breakfast he makes forts out of waffles and when bathtime is over, Daddy is just as wet as his daughter. But in the end, she knows that Mommy and Daddy both love her exactly the same. A fun book that gives a different spin on everyday things, depending on who is doing them.

GRANDDAD’S FISHING BUDDY by Mary Quigley, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch, Dial Books for Young Readers 2007.
I just couldn’t leave out the Granddads out! In this book when Sara stays with Grandma and Granddad, she discovers Granddad up and about “…while the sky was still blue-black and the stars shone like night-lights.” She tags along when he goes out to meet his fishing buddy. The beautiful language makes you feel that you are in that quiet early morning with Sara and Granddad, out on the lake, waiting for his fishing buddy to show up. Sarah learns about fishing, what quiet means, and about spending time with Granddad, ‘the best catch of all.’

This is only a small taste of all the picture books out there that feature dads. When I looked on our local library branch website, I found 128 titles with the word ‘daddy’ in the title!

Wishing all the dads out there a wonderful Father’s Day! May you be blessed with time to spend with your children, eat well, and have time to relax at the end of the day.

Meet Margo Dill, Children's Author

June 11, 2013

Tags: Margo Dill, Finding My Place, Kirkwood Public Library, MO SCBWI

Author, editor, book reviewer, writing instructor, blogger—all of these are among the many hats that children’s author, Margo Dill, wears. Her middle grade novel, FINDING MY PLACE, published by White Mane Kids, is an American Civil War adventure about One Girl’s Strength at Vicksburg. It’s a piece of history told in such a way that makes learning about the Civil War exciting and interesting for kids.

I met Margo long ago when I was a new SCBWI member in Indiana and she was a member in Illinois. We reconnected again last year here in Missouri where we both now live.

This past Saturday I attended a wonderful program for SCBWI members at the Kirkwood Public Library where Margo talked to us about “Show vs Tell, and Overwriting,” then wrapped up the afternoon sharing her insight about “Social Media and Marketing.” We left with lots to think about and do.

Among the many points that she made regarding Show vs Tell are:
--use strong verbs
--don’t use too many adjectives and adverbs
--use sensory details, action and characterization to help ‘show’ instead of ‘tell’

In regards to Social Media and Marketing, the #1 question to ask yourself is:
What are your goals for your career?
She went over the different ways for writers to network, both in person and online, and gave the benefits of each. She said that every writer should have a blog and a website, even if you’re not published yet.

Margo also recommended Stephen King’s book, ON WRITING, which offers good advice and is interspersed with humor. And check out books that are Mark Twain Award winners for examples of good writing.

Margo has two picture books which will be released at a future date from Guardian Angel Publishing and High Hill Press. Some places to find out more about Margo Dill are:

Margo's Author Website
Margo's Blog
Editor 911
Finding My Place

FINDING MY PLACE by Margo Dill: ISBN-10: 1572494085, ISBN-13: 978-1572494084