Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Kelsey Fox

Author website/social media: ,

•  Kelsey Fox lives in Royal Oak, MI with her husband Steve, her son Cody, five chickens and “Little Cat”!

• Kelsey graduated from Oakland University with an Elementary Education degree. After teaching many years, she fell in love with children’s books. Her experience in the classroom inspired her to start writing her own children’s stories.

All of Kelsey’s characters are based on students she has known through her teaching career, children of friends, and of course family. She loves to incorporate what she knows into her work because it make stories that the reader can relate to and teaches life lessons.

Kelsey’s active imagination and love of writing keep her busy. More stories from the “Wyatt” collection, as well as the introduction of new characters are on their way!

When you were my age, did you like to read? I LOVED to read! So much so, that as our reward for good grades or behavior we got to go to Borders and pick out what ever books we wanted to. We were not a big TV family and would stay up late reading all the time.

What was your favorite story? As far as younger books go, I really enjoy “Pete the Cat” and the “Pigeon” books by Mo Williams. Now, I like to read historical fiction and memoirs.

How do you get your ideas? I get my ideas from my everyday life. As a teacher, I encounter funny situations or little life lessons with my students and think ” Hey, that would be a great book!” and so my stories begin.

Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? Even though it’s a children’s book, and not very long or complex, it was still challenging to write. You have to know what a child is going to like, as well as make the story interesting enough for a parent to want to read it. I make sure to include “sight words” in my stories and market them as easy readers so they can be used in schools as teaching tools. I also take a lot of time creating the activity page that is at the end of my books. Checking that the child comprehends the message I am conveying was very important to me.

Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated? “Just try it Wyatt” my first book will always be my favorite no matter now many books I write. It took the most work and research to make, so will always be one I am most proud of. I currently have 4 books in the works so keep a look out!

What author do you really like right now? I think Diana Gabaldon is beyond imaginative. She writes the Outlander series. She takes history and makes it come alive!  I recently went to Scotland mainly because her books painted the country so beautifully. She did not disappoint!

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? I would tell them to just write anywhere and anytime. Don’t worry about the grammar or spelling until the end. As a writer, sometimes I just have to get all my ideas down so quickly that the work looks like a sloppy mess but it doesn’t matter! I am the only one who sees the crazy that is a rough draft. You have to enjoy what you do, and anyone can be a writer if they just try!

I do visit schools and all the information for booking an author visit can be found on my website or emailing me directly at . I am already almost booked for “March is Reading Month” but have other dates in the school year still open!

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: S. Ciara Mitaro

Author website/social media:, twitter: @thegoodeggsbook

Author bio:

I hold a Master of Arts degree from the University of Detroit Mercy and I currently teach morality, ethics and social justice courses at a private high school in Michigan. In addition to my teaching career, I have taught, developed, and implemented programs and curricula that focused on teaching children the importance of value-driven lives centered on love and the importance of living an altruistic life. The Good Eggs book series is a wonderful “trilogy” that underscores the important concepts of Virtues, Diversity, and Service – essential models for young people to integrate into their lives as they grow into Good Eggs!  I am very excited to promote this social enterprise, along with my husband, as we are passionate about helping children learn to be goodness in the world.  Each time we sell a book, we give one away to an underprivileged child/school.  This way, all children can enjoy the adventures of the Good Eggs!

1.  Yes! I have always loved to read – even before I could read, I would take a book and pretend I was reading it, making up a story to go along with the pictures.

2.  My favorite story was A Fish Out of Water, by Helen Palmer.

3.  I get my ideas from my imagination.  I was inspired at a young age; in 3rd and 4th grade, each week my teacher had us write a story using our spelling words.  That was my favorite assignment.  I came up with all kinds of adventures for inanimate objects.  It was so fun – I knew I wanted to write children’s stories when I grew up.

4.  It is not hard to write if you love it.  I would say the hardest thing to do is to get started.  Make sure to keep a notebook handy because ideas come to you when you least expect it, and you want to be sure to write them down to use later on.

5.  I love the entire Good Egg trilogy, but I would have to say my favorite one is the last one, The Good Eggs in The Community.  I say this because this last book ties all of the books together.  You see the Eggs grow over the course of three years, and they learn so much; it’s fun to see how everything fits together.  I actually shed a tear when I typed the last word.

6.  I haven’t had much time to read fiction (I am a teacher, so I read a lot of “teachy” books), but the last fiction story I read was The Fault in Our Stars, by John Greene.  I know that has been out for awhile, but I never read it (my students loved it, so I thought I would check it out).  It was very well done.  He has a new book coming out and I think I am going to check it out.  I read it on the beach this past summer.

7.  If you want to be an author, don’t give up on it.  Like I said before, keep that notebook handy so you can record your ideas.  Writing is a long process, so you need some patience.  And – don’t be afraid to change a story line and start over.  You will get there eventually; you’ll know when it’s just right.  Also, write about things you love because it will be a lot easier to have your ideas flow, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.  Research is invaluable to a good story.  Learn, learn, learn

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Joan Dee Wilson

*  Author website/social media:   and Face Book:

Tell me a little about yourself: I think I was a young artist at heart, drawing a lot and continued through high school and college. After only a few years of college where I traversed between fine art, technical art, sculputure and advertising, I got my first art job helping to produce automotive ads and catalogs. From there I got married and started our family, raising three children who are now older and raising their own kids. I was always selective choosing what I read to my young ones then, many years after I retired, I shopped for books for my grandson and decided to write my own books. With my artist background, my love for birds and the research I’ve done on them, my bird characters have evolved.

When you were my age, did you like to read? Yes but I also spent a lot of time outside. I am from a large family and a lot was different than what it is today. Quiet time at home was a premium and much too seldom. I do remember looking forward to an afternoon at the Library.

2   What was your favorite story?The first books that come to mind were the Nancy Drew series, The Box Car Children and many more long forgotten.

3   How do you get your ideas? Ideas come to me when I’m doing other things. Like one evening w lost power I wrote much of my new book using a flash light under a tent of blankets. It was very cold.

4. Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? No. It is all I have to focus on these days.

5   Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated? Yes, Snowy Lodin. I am thinking about revising it this winter. I have an idea for continuing the story.

6   What author do you really like right now? There are so many I don’t feel it’s fair to ame just one.

7   What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? Read. And ponder what you read. And be honest with yourself. If you think a particular read is not good – stand by your oppinion without going along with trends just because.

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Joe Spraga

Author website/social media: / @joespraga (Twitter)

Tell me a little about yourself:  I am a graduate of Western Michigan University, with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English (Creative Writing) and a Minor in Philosophy.

When you were my age, did you like to read?  Yes, very much.

What was your favorite story?  The Very Hungry Caterpillar – (this is really cool-)

How do you get your ideas?  My ideas honestly just pop into my head in a sing/song way. I have a very vivid/musical imagination.

Is it hard to write/illustrate a book?  If you just want to write a book, and you don’t know what about, it can be difficult. However, if you know what you want to write about, it’s easy. Of course we can always use practice to get better as we write/draw more and more. Although I did a series of paintings for my book, I hired a talented artist to take my paintings to a new level for the illustrations in my book.

Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated?  Just this one- The Snitch, The Witch, and The One Who Was Rich.

What author do you really like right now?  I am really into Oscar Wilde right now.

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?  Read a lot when you are young. When you are out and about just living your every day life, make those moments visual memories in your mind. Once you have a lot of memories, they will start to flow into a story with words, and you will find your voice!

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Shutta Crum , ,

I write poetry, children’s books, children’s novels and nonfiction articles for magazines and journals. By Dec. 2017, I’ll have sixteen books out. My newest book is MOUSELING’S WORDS. I love writing for kids of all ages!


1. When you were my age did you like to read? As a kid I loved reading everything! I wanted to read all of the books in our small school library. But I did especially love adventure books.

2. What was your favorite book? One book I loved and still think fondly of is: MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN by Jean Craighead George.

3.Where do you get your ideas for books? Ideas are all around us all the time—it just takes a few quiet moments to think about why something is happening, and how if you just made on little tweak . . . really wild things could happen. I like playing “what if.” That is, asking myself what if this or that? What if a space ship landed on the roof of my house on Christmas Eve, instead of Santa?

4. Is it hard to write a book? It’s VERY difficult to write a good book! It’s easy to write a bad book. Sometimes it can take me years to finish a book. But that’s all right, because in the end I know I’ve given it my all and tried to make it the best book I can.

5. Do you have a favorite book of the ones your have written? All my young readers ask if I’ve got a favorite book of my own that I’ve written. That’s always difficult to answer because I like different ones on different days for different reasons. But, overall, MY MOUNTAIN SONG pulls at my heart because it is similar to how I spent happy summers with my grandparents. And THOMAS AND THE DRAGON QUEEN is dear to me because I had my father in mind as I wrote it.

6. What authors are you reading right now? Right now, I love many many authors! I’m reading a lot of Jason Reynold’s novels lately. And I just reread A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness. Really enjoying this reading. As far as books for the very young, I love Rosemary Wells’ books, Sandra Boynton and Jon Klassen.

7. Do you have advice for kids who want to be an author? My best advice: read, read, read! How do you know what you want to write if you don’t read at all levels and in all genres? A good writer needs to really be versed in their field. Read at least a thousand books before you begin your own.

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Meet the author: Jean Alicia Elster

Facebook author page–
Twitter– @j_a_elster

1. When you were my age, did you like to read? As a youngster, I loved to read!
2. What was your favorite story? My favorite book was Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

3. How do you get your ideas? The ideas for my two most recently published books, Who’s Jim Hines? and The Colored Car, came from real events in my family’s history in the city of Detroit during the 1930s. As a young person growing up, I heard the core of many of these tales during family gatherings. Of course, for my books, I fictionalize, expand and embellish these core bits of family lore.

4. Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? Writing is a very complex and exacting activity: taking a thought in your mind and writing words that allow the reader to share that thought. So in that sense, writing a book is not an easy endeavor. However, I love the process of writing and I love the end result (creating a book!), so it is not hard for me to write my books.

5. Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated? I do not have a favorite among my many books–they are all very special to me.

6. What author do you really like right now? An author that I am enjoying right now is Edwidge Danticat, a Haitian-American author.

 7. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? My advice to any young person who wants to be an author is to read, read, READ as much as they can. They should read different genres of literature, and they should read authors of different nationalities. They should immerse their lives in words.


Posted in Author Meet Up, General

Special news flash

You can meet your favorite author. Just follow them on social media or write to them. I have found most respond so write!

You can also meet authors and illustrators at events. Check your libraries and book stores for events. I went to an event to meet three authors and saw another author I knew, so authors also support authors. There was another author at Salina Yoon’s library event!

On Saturday, when I met Marcie Colleen, some kids didn’t even realize they were with an author. They didn’t seem to believe it when I told them she was the author. For all you know your favorite kids author is standing next to you.

And if you connect with them, you might just give Jarret J. Krosoczka a ketchup and mustard high five, play mime with Salina Yoon, be on the radio with Guy Raz or get Mike Maihack’s Cleopatra’s before they are released.

So write to your authors and illustrators!