You need to know who your readership is before you sit down to write. With this in mind I asked a fellow author to share her insight on this for two reasons, she is a children's counselor and has a unique outlook on understanding children and two because her debut series of books are wonderfully done. She truly as a new author understands how to relate to her readership. So sit back and enjoy this weeks guest post from debut author Kasey Crawford Kellem on Knowing Your Readership.
My Mind Over Matter picture books were written for children primarily under the age of 8. I have several young nieces and nephews, and a number of friend’s children in my life who have been an asset in helping me write the books to their level. In fact, my niece, Jackie Kennedy, was five at the time I created the book idea. She and I spent many hours brainstorming what a child believes, loves, dreams and what makes them laugh and relax. The ideas were later tweaked and broadened with the help of the other children and parents in my life. I feel pretty confident the books are appropriately geared towards young children.
The use of simple wording and whimsical illustrations was a must to reach the children. I knew illustrations were key to engaging a child in a book. My illustrator, Janet Hill, has a special touch that appeals to children with her artwork. She knew the use of both animals and children in the books would captivate them. She knew vibrant colors would keep the child interested in the illustrations, too. In order to really engage the young readers, Janet thought it would be a great idea to add a hidden bug in each book. In Believe, a caterpillar is on each page showing how he believes. At the end, the caterpillar shows how he believes in himself and turns into a butterfly. The children love looking for the caterpillar on each page. The other books each have an interactive bug, as well.
My goal and purpose of these books is to teach children resiliency skills. It is rare to go through life without facing obstacles, challenges or adversity. Unfortunately, some people do not have the coping skills to rebound after such life changing events happen to them. Every child should be exposed to Believe (and the other four books when they come out) to learn the skill to prepare themselves for their future. I feel strongly that given the added stressors in life including increased divorces, disabilities, diseases and deaths, children need to learn early how to face these challenges with resiliency.
My books are a good fit for all children no matter how great their life is now, because at some point they will face some sort of challenge and need to be prepared. The books are both a preventative tool, as well as a reactive tool. For those children who have a pretty good life, this book series will teach them the skills to have when, and if, they ever have to face any challenges. For those children already experiencing adversity, these books can help teach them the tools needed to get through the obstacle in which they have been faced. Either way, any child would benefit from learning to Believe they can get through all that life offers. The same is true for my other Mind Over Matter Books and the resiliency techniques: Love, Laugh, Relax & Dream!
Kasey Crawford Kellem, a School Counselor and former Special Education Teacher, has devoted her life to helping children facing adversity be resilient. Kasey created Mind Over Matter (M.O.M.) books to teach children skills to overcome life’s challenges. She has earned a Bachelor’s Degree and Masters Degree in Special Education and an Educational Specialist Degree in Counseling. She is a devoted wife, stepmother, sister, daughter and counselor.
Halo Publishing, Int. and the World of Ink Network are sponsoring Kasey Crawford Kellem's World of Ink Tour this February 2012.
You can find out more about Kasey Crawford Kellem’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/KaseyKellem.aspx. There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with Kellem and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions. You will be entered into the main the Book Giveaway each time.
In addition, come listen on February 20, 2012 to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork. The hosts VS Grenier and Irene Roth will be chatting with Kasey Crawford Kellem about her M.O.M Books, writing, helping children to be resilient and her experiences. The show airs live February 20, 2012 at 2pm EST. You can listen/call in at (714) 242-5259. (Note: if you can’t make the show, you can listen on demand at the same link.)
To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit: http://worldofinknetwork.blogspot.com
To purchase any of Kasey Crawford Kellem’s books, visit Halo Publishing: www.halopublishing.com