I was interviewed on My Reading Corner. If you’ve ever been curious how I got started writing and what’s next, keep reading!
Q1. when did you decide you were going to write a book?
A. As a parent, I delighted in sharing my love of the magical world of books by reading aloud to my two boys. Many nights, my younger son would place his tiny hand on mine while looking up with big, brown hope-filled eyes, (most likely as a stalling tactic) and plead for “one more story” – how could any parent refuse? So at the moment, I began making up stories. My son loved them so much, he would have me tell the stories over and over, night after night. I wrote the stories down and occasionally thought about sending them out to publishers, but eventually, my son got older and I went on to other things.
Fast forward to the advent of self-publishing and my desire was reawakened to see the stories I had written for my son all those years ago in print. In 2012 I launched a publishing company, retained an illustrator and got to work bringing my dream to reality.
So, long story short, I never really “decided” to write a book, I simply wrote so much over the years, I finally decided to turn some of my work into published books.
Q2. How did you come up with the name of your books?
A. My two published children’s picture books, The Skipping Stone and Goober and Muffin, really named themselves.
Q3. What are you working on now and for 2019?
A. I recently published my first two picture books in three other languages: Spanish, German and French. I also have a new children’s picture book, Comfy, Cozy: A Bedtime Story coming out in November. For 2019, I am veering towards nonfiction and am working on a picture book about the first year of a bald eagle’s life, illustrated with my own photography. I am also working on a couple fun picture book projects about Western WA birds and Kids in the Garden. As a food blogger for the past decade, I also have a couple of cookbooks in the works.
Q4. How long have you been writing?
A. I pretty much grew up with a pen in my hand. From childhood through my college years, I was forever making up stories, often writing them down. I had notebooks full of stories. I even started a novel when I was about 12. Somewhere, over the years, those notebooks disappeared, but I’ve never stopped writing.
Q5. What advice would you give other authors?
A. Don’t skip the editing process! Having your manuscript professionally edited is one of the most critical steps in the publishing process. As the author, you are so familiar with your book, your mind will convince you that what you expect to see is what you are seeing. And, unfortunately, Microsoft Word’s spell checker and grammar checker are unreliable — they don’t know your intentions and often correct things that are already correct or ignore things that are incorrect. Choose your editor wisely — not your mom, not your best friend — not even your ninth-grade English teacher! Hire someone specifically trained in book-editing skills. It makes all the difference.
Q6. Where can people find you online?
A. My author website is kellylenihanbooks.com and my food blog is kellylenihan.com
People can also connect with me on Instagram @kelly_lenihan
Q7. Do you plan on making more books in the future?
A. Oh yes! I keep a running list of ideas, which now totals 75+, so I’ll be at writing thing this for a while yet.
Q8. How many books have you written?
A. Seven complete books with several more works in progress, both fiction and nonfiction.
Q9. Did you go to college to be a writer
A. After completing a general arts degree from the University of Washington – I actually went to school to be a fashion designer – I’ve enjoyed a diverse range of creative endeavors, from fashion design and hand-painted pottery to web design and teaching global arts. Never losing my penchant for writing; I’ve been published in various magazines over the years and enjoyed my own newspaper column, Kid’s Corner – focusing on multicultural arts and crafts and exploring gardening and nature through science and art, including hands-on projects – enjoyed by librarians, school teachers, and parents/family/caregivers of young children.