Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and forty-eighth, is of children’s author, publisher and interviewee Kathryn Starke. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Kathryn Starke is an urban elementary school reading specialist, literacy consultant, keynote speaker, and author. A native of Richmond Virginia, USA, Kathryn graduated from Longwood University with a BS degree in elementary education and a Master’s degree in Literacy and Culture. She has taught first, second, and third grade and served as a literacy specialist for a decade in inner city / Title I schools in Richmond, Virginia. Kathryn travels to schools and organizations throughout the nation presenting workshops in urban literacy education for children, parents, teachers, and administrators.
Kathryn serves as the founder / CEO of Creative Minds publications, which exemplifies quality literacy instruction for all children. CMP publishes engaging and educational children’s literature. Her first book, Amy’s Travels, has been released in its second edition, recommended as a curriculum text around the globe, and selected as the 2013-2014 musical performance by the Latin Ballet of Virginia.
As the author of Amy’s Travels, she travels worldwide to bring this multicultural title to life. Kathryn presents at reading and writing conferences throughout the nation and is a keynote speaker for many nonprofit organizations and events. She is a freelance educational writer for a variety of magazines including Education Digest. Kathryn was named one of the 50 Great Writers you should be Reading in 2013. She has released her debut novel, Because of You, this fall and is excited about writing fiction for an adult audience. She continues to work with fellow authors for future educational publications.
And now from the author herself:
I have been writing for as long as I can remember; my parents recall me walking around the house and always traveling with a notebook and pen (which I still do today). I wrote lists, poems, lyrics, stories, letters, you name it! I enrolled in a summer creative writing class when I was seven years old and took journalism in high school, serving as a guest writer for our school newspaper. In terms of academics, writing was always strength of mine. As an elementary school teacher, I wrote songs, rhymes, and stories often to help my students learn vocabulary and content. It was when I was teaching the seven continents to my second grade class that I told the story about my friend Amy and her adventures around the world. I decided it had to be children’s book and needed to be in the hands of fellow educators.
I sent the manuscript off to a colleague in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia, who responded with great interest. He told me he didn’t publish children’s books but would love to work with me; that week Creative Minds Publications was established. This company, run by me, would market this educational book to students and teachers around the world. Simple, right?
With 1500 books sitting in my apartment six months later, I realized there was work to be done. I started presenting at educational conferences and writing articles for teaching magazines. I created school assemblies to bring the story to life and sent my book out to countless number of book reviewers and children’s organizations. I made curriculum and book guides for the instructional piece of the text. Finally (after a lot of hard work) my voice was heard and teachers across continents realized that Amy’s Travels was a “must have.” The power of teachers on social networking like Pinterest has definitely helped with my success. Today, Amy’s Travels is still going strong and CMP is publishing fellow author educators with the same vision.
Clearly, my background is in education, so it’s only fitting I write engaging, educational children’s books for kids and clear, concise articles and blog posts for parents and teachers. However, I wanted to write something else, women’s fiction. I am an avid reader, particularly of chick-lit titles, so this was my next venture. I wrote Because of You over a course of about nine months and upon completion decided I wanted to share this title with my fellow female readers.
Since my publishing company is now recognized as a global educational one, I chose to send this manuscript off to agents and small presses, whose expertise was in fiction. Fortunately, I received great feedback and several interested parties; I elected to work with another small press (like mine) who has successfully delivered the pre-ordered copies of my novel just this past week. I am currently serving as a guest writer on book pages, women’s fiction pages, and chick lit blogs. I am collaborating and connecting with a different audience regarding this book, but it is most definitely a learning experience. And how fun to say I’m a published author of two books. I am already imagining what genre I want to write next and look forward to sharing with you.
You can find more about Kathryn and her writing via…
You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my Books (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping List, various short story collections and writer’s block workbooks) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.
For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback, take a look at this blog’s Feedback page.
As I post a spotlight or interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.
I welcome items for critique directly (see Editing & Critique) or for posting on the online writing groups listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
We look forward to reading your comments.