Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kasey Crawford Kellem, author of BELIEVE (Mind Over Matter series)

Author Bio:
Kasey Crawford Kellem is a school counselor and a former special education teacher. She has devoted her life to helping children who face adversity to be resilient. Kasey earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in Special Ed/Elementary Ed, a Masters in Education in Special Ed and an Educational Specialist Degree in School Counseling. She specialized researching what makes children resilient while pursuing her ED.S. Degree. Still having the interest and drive to help children become resilient, she decided to write children's' books, which would also serve as motivational decorations for their bedroom or playroom. The series, Mind Over Matter Books, was not only named for the purpose of these books: Learning mind over matter techniques when facing adversity, but also were named after her late mom who inspired her to be resilient.

Title: Believe

Author: Kasey Crawford Kellem

ISBN: 9781612440392

Page count: 40

Genre: Children's picture book

Price: 19.99

Tell us about your book:
Mind Over Matter (M.O.M.) books are geared towards preschoolers to help them learn how to be resilient. Life comes at us fast and children have to be prepared with the right tools to face the challenges, adversity and obstacles that may become a part of their lives. Each book shows, through whimsical illustrations and simple wording, how to be resilient. BELIEVE is the first of the five M.O.M. books. In BELIEVE, children learn to believe in their possibilities and believe in themselves. These books are also designed to be decorations in a child's bedroom or playroom on book shelves, nightstands, or desks which will serve as a constant resiliency reinforcement.

How long did it take to write the book?
In all, about a year. I brainstormed ideas for the five books one summer with my niece who was 5 years old at the time. Five years later, I revisited the book idea in March, hired an illustrator and graphic designer by late Spring, secured a publisher in the summer and and a printer in late Fall. All the pieces came together during that one year.

What inspired you to write the book?
My mother was my main inspiration for writing this series. She raised me to be resilient and always see the positive in what life offered. I wanted all children to be able to overcome challenges and obstacles they way I had learned. As a teacher and counselor, I saw too many children making excuses in their lives because of the adversity they had faced. I needed them to learn the skills to face adversity positively and proactively.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
A big part of the writing process for this book was brainstorming. I needed concrete concepts that preschoolers could understand and grasp. I had researched the skills needed for being resilient while pursuing my Educational Specialist Degree in school counseling. I knew what children needed and I knew they needed the skills early on in life, so it was imperative that I start with books geared for preschoolers.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
My hope and goal is for preschoolers to have the skill and strength to believe in themselves and their potential after reading this book. I want them to understand the concept of "Believing" and begin doing so concretely. 

Where can we go to buy your book:
Tess's Tender Touch, Lakewood Ohio

Any other links or info you'd like to share?
My blog for parents to help teach children resiliency:

My website which includes interviews and newspaper articles:

Social Networks:
Facebook Page:



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jack Remick, author of Gabriela and the Widow

Author Bio:
I am a novelist, poet, short story writer, screenwriter.

Title: Gabriela and The Widow
Author: Jack Remick
ISBN: 978-1603811477
Genre: women’s fiction
Price: 14.95

Tell us about your book:
Gabriela and The Widow is a story of chaos, revenge, and change. Gabriela seeks revenge for the destruction of her village. The Widow craves balance for the betrayals in her life. In the end, The Widow gives Gabriela the secret of immortality.

How long did it take to write the book?
My first notes on this novel show that I was writing backstory on characters and setting in April, 2010. The publisher saw the reading copy in April 2011. The novel was released in January 2013.

What inspired you to write the book?
In Gabriela and The Widow I set out to write a novel about two women—one an immigrant, Gabriela, on a journey to the North, the other a dying old woman, a Widow who lives in the desert. I was drawn to the subject of the collision of cultures that is ripping America apart right now, but I also wished to examine how women relate without men. It is the story of how The Widow makes Gabriela in her own image and sets her free from her bloody past. It is a book about mothers and daughters, it is a novel about women for women, but it is also a mythic recasting of the story of women before men.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
The process for me involves constant rewriting. I write everything longhand. Two days a week I write at Louisa’s Bakery CafĂ© in Seattle with ten to 20 other writers. We use the “writing practice” technique Natalie Goldberg teaches in her Taos workshops. I do most editing at the computer, but no first work. That has to be longhand. I feel a strong connection to the pen and the ink. I use a fountain pen for that. Research—I have a library of reference books that I use for details. Research used to be about libraries and bookstores, but now the web lets us go deeper faster. For example, in Gabriela and The Widow, silver and gold coins, and precious stones are important objects. It took me a couple of days to immerse myself in numismatics and gemology to find what I needed.  But it was there. Cross referencing is paramount when you use the web for material, so I always back-check. The quantity of expert information available to writers is amazing. I also do a lot of geographical research for settings, time, place. For Gabriela, the settings are important so the maps and details of place I got from on-line research paid off well.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I would like my readers to come away with a sense of the importance of myth and story-telling in our lives. Writing has been invented only a few times—The Fertile Crescent, China, and Mesoamerica. Writing lets us access the time-machine built into us. Writing lets us project the future, study the past, and document the present. In Gabriela we see that simply telling the story isn’t enough to preserve it. Gabriela has to write The Widow’s story in order to incorporate it. 

Excerpt from book:
From the opening:
The year the war ended, Gabriela led her sick mother out of Tepeñixtlahuaca. The bones of the villagers still had meat on them then and the hearths still had fire in them but the retreating soldiers had chased away the skinny dogs and burned the houses. Scattered in the jungle, the bodies of young women had been left to rot. The young men had been killed or turned into soldiers who had, in their own time, committed atrocities.
The path down off the mountain to Paso de la Reina was stony and hard. The journey took eight hours. Gabriela had walked it only three times in her fourteen years, but this time she had the feeling that it would not end well because every few meters along the way, she caught sight of jungle toads staring at her. They were giants, their gray-green bodies covered with warts, their bellies white as cotton. One of them flicked his tongue at Gabriela. When she saw a toad eating a small bird she knew that her mother would not live to see the doctor in Jamiltepec.
At the edge of Paso de la Reina, in sight of the huts and houses and the Rio Verde, her mother begged for a longer rest. Gabriela sat her on a large stone alongside the path in the evening light and there her mother died.

Where can we go to buy your book?
Coffeetown Press publishes all my work. You can find them at For a quick list, I have an author website: with details on each novel. There is, of course,, that ubiquitous source for all things printed, as well as Smashwords. E-copies are available through all those outlets.

Any other links or info you'd like to share?
For the writers out there, you can check out This blog contains everything I know about writing. The two latest posts are “Writing Tips for the Committed Novelist” and “Twenty Steps to Starting Your Novel.” We’ve posted dozens of techniques, including the something we call Syntactic Flex. 

You can find out more about Jack Remick, his books and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at

Follow Jack Remick at
Author page:
Twitter: @jackremick
Publisher Website: