KathrynHeadshots-14Welcome to Kateywrites, my spot to share with you the things that matter to me – like motherhood, changing careers, children’s books and probably some ridiculous rants like how hard it is to be a 6′ tall woman in a 5’8″ world.

I write children’s picture and chapter books – and I am represented by the incredible Essie White of Storm Literary Agency.

I love exploring different techniques, styles and genres to match a theme and to build an immersive experience for the reader. My debut picture book, Grandmother Thorn, illustrated by Rebecca Hahn, was named a 2018 Anna Dewdney Read Together Honor Book by the Children’s Book Council. Publishers Weekly calls the folk-tale-style Grandmother Thorn “a visually arresting reminder that compromise has its benefits.”

I am also the author of Magnolia Mudd And The Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe, illustrated by Valerio Fabbretti (Sterling, 2018.)  My next book, Be A Maker, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic, is scheduled for release by Carolrhoda in May 2019.

When not writing for children, I contribute to websites and blogs about books, reading, parenting, and writing  – like All the Wonders, Nerdy Bookclub, KidLit411, STEAM-powered Family, Imagination Soup, and Multilingual Parenting, amongst others. I present at writers’ conferences and education summits, but much prefer any opportunity to read, play and create with children. I am most at home in libraries, bookshops, camps and museums full of curious kids.

I have loved writing stories and poetry from a very young age, and I was an avid reader from the time I could sound out words on road signs. In high school, I was admitted to a magnet school that focused on teaching advanced levels of math and science, and I excelled there. I was driven by that success, by ambition and by well-meaning guidance to pursue a career in science, despite my love of the arts. I never thought of “the artsy part” of me as something that could be anything more than a fun hobby.

After a 10+ year career as a physical therapist – years that were incredibly fulfilling and exciting – I gave birth to my 3rd daughter. I realized that I couldn’t keep working full time at a job that was emotionally and physically taxing while giving my family the kind of love, attention and energy I felt they deserved. As hard as it was to leave my coworkers and clients (some of whom I’d been treating for many years!) I became a stay at home mom.

My littlest is now 8, and I have been grateful for (almost) every moment I’ve had at home with my girls. They have been years filled with hilarity and growth and learning for all of us. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to spend this time with them. But the time away from my busy, high pressure job also gave me a space to think about my career choices, and about the part of me I wasn’t giving a chance.

But now,  I am giving myself that chance. The chance to be a “real” writer. The chance to see my books on the shelf. The chance to touch children’s hearts with my words. The chance to share the tools I use to inspire a love of reading in my kids with so many other caregivers.


I am already so many things (PT, mother, wife, chauffeur, general contractor, tutor, guinea pig groomer and sloppy seamstress among them) that it has taken significant changes in my lifestyle to convince myself that this “author thing” is for real.

The book deals have helped. Signing with an agent has helped. So have conferences, writer friends, and my work contributing to the incredible All the Wonders website, home of The Children’s Book Podcast and the Picturebooking Podcast.

In light of all these changes, this blog is a great way to keep me grounded. Grounded in what I really love about my life – the fact that I am blessed to have the time and energy and support to play and laugh and READ with my ids every day – all while writing books that other parents will someday read aloud with their kids. It doesn’t get much better than that.

I’d love to have your curiosity, support and input along my journey. Hope it makes you smile!


31 thoughts on “About

  1. You certainly have my support. 🙂 The finding of people to read what you write is probably the most overlooked part of writing. The sitting down and putting the words on the page is “composition” Writing starts when you get an idea or a prompt, and it doesn’t end until someone other than you is reading, is how I feel about it.

    The way I found you through the Twitter follow. Thanks for that. And just so you know, I am not an “artsy” writer, and the way I feel about the whole “real writer” thing is, if you are writing and putting it in front of readers, you are a real writer.

    Cheers! I’m going to follow your Facebook page and return your Twitter follow now.


    • Gene, thanks for the support! I’m reading some of my stories at a school this Friday- and that makes me feel more like a “real writer” than anything else I do. I followed you on twitter after seeing Taylor grace’s repost of your twitter advice blog. Very helpful stuff to a social media newbie!


  2. Hi there, Katey. Nice meeting you. I can sense your inner artist between the lines of your writing. I’m glad you’ve ‘slowed’ down (just kidding). You seem like a hard working, sincere person and a heck of a mom 🙂


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  4. Re: 6′ tall in a 5’8 world–don’t let the tyranny of the genetically mundane get you down. When you can’t get your knees into an amusement park ride, that’s a “small plot” just like those reclining airline seats. Throw it back at them. I had a 6′ girlfriend for years when I was young, and kids used to come up to her and say “hey, can you dunk?” Strangest thing. She ignored it the first few times, then one day replied, “shit, yes–tomahawk, 360, reverse..!). Still smiling at the memory of those wide-eyed, dumbfounded kids. As for the writing thing–artsy is as artsy does, good writing comes from the bones, and words should serve the purpose of the work–they’re the meat, not the spring of parsley on the side.


  5. HI there-

    I read this today while working on a piece for a client and thought you might like to do something with it. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/singletons/201407/how-digital-devices-affect-infants-and-toddlers.

    I didn’t have your email so I am posting it here. You can find me at Terri@terrilively.com if you want to exchange emails so I can send you other articles I find out there that might work for you.

    Hope you are having a great weekend-



  6. Hi! I have found you through the link up party and so glad that I did! I am a mother to four children and LOVE to read and hope to instill that love in them! So happy to be following your blog! 🙂


  7. Hi, Katey! Thanks so much for visiting my blog a few weeks ago. I love how you said you see my name on social media and in the comments of other blogs because I’ve seen yours as well. Thanks for making the first move. 😉 Your blog looks scrumptious and I can’t wait to find the time to curl up with a hot cuppa something and dig in.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My youngest just hit five and the decision-making process that three years ago led me to pursue a career of writing for children was very similar to yours. I love the way you have found a way to blog about writing for children and mothering in the same forum. I look forward to holding one of your books in my hands someday!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you Katey for the follow. You have inspired me to start focusing on my blog again and to WRITE! Perhaps I feel a deep kinship as I am 6’0″ living in a little world too 😉 Or perhaps I see that your writing is bringing you joy and that is what we are all looking for. Looking forward to your future posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I thought I was a one in a million “phenomenon” of sorts, until I found you. Like you, I am a mother and physical therapist for nearly 15 years with a hidden passion for writing. I have secretly written for years- letters for family that they signed instead of me, speeches for church, letters to the editor, and scribbled stories for children on a notepad next to my bed in the middle of the night. All the while, I have never considered myself a “real” writer, nor had the courage to stand up and even say it. Like you, my aptitude in the sciences directed me to current path, but didn’t nourish my other passion for the arts. Two years ago, I finally joined SCBWI and decided there was no longer a sufficient reason why I couldn’t reconcile these two great loves of my life. I would love to pick your brain on several things, if I could. It’s a rough road writing for this in-between world of fiction and non-fiction, that I have decided to place myself upon. It’s difficult enough to convince an agent or publisher on the merits of your writing style, let alone convincing them on the merits of the topics on which you write. I think you will understand more than anyone else. Would love to hear from you!
    Thank you so much for your time!
    -Lindsay PT


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