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Interview with Kasey Crawford Kellem



Tell us a bit about yourself
Presently, I am a high school counselor and have been in education for 22 years. Prior to counseling I was a special education teacher at both the elementary and middle school levels. I have a bachelors, masters and educational specialist degree, all in various areas of education.  I am a wife, step mother of two, ,aunt to 10 children, a  daughter and have three sisters.   I enjoy golfing, skiing and working out.  My mission in life is to motivate and inspire children to overcome obstacles and challenges: To be resilient!

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
After I realized I couldn’t pursue my doctorate degree due to contractual roadblocks, I still wanted to help kids become resilient. I knew kids needed to BELIEVE in their possibilities,  RELAX often, LAUGH at playful experiences, DREAM about inspiring futures, and LOVE those they encounter in order to be resilient. I had wooden decorations around my house reminding me to Believe, Love, Laugh, relax and Dream.  I felt that children should have cute decorative reminders to do the same.  I came up with the book idea about five years ago and had my niece help me brainstorm during that summer. I let the book idea go when school began that fall and forgot about them for about 5 years. I revisited them last year and within 8 months I had created Mind Over Matter Books and had the five books pretty much completed and Believe in print!

Why did you decide to write for children? 
I have been intrigued by resiliency since I began teaching and felt the skills needed to be taught to children early in life. I feel that all people face adversity or challenges in life and the earlier and child learns to be resilient, the better off they will be when faced with life’s challenges.  The book idea seemed like a natural way to get the message to them. Creating the book in a decorative form, allows the books to be a constant reminder to children daily! 

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?
No. I think the language and concepts are simple and because I have worked with kids from ages 18months to 18 years, I feel very comfortable communicating to young children.

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?
Believing I can inspire and motivate them because they are impressionable at young ages. Also, the ability to use whimsical illustrations and simple wording to get the message out to children makes the project fun and exciting! Watching the children light up when the see the illustrations really makes it special, too!

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?
Believe is a whimsical picture book which gives children ways to believe in various components of their lives including believing they can win, believing in heaven, believing in good luck, believing in high hopes and Believing the storm will pass. The book also offers a parent page giving them advice on how to help children believe in themselves. The size and shape are unique and allow the book to stand on  its own as a decoration for a shelf or nightstand, thus constantly reminding children to “Believe!”


What inspired you to write it?
My mother always encouraged me to write. She saw the creativity in me and also saw that I was driven. She is also  the one who taught me resiliency. Last year I was feeling a little concerned about my position in education as there are many changes occurring in my state. I wanted a back up career in case anything were to ever happen to my job. I just revisited the books I had brainstormed 5 years earlier and went forward without second guessing my mission!

Where can readers purchase a copy?
Halo International-Believe:
MOM Website
Amazon:

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
MOM Website
MOM Blog:
Facebook Page:
YouTube (Children’s Authors Show Interview):
LinkedIn:
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/#!/kaseyc7

What is up next for you?
After I get all five of the Mind Over Matter Books printed and out on the market successfully, I would like to continue the trend with additional MOM books: Mind over Maturing for tweeners and teens, Mind Over Medicine for anyone exposed to illness or ill family members, Mind Over Motherhood for moms, Mind Over Marriage and Mind over Menapause.

Do you have anything else to add?
My goal is to have these books in every preschool, school, church and child’s house so kids everywhere are constantly reminded of the five resiliency skills.

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