By Kate E. Stephenson
In this third week of October 2012, I hereby call to order the 9th meeting of the Kate-Book.com Book Club. Every week, we shall be reading a tome either (a) penned by an author named Kate or (b) that includes a character named Kate. If you missed last week’s meeting, here’s what went down.
Club members, this week meet Kate Hayes.
In this month of horrific fun, we give you a literary slant on the trick or treat. This week’s author brings us a topic that makes us all go “EWWW!” Kate Hayes is the author of All About Poop, a funny yet educational picture book that helps children learn about the digestive system as well as about proper bathroom etiquette and hygiene — even about the sewage system. Kate is also a proud wife and mom, professional writer, mommy blogger, and former TV news journalist. By day, she works as a B2B marketing content developer and social media strategist. By night, she writes about important topics like preschool and potty-training on her personal blog, Adventures in Parenting. In 2011, Kate was named one of the BlogHer Voices of the Year. In 2010, she was a Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine Parent Blogger Award winner. All About Poop was released by Pinwheel Books on September 1. You can also connect with Kate on Twitter and like the book on Facebook.
Who named you Kate and why?
My mom named me Katherine after her oldest sister, Kathy. Originally, people called me Katherine and I even have baby cards addressed to “Baby Kathy.” But for reasons unknown, my nickname soon switched to Katie. (My guess is because my mom also had about five cousins named Kathy. How many ‘Kathy’s does one family need?) I was a Katie all my life until I started my career in TV news. Then I decided to go by Kate because I thought it sounded more professional. Everyone who has met me as an adult knows me as Kate. Interestingly, I have known my husband since we were kids, so he often calls me Katie.
How did you become an author?
I have wanted to write children’s books ever since I can remember. I have written dozens of manuscripts over the years, and have even submitted some to publishers, but never with any luck. However in 2011, I connected with Pinwheel Books on Twitter and the publisher asked me to send her a few manuscripts. She immediately loved the poop book and emailed me that very night to say that she wanted to publish it! From there, everything just fell into place – including the fact that the publisher also wanted my friend Brenna Vaughan to illustrate the book. The entire experience has been pretty amazing.
What was the muse for your first completed/published book?
All About Poop is my first published book, although I have other completed manuscripts. The muse for this book was my (then) two-year-old son, Kellen. He was (and still is) obsessed with poop, as many little boys are. He had tons of questions about how poop was made, how it traveled through the body, and where it went after we flushed, but I couldn’t find a good book to help explain these things in a way that a preschooler could understand. So I just decided to write one.
What are you currently working on?
I am revising a picture book manuscript about a family that is trying to decide what to name its new baby.
What is your greatest accomplishment to date?
On a personal level, it is definitely the family that my husband and I have built together. They are my life. Professionally, having a book published is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, so I would have to say that ranks near the top. My current job is also a dream opportunity, so that ranks up there too.
What’s your favorite word?
What’s your least favorite word?
Who’s your favorite literary character?
Anne of Green Gables.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
If you weren’t an author, what profession would you like to try?
Well, I’m not a full-time author…I’m a marketing content developer and social media strategist for a Fortune 200 company. I also spent years as a TV news reporter and anchor. But if I could try a totally NEW profession, I think writing scripts for animated movies would be a blast! I would love to be immersed in such a completely creative environment.
If you could do one thing in your life over, what would it be?
Because All About Poop is a picture book, this excerpt really can’t do it justice, so check out a preview of the book here. Happy Halloween, Book Clubbers! May it be spooooky.
Kate’s Book Club is a column on Kate-book.com featuring interviews with authors named Kate, as well as reviews of books starring Kate characters. It runs on Kate-book.com every other Wednesday at 10:30am, and is written by the self-admitted bibliophile Kate E. Stephenson, who you should follow on Twitter here. Oh, and write to Kate to suggest authors and books we should read for future columns.