Kim Spence-Bollinger is a brand new children’s author and a participant in Publishing Mastermind. It’s been such a pleasure working with Kim to publish her book this year, but it was an even greater pleasure to sit down and chat with her about the new release.
MIRIAM LAUNDRY: Congratulations on your first children’s book, Kim! Can you tell us who the book is for and when you started writing it?
KIM SPENCE-BOLLINGER: Kids of Courage Camp Adventures Kim’s Challenge is for children aged seven to ten years old. I started writing it in October of 2014, three months after I first got the idea.
ML: What inspired you to become an author?
KSB: I am a speech therapist, and I read and create lesson plans using children’s books for my students. I found that there are not many books that feature kids with disabilities, so I decided to write my own.
ML: Where did the inspiration for this particular book come from?
KSB: The idea for this story came from my desire as a child to learn to ride a bike like my siblings/friends, and my struggle years later to learn to ride a bike that was altered for me.
ML: And why was this message important for you to share?
KSB: The message of this book/and this series is that all children (with or without disabilities) have been given a special gift by God. Kim’s gift is the gift of determination, and she uses that gift to help others.
ML: That is incredible, Kim. You truly are an inspiration. It’s been so amazing getting to work with you in Publishing Mastermind. What made you decide to join the program?
KSB: I joined to have the support I needed to become a published author. My favourite part was getting to know and work with people from all over the U.S.A. and Canada. People that I would never have had the chance to meet if I didn’t join Publishing Mastermind. The connections that I’ve made for editing, book design, and marketing were the biggest value.
ML: Yes, a network of support is essential to any author’s success, especially when they face challenges. Did you have to conquer any hurdles as you worked on your children’s book?
KSB: The biggest challenge was dealing with the doubts about if this story was good enough to be published.
ML: It must be so rewarding seeing your book not only published, but also become a bestseller. You proved that limiting voice wrong. That’s a big accomplishment! Did you learn any lessons in the process?
KSB: The biggest lesson was to keep reaching out to my coach, or the other members of my group, or the team for support if I was not sure about the next steps to take during the publishing process. Or if I was having doubts about myself as an author, many of the group members were going through the same. So, if I was open about my fears they were encouraging.
ML: Definitely. A community is so important. During that time, did you have any memorable moments?
KSB: A little girl who previewed my story told me that it needed to be “in Walmart or Target” by Christmas so her mom could buy it for her. Then before she left my classroom, she said, “Or maybe just Target, sometimes people can be kinda mean in Walmart on Black Friday”.
ML: That’s too funny! I love hearing readers’ feedback. What do you hope readers take away from this book?
KSB: Many times, kids feel they are not special unless they are the best at something (i.e. a great athlete, singer, dancer), but there are all kinds of gifts. God gives every child a special gift of some kind, so we all have to figure out what that gift is and use it to make life the best it can be.
ML: Well said, Kim. Finally, if you could give aspiring authors any advice, what would it be?
KSB: Don’t let fear of the publishing process keep you from becoming an author. Find the support that is the best fit for you and publish your book.
ML: Thank you, Kim. And congratulations again.
Watch the Full Interview:
Kim Spence-Bollinger lives in a small town in Indiana with her husband and family. She is a speech therapist who has worked in public schools for many years. Her hope is that this book will inspire all children, especially those with disabilities, like her, to use their own special talents to overcome any challenge and to live life with COURAGE!