Hi there! I'm Ms. Katie, and I love stories.
This is one of my favorite pictures from a trip up north I took with friends. The tree and I were swapping secrets.
Trees can be intimidating to talk to at first, but don't worry.
Their bark is worse than their bite!
I have been a storyteller for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first book at the age of 9. I still have a copy of it in a folder in my office. To be honest, it's quite terrible. I was trying to write an Agatha Christie mystery tied into a soap opera drama without understanding why those two things wouldn't mesh.
In high school, my friends and I created a fanfiction universe where we could live out lives of grand adventure as our ideal selves. Those stories helped me understand who I was, what I believed in, and what I wanted to be happy.
I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I knew I wanted stories to be in my life. I ended up going to college and getting a degree in writing. All I wanted to do was tell stories.
Over the years, I've written many books. Those were all stories for adults. They were good, but they weren't the stories of my heart.
In 2017, I started Awesome Authors Kids. Writing classes to encourage kids to write anything and everything, so long as they had fun. Writing is a skill that improves with practice. The more kids are willing to write, the better their writing skills get.
Sharing my passion for writing with my students got me writing the kinds of stories I wanted to read as a kid. I took the fanfiction universe my friend created when we were teens and wrote a new story with our own kids as the heroes.
During the pandemic shutdown of 2020, I started going for walks on the nature trail behind my house. The more I walked, the more I saw the magic in the forest. I crafted a whole magic world called Gaeldor where kids can have soft adventures.
I have double vision as the result of a lazy eye. Two of my nephews have the same condition of one eye stronger than the other. They are training their eyes to work together by wearing an eye patch on a schedule. I went through physical therapy in first grade and again in fifth grade. It helped, but I still have partial double vision as an adult.
My memories of dealing with my double vision introduced me to the idea of a girl that can see the portal to Gaeldor because she sees the world differently. Her adventures are like slipping into Narnia without the life or death stakes.
In elementary school, I found a group of friends that loved to play pretend as much as I did. They inspired The Humbuggery Squad. A group of kids with big imaginations that have grand adventures during recess.
I am many things: a daughter, a mom, a spouse, a teacher. But most of all, I am a storyteller. Thank you for sharing my stories with your family.