It has been a while since I introduce an indie author and today I am breaking the dry spell for children’s author and illustrator Kathryn L. Novak with her early reader chapter book “It Stinks to be Pink,” and her rhyming picture books; “The Very Best You,” and “EZ as 1-2-3: Come Learn About Bugs A-Z”.
I have often said that I stand behind every indie author I introduce, and decide to introduce them based on the message of their book. Kathryn’s books are exceptional in this regard, her whimsical illustrations and poetic rhymes send children a deep message of self-acceptance, love and contentment.
Her chapter book “It Stinks to be Pink,” takes the reader to the island of Flora and island located “in the most distant waters far across the sea, far beyond the Hawaiian Islands,” and introduces them to the small furry creatures that live there the Fuzzipuffs who are happy, little balls of blue fur. One Fuzzipuff stands out from the others- Spotty, a sad little creature whose only wish is to be as blue on the outside as he feels in the inside. Spotty, is the only fuzzipuff in Flora who is Pink and he is not happy about it.
Now, you would think that you know where this story is headed, Spotty learns to love himself as he is and embraces his inner PINKNESS-not so. The message of the story is much, much deeper. “It Stinks to be Pink,” manages to do what very few books can, send children a message of TRUE self-acceptance a message that color is only skin deep. Spotty is loved and accepted by the other Fuzzipuff children who encourage Spotty to chaise after his dreams, no matter what color his dreams may be.
Kathryn L. Novak’s message is in a sense both timeless and new- accept who you ARE and who you WANT to be, too.
And without further ado I present you Kathryn L. Novak
1. Why do you write for children?
Growing up in my family as in many others, Iﾕm sure, babies and children were always loved, cherished and adored. Any time there were little ones in our home, all eyes were on them. It didnﾕt matter whether or not they were members of the family. Both my parents were like that, so I guess I learned it from them. The other reason I write for children in particular, is because it is so much fun! What a pleasure it is to spend my days painting bright and whimsical images for my books.
2. What message do you want children to take from your books?
I want children to love themselves and know that they are unique and valuable. I also want to let them know that they have the ability to shape their own destiny.I wrote my first and second books with a specific purpose in mind. I sincerely wanted to help children avoid some of the challenges I faced as a child by arming them with self-confidence, and a positive belief system. I believe we can overcome almost anything as long as we believe we can. I love this quote from Henry Ford, ﾒWhether you believe you can, or you believe you canﾕt, youﾕre right.ﾓ
3. You are an author and illustrator, what has inspired your art style?
When painting my first book, I wanted the images to be so beautiful that they would appeal to adults as well as children. In the way that Disney films are created to appeal to people of all ages. I believe the message in my book can also be helpful to adults as well as children.
4. How many books have you published?
I recently published my third book (a rhyming picture book), EZ as 1-2-3 Come Learn About Bugs A-Z. It is the first book I have written that isnﾕt a self-esteem book for children. It does however teach the alphabet and interesting bug facts, so I feel it will also be of value to children. I want all of my books to have something more to offer than cute pictures.
5. What is the most rewarding/challenging part about self-publishing?
I think what I find most rewarding and freeing about self-publishing is the freedom it allows. I alone make the decision how my book will be written, illustrated, and distributed. I enjoy almost every aspect of self-publishing, except for the necessity of marketing my books. Marketing the book is the most challenging part of self-publishing. I would rather write ten books than market one. I suppose it is because I dislike spending so much time and energy trying to get my books seen. The only positive is that once people find my books, they always love them. I suppose it all boils down to the fact that Iﾕd rather spend all of my days writing and painting.
6. What are some things you like to do when you are not writing?
Right now, I spend almost all of my free time painting. Currently, my focus is on abstracts. It is the opposite of my book illustrations, but I just love it.
7. Do you have any favorite children authors/books?
I, like many others, have always enjoyed almost everything written by Dr. Seuss, I enjoy them to this very day. One of my favorites books as a child is, The Borrowers, by Mary Norton. I read it many times as a child, and I read a few of her other books in the series as well.