Monday, September 20, 2010

Great Books for Kids by author Kevin McNamee

Kevin McNamee joins us today at Writers in Business. He is a writer and poet living in Yonkers, NY. He primarily writes for the children’s market. He has several children’s picture books published including If I Could Be Anything, The Sister Exchange, and The Soggy Town of Hilltop. These books are available at Guardian Angel Publishing,, Barnes and Noble or ask your local bookstore.

When Kevin isn’t writing, he spends his time playing hide and seek, at the insistence of his five year old daughter, and at his day job, at the insistence of his wife. When time permits, Kevin also enjoys fossil hunting, home-brewing beer, and gardening. He is currently engaged in an epic battle against roving gangs of crazed squirrels who are digging up everything in sight. Kevin notes that the squirrels are winning.

Welcome, Kevin. How do you define your writing?

I discovered writing for children by accident. I was watching my nieces fight and it gave me an idea for a sibling rivalry story. I thought it would be fun to write, and it was. There was no looking back.

There seems like an endless supply of topics to write about for children. What messages would you like to convey through your books?

I think that writing for children carries a lot of responsibility and it’s a challenge that I try to rise to. The world can be a confusing enough place as it is for adults, how much more so for children? If I can help children understand the world around them and help them make sense of various situations that effect them, that would be the most rewarding thing of all, for it would be something that they could carry with them long after they have put down my book.

What can we expect when we read one of your books for the first time?

I try to entertain, and whenever possible educate. I also try to incorporate humor into my work whenever possible. My goal is to write for everybody and to create stories that adults as well as children can enjoy.

Can you describe when you realized you were a real writer?

Somewhere along the way, I stopped doubting my ability. A rejection of my manuscript ceased to be a rejection of myself. A rejection letter became an opportunity to send my manuscript somewhere else. Comments and criticism became opportunities to strengthen my story, revise something unworkable, or something to ignore altogether if it didn’t fit with my vision of the story. I was able to refer to myself as a writer without feeling self conscious and … oh yeah, someone was willing to pay me for what I wrote.

How can we learn more about your writing?

To find out more about me, please visit my website at or my blog. I also have a new child-friendly site with games and activities at

My daughter is now hooked on your new web site. The Word Jumble game is her favorite. It’s been a pleasure interviewing you and we are looking forward to reading your books. Thanks for joining us today.


  1. Kevin, your books look wonderful. And, kids always love humor and fun. I wish you great success with them.

  2. I've read some of Kevin's books and they're great.

  3. Nice to read more about your work Kevin, and the new site looks terrific. Speaking both personally and as someone who has interviewed a large number of writers, I don't think that the self-doubt ever disappears. It sort of drives us. Finding a way to move through it and keep working is the trick and it looks like you've found that.

  4. As a parent I really appreciate you writing stories that parent as well as children can enjoy.
    Kevin, your website is great. Lots of fun games for my girls

  5. Great intervew, Brigitte and Kevin!
    Kevin, your books sound like a lot of fun. As for that epic battle with the squirrels, that sounds like a book in the making!

  6. Thank you for the great comments and kind words for my books! I'm glad your children enjoyed the games on my website. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.

    Magdalena: You are right about self-doubt being a driving force. We just need to make sure that it's driving us forward. :-)

    Darcia: A book about battling squirrels sounds like fun to write. I'll have to keep that one on my list of story ideas.

    Thanks again to all and thank you Brigitte for hosting me.


  7. Great interview of Kevin. I enjoyed getting to know him better. Kevin, we really should try and get together to have a cup of coffee. We only have the Tappan Zee Bridge dividing us.

    Best wishes,

  8. Great interview! Kevin was great learning more about your books. I love that you entertain while educating. That's part of what makes reading fun.

  9. Thank you Donna and Mari!

    Donna, we should try to meet considering we're practically neighbors geographically.


  10. What a great message for kids -- and adults, too! Thanks for your great books, Kevin.



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