By way of introduction, here is Kelly Bauer’s bio:
A storyteller from the moment she could talk, Kelly spun stories in rhymes and songs about the adventures of her family traveling the U.S.
She loves getting lost in another world, another time, and another dimension.
Her favorite bedtime stories as a child, and inspiration to write, came from Shel Silverstein, J. R. R. Tolkien, Beverly Cleary, and Maurice Sendak.
Hello Kelly, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications! Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.
Thank you for having me.
When did the writing bug ensnare you?
I was “writing” in my head long before I wrote on paper. When I was really little I would sing my own made-up songs all day long.
I would get lost in my own fantasy world playing out adventures and just singing about them. Then, in elementary school, I wrote my first book about a pickle. (I might still publish it one day.)
Is writing your full-time profession?
I guess you could say that! I am a retired restaurant owner. Writing is more my passion than profession.
I am the Tree is my first published book and I am excited to bring more works to life.
How long have you been writing?
All my life! I just never thought I would make a career out of it. Most of my writing has never been shared with anyone.
Have you won any literary awards?
Not yet, but I am looking forward to it!
How many published books have you written?
Which genres do you write?
Children’s & Memoirs for now.
What do you find most challenging writing for these genres?
I don’t have any kids of my own (just fur babies). So, I write from the perspective of my inner child and my memories of being a child.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I am just enjoying my first book on the market and connecting to readers.
I can’t wait to work with Stella Maris again, the Illustrator for I am the Tree. So, I am dreaming up some projects for another collaboration.
Where do you find inspiration for your characters?
Well, little known fact, the girl in I am the Tree is me.
And the Tree and the Bee really spoke to me at the top of a mountain in Hot Springs, CA. So, my inspiration so far is real life beings!
What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
It blows me away every time someone relates to my story. To hear how they interpret it, how it speaks to them and the joy they experience in reading it is humbling and surreal.
It truly makes me appreciate the human experience and how we are all facing similar challenges and can learn from one another.
What advice would you give to authors just starting out?
Follow your dream! Don’t give up. Don’t compare. Be open to collaboration and find people with a similar vision to work with.
I knew nothing about publishing a book ,so I spent a year just researching the industry and learning everything I could to understand my options when publishing.
Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?
I have two pups and three cats and an amazing husband. We live in the country and enjoy being outside as much as possible.
I grew up a city girl and lived all over the United States. My favorite place to be is on the beach at the ocean.
What message are you sharing in your books?
Since closing my restaurant in 2020 I have really spent some time enjoying life again.
The pandemic was such a scary time. I had to walk away from the News and Media for a while to reset and connect with nature and tangible people.
The world seems to be moving at a frantic rate these days for both kids and adults. We are consumed with anxiety inducing messages and expectations.
It doesn’t take much to feel peace. We just have to know how and where to find it. I think true connection (not the on-line type) is the first step.
Connecting to the ground. Put your bare feet in the dirt and look up at the sky. Connecting to nature. Hug a tree! Yes, I said it…hug a tree. Pet a dog/cat.
Listen to the birds. Connecting to humans. Go for a walk together. Belly laugh with a friend.
Say hello to someone you don’t know. Smile. The more we practice these things, even just for a few minutes a day, the more we reduce our anxiety and find joy.
What are your favorite books?
Oh, so many!!! I have also been a reader since before I could read.
- My Dad read me The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as bedtime stories before I could read myself! Naturally those are two of my favorites.
- Anything by Shel Silverstein…I think I own them all.
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – wow, just wow. I have read it three times.
- Maybe by Kobi Yamada – beautiful illustrations and message
- An Immense World by Ed Yong – Educational and moving
I could go on and on. My Goodreads que is full! I love all things books…reading, bookstores, book clubs, writing, giving books as gifts…all of it.
If you could create an author’s group with writers from any time period, who would you invite?
Who has influenced your writing the most?
My Dad. He is an avid reader and writer with an amazing imagination, sense of humor, and fondness for adventure.
When I was three my parents divorced. My Dad would pick me every summer and we traveled the United States together in a camper.
Our first stop was always the bookstore where I could pick out any books I wanted and then he would pick out a few for me to read over the summer.
He always told me I would be a writer some day! He’s always been my biggest fan.
When you’re not writing where can we find you?
Walking, hiking, dancing (I love Zumba), reading, cuddling with my fur babies, laying in the grass, flying with my husband (he’s a private pilot), singing made-up songs in my kitchen (I still do that), or hanging out with friends.
A movie producer wants to turn your book into a movie and you get to make a cameo. What would you do in the movie?
Haha, I love this question. I would want to be a non-human being that the main character connects with at the end of the story, and I would glow and dance after connecting with her.
An elf named 12-25 approaches you. He’s sneezing, wheezing, coughing and there’s a strange tattoo of a snoring dog on his cheek. What do you do?
Offer him a tissue and sympathize because I have sneezed and wheezed my whole life!
Then show him the tattoo on my upper back of a rooster named Carl and ask to hear the story of his snoring dog tattoo! Maybe make a new friend in the process.
What are your most effective marketing strategies?
Being true to who I am. I often feel a lot of social anxiety, but there is no better way to connect to readers than being out in public.
I love to do readings and book signings, author interviews, and sending my book to organizations that resonate with the message and want to collaborate.
Marketing is so much fun for me! But because I knew nothing about this industry, I did hire a fantastic professional who created a 30 day marketing plan for me to follow and it has been amazing.
Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?
Where can we find your books?
Ask for it at your local bookstore. It can be ordered by them from Ingram Spark. Or, amazon: https://www.amazon.com/I-am-Tree-Kelly-Bauer/dp/B0CBZBS5ZH/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3QJL3OARFG9FJ&keywords=9798988210603&qid=1689600889&s=books&sprefix=%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C1177&sr=1-1
Thank you, Kelly, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!
Kelly’s Featured Book
Title: I am the Tree
Author: Kelly Bauer
Illustrator: Stella Maris
Publisher: Seize the Moon
Price: 18.95 USD
Nature is calling us
…to bring us a message of Harmony, Laughter, Love and Joy
…to bring us back to our roots and connect us with one another
…that the whole Earth might vibrate as one.
Can you hear it? She did.
The writing of this book was inspired by true events. The author, like so many people today, felt anxious and uncertain about the future of humanity, the future of our planet, and her own part in all of it.
When she was little, she had such magical dreams for her future and the world in which she lived. How could she get those back?
She sat under a tree, dug her bare toes into the soil, closed her eyes and listened to the words of a bee who brought a message of hope.
To read Ellwyn Autumn’s Review on Lemon Drop Literary click here.