Interview with Author Stacey R. Kaye, MMR
Stacey R. Kaye is the author of Ready for the Day, Ready to Play and Ready for bed.
Stacey R. Kaye, MMR, is the mother of two girls, ages 4 and 7 and a self-described “Parenting Lecture Groupie.” As her first daughter grew into a feisty toddler, Stacey searched for a language that would discourage tantrums and meltdowns and still encourage her daughter to explore, grow confidence, and gain emotional intelligence. Dozens of parenting tomes, lectures, and courses provided great theory, but not the language. That’s when Stacey began writing ParentSmart/KidHappyTM books. She’s done the research so you don’t have to.
Professionally speaking, Stacey holds a Master in Market Research from theUniversityofGeorgia. While working for General Mills, Stacey conducted research to figure out how to get moms to buy more cereal for their children. While listening to hundreds of mothers share their child-rearing frustrations first-hand during focus groups, Stacey became passionate about delivering parenting tips in bite-sized, easy-to-digest format – no spoon or milk required. Stacey never did figure out a fool-proof way to get moms to buy more cereal but she did learn that busy moms are interested in any practical tips that make parenting easier. Stacey is also the graduate of Kathryn Kvols’ Re-Directing Children’s Behavior workshop.
To learn more positive parenting tips and discover other ParentSmart/KidHappy titles, visit www.ParentSmartKidHappy.com.
I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog.
What is the last book you read?
GrownUp Book: Anatomy of Peace
Kid/Tween Book: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
What were your earliest memories of writing?
Oh gosh. I still have a book of poems from 4th grade. My kids love reading it. I also have many of my childhood diaries and tons of letters I wrote from sleep away camp.
Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural?
From very early on, I was encouraged to write, imagine and create. My mother was and still is extremely creative. When I was about 10 years old I clearly remember going to the fish store with my mom. (back when they actually had fish stores!) While she evaluated the freshness of the salmon and tuna, I could not peel myself away from the lobster tank. After we left the store mom asked, “Stacey, wouldn’t it be great to write a story about what the lobsters do when the owner of the fish store goes home for the day?” I loved that idea!
I wouldn’t say writing “came naturally to me” but rather inventing new ideas, products and concepts has always come naturally to me. ParentSmart KidHappy came from the idea of combining parenting tips in a kid picture book format.
Are you working on a new book?
I’m actually working on an entire new personalized book series starring kids and their best stuffed pals. www.DreamMeUp.com will launch in July 2011. Kids attached to a special teddy bear or lovey won’t believe their eyes when they see their best stuffed pal star in its very own adventure book. With technology, parents upload 3 pictures of their child’s favorite stuffed animal and with a little bit of magic, the stuffed animal becomes the main character in the book, told from the teddy’s point of view. Book titles include: My Teddy Bear Travels to the Jungle, My Lovey Plays Sports, My Teddy Visits the Farm and more…and the titles can be personalized with the name of the child’s lovey! My kids had unique “objects of affection” and Dream Me Up celebrates childhood and imaginary friends. There will also be books starring kids….My favorite one is “Audrey Explores Different Jobs.” This book stars “Audrey” (your child) as a fireman, architect, doctor, vet, astronaut, tour guide and more. A great way to learn about different roles/jobs and encourage kids to try them all on!
What do you do when you’re not writing or promoting your books?
These days? Dreaming up ideas for new products starring kids and their best stuffed pals. I am so excited about this new venture. In addition to books, we will create a personalized set of cards for kids to play memory. The cards will depict the child’s lovey or favorite teddy bear doing different things like riding a bike, enjoying a picnic, chasing butterflies, etc.
When I’m not working on my new biz, you can find me playing board games with my girls. Our favorite games these days are Scattegories, SET and Careers.
How did you come up with your characters?
Truthfully? I came up with the concept and my publisher and illustrator developed the characters. A true collaboration.
Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?
Yes, absolutely. When I’m on a roll, I try to write for a long period of time (until2amif I can) b/c I never know when writer’s block is going to hit. And I never know when the writer’s block will be lifted!
How do you react to a bad review?
Okay, I’m fortunately not aware of any “bad” reviews but I think a bad review would crush me…for a little bit and then I’d focus on the great reviews and feedback.
Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with?
Mo Willems and Shel Silverstein,
What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read?
I’m all about fostering kids’ emotional and social intelligence. I LOVE books that teach a lesson –a lesson in disguise. Such as “Ruby the Copycat” (be yourself), “Sometimes I’m Bombaloo” (it’s okay to get angry but it’s important to take the time to calm down so you can problem solve). I love Highlights magazine b/c it teaches great lessons via its writing and illustrations.
What advice you would give to new writers?
It’s all about the marketability of the book/concept. So when you write your proposal, spend most of your effort on the target market and marketing ideas surrounding the book.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? Yes! A university professor/pediatrician contacted me about 1.5 years ago to discuss conducting an efficacy study on my book series. Long story short, she is conducting research to prove that after parents and kids read ParentSmart KidHappy books and implement the parenting techniques, parenting stress DECREASES and child behavioral compliance INCREASES. Preliminary results are positive but due to legal reasons, I can’t say much more than this. The idea that my books are truly making a difference in the lives of parents and kids is truly an honor. I’m flattered this professor/pediatrician saw something special in the book series and I look forward to learning more from her and the studies.
Thank you for this interview.
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My name is Ella Johnson. I started Mymcbooks to promote reading. As a former teacher, I know that making basic education fundamentals interesting to children can be challenging. Education can be fun, exciting and captivating for children with the right learning tools. So my goal is to “make learning interesting and fun” for the children while they learn, by introducing them to fun books with colorful and captivating illustrations.
In 2009, I start the giveaway program giving away free school supplies at random to 2 winners each year. I also started a monthly free giveaways for books and gifts.
August 2010, I extended the free school supplies from 2 to 5 winners at random on my blog and also give away 20 bags full of school supplies to familes in need at Chick-fil-A in Brandon, Florida during their family nights. And in 2012, I beat my that number and gave away a lot of school supplies to needy families. Hopefully, I can continue to do this each year.
In 2011, I started writing reviews on children’s books then giving these books away free on Mymcbooks Blog. I increase the number of books we giveaway free to help support parent. My goal is to give away as many as I can each year. This is also a great way to introduce parents to new books.
Mymcbooks blog is always looking for other ways to give kids free books. So I started Mymcbooks Birthday Library http://mymcbooksbirthdaylibrary.wordpress.com/
My goal is to giveaway at least 300 books to children each year.
Books Given in 2011: 315
Books Given in 2012: 380
Book Given in 2013: 330
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Read Interview about Ella Johnson, http://melangeofcultures.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/interview-with-ella-johnson-founder-of-memorable-children-books-gifts/ Interviewer: Nicole Weaver
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