A Little About Kim

Kim T. Griswell writes for food (books, money, the fun of it) in cafes, coffee houses, and her cozy wheely-house (some would call it an RV) most often found in Southern Oregon or Northern California.

Greetings, reader, and thanks for your curiosity.

Kim’s publishing career spans twenty years of management-level editorial experience in children’s and educational publishing, including senior positions at The Education Center, Inc. (where she edited Bookbag magazine and developed supplementary literacy books for K-6 grade teachers), Highlights for Children, Boyds Mills Press, and Portable Press in Ashland, Oregon. At Portable Press, Kim served as developmental editor for Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers FOR KIDS ONLY. She spent her days planning books filled with everything that’s weird, wacky, unbelievable, and funny.

In 5000 B.C.E., people blamed “tooth worms” for their cavities. Ancient dentists filled the wormholes with metals like gold or silver. Except the Aztecs. They used a mix of iron water, and belly-button lint.

—Uncle John’s The Haunted Outhouse

Kim has taught writing workshops across the country, including for the Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators, the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, and the Highlights Foundation. She has served as writer-in-residence for the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle and at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. Currently, she works with a select few writers as a writing coach.

Kim has published hundreds of short stories and articles. Her educational books include Carnivorous Plants, Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Worker’s Rights: The 1913 Ludlow Coal Miner’s Strike, and Nonfiction Reading (Grade 3). Her picture books include Rufus Goes to School and Rufus Goes to Sea (both Oregon Book Awards finalists), and Rufus Blasts Off!

Q & A with Kim

Why do you write for kids?

I write for kids because I’m still interested in many of the same things that excited me when I was a kid. I’m into fantasy, nature, the unexplained, sci-fi, mystery . . . . I love to learn new things, and writing for kids lets me do that on a daily basis. Yippee!”

How do you get your ideas?

A better question might be, ‘How do you choose which ideas you’ll write about?’ Ideas are like gnats: they’re always buzzing around, sticking to the side of your face, flying into your ears . . . The trick is to focus on one gnat when the others are swarming. I tend to write about the peskiest gnat—the one that refuses to go away.

What prepared you to write for kids?

Being a kid, growing up, having five children of my own, remembering what it’s like to be a kid. If you want to write for children, it’s a good idea to hang out with them. Besides, being around kids gives you an excuse to play!

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