Welcome to the first day of the Back to School Spotlight! Today we are going to cover two books that I love: Counting Kitties and Kitty’s First Day of School, both written by Sarah Linx.

Counting Kitties

  • Title: Counting Kitties
  • Author: Sarah Linx
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on July 8, 2016
  • Format: Kindle and Paperback Editions
  • Pages: 34

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“Beginning readers can practice their basic reading and counting skills while learning about situations that pets could get themselves into during a typical day. “

Kitty’s First Day of School

  • Title: Kitty’s First Day of School
  • Author: Sarah Linx
  • Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on June 6, 2017
  • Format: Kindle and Paperback Editions
  • Pages: 46

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“Kitty the Calico is a young and energetic kitten, who is going to school for the very first time. While at first she was scared to be away from home for so long, Kitty quickly learns that school is nothing to be afraid of.”

If you have not read these yet and would like to pick up copies for yourself, you can purchase them on Amazon. If you use my special links under the images above, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Back to School Spotlight – Author interview

Sarah Linx

What is the inspiration for this book(s)?

The inspiration for my first children’s picture book “Counting Kitties” came from a project when I was in middle school. We were asked to write a book we could read to our school’s Kindergarten classes. The kids loved it and all of the teachers who had time to drop in also loved it.

Ever since then, it was my dream to get it published. As an adult, of course, it needed some editing (you know the stuff I was supposed to be graded on but that’s ok. Glad I found those typos) and did all of the illustrations using a combination of markers and colored pencils. I want children to know that if I could learn to draw or write, they could too!

My second book “Kitty’s First Day of School” was the first book I wrote as an adult with no previously existing ideas. We have this large field of undeveloped land attached to our culdesac. It leads directly to the local middle and elementary school. We watch tons of kids take shortcuts through the street to get to school and back home.

One day, my mom and I were watching a bunch of young kids getting walked to school by their older siblings. They looked so young though I thought maybe it was their first school day ever. For some of them, it definitely was. My mom was like, why don’t you write about the first day of school? It can be very scary, so I wanted to write a book that might teach a young child what school might be like. 

How long did it take you to write this book(s)?

I’m not sure about this one. I might be the only writer who doesn’t keep track. I work on something until it’s done! For “Counting Kitties” It was about a year from start to finish once I decided to rework on it as an adult. 
With “Kitty’s First Day of School” I was a bit more consistent. It took me about six months from start to finish. 

What made you decide to be a writer of children’s/YA novels?

I have always loved working with children. I worked as a summer camp counselor for ten years and loved to opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life. My parents were (and we still aren’t) not sure why we can’t go shopping without be coming across a young toddler in a shopping cart having a rough time, and they studiedly burst into giddy laughter at the first sight of me.

Sometimes I will look right at them, smile, and wave, or say “hi” while I do it. Their parents look at me like I am sort of Witch Doctor and apologize that “the children are just happy, curious, or tend to get excited easily.” I politely say that it’s ok and I think it’s a good thing. If they were previously upset, that’s usually when I get the bad looks. The kids know what happened and what we did. That connection is what makes you bursting with happiness. 

Now I am studying to become a teacher in Early Childhood Education. Children need to know that there is someone out there who cares about them and will listen. We did an in-depth study on the personality traits that were precursors to reading readiness and it was fascinating to me. I had already had one book and close to finishing another, but learning the benefits of these “emerging reader” books in college made me believe that my writing matters even more. 

Is your main character modeled from a real person? Who or why not?

The main character Kitty was named after my real cat Kitty who is a Calico. I made my cat in the book a kitten but it’s inspired by her. I love vanilla ice cream with chocolate pieces. 

Just for fun, what is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Sometimes it has mint mixed in the chocolate. I guess it is called Chocolate Chip or Mint Chip (but not the green one).

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