Thursday, March 18, 2010

Interview with Kevin McNamee

Kevin McNamee is a writer and poet living in Yonkers, NY. He primarily writes for the children’s market. His work has appeared in Beyond Centauri and he has several children’s picture books being published by Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. His first book, If I Could Be Anything, is available at, or ask your local bookstore. Look for other titles by Kevin including The Sister Exchange, The Soggy Town of Hilltop, Lightning Strikes, Papa’s Suns, and more.

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. (The squirrels are winning.)

Kevin was kind enough to take time out of his busy day to answer some questions about his life as a writer!

Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed 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.

What are your future goals for your writing?

I've been focusing primarily on picture books and I would like to branch out to middle readers and Young Adult novels. I have two middle readers in various stages of completion.

Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

There’s no such thing as a typical writing day for me. I try to do something writing related every day. But what I'm doing may vary. Sometimes I'm writing new material, sometimes I'm revising, sometimes I'm critiquing, sometimes I'm researching, sometimes I'm promoting. Due to the demands on my time, I've needed to adopt the philosophy of doing what I can, when I can.

Why do you write?

I first started writing in the second grade. I wrote a poem that was displayed outside the classroom and I liked seeing my poem and my name in public like that. I found that I took to writing naturally. Growing up, I was a constant daydreamer and would construct stories in my head all the time. Eventually, I started writing them down. Throughout my teenage years and throughout adulthood I always felt compelled to write. Although there were many, many times that I put creative writing on the back burner, I found that I was still writing at my day job; memos, procedures, proposals, requests, and I was receiving recognition for it. I realized that writing had been a constant in my life, but I wasn’t writing what I wanted to write. Now I make sure that I write what I want as well.

What writer most inspires you? Why?

I would say that the writers that I meet both online and in person inspire me the most. They all share the same passion and dedication as I do. They understand the struggles and sacrifices involved in being a writer.

Thanks, Kevin, for stopping by today!

To find out more about Kevin, visit his website at or visit his blog at

Tour with VBT-Writers on the Move. New and famous authors, plus useful information.


The Old Silly said...

Really enjoyed the feature, Nice job, Dallas and Kevin. The interview was entertaining and revealing - Kevin you have, I feel, the right "feel" and spirit for writing children's books. And hey - anyone who "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" ...

lol - that's an ok guy in MY book.

Marvin D Wilson

Martha said...

Love the cover of your book.
I agree with your comment "A rejection of my manuscript ceased to be a rejection of myself." I think as writers this is an important concept to grasp hold of.
Martha Swirzinski

Kevin McNamee said...

Thank you Martha and Marvin.

I really enjoy writing for children. It helps keep my sense of humor and sense of wonder finely honed.

Kevin :-)

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Kevin, trust Dallas to bring us interesting reading. It is nice to meet you!

Katie Hines said...

Great interview! It's always nice to meet a new author. I'm always a little heartened when I read about another writer who doesn't have a typical writing day, which I don't have, either.

Dallas said...

Thanks so much everyone for stopping by! Kevin it was a delight to have you!

Janet Ann Collins said...

Good interview.

Kevin, maybe those squirrels will give you some ideas to write about.

Accountant, Author & Freelance Writer said...

Great interview! It's so interesting to learn about how other writers do what they do :)

Karen Cioffi said...

Wonderful post, Dallas.

I don't have a typical writing day either. I wish I did it'd be so much easier.

And, Janet has a good idea; put those squirrels to good use in a book!

Heidiwriter said...

Love your book cover & title, Kevin.
Great interview!

Anonymous said...

Kevin makes a good point about receiving inspiration from people online, not just in person. There are many talented and diverse people right here in our Yahoo! Groups and in blogdom that we interact with everyday.

We can draw much inspiration every day from pur online community we could not from our immediate physical surroundings.

Stephen Tremp

Dana Donovan said...

I loved the part about finding inspiration for writing in the second grade. That early reinforcement has served you well in learning to turn rejection into opportunities. Thanks for sharing with us.

Kari Wolfe said...

It is definitely nice to meet you, Kevin. Dallas, nice blog! :)