About

Well hello there. I write books for children (sixteen in print so far) and this blog is to help foster a solid writing community and challenge our collective writing abilities to get even better. If I look familiar, it’s (probably) not because I was the one yelling at you to move it, mister, I’ve got a soccer game to get to. It’s probably not because you read my books, although some day I hope to change that (**it’s not b/c my books suck–they are for the school and library market, not sold in mass market stores, so, honestly, you might not have come across them). But you may have seen me interviewed on CNN (twice) or on one of my regular local morning TV segments in Sacramento, Portland, Phoenix, or Albuquerque, or heard me on national radio, read the syndicated newspaper column I co-wrote for five years, or seen one of the literally hundreds of magazines and newspapers I either wrote or was quoted in, such as PC Week, Working Mother, Investor’s Business Daily, blah blah… Maybe you’ve been at one of my author events or at one of the dozens of writer conferences where I spoke? Why, maybe you driven by me on the freeway and didn’t even know it!

What I’m most proud of now are my six picture books, seven NF chapter books & three YA I’ve authored with publishers like Lerner and Rosen. When I’m not eating dark chocolate, pretending to clean the kitchen, or yelling at my kids, I’m dedicated to the children’s book industry. My husband and three kids have been very supportive, and I’m looking forward to more published books, more conference presentations, and more school visits. And spending more time with great peeps you! 🙂

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Bio: the short version

(written in third person because it makes me sound important)

Bitsy is the proud author of 16 children’s books. She spent too much of her early career in the computer industry being interviewed in places like CNN and co-writing a nationally-syndicated newspaper column, not realizing the creative passion she’d have once she started writing children’s books. After authoring her first four picture books, she figured out a way to merge her PR and marketing expertise with her writing. When not nose down and knee deep creating & editing, she enjoys presenting at schools, events, and writers conferences, and helping other writers get attention. Bitsy is an accomplished speaker, mother of three (four if you count her husband), and according to her business card, a really nice gal.

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Bio: the long version

(also written in third person because it makes me sound important)

Bitsy grew up on Lawn Guyland (commonly spelled “Long Island”), New York, the youngest of five kids born within five years. Her family didn’t have much growing up but they all learned the value of family, of fun, and of faith. She was one of those rare kids that LOVED school, and was involved in every extracurricular activity ever offered. She went to college (undergraduate) in North Carolina. She got a “real job” right after she graduated, moving out to sunny California, then earned an MBA, got married, had kids, and wrote books, but wait, this is the long version so hold on. CA is where she remains today but lots have happened in the meantime.

Early on in her career, Bitsy worked in the computer industry as a PR and marketing manager. She created business plans, product introduction plans, marketing plans, and excelled at pioneering new avenues of company growth. Bitsy had the pleasure of teaching Presentation Skills to engineers (tough crowd!), giving Media Training to executives (ditto!), and distributing ongoing skill and process enhancement ideas to her peers (such as using a Gantt Chart). She wrote various product, advertising and corporate documents and news releases—sometimes technical, sometimes educational, sometimes flat-out boring. Those sharp writing skills never quite got a vacation.

She helped run a multi-million dollar educational program that talked to parents about using the family computer, and co-wrote a nationally syndicated newspaper column that ran for almost five years in fifteen different newspapers throughout the nation. She then penned her own column for two more years in California, on the same topic. Using humor and real life examples, her weekly columns helped families see a friendly side of their family computer. Her solo column appeared in the Sacramento Bee, titled InterActive Family, but it was also known as “Digital Parenting” and “PC Parents.” She also had a stint as a news reporter, where her articles often land on the front page (oh the perks of small papers). She has been a guest columnist for California Kids! interviewing several other children’s book authors.

The funny thing is she majored in Economics (Bachelor of Science, B.S.) and Speech/Communication (Bachelor of Arts, B.A.), not English or journalism, at North Carolina State University (Go Pack!). She also earned a Master’s degree in business (MBA) with an emphasis in marketing at California State University at Sacramento, but even that didn’t steer her towards where she is today.

Throughout her career and “real life” she’s appeared regularly on TV and on panels, won public speaking awards, emceed events, hosted live web chats, was in a few movies, did TV commercials, hit the live theater scene and somewhere in the crowd you’ll see her in a few music videos. She starred in the award-winning TV show “Dots Correct!” on Sacramento cable. She’s been interviewed or profiled in literally hundreds of media outlets worldwide, from CNN to Writing Children’s Books for Dummies. She got married to a wonderful man, has three super cool kids, and stays active in church and theater.

She wrote her first book, in rhyme, in her mind while on her daily stroller walks with her youngest child. She researched how to get it published and has been knee-deep ever since. She’s learned a lot about books, children’s books especially, and the market overall. That first book has never been published, and she admits it may never be, but like a bulldog with a chew toy, she just wouldn’t (and still won’t!) give up. She attended conference after conference, joined SCBWI, read everything she could get her hands on, started critique clubs, posted queries to strangers in usenet groups, you name it. Before long her commitment and eagerness paid off; she got published! Her first contract was a four-book, nonfiction deal with Picture Window Books in 2006. Within a few years she presented at the very conferences she first attended, including the revered International SCBWI Conference in L.A. She adores doing school and library visits and when she isn’t helping writers like herself hone their craft, she’s working on creating new manuscripts. Her next/fifth book, a nonfiction YA for the school and library market published by Rosen, came out in 2014. Her three finance chapter books for Lerner came out in 2016, her four nonfiction titles with The Child’s World came out in 2015, a YA title with ReferencePoint Press comes out late 2017 and another in early 2018, and her two ESL picture books for TunTun Books are due eventually.
Once she started writing for children, you see, things clicked. It felt right. It never feels like work when you love what you do! She figured out a way to merge her PR and marketing expertise with her writing, and couldn’t be happier. Well, sure, if a few more manuscripts get picked up she will be, and a back massage here or there wouldn’t hurt, but you know what she means…

Whoever would have guessed this is where she’d end up—and that she’d like it so much?

She now gives back to the writing community by volunteering as Regional Advisor for the California North/Central region of SCBWI. It covers 35 counties and has about 400 members. She manages conferences, workshops, social gatherings, and all kinds of events for the region. It’s a huge chunk of time. And work. For no pay. And she loves it.

[Are you wishing you stuck with the short bio?]

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Keep in touch with me on Twitter. I hardly ever curse. (On Twitter, at least.)

@BitsyKemper

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Well, the author thinks the words are more important, and the illustrator thinks the pictures are...but it's really both.

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