Thursday, April 22, 2010

Meet Kevin McNamee!

     Meet Kevin McNamee 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. Kevin notes that the squirrels are winning.

     Now, onto the interview!

     Heather: What three words do you think describe you as a human being?
     Kevin: Inquisitive, open minded.

     Heather: How do you think others would describe you?

     Kevin: That depends on who you ask ;-)
     Heather: Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.
     Kevin: Outside of writing, I would say that I’m the most passionate about my family.

     Heather: Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.

     Kevin: I don’t have any pets now, but over the years I’ve had … cats, dogs, bunnies, hamsters, gerbils, mice, parakeets, cockatiels, and a waterbug named Boris that I shared a motel room with once. I refused to squash Boris because the motel was so run down that I figured he was paying rent. Plus, Boris was about the size of a large dog and I thought that hitting him with anything would just make him angry.

     Heather: What is your most precious memory?

     Kevin: Recently, I came home from work and I was completely exhausted. My five year old daughter wanted me to play our usual games, tag, hide and seek, and some other game of her own creation which involves me chasing her while she’s wearing a plastic firefighter’s helmet and carrying a beach ball. But I was tired and really wanted no part of it. But my daughter was insistent and I found myself losing patience and I yelled at her. She climbed up on the couch, threw her arms around me and said, “I love you Daddy. Now you can be so happy.” I melted.
     Heather: What is your most embarrassing memory?

     Kevin: My most precious memory and my most embarrassing memory are the same, when I think of how selfish I was being.

     Heather: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

     Kevin: Right now, I still have a day job. Unfortunately, writing hasn’t been my means to self-sufficiency yet. I’m still trying to find that balance between work/family/writing/everything else. It’s a challenging juggling act, but so far, I’ve been able to keep all the balls in the air.

     Heather: Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?

     Kevin: 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.

     Heather: What is going on with your writing these days?

     Kevin: Right now, I have several stories in various stages of completion, one story that has been finalized and critiqued and needs a final revision, and a few that are finished and have been sent out to various publishers.

     Heather: What are your future goals for your writing?

     Kevin: 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.
     Heather: Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

     Kevin: 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.

     Heather: Why do you write?

     Kevin: 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.

     Heather: What writer most inspires you? Why?
     Kevin: 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.

     Heather: How do you define your writing?

     Kevin: I discovered writing for children by accident. I was watching my nieces fight and it gave me an idea for a sibling rivalry story. I thought it would be fun to write, and it was. There was no looking back.
     Heather: In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?
     Kevin: “Mommy/Daddy, read that again!”

     Heather: Is there a place where readers can reach you?

     Kevin: Readers can always email me from my website, blog or from this LINK , I’d love to hear from you.

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


Karen Cioffi said...

Kevin, I like your pet story. LOL
And, I especially like your response to what you'd like people to say about your stories in fifty years. That's what I'd love also!

Janet Ann Collins said...

Kevin sure sounds like a fun guy, a good dad, and an excellent author.

Kevin McNamee said...

Thanks Karen and Janet.

Vivian Zabel said...

Thanks, Heather, for helping us know more about Kevin.

Debra Eckerling said...

Aww. What a sweet and informative interview! Thanks Heather and Kevin! Best of luck!

Unknown said...

You sure have lots of stories under your belt. Which is your favorite story so far?

I used to visit my Uncle Tony Maresco in Yonkers when I was a kid. Have you run into any of my distant relatives?? LOL

Nancy Famolari said...

Home brewed beer -- now that sounds like fun! Loved the story about your daughter, Kevin.

Great interview, Heather!

Anonymous said...

Its great to be a father and a children's author/poet. One has a beat audience to bounce ideas off and draw inspiration from. Best wishes for your continued success.

Stephen Tremp

Accountant, Author & Freelance Writer said...

Great interview! It's interesting to learn more about you Kevin. Thanks for telling us about your writing.

Dallas said...

Great interview! I am also inspired by other writers I meet.

Thanks for posting this Heather!
:) Dallas

Helena Harper said...

Very enjoyable interview, Heather. I enjoyed learning more about Kevin.

Kevin - as an aspiring picture book author myself, I'm interested to know if you had the pictures done for your books or if the publisher had them done. If the former, how did you find your illustrator?