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So You Wanna Start Writing a Children's Book with Sherry Kubalsky

Welcome to our So You Wanna Start A... series, designed to give you a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at the journeys that went into creating some of your favorite local brands.

Today's guest is Sherry Kubalsky, a children's book author in Des Moines, Iowa.

If you're curious about being a children's book author, learn a little more from Sherry and connect with her using the links below!

1. Tell us a little about yourself!

I was raised in rural Iowa and proud to be a farmer’s daughter. Of course my first book had to have animals in it! A windmill is my signature and is at the back of each book on the about the author page. I don’t like to point direction to myself as I desire the focus to be on the book and it’s mission but I am a retired hospice social worker. Degrees (bachelor’s & master’s) from UNI so I am a forever faithful UNI PANTHER fan!! My husband has been a huge help - I have to mention that as well as friends who supported me when I doubted if this was good enough. I love meeting new people. Dave and I have an RV so we carry books with us as we travel the U.S. and there are always opportunities to speak about the books and mission behind them.

2. How did you get into writing children’s books? 

I’ve always written little stories and 'Twas the Night before Christmas twists. Our pastor often preaches how we are to use our gifts (as in the Bible). A few years ago I thought that I could create children’s books that are colorful, fun and have a Christian message. When I am stuck, I go for a walk, bike ride or give it a rest and all of a sudden God gives me a thought and there you have it…….

3. How did you know what to do and where to start? Seems like a complex world!

I didn’t have a clue how to start! I visited with book stores who sent me on to this person, then another person, and another…I learned from each person because writers are very helpful in supporting one another, but most people wrote novels! I spent a lot of time (a LOT of time) on google researching the top children’s book publishers in the USA and ended up with the one I’ve used for two books thus far. The whole process takes about a year from submission to publication.

4. What was your first book about?

The Square Wreath was actually written first but I had some issues with the publisher at that time. In the long run, I think God had His hand in this and It’s OK to be Me! was meant to come out first. SERIOUSLY!!!

The Square Wreath was inspired by a true event. I worked at a hospital and on the telemetry unit there was a square wreath on the wall. A nurse took it down and I asked why. She responded “It’s SQUARE - everyone knows wreaths are ROUND.” But - before she took it down, it was spotted by a little girl who only noticed how beautiful it was - she didn’t see that it was square. The wreath’s name is Michael.

5. And what’s your second book about? 

So the second book I wrote (that came out first) is It’s OK to be Me! Young animals want to be different than what they were created to be. When the moms remind them how special they are as themselves and what they can do, they end up being okay as they are.

6. Tell us about the mission of the books & the money that goes to Ghana.

All royalties are sent to GlobeServe Ministries for water wells in Ghana, Africa. I am not in this alone! The first $400 I sent was matched by donors to the amount large enough to fund a well. One well in this area is $3-4,000. They are managed by GlobeServe to make sure they remain functioning. One well serves about 500 people.

Currently children five and younger are drinking contaminated water and dying. They are also being treated for worms. This is not acceptable! As long as I live and am able, this is what I will promote to help! The water is there, they just need the means to get to it.

7. Where can we buy the books?

Books are available at the café at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, Hidden Treasures in Altoona, and online through Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart and Amazon (keep scrolling for the links!). Many bookstores across Iowa and the US carry my books. If they don’t have them in the store, they can order them through their buying resources. Or anyone can contact me, of course!

Some people don’t want to buy these books because they don’t have children or grandchildren. They can purchase books to give away - orphanages, hospitals, homes for mothers - so many options!! I have many opportunities if a person would like to donate.

While GlobeServe is in Ghana, they have the opportunity to spread the love of Jesus Christ and build churches. God is on the move through this book and each and EVERY person who buys one - or many. I appreciate all of the support for this very important mission.


Find Sherry & her books:

Facebook: @skubalsky@SherryJKAuthor

Target: It's OK to be Me!

Amazon: It's OK to be Me!The Square Wreath

Walmart: It's OK to be Me!

Barnes & Noble: It's OK to be Me!The Square Wreath


Want to be featured in our SYWSA series? Fill out our contact form here to get the ball rolling.


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