Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Meet Our New Volunteer!

Author/Illustrator, Mary Pat Kanaley has joined our Inland Northwest volunteer Advisory Board as Indie/Self-Publishing Facilitator. Below is a personal letter from Mary Pat. If you are interested in learning more about Self-Publishing, or would like to connect with other members working on independent publishing projects, we hope you’ll take the survey Mary Pat has created for you.


Hi, I’m Mary Pat Kanaley, I love to read, write, and Illustrate-basically I love telling stories.  My earliest memories are of entertaining my mother and siblings with detailed descriptions of my each and every dream at the breakfast table.  I quickly began turning those elaborate dreams into drawings. All through school I filled up spiral notebooks with adventures, romances and mysteries. Later, I kept sketchbooks and jotted down story ideas and sketches that never went anywhere, but promised myself someday…

Then I became a mother.  My young sons loved listening to me tell stories, whether they were from published books, my story archives, or ones I made up on the fly.  I loved making voices and hearing them giggle at the funny parts and scoot in closer on the scary parts.  I began writing and illustrating again, but never completed (or submitted) any of them, because, well, I was too busy (terrible excuse) or so I told myself.  I think I was overwhelmed and scared, but again, I promised myself someday…

Fast forward to this past year.  I reflected on my past jobs and careers.  Everything seemed to have revolved around stories.  I had been a freelance illustrator, a novelist, an assistant editor and art director for audiobooks, I had taught creative writing workshops and then earned my Masters in teaching and became an art teacher for kindergarten through eighth grade…I even assigned the older students to create picture books and stop motion animation stories for the “little kids”.  I guess maybe I was a little slow to recognize it, but I realized it was time to keep my promise to myself.  Someday had arrived. I was REALLY going to write, illustrate and PUBLISH children’s books…and I have.  Combining all my past experience and knowledge (and what I keep learning), I am now the proud author/illustrator of four award winning picture books that are self-published.

I love teaching people my process and sharing new discoveries I’ve made (and am still making). This past year Rachel asked if I would be willing to join the advisory panel on indie/self-publishing for those members who are interested in going in that direction, and I said I’d be delighted. While I’m still learning tons, I’d love to pass that on to those who are interested. In order to learn how I can best help and support you in this journey, I’d like you to fill out a survey inquiring about what you’d like me to cover/answer/find out more about. So, thank you Rachel, and I hope those of you who have been waiting for that someday to self-publish, consider it today!