Kristin Anderson Cetone is a fine example of how far an author can go when they sincerely pursue their passion for writing. Born in Dayton, Ohio, Kristin went through many chambers of self-realization in her quest to find purpose. Since accepting her path as a writer, Kristin has published an excellent children’s book entitled Buckaroo Buckeye: A Little Nut With Big Dreams. Recently, I had a chance to communicate with Kristin about her work as an author. I think you will enjoy many of her insights about life.
Warlock Asylum: Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with our readers. Please introduce yourself. Who is Kristin Anderson Cetone?
Kristin Anderson Cetone: Buckaroo Buckeye grew out of my life’s journey. I, too, am that buckeye nut. Born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, I meandered many miles over the years before putting down roots in the Arizona desert. Nourished by family memories and culture, education, life experiences, and a desire to teach others, I discovered my purpose and special place in the world—just like Buckaroo Buckeye did. My true calling is helping others become successful readers, so I became a Reading Specialist. But this nut didn’t fall far from the family tree! In the early 1900s, my grandmother was a one-room schoolhouse teacher in rural Ohio. She loved teaching children and dedicated her life to helping them learn, especially those who struggled. She was not paid much, received no fame, and very few awards. Her highest reward was the joy of watching her students achieve. Their smiles and hugs meant more than money or fame. It was her calling, and she taught until she was seventy-years-old! Her legacy transcended her career as her influence branched out to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. My joy, now, is encouraging children and adults to find the Buckaroo Buckeye in THEMSELVES! – Happy Trails
Warlock Asylum: What inspired you to get involved in writing?
Kristin Anderson Cetone: My desire to build a bridge between literacy and building self-esteem for all, with a focus on the struggling reader. I created my main character based on my ‘roots.’
Warlock Asylum: What obstacles did you have to overcome in order to make your career as a writer possible?
Kristin Anderson Cetone: Publishing was an unknown field to me. My biggest obstacle was learning the do’s and don’ts of children’s book writing. Writing can be an isolating experience. I had the determination and self-direction. Reach out to a children’s book writer’s organization. You can bounce ideas off of the members, which can give you valuable insight as you fine tune your story. Be open to constructive criticism.
Warlock Asylum: How has your life and relationships with family and friends changed since becoming a writer?
Kristin Anderson Cetone: I never envisioned myself as an ‘author.’ I have just always felt more adept at expressing my thoughts through words. I have been constantly empowered by the kids and adults I have met at my author visits. My family has been very supportive as I travel this path. My father was a published author as well…so perhaps this nut didn’t fall far from the family tree!
Warlock Asylum: Congratulations on the release of your children’s book titled, Buckaroo Buckeye: A Little Nut With Big Dreams. How did this book come into being?
Kristin Anderson Cetone: I am inspired by my deep roots in the Buckeye State of Ohio along with something my father used to ask in his elder years. He would often ask “do you know what a buckeye is?” To indulge, we would always answer, “No, Dad, what is a buckeye?” His response was always, “It’s a worthless nut.” Such is the premise for Buckaroo Buckeye’s story. As a Reading Specialist, literacy and struggling readers was my career focus. The value of reading had been instilled and nurtured in me from an early age. As I worked with struggling readers, I witnessed how inability to read had eroded their self-esteem and made them vulnerable to bullying. I want to inspire and encourage all, especially struggling readers, that there is a special place for each-and-every one of us in the world and through determination, nurturing, and guidance, success will be found, despite the bumps and bullies and setbacks along our life journey of self-discovery.
Warlock Asylum: How has the feedback been for Buckaroo Buckeye?
Kristin Anderson Cetone: The feedback has been very positive. Adults like the inspiring message. Kids like the cute character and…well, see for yourself.
Warlock Asylum: Are you working on any new projects?
Kristin Anderson Cetone: I am about to publish 3 sequels to Buckaroo Buckeye. What does a buckeye tree do? It produces more buckeyes Each of my three sequels are dedicated to three very inspirational women from my buckeye family tree. The sequels are my beginning series, The Tree in Me. My focus remains on literacy and the message that each of us has a special place in the world and no matter your size, with determination, and nurturing and guidance from family and culture, education, and life experiences, success will be found, despite the bumps and bullies and setbacks along our life journey of self-discovery.
Warlock Asylum: What advice would you give to potential authors about pursuing a career as a writer? Any final thoughts?
Kristin Anderson Cetone: I am a self-published author and chose not to pursue traditional publishers because my story is MY story and I didn’t want it changed. I write from my own emotions and passions and experiences and wanted to maintain that control. I also had a very specific vision in mind for illustrations. Now, for many people these points are flexible for them so traditional publishing might be the way to go. I do know from experience as a self-published author, and from someone who knew nothing about the publishing world, I have had a very steep learning curve. It is not a low-cost journey so for many the services of a traditional publisher might work better. Marketing is THE key and as a self-published author this is the greatest challenge. I do not discourage either the self-published route nor the traditional publishing route. If you have a high tolerance for rejection and are determined, the traditional route can be a plus. It will take a lot longer to get your book to print (maybe years) compared to self-publishing but do your homework. Know what the children’s book market is looking for, do your research. How can you create a unique approach, what is your intended message, tell your story based on your life journey, and above all believe in yourself and persevere.
“The journey of a lifetime begins with the first step.” -anonymous/Chinese proverb
In the words of Buckaroo:
Discouraging words…discourage dreams,
Encouraging words…sprout dreams,
Parents plant the seeds. – Kristin Anderson Cetone
*Thanks so much for taking the time to share some of your insights with our readers and subscribers. This has truly been and inspirational experience. Wishing you all the best!