The Kids Have Spoken: #ilovemymayhem

Since the beginning of January, I have been touring elementary schools, reading Absolute Mayhem to the students. Guys, if I thought I loved being a children’s author before, these visits have made me 100% certain this is exactly the path I should be traveling. Interacting with the kids, listening to them laugh at all the right places, answering their hilarious and intelligent questions, and hearing what they love about the book is about as delicious as it gets. At one of the visits, a little girl raised her hand and said, “I want to be just like you when I grow up.” I can’t even. I mean, that phrase is usually said to, like, astronauts…and people who save puppies dressed in butterfly costumes from raging fires. She may not have said that if she knew behind my author/illustrator facade is just a mom who never buys the latest trends for her kids and is capable of taking away trick-or-treating on Halloween as a punishment.

Aside from getting a huge ego boost from these kids, I am genuinely moved when they display their approval for Absolute Mayhem. Parents say their children ask to read it over and over again, and some even “play” Lulu and Milo, acting out their adventures (I smell Queen Comma and Count Milo of Fractionville Halloween costumes). Continue reading “The Kids Have Spoken: #ilovemymayhem”

Five Reasons You Should Hug A Preschool Teacher

Currently, I am doing some part-time substitute teaching in a preschool classroom, which is a fairly new experience for me. Though I was a teacher once upon a time, I worked with high school and middle school students. So we are talking about pretty much the entire opposite end of the spectrum here. I always used to think I didn’t I have the special kind of patience required to be a preschool teacher. Older kids don’t need the same type of refined discipline and meticulously crafted rules as the little guys. I mean, that attention to detail is exhausting.

Yet now that I find myself in a preschool class a few days a week, I will admit I’m kind of loving it. Maybe being a mother has imbibed me with those particular survival skills I didn’t have during my earlier teaching days. Or maybe the fact that I know this is a temporary gig makes it easier for me to be charmed by the preschool life…similar to the way people make the argument that being a grandparent is better than being a parent. You get to eventually give them back to the person who is actually responsible for them: their real preschool teacher.
Continue reading “Five Reasons You Should Hug A Preschool Teacher”

A Cute Rhyme Takes the Guesswork Out of Holiday Gift-Giving

I don’t know about you, but I am woefully behind on my Christmas shopping. See, there’s this thing called Life, and right now it really seems to have an issue with letting me wander aimlessly down the aisles of Toys ‘R’ Us, looking for things least likely to end up being donated next year during our annual pre-Christmas toy purge.

Thankfully, there’s this little gift-giving mantra that’s been going around which might be of tremendous help to me. A friend of mine was the first to enlighten me to it. She, of course, saw it on Pinterest. Because that is where all helpful and clever and visually perfect things are born into this world. But I have since seen it floating around elsewhere on the internet, mainly out of the mouths of comment sections. So you may have heard it as well. It goes like this: Continue reading “A Cute Rhyme Takes the Guesswork Out of Holiday Gift-Giving”

The Mayhem is HERE: The Official Release of Absolute Mayhem

I am vibrating just a bit. Finally, here is the blog post four years in the making. If we want to be technical, it has really been more like twenty-five years in the making. But twenty-one of those years were just spent dreaming…the last four were the ones to see the actual work that made this dream a reality. So let’s stop putting this off any long and get right to it then:


My very first children’s book, Absolute Mayhem, is officially available as of TODAY! And all I can say is that I am kind of excited to go someplace like a doctor’s office where I have to fill out a form, just so I can finally list my occupation as Author, after almost ten years of leaving that space blank. I mean, I can totally do that now. I have a business card that says so.

Absolute Mayhem by Kelly SuellentropIf the space on that form isn’t too small, I can also list myself as an Illustrator. In addition to writing Absolute Mayhem, I also did all of the illustrations, which was hands down THE most enjoyable part of this whole project. I have fallen in love with my characters, the sister and brother duo of Lulu and Milo, almost as much as I love my own children. And I sincerely hope they are able to charm you and your family as well, along with their tag-a-long dog Hippo.

Lulu, Milo, Hippo and I have spent a lot of time together getting them ready to go out on their own. I had a lot less time to prepare them to fly the nest than I do with my own children; then again, they aren’t half as stubborn and don’t distract me from my mission by leaving lots of messes to clean up. I can also erase their mouths if they get sassy. So they have now graduated from the desk of my comfy home office to the big world of and Amazon, just in time for the holidays!

Please help me spread the word about Absolute Mayhem. To sweeten the deal, I am having a GIVEAWAY! Two people will each win a free autographed copy of the book. You can be entered to win the following ways:

#1 – Visit my giveaway on Rafflecopter HERE for various ways to earn entries.

#2 – If you are a blogger, REBLOG this post.

#3 – Go to either my new AUTHOR FACEBOOK PAGE or the ARE YOU FINISHED YET FACEBOOK PAGE, find the post announcing Absolute Mayhem’s release on the timeline, and share it. (And go ahead and give those pages a “like” while you’re there, if you haven’t already.)

#4SHARE this blog post using the social media sharing buttons below, and let me know where you shared it in the comment section.

The giveaway will run today until midnight on Sunday, December 7th (Central Time). I will announce the winners on Tuesday, December 9th here on the blog and on my social media outlets.

Of course, you can always purchase your own copy of the book on and on Amazon. (And after you read the book, I would love for you to leave a customer review over on Amazon!)

In the coming weeks, Absolute Mayhem will be visiting lots of different and awesome places around the internet, and I am really excited about that. So stay tuned! In the meantime, let me just say thank you in advance to all of you who are going to share the book with your friends and families.

It will be pretty nice to have the last four years pay off.

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My Big Announcement: “I’m Cheating On You”

Some of you may have noticed I have been a little distant lately. Phoning it in with archived blog posts. Not reading or commenting on the works of my fellow bloggers. Failing to dazzle you with my freakishly vivid childhood memories as part of the Remember the Time Blog Hop. I understand that all good relationships need to be nurtured, and I am not really doing my share over here. And it is time you knew the reason why…

I have been cheating on you. Artistically speaking.

I would like you all to meet the pair who has been on the receiving end of most of my creative energy lately:

Rough copy of the cover

This is Lulu and Milo. They are the starring characters in my very first children’s book, Absolute Mayhem. The story is complete, and I am currently working (very painstakingly, I might add) on the illustrations.

This book has been a dream years in the making, and while I am closer than I have ever been to making it a reality, it sometimes still feels I am eons away from completing it. I have even had second…and third…and fourth thoughts about sharing just this little bit of it with all of you. Because I can’t say exactly when Lulu and Milo will be ready to fly. I fall in love with these two crazy kids more and more each time I make the curves of their over-sized heads or put the sweet circles of rose in their cheeks. So I want them to be perfect when I send them off into the world.

Thankfully, their first introduction to anyone besides my family and a few close friends was pure deliciousness. My son’s Kindergarten class had been working on a storytelling unit, and his teacher asked if I would bring in my sketches so the children could see the creative process of writing and illustrating a book. And since a bunch of five- and six-year-old kids are pretty much my exact target market, I figured this would be a brilliant way to get some valuable feedback.

And feedback I got. The kids were engaged, curious, and gave the sweetest, yummiest compliments I could have ever hoped for. One little boy raised his hand and simply said, “I think your drawings are beautiful.” I pretty much melted into a pool of maple syrup. They asked intelligent and thoughtful questions about the writing and illustrating processes. I was as impressed with them as they seemed to be with my book.authorvisitmontage

But guys, that wasn’t even the best part. After I had spoken to all four Kindergarten classes, I walked out with my son to the lunch room and sat with him while he ate. Kids kept coming up, asking me for hugs and saying hello. The next night, his school had a movie event, and again, kids would run up to me and say, “Hey! I saw you! I know you! You’re the book lady!” I felt like an honest to goodness celebrity with the bestest littlest cutest most huggiest fans ever. And I promised those kids that Lulu and Milo would be out to play with them soon.

So now you know where my priorities are for the moment. I have some kindergartners to answer to. I am still going to try really hard to post here once a week…but don’t be surprised if archived posts pop in now and again. (Or if any of my blogging buddies want to help a girl out with some guest posts, just let me know!) I am still going to try really hard to visit the other blogs I love and read the awesome things you all have to say…but don’t be surprised if I fall short now and again. (At any given moment, I have open tabs with blogs I hope to get to later that day. Some of those tabs stay open for weeks.) But when it comes down to it, Lulu and Milo need me more right now.

So I am hoping you all will stick with me. I know blogging is a fickle business, so I haven’t been surprised by my recent declining stats. It is what it is. But I would love for you to keep your eye out for more updates on Lulu and Milo sprinkled in between my regular nonsense. In addition to the blog, I will be keeping my Facebook and Twitter accounts abreast of book happenings as well (but let’s be honest. I’m mostly just on Facebook. Whenever I open my Twitter feed, I just get anxious and overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy over my apparent tweeting disability).

OH, and since I have nothing else going on, I have also decided to officially make my editing services available to a wider market. I have been quietly doing freelance editing as a side dish, but have now taken the plunge to make it more of a main course. You can find more information on my Editing Services page.

As a final note, I love you guys, and thanks for being such supportive cheerleaders. You always make this a fun little party space.

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