What I Learned In My First Year of Being a Published Author

Occupation: Author

Today it has been one year. A whole year of being able to answer the question, “What do you do for a living?” with the answer, “I’m a children’s author.” To be honest, I still feel a little funny saying it, and I’m not sure I will ever be used to it. Probably because for most intents and purposes, I still identify with being a stay-at-home mom: I do almost all of my work in my own house (although I now have a dedicated office with a white board and a stapler and paper clips and everything)…my day-to-day tasks still seem to take precedence over my writing (as my blogging hiatus during the months of September, October, and most of November clearly demonstrated)…and I’m still mostly just famous for being “Mrs. Suellentrop” or “Michael’s mom” in the school parking lot (or “the lady who always orders a large half cheese/half sausage pizza” at Imo’s).

lessons of published authorBut today marks the one year anniversary of the release of my very first children’s book, Absolute Mayhem. I feel nothing but gratitude for how it has been received. Every time someone tells me their children ask to read it over and over, or that they caught them pretending to be Lulu or Milo, I am beyond tickled. Regardless of the future success of this book or those to follow, how could an author ask for anything more?

In addition to the blessings that have happened over the last twelve months, I have also come to learn some very valuable lessons in my first year of being a published author:

#1 Forget rousing, motivational pep talks. “What’s the worst that can happen?” works just fine. It turns out the boon of a realized dream or the promise of becoming the next Sandra Boynton were never the kick in the pants I needed to finally pursue a career as an author. All it took was someone posing the question, “What’s the worst that can happen?” The answer: I fail. Or no one buys the book. Or readers say it ranks as rubbish. Or Amazon creates a new suggestion category that reads, “People who bought this item, DIDN’T also buy…” just so they can publicly shame my title. Okay, so all of those things are pretty hard to swallow for a girl who really doesn’t like being bad at things. But confronting those possibilities also made me honestly admit to myself that a little potential public shame was worth the risk. Besides, we could always move to one of those tiny houses off the grid if need be. Have you seen the tiny houses? They are adorable. Continue reading “What I Learned In My First Year of Being a Published Author”

Let the Games Begin + Giveaway Winner

Happiest of Mother’s Days to all my mama friends out there! As my buddy Kandace posted:

“It took me a while. But, I think I am all prepared for Mother’s Day…. The garbage and recycle are full, the dishwasher has been run and is ready to be emptied, the dog’s water is low, the bird feeder needs to be filled, the toilet paper and paper towel rolls need to be changed, there is a dry load of clothes in the dryer and a freshly washed load in the washer! Let the games begin!!!”




OH, and congratulaions to Lisa Craven for winning the Jewelry Made by Maggie​ Giveaway! As a consolation prize to everyone else, Maggie is offering 20% off at her Etsy store until June 1st! Just use the code kelly20.

Now go out and enjoy your day and love your mamas!


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I Won, Now It’s Your Turn: Mother’s Day Giveaway

This post is all about winning. Winning for you, and winning for me…well, technically not me. For one of the dresses you so kindly helped me choose to wear to next week’s Listen to Your Mother performance. But first, let’s talk about the winning for YOU, because the dress is pretty good at being patient and can wait.

Mother’s Day is around the corner. And just like good mamas take care of their young, what better excuse is there for me to take care of my readers? I have teamed up with my friend Maggie, owner of Jewelry Made by Maggie, who designs and creates some of my favorite pieces in my jewelry box. You want understated, timeless pieces you can wear everyday? She’s got those. Want colorful, trendy statement pieces for a night on the town? She has those, too. I haven’t seen one thing in Maggie’s Etsy store that I don’t love, and my husband is thankful to have a default go-to when gift-giving occasions roll around. You know, gift-giving occasions like Mother’s Day.

Because she is totally awesome, Maggie agreed to help me treat one of my mama readers…or even a reader who just has a mama. Everyone who enters our giveaway gets a chance to win EITHER a Layered Bar Necklace (in silver or gold – valued at $34) OR a Leather Wrap Bracelet with Gold Beads (valued at $30) from Maggie’s Etsy store. Your choice!

jewelry made by maggie
Continue reading “I Won, Now It’s Your Turn: Mother’s Day Giveaway”

Let’s All Go On a Blog Crawl!

It’s like a bar crawl, only better. You don’t need to get a sitter. You don’t need to tip a bartender. You can do it in your pajamas. And you won’t end up becoming best friends with the porcelain throne afterwards. At least, you shouldn’t.

It’s the ABSOLUTE MAYHEM BLOG CRAWL!!!Absolute Mayhem by Kelly Suellentrop

Guys, I am beyond excited to have a superstar lineup of bloggers helping me to spread the word about Absolute Mayhem this week. Starting today and going through Saturday, you can hop yourselves on over to a new blog to not only read their thoughts on the book, but also enter to win a FREE COPY! That means there are six copies of Absolute Mayhem up for grabs this week. You know you like free books, especially when there are these giant gift-giving occasions literally around the corner. Continue reading “Let’s All Go On a Blog Crawl!”

Brought To You By the Letter “G”: Guest Post, Giveaway, and Gratuitous Generosity

Great Grecian Goblets! I have lots of GOOD things for you today! And they all begin with the letter G.


I am super excited to have a GUEST POST over at Crazy Good Parent, a blog recently started by Janice of Snide Reply. It is a place where parents who struggle with mental disorders or illnesses can find support, share experiences, and just feel normal. Today, I am sharing my story of my own struggle with anxiety, which many people may not even know I’ve had. Because I find it to be Continue reading “Brought To You By the Letter “G”: Guest Post, Giveaway, and Gratuitous Generosity”

This Is The One Where I Give Away Free Stuff…So You Probably Want to Read It

You may have noticed my blog looks a little different (it will likely evolve some more in the near future). I thought I’d change things up in celebration. Guess who is *this close* to hitting 1,000 followers? Heck yeah! I’m SO close that I may actually hit the milestone while I slumber, in between the time I scheduled this post to publish and it actually publishing. Unfortunately, I do think a chunk of those followers are spammer blogs who post in Croatian or redirect you to pyramid schemes promising financial Continue reading “This Is The One Where I Give Away Free Stuff…So You Probably Want to Read It”