© 2011-2019, Kami Kinard. All rights reserved. Site design Donna Farrell

I grew up in a big old house full of books in Camden SC and have wanted to be a writer ever since I discovered reading. My first grade teacher read some of my earliest stories, so for Christmas that year she gave me my first journal. In fifth grade I wrote a play called To the Candy Machine and somehow convinced my friends to learn the lines and act it out in front of our class. I think my powers of persuasion have diminished over time… but my desire to write never has.

When I was nine, I started keeping a diary. At first, I only wrote one sentence entries. By the time I hit middle school I was filling up page after page. I kept writing in my diaries until I was in tenth grade. Then something happened. I started dating and stopped writing about my life – just when it was getting interesting! Reading through these old diaries helped me remember what it was like to be in middle school and find the right voice for my novel The Boy Project: Notes and Observations of Kara McAllister.

I never did go back to writing about myself in diaries or journals, but I didn’t stop writing. I just realized it was more fun for me to make up people and worlds than to write about real ones.

Now I can say that I am a writer. But I was other things first…

  1. a camp counselor

  2. a bookseller

  3. a preschool teacher

  4. a high school teacher

Do you see a theme here? Besides writing, I mean. As the oldest child of three and the oldest cousin of six, I grew up playing with younger relatives. So it seemed only natural for me to work with children when I grew up.

I met my husband when we were both camp counselors at Lutheridge in Arden NC.  After we were married, I taught high school English. I really enjoyed my time as a teacher. I won the Teacher of the Year award in my third year and I still consider it a great honor.

In 1996 I left the classroom to hang out with the newest member of our family – a cute little baby with big brown eyes who never slept. I tried to write during his very short naptimes and started publishing poems in magazines. Then in 1999 another cute little baby arrived. She slept. But at that point, I was the one who really needed sleep! I kept writing anyway. My poems, stories, and nonfiction articles have been published in some of the world’s best children’s magazines, and magazines and journals for adults too!

When I started writing novels, I had to give up most of my other projects in order to have time for writing, my family, and to work as a teaching artist. We’ve moved a few times in the last few years, but are now settled in beautiful Beaufort SC, where I enjoy life with my husband, two teens, and a dog. They are all very cute!

Kami Kinard

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