Hello. I’m Renee Kirchner, also known as The Children’s Book Woman. I haven’t always been a lover of children’s books. Don’t get me wrong, I loved to read as a kid, but I became passionate about books later in life. I grew up in the Midwest and had a very happy, very normal childhood. We moved quite a bit and I found myself in Texas by the time I was in high school. I majored in business at Texas Tech University, fell in love, married my college sweetheart and had two wonderful children. I had a fairly successful career in business which I left behind when my children were very young so I could stay home with them.
It was during this time period when my love of children’s books began. I read many wonderful books to my kids every day. We didn’t have a lot of money, but there was always free entertainment at the local public library. I brought home stacks and stacks of books to read. After reading many, many children’s books, a seed of an idea began to form in my mind. I thought I might like to write books for children. And so the journey began.
The year was 1999 and my children were eight and five. I signed up for a novel writing class at a local college and wrote my first novel. It wasn’t good, but I finished it on my thirty-fifth birthday and I was very proud of myself. For the next seven or eight years I threw myself into writing for children. My first attempts at writing picture books and chapter books were awful. I kept writing every day. I wrote puzzles for Sports Illustrated for Kids, poems, short stories, and humorous parenting articles for the Dallas Morning News. Finally, in 2006, my first book, BIOMES, was published by KidHaven Press.
In 2007 I was working as a teaching assistant at an elementary school and trying to make time for my writing. I couldn’t afford to quit my job and I wasn’t making a living as a writer. So, I came up with a new plan. I would become a children’s librarian. It was the perfect solution for me. By 2010 I had graduated with my MLS in library science and landed a job in Plano, Texas as a youth services librarian. I spend my days presenting preschool story times and sharing my love of children’s literature with children and their parents. Don’t worry, I haven’t given up my writing. Working as a children’s librarian has made me a much better writer. I read so many excellent books that it is reflected in my own writing. I squeeze as much writing time into my schedule as possible. I write on my lunch hours, in the evenings and on the weekends. It’s amazing how much writing you can get done in just a few spare minutes or hours each day.
I hope you enjoy my website, TheChildrensBookWoman.com. I will share my writing successes and failures and my love of children’s literature with you. Thanks for stopping by.