Meet the Author: Kathy Gorlick (and win a signed copy of her book!)

Dec 2, 2014 by

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Most of us had a blanket or special stuffed animal growing up-Little H actually sleeps with my old ‘blankie’ each night. When author Kathy Gorlick was a new mom, she made her children little blankets they called their Ni-Night.  Three decades later, realizing how much her children and grandchildren loved them, she decided to write about the Ni-Night Bear and bring him to life!

The Ni-Night Bear is a sweet, cuddly, fun little bear!  The first story in the series is all about the Ni-Night Bear and how much he loves his Ni-Night.  He takes it with him everywhere he goes.  When it’s nap time or bedtime, the Ni-Night Bear wouldn’t think of settling down and cuddling up without it.

You and your little one are invited to grab your own Ni-Night blankets and join Kathy as she reads from the Ni-Night Bear book at Zearly’s in Carmel this Saturday! There will hot apple cider, blanket snuggling and lots of book signing! In the meantime, enter to win your own signed copy of The Ni-Night Bear below.

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When did you decide to become a writer?
I never actually decided to become a writer.  I had created the Ni-Nights 30 years ago!  When I looked back at the original ones, I had included a tag that told a brief story of how the Ni-Nights came to be.  When I re-read it last year, I thought “who would ever want to read that story!”, so I decided to actually write a story that little ones would love.  I also wanted to make it fun and comforting to have a Ni-Night and I decided to bring my Ni-Night Bear to life!
What draws you to the picture book genre?
I enjoy all sorts of books and writers but have to admit, I love children’s books.  I love a children’s book that grabs their attention from the cover all the way through.  I also enjoy short board books that little ones memorize after hearing it a few times.  I’m a board book fan!
I wrote The Ni-Night Bear last year as a way to introduce the Ni-Nights back into the market.  I hadn’t planned on writing more.  I loved the story so much that I just started writing the others, four more to date.  I have not had them illustrated yet as I want to see how the Ni-Night Bear is received.  The other stories are adorable, fun, engaging with titles such as:  Where’s My Ni-Night?, The Ni-Night Bears Day at the Park, The Ni-Night Bear Goes to the Hospital and The Ni-Night Bear Goes to the Zoo.
Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas for the books come from paying attention to little ones and what makes them smile, laugh, or generally make them happy!  Where’s My Ni-Night come from my 5 year old grandson Cayden always looking for his Ni-Night.  The Ni-Night Bears Day at the Park comes from my own experience of taking my kids and now their kids, to the park.  The Ni-Night Bear Goes to the Zoo is also from my own experiences. The Ni-Night Bear Goes to the Hospital is because St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital is my one charity I donate to and I was hoping that a story about their experiences and what they are going through, along with a Ni-Night, might bring them some comfort!
Where do your ideas come from?
I basically let my ideas run wild and see what I come up with.  I have a very busy and creative thinking process and I come up with the stories rather quickly.  Since these are very short stories, I write them over a few days to a week, and then go over them and over them to make sure they are what I want.  Then I read them to others, have them edited, then re-read them, until I am sure I love it!  If I am writing one and it’s just not working, I put it away, for a day, a week, however long I need to get back to it and have it be just as I want it.
What book/s are you reading at present?
I wish I could say I was reading but I am not.  I work full-time as a Jr. High School Counselor, I am trying to get my Personal and Family Coaching business going, and working diligently at promoting my Ni-Night Bear book sets!  On top of that, I have a large family, 3 daughters, 3 step-sons, 5 son/daughter’s in law, 7 grandkids and one due in two weeks!  Oh, did I mention a husband!
Tell us about the cover and how it came about.
The cover came about like this.  30 years ago, my father created the first drawing of the Ni-Night Bear.  My daughter found the only original packaging from it and I showed it to the illustrator, Kelly Matten.  From that picture, Kelly and I went back and forth on how we wanted the bear to look today, as opposed to the picture from 30 years ago.  I wanted him to be happy, colorful, engaging and I wanted the cover to entice the child to want to see more about what was inside.  I did the back cover the same way.  Just giving enough information that you would really want to look inside!
My only regret is that I could not find anyone to make the book into an actual board book.  Sending it to China seemed to be the only place, believe it or not!  So I had to have it published here.  I tried to find someone to publish it for me, but I wasn’t able to.  I don’t give up easily so I self-published it.  The book came out very thin, not what I had wanted, but it’s my first try and I’ll maybe take a leap on the next one and send it out to become a thick board book!  We’ll see how this one does~
Something fun I am doing is always carrying around some extra Ni-Night Book sets in my car.  If I see a new mommy with her little one, and it feels right, I love to give them a set “just for fun”!  It puts a smile on mom’s face and hopefully, her little one’s too!
Do you have any advice for kids on writing?
For anyone, young or old, that has ideas and wants to write, just do it! I always say, “trust your gut”, and if you have an idea about something, then start writing.  You can tweak it after you write it, but just get your ideas out there.  The imagination is a wonderful thing and you won’t know what is in store for you until you try!  I followed my passion (as I tell my Jr. High School students to do) and was brave enough to see it through.  I’m not done yet! I don’t know where this will go, or maybe it won’t, but I’m excited to find out! I’m loving the journey I am on, meeting some amazing and generous people, and excited to see what will happen next!
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