Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Interview with Kevin McNamee - "An Eyeball in My Garden" Poet

Today we welcome poet, Kevin McNamee. Kevin's got a great sense of humor, as you can tell from his photo.

Who else would represent the "skeleton" crowd? :)

#1. What is your “favorite” spooky poem from the collection?

Well, if we’re not talking about any of my own poems, I would have to say that I’m partial to the Winking Wot.  It’s a fun poem and Johann Olander really did an excellent job creating the look for this creature. 

#2. Where did your inspiration come from for your particular poems?

“Our Neighborhood” comes from my own memories of trick-or-treating.  We would go around knocking on the doors of various oddball neighbors and receive some questionably edible or otherwise bogus treats. To this day, I still shudder at the memories of hard butterscotch candies left over from the Civil War being thrown into my bag along with some loose, fossilized candy corn.
For “The Gargoyle”, my day job frequently takes me into New York City.  There’s no shortage of interesting architecture there including buildings with gargoyles perched on the ledges.  But this poem is written from the gargoyle’s point of view as he looks down at the city.

#3.  How does feedback from the other poets affect your final decision?

I feel that feedback is an absolutely vital part of the process.  I think that many writers/poets, myself included, have a “blind spot” when it comes to our writing.  We’re too close to our work, so we may not see a problem that may be obvious to someone else. But being that writing is such a subjective thing, there are also times when I need to trust my own instincts as well. 
I have received feedback that has helped my work shine.  There have also been times that I disregarded feedback because it didn’t fit with my vision for the piece.  But the important thing is to consider all feedback objectively.  The end result is that everything in my work is there because of a conscious decision.  It makes my work stronger as a result.

#4.  How long have you been a rhymer?

Actually, I’ve been a rhymer since the 1st grade.  I remember writing a poem about the Easter Bunny that was displayed on a bulletin board outside the class room.  I liked seeing my poem on display, where it could be read by everyone in the school.  It was something I was proud of.  I think maybe that’s what led to me to pursue publication after I became serious about writing.  A book can reach a much wider audience than a bulletin board.  And, I still like to see my work on display.
#5. Do you write varied forms of poetry for children?

Although, I have dabbled with haiku and other non-rhyming formats, rhyming poetry seems to hold my interest the most.  I also write both prose and rhyming picture books.  I have four picture books published so far and three of them rhyme.  So I guess that’s why I lean towards rhyming work, I enjoy it and I’ve had some success at it.

#6. How are you personally promoting your group’s debut book?

I’m doing a lot of online promotion right now.  I’ve written about the book on my blog and have been promoting it on Facebook.  I also participate in a Virtual Book Tour group and will be promoting the book for the October tour to generate some interest prior to Halloween.
I also have a background in technology, so I developed an interest in creating online games that are based on my books. I created a game inspired by An Eyeball in My Garden. It doesn’t use any of the book’s graphics, but I think it’s a fun little game just the same.

#7. Do you plan to do any book signings? If so, where can fans find you?

I haven’t scheduled any book signings yet, but I am looking at the indie book stores in my area.
I can always be found online at http://www.kevinmcnamee.com and I’ve launched a website with games and activities based on my books at http://www.kevschildrensbooks.com where you can see some of my online game handiwork including the Eyeball in My Garden game.

I also have a blog at http://www.kevinmcnameechildrensauthor.blogspot.com and would probably post author events there first.

People can also find me on Facebook, Linked-In and Twitter, but I must admit that I don’t tweet much.

 Next up....

The "bewitching" Stella Michel.


  1. Kevin? Is that you? You've grown so thin! Good interview!

  2. Thanks Stella. Actually, I've discovered that if you post X-rays of yourself, it takes off at least 20 pounds. :-)

  3. ha ha ha! Great interview, Kevin. I'll have to check out your Eyeball game!

  4. Wonderful to see this interview with Kevin! He has really cracked the picture book market, and continues to put out high quality, enjoyable, and unique stories that really show off his talent and love of writing in rhyme. Keep 'em coming, Gayle!

    Susie Sawyer

  5. Thanks guys.

    Stella will be up tomorrow! :)


  6. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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