Author Spotlight: Kim Chaffee

April 5, 2019

We are excited to feature picture book author Kim Chafee and her debut book,  HER FEARLESS RUN: Kathrine Switzer's Historic Boston Marathon, illustrated by Ellen Rooney. (Page Street Kids, 2019)

Enter to win a copy!

Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for kids. 

I like to think my path to writing for kids started with my obsession with the Baby-Sitters Club series when I was in fourth grade. That was the introduction to my love of books. Fast forward about thirteen years and my love of books and kids brought me to teach second grade. 

I loved my time in the classroom but when I started to have kids of my own I made the decision to stay home with them while they were little. That was when I first admitted, out loud, that I wanted to write books of own…books that teachers would share with their students and that kids would want to read.

Congrats on your debut picture book,  HER FEARLESS RUN: Kathrine Switzer's Historic Boston Marathon (Page Street Kids, 2019). Tell us about it and what inspired you. 

In 2016 I was working on revisions while watching/listening to the coverage of that year’s Boston Marathon. Kathrine was on the broadcast, talking about her first Boston run in 1967. I wasn’t familiar with her story and, as a female runner, was stunned. Having grown up after the passage of Title IX, being told I couldn’t do something just because I was a woman seemed so unreal to me. But hearing Kathrine recall her experience made it feel personal. I did a quick Google search to see if there was a picture book biography about her and when I discovered that there wasn’t I knew I had to write it. 

Was your road to publication long and windy, short and sweet, or something in between? 

I would have to say that the road to publication was something in between. It definitely wasn’t short and sweet but I also know a lot of authors that have waited a lot longer than I have for publication. I started my writing journey in 2014. I learned very quickly that I needed to take classes and work on my craft so that’s exactly what I did. I wrote a lot of stories that will only see the inside of a drawer but they all taught me something. 

What projects are you working on now? 

I currently have some fiction stories out on submission with my agent and have just started working on a new picture book biography that I am very excited about!

What are the one or two things that you did that best prepared you to write your PB What advice would you give to other aspiring writers who want to write a picture book? 

First, I would say READ! Read all you can in the genre of picture book that you want to write! 

Second, I would say GET A CRITIQUE GROUP! Having other writers read your story and give you feedback is essential to making your story as strong as possible before you submit. 

I’m going to give you a third…BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! The road to publication can be tough. You have to be tougher! Keep putting in the work, keep submitting, and it will pay off! 

What is one thing most people don't know about you? 

Most people don’t know that I am a master at those claw machines that you find at arcades! And I’m super competitive about it!

Where can people find you online? 

Twitter: Kim_Chaffee. 
Instagram: kchaffeebooks

Kim Chaffee once held the Guinness World Record for the largest game of pick-up sticks ever played. (It’s true! Check out pg. 111 of the 2005 edition) She is a former second-grade teacher who loves coffee, chocolate, and writing picture books that kids will want to read again and again.  Her debut picture book, Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon, was inspired by her own journey with running.  Kim is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and now lives not too far from there with her husband, two kids, and two cats. 

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  1. Oh wow. This looks great! And I want your secret to the claw machine!

  2. So excited my library has this book. I look forward to reading.

  3. Love, love, love, HER FEARLESS RUN. Congratulations, Kim!

  4. I can't wait to read your debut! Congrats!!

  5. This is a gorgeous book and it's fun to learn more about Kim!

  6. Thanks for the writing advice. I can't wait to read your book.

  7. Love books about powerful groundbreaking women. Congrats on your debut.

  8. This looks wonderful, we need more stories about fearless women. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  9. Both the cover and the synopsis are terrific. I #readandreview #books on my #blog at

  10. What a great way to get a book idea! Congratulations! Can't wait to read it!

  11. So excited for my friend Kim Chaffee! She is fierce just like Katherine!

  12. Looking forward to reading it. I enjoyed your suggestions for ReFoReMo. Congratulations!

  13. What a fantastic story for a children's picture book.


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