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K. M. Walton is a graduate of West Chester University, with a degree in elementary education. As a former middle-school language-arts teacher she's passionate about education and ending peer bullying. Since her novels shine the light onto the hideous effects of bullying, she gives school presentations on the topic "The Power of Human Kindness." She is represented by Jim McCarthy from Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. She lives in PA with her husband, two sons, cat, and turtle.
FOR THOSE WHO'D LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR, A MUCH LONGER BIO:
K. M. Walton had a dream when she was a little girl. Actually she had a gazillion dreams and she spent a large amount of her childhood dreaming. Her one dream was to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a teacher. Her three younger sisters used to play “students” in the basement while she played teacher. She actually assigned them homework. And they did it. Believe it or not they still like her even after that—they’re actually best friends.
Teaching became a reality for K. M. and she taught for twelve glorious and spectacular years – some of it in Osteen, Florida and most of it in Springfield, Pennsylvania (Hi, Osteen Elementary and ETR Middle School!!).
During her time off from teaching she founded and directed the summer day camp Camp Kindness where campers learned about kindness, empathy, and compassion. After leaving the classroom she became an instructional coach for teachers, coaching them on how to be highly effective in their teaching practice. She is a proud West Chester University graduate and Pennsylvania Writing and Literacy Project fellow.
Funny thing though, writing, it turns out, is K. M. Walton’s favorite thing to do in the whole world. Even the hard parts – and there are a lot of hard parts. She says, in the end the hard work is worth it—nothing compares to the thrill of knowing one of her books impacted a reader.
She frequently uses an Ernest Hemingway’s quote to describe what kind of writer she is: “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” Her writing tries to shine a light onto the silently suffering, the marginalized. She loves when assumptions are crushed and readers “see” her characters and feel their pain. Thrilling.
Speaking of thrilling, the most important parts of her life involve her beloved family. She’s madly in love with her husband (twenty-two years married and counting), is ridiculously proud of her two sons, she cherishes her mother, is friends with her countless cousins and in-laws, calls her mother-in-law a friend, loves reading (Harry Potter, The Stand, The Red Tent, The Sky is Everywhere, & The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane are some of her top reads) , going to the movies (some of her all-time favs are Empire Strikes Back, Napoleon Dynamite, & Notting Hill), she loves ice cream and chocolate, kindness and compassion, she believes in paying it forward and doing anything she can to support her family and friends.
Things I Love (*NOTE...These Are NOT in Order)
So I have this wickedly bad habit of picking the skin and cuticles around my nails. It all started back in 8th grade (I think) and I'm pretty sure it had to do with me doubting myself or me feeling really uncomfortable about something. It's been 30 years (infinity ack!) since I started this wickedly bad habit and I wish upon a gazillion stars that I never started it. My fingers freaking hurt.
I've tried bandaids, habit journals, psychologists, behavior modification plans, notes to myself, breathing exercises, visualizing, gloves, moisturizers, punishments and encouragements. Basically, everything. And I still pick my stupid fingers.
If you're a kid and you're reading this, I beg of you, don't start any bad habits while you're a teenager. I know, that's probably the dumbest thing I could ever say to you, right? But, seriously, bad habits have a way of melding themselves to your psyche when you're a teen and they are HARD to stop later on. Stay as healthy as you can mentally and physically. Believe me, your older self with thank you and quite possibly even buy you rewards and junk.