Kinsy McVay

Even though I received my degree in Illustration, it wasn't until I became an elementary art teacher that I found my way back to illustration.  I needed a book to help teach my children about the different types of lines used in art, and when I came up short, I decided to write my own story.  The result was the story of Stew, a horizontal line who finds that he doesn't have to lie flat.  Through that book, I have made connections through conferences and book fairs that have led to more work in illustration.  Stay tuned for more books to come!  Be sure to "Like" my page to stay up to date, and visit my website at


Book(s) By Kinsy McVay


Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?


  I grew up in a small, farming community in southwest Kansas.  I always loved drawing and reading comic books like Spider-man, Green Lantern, and Thor.  I was also an avid reader, and spent a lot of nights staying up reading when I should have been sleeping. Luckily, when I decided on art and illustration as my career path, my amazing parents did nothing to downplay or discourage my dream, as some parents might. Instead, they encouraged me to do my best in everything that I do, regardless of what that might be.

            I went on to receive my degree in illustration from the University of Kansas in 2001.  It wasn't until the past couple of years, though, that I truly began to pursue my illustration career.  I have had the great opportunity to teach elementary art for the past five years in the Fort Worth Independent School District, and it was my students who actually inspired me to write and illustrate my first children's book.  I wrote the book for them, not only to encourage creative thinking but also to teach them about the most basic Element of Art:  Line.  The result was Just Line Around.
            I currently live in Fort Worth with my wife and our two sons.  We also have a cat, dog, and gecko roaming around the house.  Well, not the gecko.  He’s usually confined to quarters.  


Describe your book ‘Just Line Around’ in 30 words or less.


A deceptively simple book about a horizontal line who discovers that there is more to life than just lying flat.


What was the hardest part of writing your book?


 The writing! Illustration will always be my first love, so even when writing this book, I saw the pictures I wanted first, and then I went back and created a story that would support the images.  The story is extremely simple in Just Line Around, but I just seemed to agonize over the wording of it forever. The writing definitely doesn't come to me as easily as the images, so I can't begin to imagine what novelists go through to create their finished works!


What books have had the greatest influence on you?


 I have always been a fan of imaginative works of fiction, but it wasn’t until I read The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks in 5th grade that I found the types of stories that really draw me in and immerse me in the storyline.  Since then, I have read almost entirely science fiction and fantasy books, but I enjoy just about any well-written story.  The worlds and imagery of the science fiction/fantasy genre greatly appeal to my creative side.  I love getting lost in the story in a world that only exists in my mind.


Briefly share with us what you do to market your book?


Between teaching and my family, I don't spend near the time marketing as I would like.  I have a Facebook page, web site, blog, and Twitter account that I use to communicate with friends, family, and fans.  I also visit schools and attend conferences to connect with potential fans and to network with other authors and publishers.  I have done a few online interviews, book giveaways, and even created my own book trailer (viewable @ 


            I’ve also taken advantage of many of the promotional tools available right here at BookBuzzr.  The Cover Matcher game keeps the cover of my book fresh the readers mind, and the book display program allows them to read part it.  For a limited time, I’ve pushed the book display a bit farther by allowing people to read my entire book, Just Line Around.   This leaves the readers with no doubt about the book, and if they want a copy of their own, the embedded links make it a snap to purchase.  Overall, I’d say it was well worth the investment!


How do you spend your time when you are not writing?


 Although I might wish it otherwise, writing and illustrating currently get very little of my time/energy.  Most of my time is spent at school or with my family.  Both of my boys participate in extracurricular sports like soccer, and my oldest is currently learning to play guitar.  So there is always a practice or game to attend for most of the year.  For fun, we sometimes engage in Nerf wars with each other, play board games, read books, or play video games.  My wife and I enjoy watching movies together, spending time with friends and family, and the o-so-rare date night.   


What are you working on next?


 I am actually working on a couple of things at the moment.  I am illustrating a new children’s book by Amanda M. Thrasher called There’s a Gator Under my Bed!  It’s a fun story about a little boy afraid to get out of bed because he’s afraid there’s an alligator hiding under it. Sketches for the book can be viewed in the photos section on my Facebook page  Amanda and I have just begun sending out queries to publishers.  We are very excited about this project and can’t wait to go forward with it.


           In addition to that project, I am also working on another children’s book of my own.  This one will be in an entirely differently illustrative style and on an entirely different subject.  It is a Christian parable of Christ’s sacrifice for us, and the illustrations will be created from torn and cut tissue paper.  This one has been cooking in the back of my brain for a while.  I’m really looking forward to giving it the time and attention it deserves.  It will be interesting to see how it evolves. 


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