Meet Kelly Tully
Local Author Releases New Children’s Book
Writer / Suzanne Huntzinger
“Attack of the Tiny Tornadoes” has just been released, and it’s blowing young readers away. Local Author, Kelly Tully, just released the children’s book designed specifically for readers in middle grades, (ages 7-11) and it’s already the number one new release on Amazon for the Children’s Time Travel Fiction genre.
The book is the first in the Secret List Series about a young boy who sets out to conquer his fears. The book also weaves in a little supernatural and fantasy, and even time travel. It’s Tully’s first novel, one which she describes as a labor of love.
“I’ve always been into books.” Tully says. “But writing the novel wasn’t something I specifically planned.”
But a higher plan awaited her.
Through her passion for books, Tully became involved at her children’s school as a Literacy Mentor. In compliance with the Read Across America program, she was trained to read and connect with kids who were not reading at or above their grade level. Once or twice a week, she came in to read to a few students.
“These kids really struggled,” Tully says. “But when I started working with them and that lightbulb came on, it brought tears to my eyes. It was so rewarding.”
It was during that time that Tully discovered a gap in the second to fourth or fifth grade level reading. She noticed the age group was too advanced for lower level reading but not ready for big 300 to 400-page chapter books. The need for middle grade books really came into focus when Tully’s then third grade son was looking for something interesting to read. When Tully tried to help him choose a book at his level, she couldn’t find one that wasn’t either too easy or wasn’t a big chapter book.
“So, I told him I’d write a book that he would want to read,” she says. “He told me he’d like to have rocks and gems in the book somehow, and the magic just evolved.”
The journey to getting her book published wasn’t quick and easy, but Tully says she learned a lot along the way.
“I learned to put in a lot of research time,” she says. “I went to writing workshops to connect with other writers, and I had experts review my manuscripts. They gave me valuable advice.”
One librarian who reviewed the manuscript told Tully that her book meets Indiana’s Social Studies standards for teaching time and place.
Now that her first book has been released, Tully has already finished the second book in the Secret List Series and started on the third. She’s also releasing “The Map to Myself,” a book for young adult audiences, that deals with a range of teenage themes like friendships and fitting in with the right crowd, peer pressure and the dangers of social media.
Tully is thrilled to be able to pursue her passion for books and writing. But she hasn’t forgotten about her love of inspiring that same passion in others. So, she shared some advice of her own. For parents facing the challenge of finding an appropriate book for their child, she recommends going with your child’s interests.
“Non-fiction is an often-forgotten genre,” she says. “So, if your child loves alligators, find non-fiction books about alligators. But above all, keep reading, because good readers make good writers and vice versa.”
For budding authors, she cautions about getting discouraged.
“Take it one sentence at a time,” she says. “Let an idea spark, get it on paper and let it build. Don’t forget, everything is a draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time around. You can go back and edit later.”
Get your copy of “Attack of the Tiny Tornadoes” today on Amazon. Read more information about Kelly Tully and get information on upcoming new releases at kellytully.com.