ILLUSTRATION + INSPIRATION
ILLUSTRATION + INSPIRATION
Did you know that Your Angel Army was written on my extremely messy kitchen counter?
Watch as I share my creation process for the children's book that is changing my life.
There is nothing glamorous about chasing a huge dream. It is a combination of hard work, letting go, asking for help, and praying. A lot. My inner circle knows that when they come into my home, there will be dishes in the sink, at least 2 blanket forts in the living room, dog hair on the floor and Lauren Daigle blasting in the background. I probably haven’t brushed my hair (or teeth for that matter), I am most certainly wearing a graphic and there’s always coffee.
If you were to pick up my phone, you’d be alarmed by the 94 unopened emails and you’d smile at the butt naked picture of my baby girl on the home screen.
You see, my friends, I absolutely do not do it all. I mess up picture day at school- even though they send home
45 reminders. I love him fiercely, but I don’t remember what team my husband was coaching against last night. And I only remember if they won or lost by recalling his patience level with our kids at bedtime.
My secret weapon to not lose my mind on a daily basis is thanking God in all circumstances. I talk to Him all day long. I try to stay on the path He’s made for me and ask for forgiveness when I lose my way. This keeps me centered among the chaos. I also believe in the power of a great planner and do my best to make a list of todos each day. I’m on year 2 of utilizing Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner. It’s baller.
Yesterday, I wanted to make a short video explaining my book creation process. My kids refused to be silent while I did the voiceover. (I was literally hiding in my closet trying to find quiet...they found me.) So I made the executive decision that I needed to let go of my “perfect” vision for this marketing piece and embrace the hot mess. I asked my kids to collaborate with me on this video and they stepped up! I had to edit out the crying in the background but their little voices just warm my heart. Check it out below. ❤️
The month of September has been insane. Like many of you, there is the hustle and bustle of getting kids back into the school routine and the shock of having such a schedule takes its toll on everyone. My husband is a high school football coach and this is by far his busiest time of year. Oh... and I published a children's book. No Bigs.
In the past 2 weeks, I've learned that major online retailers like Amazon and Target have picked up my book - crazy, right?!? It has also been ordered by several hospital gift shops - in fact, you can find it at any CentraCare gift shop in Minnesota. It is also being cataloged into libraries across the U.S. (If it is currently not available at your local library, just put in a request and they can find one for you). I have ventured to small businesses in my community and gave them the opportunity to sell my book as well. No one has said no yet! I literally stumble into these shops with my daughters - who are 4 and almost 2 - and hand the owner a copy of Your Angel Army. I tell them I wrote and illustrated a children's book, ask them to read it and tell them to come find us in the store when they are done. Meanwhile, the girls have nearly broken at least 7 items off the shelves and are tugging on my sleeve asking me for juice. Not even joking.
This process may seem unprofessional to some of you, and as a businesswoman I can see where you're coming from. But here's the truth. I wrote this manuscript on the kitchen counter with my kids. I illustrated the paintings with one on my hip, one dumping Legos all over the floor, and one peeing in her pants. That is my life. It is busy and crazy and messy. But it is also the life God has planned for me. So when He put it on my heart to get this out into the world, I listened. He has shown me how every job, every hardship, every relationship, every loss and every victory has lead me to the creation of this book. It is my heart. And I am incredibly honored to share it with you.
You can learn more about Your Angel Army: A Book of Hope at www.yourangelarmy.com. If you are a small business owner and are interested in selling my book in-store, you can easily obtain wholesale pricing and ordering by clicking here.
Thank you and God Bless!
Your Angel Army is out in the world!
You can currently purchase the Ebook and PRE-ORDER your hardcover version (available October 1st, 2019) on www.yourangelarmy.com!
Stay tuned for upcoming events - including details on my book launch party at Milk & Honey Ciders on Sunday, October 13th!
Thank you for all of the love and support! xoxo - Kate
A lifetime of mistakes, insecurities and anxieties lead me to an uneasy feeling about organized religion. In December of 2016, I decided that I really wanted to get right to the source and started studying the bible on my own. It transformed my life in so many ways and has ultimately healed my heart. Understanding scripture within its historical context is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Here are 5 ways that I continue to grow in my faith and stay connected to God all day long.
The First 5 App
Take a Hike
I'm just a small town girl, living in the suburbs of Minneapolis. I'm married to farm boy-turned gym teacher, raising 3 little kids, a dog, a cat and whatever other random animals my children fall in love with. In January of 2016 we purchased a Spanish-style home on 4 acres just outside of town. It has required A LOT of TLC but it is exactly where God wanted us to be. One of the most calming things I can do is take a walk through our woods. I bring my coffee, my pup and my phone for music. This is my happy place and my favorite way to reconnect with God. I've created a playlist via Spotify just for these morning adventures so that I don't get distracted by what I want to listen to and waste this precious time scrolling on my phone. Some mornings I just want to tune into my favorite radio station and listen to whatever God throws my way. You can listen to 98.5 KTIS anywhere in the world when you download the app. Isn't technology magical?!?
I understand that most people don't live out in the woods, but I can almost guarantee that you can find somewhere awesome to walk wherever you are planted. So put on your kicks and get out there! If you really want to make things easy, you can even poach my Spotify playlist: Cool Your Jets.
BONUS POINTS if you bring your fur baby with.
Brush Your Teeth
Yep, you read that right. If you're looking for a way to strengthen your faith, practice good dental hygiene. Okay...that's really only part of the deal. My life is mostly complete chaos and I need all the help I can get. So one habit I have formed is reading a daily devotional from Sarah Young's Jesus Calling while I brush my teeth each day. I leave it right on my bathroom counter and read it whenever I get a free moment to actually brush my teeth each day. (If you have small children, you can probably relate that some days this doesn't happen until like 11am.) Technically you are supposed to brush those pearly whites for 2 minutes, twice a day. However, I have committed to brushing them for as long as it takes for me to read and process the daily devotional found in this book each morning and then for 2 minutes at night. I hope the American Dental Association approves of this system...
Meal Time Prayers
My family and I are pretty darn good at remembering to pray before each meal, even when we are dining out. It can feel a bit awkward to bow your heads and pray at Subway, but I've grown to be totally fine with the strange looks we get sometimes. My dear friend, Pastor Lee, taught me that if everything you're doing in life feels comfortable and easy, you aren't doing it right. Being a Christian should feel a bit like like paddling your boat upstream and going against the social norms of this world. If you're going with the flow and are afraid of standing a part from the crowd, check-in with yourself. Try to lead by example, let your light shine and show the world you aren't ashamed of your faith.
Some of our favorite meal time prayers:
A Good Night
Bedtime routines can be a hot mess. I'm tired, my hubby is tired, the kids are tired (and they don't want to admit it). But we try our best to read 2 books and say prayers as a family before tucking them in at the end of the day. It usually includes a long list of thanking God for all of our loved ones by name and asking Him to watch closely over those who are struggling with health concerns. We recently started implementing a prayer written in my children's book, Your Angel Army (coming Fall 2019). I am so excited to share this little piece of my heart with you. I pray you'll hang it up in your home as a gentle reminder to trust in God's plan for you - you've got a whole army of angels on your side!
CUSTOM PAINTING GIVEAWAY!
God is blessing my journey and it is the best feeling in the world. The amount of support I have received is overwhelming, beautiful and inspiring on so many levels. I am celebrating by giving away a custom original painting of your family! The winner will be announced on August 18th, 2019.
How to enter?
1. Subscribe to the Fisch Tales blog.
2. Comment on my latest blog post 5 Ways to Pray All Day!
I tend to surround myself with only the very best people. The kind of people who lift me up, encourage me and laugh with me when my life is complete chaos. When I was hired by Toni Bradley to create a series of watercolor paintings for her daughter's nursery, I was beyond honored. Toni is one of the most loveable people on the planet and I was thrilled to be chosen for this project. She requested that the paintings highlight "...finding the core of who you are, being unique and loving that (about yourself)". Toni claims these are traits that she does not possess and wants her little girl to grow up having them. You guys, Toni is GORGEOUS. One of the most beautiful women I have ever known. It breaks my heart that she struggles to see that in herself. So when I sat down to work on this piece for little Miss Kenna's nursery, I wanted to send a message to both her AND her mama.
"You are beautiful. You might not see it, but I do."
As I am deep in the middle of writing and illustrating my first children's book, I spend an insane amount of time reading and researching. It is the perfect excuse to throw in a load of laundry, snuggle with my three crazy children and feel incredibly productive.
Have you ever found yourself at the library with your kids, looking for a worthwhile read but end up coming home with Ninja Turtles and (yet another) Disney Princess book? Yep, me too. But not to worry, my friends! I have created a list of 13 exceptional children's books full of good vibes and beautiful illustrations. These titles encourage kindness, explain emotions, demonstrate love and boost self esteem. You're going to adore them, I promise.
I believe in the power of friendship. Kayla Axsom has been my friend for over 20 years. There are few things that she does not know about me and by the grace of God she still loves me. Yesterday, my daughter Loretta and I spent the afternoon creating a piece of art for our dear Kayla in memory of her beautiful mother, Laurie Petermeier. Laurie struggled with serious health issues for most of her life. A wonderfully warm, beautifully goofy and love-filled mama, she was a friend to many. Laurie is best represented by the sunshine; for she was known for letting her light shine everywhere she went.
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:16
-Did you know that we are all blessed with spiritual gifts? Did you also know that we should be using these gifts to serve others? It's true! Just ask my boy, Paul. He writes all about it in Romans 12: 4-6. You may find your gift through teaching, healing, missionary work, hospitality, knowledge, mercy, leadership or a handful of other ways. A spiritual gift is a God-given ability, distributed to Christians through the Holy Spirit. We are to use them to help others see Jesus through our works. They often work hand-in-hand with our natural talents. For example, my spiritual gift is encouragement being expressed through the vehicle of artistic talent.
For me, these gifts took years to recognize and I am still such a beautiful hot-mess-work-in-progress. I just know that the stronger I become in my faith, the stronger these gifts grow. In retrospect, it really is an amazing thing to watch unfold. My encouraging/artistic combo is what has lead me to write a children's book. It has helped me identify whom I am best equip to serve. In the world of sales, this can be translated into "Who Is Your Target Market". It doesn't really give you the warm fuzzies, does it? And in all fairness, I use that term when developing a brand for my accounts. It is simply asking, "Who are you trying to sell your product to?" From a business standpoint, you can find the answer to this question by asking the following 3 questions:
From there you would break it down even further and get specific about what your product does and who typically needs help in that area of life. But when we are talking about a target market for your spiritual gifts, things look slightly different. You need to ask yourself, what has God clearly blessed me with and who am I drawn to help.
Finding Your People
Let's break this down into 3 steps
Once you piece all of these elements together, you should be armed with a pretty clear understanding of who you should be serving with your spiritual gifts. You can now begin to create a life that allows for you to use your gifts to help others. Don't' look at it as yet another thing to do on your list. Look at it as a way to fulfill God's plan for you!
MY BOOK IS WRITTEN FOR:
I know this is where God wants me to be and that is an incredible feeling. I hope you are able to find your own spiritual gift and your "target market" to make the world a better place. God made you YOU for a reason.
Grace + Peace,
At the beginning of my literary journey, I was given a handful of advice from an exception author, Jackie Lea Sommers. Jackie wrote one of my favorite YA novels, Truest, and is full of helpful information. She encouraged me to query a literary agent and was even able to provide me a guideline on how to do so.
This sounds like a simple task, but it is far from it! One method of finding an agent is to research who your favorite authors are represented by. So, I walked into my son's bedroom and grabbed a stack of my most-loved children's books. Inside of this pile was "You Are My Heart" by Marianne Richmond. Her writing style gives mothers across the country #allthefeels. It didn't take me long to realize that Marianne was originally a very successful self published author. She built her brand from the ground up - before the world of self-publishing was right at our fingertips. I felt so compelled to reach out to her. So I did. I wrote her an email asking for a consultation.... and before I knew it, we were FaceTiming in my sunroom.
Have you ever met someone and immediately realized that you were professional soulmates? Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with Marianne for over 2 hours! With more than 50 children's books written and 6 million copies sold, (can you say baller status?) this author/illustrator is a true light in the industry. More than that, she is all about connecting with other people and loving her tribe fiercely. She is now officially my mentor and friend.
Here are the top 5 things that I learned about during our time together:
Today I am going to focus on the publishing process.
Traditional Publishing vs Self Publishing: Which Route is Best for Me?
Successful traditional publishing in a tiny nutshell looks sort of like this:
This process is long and can take 1-3 years from start to finish. There are rules and protocols. Some people thrive in that environment. I typically do not. But the nice part about traditional publishing is having a team in your corner to help you create content and market your work. They have all the "ins" and connections to get your book out into the world. So maybe it is worth the wait after all.
The majority of authors are not really interested in the publicity side of things. They want to create the work and turn the reigns over to someone else to sell it - and I completely respect that. But it's no secrete that I am an entrepreneur at heart. I become obsessed with projects that speak to my soul and I can sometime forget about everything else around me.
A perfect example of this was when I chaired the Inaugural Bow Ties & Arrows Gala for the INDY Foundation this March. With the support of my fellow board members, I basically built this event from the ground up. I hustled. I hustled really hard and it was a tremendous success. Meanwhile my house was a mess, I missed preschool registration deadlines and I'm not really sure what occurred anywhere in the world from January-March.
I guess my point is that I thoroughly enjoy problem solving and am not afraid to work hard to make a dream turn into a reality. I have become okay with not trying to "do it all" or have the "perfect" life. I am a wonderfully broken, splendidly impatient and goal-driven child of God. My background in branding and marketing and my business-owner mentality actually make me an ideal candidate for becoming a self published author/illustrator. But what does that process look like?
There has never been an easier time to become self published. Companies like IngramSpark or Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) have changed the indie author culture. They not only print your books on demand, they also work directly with book stores and libraries to get new titles onto the market. Don't get me wrong, this is much more of a DIY process that traditional publishing, but if you are willing to put in the work and put yourself out there, anything is possible. Your potential earnings are typically higher in self publishing as well - especially if you are an author/illustrator combo. There are simply less people who get a piece of the pie.
At this point in my literary journey I plan to continue to research literary agents and publishers that are a good fit for my writing style. My picture book, Angel Army (working title), is faith-based, so that really narrows down my search for the perfect fit. Ultimately I am putting it in God's hands as to which publishing route I take. I'll just keep working hard and see where this adventure takes me!
Stay tuned for other amazing insider information and notes on what Marianne Richmond and I discussed during our consultation. She is a wealth of fabulous information! If you are an aspiring author who is looking to connect with an authentic, knowledgeable and creative soul, I strongly suggest reaching out to her. You will not be disappointed.
Up next: Establishing a Target Market
Delivering creative work with integrity since 2009.
Little Fisch specializes in collaborating with fellow small businesses. Through logo design, packaging, websites and marketing material, the goal is to create brand identities that capture the attention of audiences on all platforms.