Book 1 & Book 2


I have been putting a lot of work and time into my new book which I want to have published by this fall. It didn’t take this much work and time when I published my first book. It took a few months to publish my first book, A PinkBoat Adventure. If I am calculating correctly, it will take me about a year to publish my next book, A PinkBoat Adventure – Part 2: “Kathlean’s Bad Day”.

The new book is coming along just fine in my estimation. I have 21 colored illustrations for inside the book. I also have about 21 pages of text to go along with those illustrations. However, I am going to do some two page spreads for some of the illustrations. That still adds up to at least 42 pages of story/illustrations in the book. My first book, A PinkBoat Adventure, had half as much story/illustrations. There will also be twice as much text/reading in the new book than in the first book. So, this new book will satisfy those children who need “more story to read”. I have also let contractions be used in the story. In the previous book, I avoided using them. So, there are a number of differences in the way the book is being composed and put together.

I am using to publish my new book. For my first book, I used There is a big difference between these two companies. I can choose to do all the work with formatting the book using lulu. With Authorhouse, I had them do all the formatting work and a majority of the illustration work. Since I’m doing all the formatting work with lulu, there will be a large difference in the cost it will take to have the book published. With Authorhouse, it was a few thousand without advertising. With lulu, it will be a few hundred without advertising.

I thought you might like a little look behind the scenes of my two books to see how the book world works. Even though it is taking me longer to publish my second book, I really do enjoy doing the work. I like creativity and being a children’s book author is a really good outlet for such.




Bad Example Books

It always gets me annoyed when I read in children’s books how kids/teens are disrespectful towards their parents or other authority figures. You see this everywhere actually. That includes the television. But I’m concentrating on the books because adults are creating these books for their young audiences. It’s rather criminal…especially if the author is a parent themselves.

Whenever I have read a book, it was for fun. I always liked reading mystery and adventure books when I was younger. I never liked books that had bad behavior in them because it ruined the book for me. When I was school aged, these types of books that had misbehaved children/teens actually bored me. Now that I’m an adult, these types of books get me annoyed when I read them to do a review. A book should be fun, not include examples of bad behavior for the child to learn.

Now, I like reading factual books that help me to learn something. I’ve read books on understanding childhood behavior, books on understanding adult behaviors and habits, books on religious matters, and books that show me how to do things (like Photoshop). I still like reading mystery/adventure stories but there aren’t many good ones out there anymore. The majority of them include bad adult behavior like murders, infidelity, etc. So, I’ve given up on reading mystery/adventure books for adults. They just don’t cut it with me with the bad behaviors they promulgate in the books. Anybody got any references for adult mystery/adventure stories that don’t include such bad behavior in them?

Yep, books have come a long way. It’s too bad the path that they are taking is one going downhill. My intention in being a children’s author is to create books that don’t have bad behavior in them. My first book was a mystery/adventure. My second one that I am putting together is somewhat of a mystery book, but you don’t realize it until the end of the book. If you are a critical reader, u will see the clues as the story progresses. However, many children today (sadly) aren’t critical readers.

I am going to end on that note.


Kathleen Ivan

The Nuances of the Ponytail

How hard can making a ponytail be? Hmmm, well, let’s see. I thought it wasn’t too hard until I was doing one for my niece. Usually, I don’t put my hair up and I keep it down. I don’t know why I keep my hair down, but I realized the reasons behind it when I was trying to do a ponytail for my niece. I was trying to do a ponytail, but there’s always a bump leftover that didn’t get smoothed out enough. So, I take it out and try to redo it. It happens again just on another side of the head. How did ponytails get so hard to do?

Ponytail Drawing

Usually, I put my hair up after a shower. However, I don’t try to do it perfectly since it’s just to keep it out of my face while I brush my teeth and wash my face. So, the ponytail usually has bumps in it. Therefore, I never realized that doing a pony tail correctly was so hard. I have tried it again but when my hair was dry. I just can’t make a ponytail without bumps. I found myself getting annoyed and actually beginning to work up a sweat.

So, I have totally given up on trying to make a ponytail correctly for public viewing. It just keeps coming out the way it shouldn’t. Those bumps keep being the result of my efforts. So, you will never see me with my hair up in a ponytail unless it’s done by someone else. It’s just too much effort for something that doesn’t come out correctly. I’ll keep my bumpy ponytails for when I am keeping my hair out of my face and I’m not in public.

Such a seemingly simple hairstyle….but not so simple to do. At least not for me anyways. 🙂

My book is available on

My book is also available on

If you would like to take a look at my website first

Heavy Rain in the Desert is Problematic

Yesterday, I witnessed first hand the problems of traveling even a short distance in the desert when it rains. Where I was driving, the rain wasn’t bad at all. Only when I stopped at Starbuck’s to get a drink and a sandwich did it pour for 10 or so minutes. I was rather annoyed trying to get my stuff from the drive-thru window because of the pouring rain. So, I was happy when it stopped just when I pulled away from Starbucks to continue my journey home.

It was still raining a little bit as I continued along my way, but it wasn’t bad. So, when I was only ten minutes away from home, I was rather chagrined that traffic had slowed to a crawl and then a total stop. I sat in my car for a half hour before I decided to put it in park and shut off the engine. I had to get out and stretch my legs. I was rather bored so I decided to take some photos. This is what it looked like.

This is the car line of stopped/idling cars behind my car.

This is the car line of stopped/idling cars behind my car.

Originally, I had thought that it was an accident. However, it turns out the road ahead had flooded with water and tons of sand. They had the plows out there and some police officers. I was not able to know about the plows till the line of cars were able to move again and I was able to continue on my journey home.

Here's my car. You can see how the sand is on the road. That's from the rain.

Here’s my car. You can see how the sand is on the road. That’s from the rain.

You can see little drifts of sand on the road in the picture above. That’s my nice blue Ford Escape in the picture. It’s the first car in the picture.

The line of cars in front of my car.

The line of cars in front of my car.

Another view of the line of cars/automobiles looking in front of my car. I love the look of the sky that I was able to capture in the photo above.

People were getting restless. You can see them starting to get out of their cars and looking around.

People were getting restless. You can see them starting to get out of their cars and looking around.

This picture above is fuzzy but I think it’s an interesting picture in that it shows the people.

After a while, more people got out of their vehicles to walk around.

After a while, more people got out of their vehicles to walk around.

I think this is an awesome image because it shows the attitude and feelings of the people being put at a disadvantage because of the rain. The guy whose image is reflected in the mirror to the right side of the image made me shake me head and laugh. Him and his buddies were saying “oh my God” over and over again. Then, I heard them saying they had to “go piss” and that they couldn’t wait any longer. They actually lucked out because the car to the side of them had pulled away and went in the opposite direction of the line. So, these guys ended up being able to get out of the line and probably felt really relieved that they could “go piss”. 🙂

The long line stretched both ways.

The long line stretched both ways.

I love this picture above also. You can see the people’s attitudes and the plow/trucks in the distance fixing the road. You can also see the sand and water on the road. I didn’t know how awesome of a picture this would turn out to be until I got home and saw it on my computer.

161 edit

People got back into their cars to listen to the radio to combat their boredom. Plus, it was starting to drizzle again. I stayed outside even while it was drizzling. I was actually walking around outside of my car taking these pictures.

You can see a little bit of how the sand and water got all over the road.

You can see a little bit of how the sand and water got all over the road.

It took a whole hour for them to get the road good enough for us to be able to drive on. Even then, only one lane was safe enough to drive over. Good thing it was a two-lane on each side of the road. I was so happy to be able to step on that gas pedal.

The problem of rain in the desert.

The problem of rain in the desert.

Of course, I wasn’t gonna step too hard on the pedal though. There was still water puddles and sand here and there. Puddles are bad enough, but when u have sand in there also it’s another story. My car has sand all over it now. It needs a car wash, but I’m gonna be leaving on vacation soon. Tomorrow is prep day for my vacation to the Mid-West.

One side of the road was blocked off because of the accumulated sand and water. It was pretty thick in some places.

One side of the road was blocked off because of the accumulated sand and water. It was pretty thick in some places.

You can see my graduation tassel here. It says 2012 and that’s the year I graduated from my Bachelor program at the University of Phoenix. The time is wrong on that clock there….it’s three hours ahead and five minutes behind, so it was really about 6:40 pm at the time of this picture.

Well, that was an adventure. Annoying, but what can you do? It’s the desert and the sand just goes where it wants to when it rains.

Did you find this interesting? Did you learn anything about desert living/desert problems from this post? I hope you did.

This blog post may give me some story ideas.

If you would like to see the first book I’ve ever published, the amazon link is below.

Getting Book Reviews

I’m looking for reviews for my children’s book, but it’s pretty difficult to get people to go online and take the time to post a review. Why is it so hard for people to post a simple book review? That really mystifies me. I like posting reviews for books and any other products. I think this helps other customers to decide whether or not they want to buy a product. I actually don’t really like buying a product online if it doesn’t have some kind of review. I always tend to look at negative reviews first also just to see what people didn’t like about the product. So, this is why I don’t mind if a review is somewhat negative and not filled with positive comments.

Here is a rather negative review I got for my book:
“Strap on your life vest because there are some severely choppy waters ahead.

*Author Kathleen Ivan wrote this for her “developmentally slow” niece, and I point this out immediately since no one but Ivan and those closest to her will ever chart the same course in reading it
*I’m not ashamed to say that the pink in here really pops and makes me wonder if it is underutilized in the kidlit color world
*Alan Dugan navigates the boat illustrations perfectly, but he also should have sent out an SOS in a few other spots (namely the look of the main protagonist and the use of space on page 15)

*Why did somebody named Crustina turn into crumbs and where did the mystery man come from (so far from shore) — seriously, I wish there were answers to these questions
*When the book itself ends by essentially asking those very questions verbatim, it almost felt like Ivan was pouring salt water in my mental wound — and made my wife think I was joking when I stopped reading at that point
*I’m not sure why the vessel is called PinkBoat or why the character Kathlean spells her name differently than the author (and I truly hope there’s a reason for both), but it automatically brings an air of typos and mistakes to the work that I assume most people will be unable to ignore

I have delayed blogging about A PinkBoat Adventure for about five days now. I did this primarily because I hate sinking independent authors who have spent their hard-earned money shipping me materials. But the other reason was perhaps even more important to me: despite some extremely concrete initial opinions, rushing into the review did not feel like the right thing to do. Rather, I wanted to get my sea legs and have it come about at a time when I was fully engaged, in order to avoid any flippancy in my commentary. [Please note there is a huge difference between being obtusely flippant and using nautical puns in the course of negative feedback.] I hope both Ms. Ivan and the rest of you recognize that I did this, even if you disagree with my assessment (which is that we’re dealing with a near-total loss here). As someone who comes from two generations of marine insurers, I tend to think I’m particularly qualified to make this call…DESTROY”.(This review is from the following website:

I really think the above reviewer should have understood my book. It mystifies me that he didn’t.

Anyways, I submitted my book to another children’s book website to review and just crossed my fingers. I was really happy and satisfied when they published the review. The reviewer actually understood my book and the intention to get kid’s minds going in the imaginative areas. Because of this, I would call my book “interactive”. However, not all readers get the point of the book. My aunt didn’t get it at first because she forgot to read it with a kid’s perspective. But once she changed the way she read the book, she understood the objective of the book.

I think I need more kids to be reviewing my book. Adults, if you buy my children’s book, read it over to yourself first but make sure you read it out loud to your kids. I’m sure your kids will love the book and talk about it after you have finished reading it. Get the child’s opinion. After all, the book is written for the kids. Not the adults.

Here is a part of the recent “good” review that I got for my children’s book.

“The story has a mysterious and open ending which leaves room for readers to interpret what happened to Crustina in their own way. The story is a sort of a puzzle which will fascinate kids and make them think. The pictures are lovely and vibrant and breathe life into the scenes and characters. The surprise twist in the middle and the unexpected ending make it an enjoyable read for children. It is a good book that can be used in read aloud sessions in classrooms. It will be nice to see the way the kids come up with different interpretations for the ending. I enjoyed the book mainly because the story is original and it breaks away from the norm. The author gives young readers the space and opportunity to think with the ending.”

Full five star reveiw can be found at the following link:

Bye Bye North Carolina

Well, I’m on my way to California because of my husband’s job. We’re not going to be anywhere close to the beach either. Instead, we’ll be out in the desert. At least there’s no staircase/upstairs in the new place. 🙂 

I’ve also joined night owl reviews. So, when I get all settled in at our new place, I’ll be starting doing some book reviews. That’ll most likely be some time in early July. 

I also intend on writing more books. “A PinkBoat Adventure” isn’t my one and only book. However, I may just decide to do e-books only. I’ll see how it goes. I’m looking around at various online sites to see what they offer and for what cost. Well, I was looking around until we had to pack up and move. So, I’ve put that to the side also until we get settled into our new place. Again, that will be sometime in July that I’ll resume my “looking around”. 

Basically, everything is on hold until sometime in early July.