Home for me is the very small town of Halsey, NE. My husband and I started teaching there, in the Sandhills school district, when we first got out of college. We thought we’d get some experience and move on to a bigger place, but twenty-five years later we’re still here. The community is so friendly, how could we leave?
I’ve always lived in rural places, having grown up on a farm near Rushville, NE, and the farming/ranching lifestyle has been the inspiration for my middle grade series of books about George, the farm cat who’s convinced he’s in charge of his humans’ farm. I live on a small acreage on the very edge of Halsey, which allows me to have numerous animals of my own: cats, dogs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, guinea pigs… Animals have unique personalities and do some pretty crazy things sometimes. Many of my cats’ antics have ended up as part of the George stories.
I started writing stories for fun when I was in second grade and continued doing so throughout my high school years. I never really considered writing for a career, however, because of my mistaken notion that authors had to live in cities—or at least places that the average person had heard of. Besides that, I’d always wanted to be a teacher. So teach I did, for over twenty years. As a result of being in the classroom and also as a member of the state board of the Nebraska Reading (now Literacy) Association, I had the privilege of meeting many real-for-sure authors. And I made an astounding discovery. Authors didn’t have to come from well known places. Some of them were actually from rural areas like me! If they could do it, so could I.
I took some writing classes, joined Nancy Wagner for her series of novel retreats, found a writing group to join, and finally decided to take a giant leap of faith. I quit teaching so that I could write more. Now I also visit classrooms to get kids excited about writing and let them know that anyone can be an author—even someone from a small town in Nebraska.
Would you like a copy of one or more of Kristin Bauer Ganoung’s books for free–just for the asking? Click on the images below to learn more about these books and to request one, for free!