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From the colorful themes of Shel Silverstein to the wondrous world of Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Heather Kinser ’90 found each word sparked fascination as she devoured kids’ books. Now, Kinser herself has tumbled down the rabbit hole, becoming a published author of several kid-lit poems and, recently, her first picture book, “Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen.”
Kinser’s writing introduces kids to STEM, exploring the world that kids (and the grownups paying attention) may find curiouser and curiouser.
“Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen was inspired by watching my children explore tiny things in nature and by discovering the mind-blowing images being produced by scanning electron microscopes,” Kinser says.
While the path to becoming an author was rocky at first, with numerous open call submissions and trying to get into the market without a literary agent, Kinser kept hold of her passion and creativity while juggling kids and an editing job. She kept nurturing the creative spark fanned by her role as poetry editor at the Santa Clara Review and her poetry professor, Edward Kleinschmidt Mayes. A brief scare with cancer was a wake-up call for Kinser, inspiring her to pursue her passions in life and carve out time devoted solely to writing.
“It’s a fulfilling path [and] I’m hopeful,” Kinser says. “It’s a slow process, a hard business to get into, but when I’m writing, I feel the most like myself.”
It’s a process that bears fruit. Kinser has two upcoming books, “Nature Is a Sculptor”—Millbrook Press and “In a Cave,”—Gnome Road Publishing that draw from her childhood love of rocks and minerals and fascination with the underground system of Mammoth Cave. Both books are set to come out in fall with Nature Is a Sculptor releasing on September 5 and In a Cave on October 3.