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About Me

Hi!

I’m Kelly

Christian writer, Author, Illustrator

Of all the Kelly Bixbys in the world, I’m the one who likes to write.

The very first story I wrote was a single-page science fiction piece, titled “George and the Mercurians.” My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Mack, had assigned a story-starter and given my paper an “A.” Her encouragement sparked my passion for English and literature.

My writing journey was forged through time, as more and more wonderful teachers shared their own enthusiasms with me.

Together, we enjoyed diagramming sentences, competing in school spelling bees, and testing our vocabulary skills.

At the University of Michigan, Dearborn, I brought a little of Mrs. Mateo, some of Mr. Rinna, and a lot of my mom and dad to college with me. I remember being in attendance when Tom Wolfe came dressed in white and spoke on our Ann Arbor campus. And what an honor it was to exercise my own creative writing muscles under direction of Professor Bill Linn.

The first in my family to graduate from college, I worked in the insurance industry as a claims representative. Years later, I quit work to stay home and raise my children.

Writing is fun! That’s why I do it.

As a stay-at-home mom, I found lots of ways to be creative. Vacation Bible School was one of my greatest outlets and allowed me to bring stories to life through elaborate decorating. Eventually, I was asked to write and direct a Christmas pageant for my church. With God truly behind every project, I had a blast working with the youth and stretching my skillset beyond anything I had imagined for myself.

Routinely reading books to my children reminded me of my desire to write books of my own. I loved making stories and characters more memorable through inflections in my voice. I had a knack for Count Dracula, although my version was less like that of Count von Count from Sesame Street and more like that of the iconic Bela Lugosi.

Other inspiration came in reading The Land of the Lost, published by Whittlesey House in 1945 and illustrated by Isabel Manning Hewson, to second and fourth graders at my kids’ elementary school. There were so many different characters, I had to work hard to come up with a unique voice for each one.

These experiences taught me how much I wanted to have a greater role in creating meaningful moments between children and adults. What better way to bridge the divide between generations than by way of a good story?

Here I am, offering my first book to you and hoping you find it beautiful, entertaining, and of value for you and those you love.

There is a lot in life

to enjoy

I enjoy God

Through prayer, God gave me the idea to write a biography of my deceased pastor, Reverend Doctor Janet A. Noble-Richardson. She was the person who best helped me understand my relationship with Jesus, and I thought her biography would be my first book.

I began the lengthy process of interviewing people and cataloging my research for the project. Trying to get through twenty years of Janet’s sermons, however, overwhelmed me. I veered away from my God-given task and, instead, poured my attention into writing a fictional picture book that I could finish in time for the arrival of my first grandchild.

Thankfully, God has allowed my wayward behavior and is patient with me. I believe He’s guiding me through my decision making and together we will complete the other stories on my heart. I can hardly wait to see how they each turn out.

I enjoy family and friends

Publishing Phyllis Floats made me more aware of God’s blessings. He gave me time and ability to pursue my heart’s desires, and he gave me family and friends who care for, patiently guide, and thoughtfully inspire me.

I’m thankful to every person who read the early draft of my first book and provided feedback. My beta readers included children as young as two and adults as mature as eighty-seven years old. Some read silently and offered advice when they were done. Others let me hear the story through their voices. I cherish the moments we shared together, pondering over whether or not the book was ready.

I enjoy writing

My teachers had a huge impact on my passion for writing. Every time I did well on an assigment, I was encouraged. When I didn’t do as well, I was motived to work harder. I like to say that I have thick skin when it comes to having my writing critiqued and edited. Most often, that’s true.

My first publication credits came in writing  for my college newspaper. Later, I proofread for a publication department at a hospital and contributed articles to a Parents and Teachers Association newsletter.

In raising my four children, I began dreaming of writing my own book.

I enjoy learning

When my children grew to become young adults, I recommitted to further developing my writing skills. I joined a writers’ group, learned to blog, edited for peers, and eventually gained confidence to go out on my own. I created my first website in 2016, when my husband and I started a charitable nonprofit organization. My content writing for the charity’s blog featured both business and personal stories. Family, friends, and other kind readers seemed to embrace my efforts, and I was encouraged. But still, I dreamed of writing a book.

I enjoy love

My writing isn’t possible without the love and support of my husband. Greg has always believed in my dreams, invested in my ambitious endeavers, and curbed my overzealous nature, at times, to keep me on task. He’s repeatedly told me to “just write the book” “just finish the book” and now “just promote and sell the book.” He knows what it takes to be successful. I’m fortunate to have him guide me in areas I’m not comfortable navigating on my own.

It’s been my absolute pleasure and privilege creating Phyllis Floats. Enjoy!

What brings you joy?

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