Why I Started Writing:
I am a mixed bag of tricks. I say that in jest, but being both a professional illustrator and an author can be one and the same. When I draw, whether it is illustrating my own work or someone else’s, my pictures must resonate with the words. They also need to be able to tell the emotion of the story before the words are read. I love when someone pauses deep in thought in front of one of my paintings. I know the color and brush strokes have reached inside of them evoking a memory or thought. Writing too is a beautiful way to illustrate your story with words, set your scene, develop your characters, and paint your story!
As a religious education teacher, I taught the Old Testament to fifth graders. I wanted to find a way to capture their enthusiasm in the beauty of the stories and the imagery that unfolded within them. I would read the verses in a story format from the Bible, but then I would follow with a short story of my own, folding that same story into a modern day theme. By the end of the year, the students were helping write those stories!
My own writing career began quite by accident. After the loss of a beloved pet, I began to journal my extensive notes from learning to care for and live in a deaf dog’s world. The journal+ began as a therapeutic exercise and became my first manuscript that has morphed into an award winning memoir.
The opportunities from my first book and my love of telling a good story have inspired me to write in other genres now as well. My words are truthful and honest and my writing speaks directly to the reader from my heart.
Authors Who Have Influenced Me:
I have always been an avid reader, and I enjoy many different authors and genres. My favorite is Robin Cook. My degrees are in Medical Illustration, so his medical mystery stories are relatable.
Some real life influences have come from a few local authors who have self-published their books. I have met them, listened to their challenges and read some of the most amazing works from people I have never heard of before. I admire their perseverance. They motivate me.
Books I Have Written:
A Spot in My Heart: Loving a Special Needs Dog – 2016 Memoir – Green Ivy Publishing
Awarded the Grand Prize of the 2017 TCK Publishing Readers’ Choice, the book not only won top honors overall, but was also voted the winner in the memoir genre. My journals about my family’s journey into a deaf world were Vinnie’s story. It is not a dog book; it is a powerful memoir with a dog in it.
Death Among Us—2019 Murder Mystery—Hendry Publishing
This murder mystery short story anthology is a comprised of 10 international authors each with a unique theme. I have 4 short stories featured in this collection. As an avid boater on Lake Ontario, my theme was murder at a house on the lake. The beauty and siren-like draw of the water masks the dangers that lurk within.
The Best Gift of All—2019 Children’s book—Elk Lake Publishing
Written by Michelle Lazurek & Illustrated by Kelly Artieri
This book is a beautiful story of a young girl who learns that sometimes the best gifts of all come from the heart. It was an honor working with Michelle illustrating this book.
What I'm Working On Now:
Perfect Enough—2020 Children’s book—Elk Lake Publishing
Written & Illustrated by Kelly Artieri
A story told from the eyes of children going through the foster care program.
Special Spots—2020 Children’s Book—Elk Lake Publishing
Written & Illustrated by Kelly Artieri
The story is a children’s version of learning acceptance and embracing the challenges after rescuing a deaf puppy.
Both books are designed to be read with children to initiate a dialog between parents and their kids. I believe it is never too early to discuss and teach acceptance, empathy, and compassion one conversation at a time.
Rough Water—Women’s Fiction Psychological Drama
This story is set on the brink of Niagara Falls. It is a story of a woman’s inner strength as she struggles with loss, her health, and the ugly face of mental abuse.