Cat and author

Kimberly Palmucci is an author and multimedia journalist. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, Dominick, their son, Cayden, and their cats, Meesta, Princess, Mayra, and Rosie. Since adopting Meesta in 2011, Kimberly has been inspired to share a positive narrative about shelter pets and special pets. Meesta is missing his back left leg; he is a three-legged cat, active, playful, and able in every way. His resilience, strength, and indomitable spirit inspired her mission to help animals and celebrate our differences. Regardless of where your story begins, who you are, or what makes you special and unique, everyone deserves a happy ending!

Author Q & A

Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

In addition to being an author, I am also a multimedia journalist. Writing has always been a passion of mine, but my journey as an author began with my love of animals. Inspired by Meesta’s story, I wrote my first book and have continued my creative journey ever since. I am passionate about our animals and believe that one person can make a world of difference.

What is the most enjoyable thing you’ve found through writing?

Writing is cathartic for me. I write to express myself and connect readers to narratives of positivity. But the best part of this whole process for me has been when readers share their own stories, or tell me that my books inspired them in any way. I gravitated toward reporting and authorship for the same reason—because I believe we each have beautiful and unique stories to share, and it’s my job to share those stories. I tell all of my readers—you matter, your voice matters, and you can inspire others through your words.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

Since adopting Meesta, I was inspired to share his story. Over the years, I began to realize that his story not only applies to shelter pets, but to anyone who feels different or overlooked. I chose to write this story for children because the uplifting messages enable parents and kids to start a conversation about being unique, being kind, and being unapologetically ourselves. I believe it’s important to begin this conversation at a young age when kids are most impressionable. I also love poetry and the opportunities it affords for youth engagement through rhyme scheme and other structural elements.

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

Not at all. For me, it’s all about using sensory language and putting a lot of thought into the themes of my books. Young minds are constantly absorbing information, and anything I introduce to them, I want to convey with a narrative that is vividly relatable. It’s important not to shy away from certain themes just because an audience is younger; you just have to craft it in a style tailored toward that audience. I did not want to write a book about “being different” and not have any sort of struggle or hardship for our main character, for example. Being different is beautiful and amazing, but it can also be hard. Omitting that struggle would be doing an injustice to the audience. I take that logic into every decision I make for the books, and it makes the entire process very enjoyable.

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

Young readers are so creative and imaginative. They are open-minded, they are learning everything so quickly, and they observe the world in a way that is vastly different than we do as we get older. In my many conversations with youngsters, I’ve realized that they are also very perceptive to different themes. They are smart and they pick up on the smallest details. And they get REALLY excited about these small details, which never fails to give me a smile that matches those on the youthful faces.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

When I’m not writing you’ll find me visiting my parents’ shepherd mix puppies, reading my brother’s books (he is an author as well), or spending quality time with my son, the cats, and my husband!

Do you have anything else to add?

I wrote my books with the intention of not only spreading positive messaging, but also raising donations for non-profits that support children and animals. I donate a portion of my sales and will continue to do that always. As readers, every time you purchase one of my books, you are also making a donation to a non-profit, including local animal rescues and organizations that benefit kids!