Share the Story (Or Two) inside of You!

Books with some of my early stories.

Books with some of my early stories.

I believe every person has a story inside of them. They may not know about the story. In many cases I’ve helped people tell their stories by interviewing them and then with their permission writing their stories, usually in magazines and newspapers.
Nowadays I’m most known for the 11 non-fiction children’s books I’ve written. But I’ve had essays in other books, including stories in anthologies.
One of my favorite stories to have written ‘as told to’ is one from Peggy Littell about the accidental death of her husband, Matt.
More books with stories I've written from my life.

More books with stories I’ve written from my life.

The incident of Matt’s accidental vehicle death took place in Philippines. I saw the news about it in a newsltr about the Littells’ mission work hanging on the bulletin board of my church.
Intrigued by the notes of Peggy’s forgiving attitude toward the person responsible for Matt’s death, I wrote to Peggy. I believed Peggy’s story could bless other people and relayed that to her.
She agreed to allow me to interview her and then write the story. We entitled it ‘Not in Vain’. It was published in the book, The Gift of Letting Go.

That story has been published in several publications, including books and magazines. This practice is legal in the publishing world. The first time the story was accepted I sold it for First Rights. The second and subsequent times I sold it for One Time Rights. Those editors who saw those words would know the story had been published previously.

My latest Chicken Soup book-- For Bride's Soul.

My latest Chicken Soup book– For Bride’s Soul.

I’ve also published my stories in four Chicken Soup books ( The website for submissions is one of the best I’ve seen for submitting stories. Very user-friendly:
Chicken Soup for The Coffee Lover’s Soul (‘A Lesson in Forgiveness’);
Chicken Soup for Christmas 2 (‘A Lesson in Forgiveness’—same story as above);
Chicken Soup for the Bride’s Soul (‘The Stranger’s Offer’);
Chicken Soup … Teens Talk about Getting into College (‘Endings and Beginnings’).

I don’t see many anthologies now as several years ago when I began writing. If you’re interested in getting a personal essay published, read many Chicken Soup stories. They are all well-written and have a definite beginning, middle, end. Those are components of a good story.
Search Christian Writer’s Market Guide and other market guides for current story markets.
What story do you think you have inside of you that would be of interest to an editor and readers?

Want to begin your life as a writer? Attend this FREE workshop!

Some early books with my stories included.

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a writer, plan to attend a FREE session tonight at Wells County Public Library  in Bluffton, Indiana, at 6:30-7:30. The library staff and I will host the meeting.

We’ll offer tips on how to get started, local writing resources available and markets for your work.

Snacks will be available.

Please come and start a new chapter in your life! Hope to see you there!

Speaking to Mothers/Daughters Banquet at Zion United Methodist Church

I recently spoke at Zion United Methodist church’s Mother/Daughter banquet. This church is located on Fort Wayne’s west side. It was a small intimate group of ladies of all ages. Everyone was friendly and I had a wonderful time! The men of the church served us a delicious meal.

They asked me to speak about my journey as a writer of 22 years. I shared the struggles, disappointments and the dedication to sticking with it. Several people purchased my children’s books and my newest Chicken Soup book. It was a lovely evening.

Thanks to my friend, Doris Rapp, for arranging for me to speak there.

Free Writing Workshop can change your life!

3 of my 9 children's books: Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez bios, and Greek God Hephaestus.

If you’ve always wanted to be a published writer, this FREE workshop entitled  “7 Tips to Getting Published!” is for you.

As the author of nine children’s books, Chicken Soup stories, and contributor to several magazines and newspapers, I have much information to share that can assist you in establishing yourself as a writer.

You’ll learn

  • the necessary habit every writer must have
  • where to find publications that want to publish your words
  • a local FREE resource available to those interested in writing

Did I mention the workshop is FREE?

There will also be giveaways and a book signing immediately following the talk.

Plan to buy yourself a delicious drink and snack and snag a place to sit in this jazzy cafe, then listen to what it takes to get published.

Do yourself a favor and attend this event that could change your life!

The workshop will be held on Friday, March 30, 2012, 6-6:45 p.m. at the Brew Ha Espresso Café in Ossian. The Brew Ha! is located at 122 S. Jefferson St — 260.622.6027.

Here is a photo from last year’s event at The Brew Ha!

Writing workshop at Brew Ha! 3/11

Thanks for your support! I’m excited about this opportunity to share with others the joy of writing!

A Story on Forgiveness

John Kremer featured my guest post on his book marketing blog today. He features many authors at this site, all with valuable lessons about writing and promotion. Contact Mr. Kremer about signing up for his blog. John Kremer

John Kremer is the Guru of Book Marketing

Read my post below.


Guest post by Kayleen Reusser

In 1989 a 10-minute incident with a stranger helped me through a miserable day during the Christmas season. The encounter wouldn’t leave me. “If I’m still thinking about this incident,” I thought, “maybe it would impact someone else.”

I crafted an essay about the experience the next year at the beginning of my writing career. I wrote the story, titled “A Lesson in Forgiveness,” at 500 words, including details about the weather, the reasons for my bad mood and how I felt transformed following our interaction.

The subject of forgiveness was popular with religious magazines and editors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Newspaper editors seeking holiday stories loved it. I even turned the incident into a skit that was purchased for a church program book.

Since its initial publication, “A Lesson in Forgiveness” has been reprinted more than 30 times and I believe it will continue to be evergreen because of its timeless message.

A Lesson in Forgiveness

It was snowing as I finished unbuckling my baby from her car seat. A toot from behind reminded me that I was holding up traffic on the one-way street.

I didn’t care. My six-month-old had to get an immunization shot, which meant she would be up all night with a fever. My head ached like I was coming down with the flu and my husband’s job didn’t look steady for the holidays. I wasn’t in a good mood.

The truck tooted its horn again. When I finally had my little one in my arms and covered from the cold air, I looked up and felt my heart sink. I had inadvertently parked in a delivery zone. A look at the name printed on the truck confirmed that I was parked in its delivery zone.

Angry at myself for not noticing the sign sooner, I put my baby back into the car and looked down the street. The nearest empty place was more than a block away. Gritting my teeth, I was tempted to go home and reschedule my baby’s vaccination for a day when things were going better, but I didn’t.

After managing to park in a tight spot, I again got ready to get out of my car. Glancing up, I saw someone waiting for me outside. I knew it was the truck driver.  Bracing myself for a verbal attack, I slowly emerged from the car.

“Sorry about that back there.” A strong note of apology rang in the man’s voice. I looked at him suspiciously. He was actually grinning at me!

“I saw you had a baby,” he continued, “but there wasn’t any other place big enough for me to park in.”

I managed to stammer my own apology, though I was completely taken aback by his friendly manner. Like Scrooge, I wondered if this was a setup.

“I’d like to give you this.” The stranger held out a coffee mug with his company’s name on the side. He didn’t wait for my reply, but shouted “Merry Christmas” and sprinted away, as fast as he dared on the slick pavement.

I stared after him, the coffee mug still in my hand. As the snow continued to fall steadily around me, a warm feeling spread throughout my body and I smiled for the first time all day.

At home that coffee mug serves as a constant reminder to me of the way that driver showed unexpected kindness and forgiveness to me that day. As I drink from it each day, it also reminds me of the way God forgives each of us when we least deserve it.

Using the coffee mug each morning as I begin my day inspires me to work on showing that same kindness and forgiveness to everyone I will meet — clerks, cashiers, complete strangers — not just at Christmas, but every day of the year.

Kayleen Reusser

About the Author

Kayleen Reusser has written nine children’s books, including biographies on Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, three books on the Greek gods, and Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia, all from Mitchell Lane Publishing.

She has written articles for Chicken Soup for the Soul, Indianapolis Monthly, Boy Scouting, The Lookout, Focus on the Family,  Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, and Bluffton News-Banner. She is a weekly columnist for the Ossian Sun Riser and co-founder of a writing group.

She currently works in a public middle school library where she finds inspiration for ideas among the students and books. Check her out at

My Publishing Story as told to John Kremer

John Kremer is the guru of book marketing ideas

Today I have the honor of being featured on John Kremer’s blog. Mr. Kremer is the guru of book marketing. I’ve read his blog on this subject for years and have implemented many of his ideas to market my nine non-fiction children’s books.

A biography on Taylor Swift was the first of my nine children’s books to be published.

My particular post is titled:

Book Marketing Makeover: How One Author Got a Book Assignment That Led to 9 Titles 

I encourage everyone who wants to write or has written a book to subscribe to his free blog. 

You can subscribe here:


Mr. Kremer often features authors’ histories of getting started. It gives me hope when I read other success stories. I hope my story helps you feel encouraged to write and sell many books in 2012!

Please let me know what you think of this post and if you have other ideas of how to market books. I’m open to ideas!

Dr. Deborah Godwin-Starks interviews me for her radio show

This week Dr. Deborah Godwin-Starks interviewed me for her radio show “Let’s Talk” on WQSW-LP 100.5 FM, The Voice in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We’ve done previous interviews on my books, beginning with my Chicken Soup books a few years ago. Now that I have nine non-fiction children’s books we focus on the writing of them.

Dr Deborah Godwin-Starks interviewed me for her radio show


It was a 30-minute interview and Deborah asked insightful questions. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with people on radio, TV, print, online about writing. If you would like to contact me for an interview, please contact me at



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