A relatively new hobby has quickly turned into much more for Kyle Rawleigh.
Rawleigh, a resident of Andover, is a 2007 graduate of Centennial High School. He currently works in logistics for Republic Services, which provides trash and recycling services. But after making up a bedtime story for his kids and turning it into a published children’s book, Rawleigh now calls himself a part-time author. (See Accidental author: Part-time author, full-time dad June 22, 2021.)
The second book in his children’s chapter book series, “Chronicles of the Unicorn Kingdom,” is now available. Plans for another two books in the series are already underway.
Q. Tell us about yourself.
A. My wife and I have four children, three girls and a boy. I was born and raised in Minnesota — graduating from Centennial High School and then the University of St. Thomas. I work my day job as a logistics nerd for a trash and recycling company called Republic Services. When I have spare time, I love cooking on my smoker, hunting, watching the Vikes and writing!
Q. Why did you want to turn this into a book series?
A. I actually had never intended for these stories to be published. This all started when my girls asked me to make up a bedtime story for them. They loved it so much, I decided to write it down to give to them as a gift — but it wound up getting published! Lucky for us, lots of other kids seem to enjoy their bedtime story, too!
Q. Tell us about this newest children’s book.
A. This story is a quick read — each chapter is one part of the story I made up for my kids at night, which makes it action-packed. The goal was to keep it really exciting to keep kids reading. This story has a bunch of action, adventure, lessons about family, lessons about second chances and, of course, unicorns! P.S. I even threw in a couple of jokes about Packers fans!
Q. What have you enjoyed about writing this book in particular?
A. I love writing these stories down after I tell them to my kids. After I finish them, my aunt/illustrator, Linda Brisson, draws the cover artwork and an amazing illustration to go with every chapter. My kids love seeing the story with the pictures in it — and that always makes me happy.
Another thing I never expected was the involvement I have had in classrooms. I have been lucky enough to visit several classrooms since my first book came out to talk to kids about my book, writing and the publishing process. I really enjoy getting to spend time with kids and getting them excited about reading and writing.
Republic Services has been incredibly supportive of allowing me to give back to the community in this way. I will never be able to go to every single school that asks, but I love doing it when I can. If you’re a teacher of second through fifth graders and want a local author to visit your classroom, just shoot us an email at email@example.com!
Q. How many books do you envision being a part of this series?
A. Our goal is to have this be a four-book series, so we are halfway there! My publisher, Clay Bridges Press, has already approved my third book. Assuming we do well with the second book, we are hoping to move forward with publishing the third very soon. I would say I am probably about 20% done with my rough draft of the fourth and final book at this point. I am having so much fun writing the stories, I am kind of having a hard time finding a great way to end it.
Q. Are you working on any more books at the moment?
A. The third book has been approved, and if we get as much support on our second book as we did the first, we should be able to move forward and start the publishing process sometime this summer!
Q. Where is this book sold?
A. There are several local retailers that already carry our first book that are going to carry the second as well: Highlander Games in Coon Rapids, The Book Nook in Delano, The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, Valley Bookseller in Stillwater and St. Croix Boutique in Hudson, Wisconsin.
I sell and give away a limited number of signed copies on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @cotukstories. The book is also available online on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
— Compiled by Shannon Granholm