K.M. Walton is the award-winning author of Cracked, Empty, and Ultimatum. She recently adapted her debut contemporary YA novel, Cracked, into a full-length play. She edited and contributed to her music-focused YA anthology, Behind the Song. K.M. co-authored Teaching Numeracy: 9 Critical Habits to Ignite Mathematical Thinking for mathematics teachers K - 8. She graduated from West Chester University with a degree in elementary education and spent most her teaching career in middle school teaching language arts. Mean people baffle her – she’s so passionate about acceptance that she gives school presentations—middle school through university level—titled: The Power of Human Kindness. She’s also a self-taught abstract painter with an emphasis on layers and texture (peruse her art HERE and visit her lively art-focused Instagram page, @kmwaltonpaints). K.M. lives in PA with Team Walton, which includes her husband, two sons, and cat.
FOR THOSE WHO'D LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR, A MUCH LONGER BIO:
K.M. Walton had a dream when she was a little girl. Actually she had a gazillion dreams and she spent a large amount of her childhood dreaming. Her one dream was to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a teacher. Her three younger sisters used to play students in the basement while she played teacher. She actually assigned them homework. And they did it. Believe it or not, after all that, they're actually best friends.
Teaching became a reality for K.M. and she taught for twelve glorious and spectacular years, some of it in Osteen, Florida and most of it in Springfield, Pennsylvania (Hi, Osteen Elementary and ETR Middle School!!).
During her time off from teaching she founded and directed the summer day camp Camp Kindness. Campers learned about kindness, empathy, and compassion. After leaving the classroom, she became an instructional coach for teachers, coaching them on how to be highly effective in their teaching practice. She is a proud West Chester University graduate (go Rams!) and Pennsylvania Writing and Literacy Project fellow.
Funny thing though, writing, it turns out, is K.M. Walton's favorite thing to do in the whole world. Even the hard parts, and there are a lot of hard parts. She says, in the end the hard work is worth it, and nothing compares to the thrill of knowing one of her books impacted a reader.
She frequently uses an Ernest Hemingway quote to describe what kind of writer she is: Write hard and clear about what hurts.
Her writing tries to shine a light onto the silently suffering, the marginalized. She loves when assumptions are crushed and readers "see" her characters and feel their pain. Thrilling.
Speaking of thrilling, the most important parts of her life involve her beloved family. She's madly in love with her husband (twenty-eight years married and counting), is ridiculously proud of her two sons, she cherishes her mother and three sisters, is friends with her countless cousins, loves her in-laws, calls her mother-in-law a friend, loves reading (Harry Potter, The Stand, The Red Tent, The Sky is Everywhere, & The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane are some of her top reads) , going to the movies (some of her all-time favs are Empire Strikes Back, Napoleon Dynamite, & Notting Hill), she loves ice cream and chocolate, kindness and compassion, she believes in paying it forward and doing anything she can to support her family and friends, and she really loves painting.
A few years ago she dove head-first into abstract painting. Like, she just jumped off the diving board without any safety measures in place. K.M. likes to do things even when she's afraid to do them #doitafraid. She's obsessed with textures and layers and things that don't make sense until they just make sense. Visit her art page and have a look and follow her art-focused Instagram page: @kmwaltonpaints.