Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers! Today, we welcome K.R. King, the author of the Mom’s Choice Award-winning children’s book, Charlie the Champion. This inspiring tale is about a chubby cheetah (with a high-achieving father) who’s bullied because of his size yet learns how to change his life/reality through discipline and positive self-talk—developing self-confidence and resilience that make the book a great addition to children’s bookshelves. We’re looking forward to learning how K.R. got her start as a children’s author and the things that motivate her.
MCA: K.R., we’re so glad that you could speak with us. First, please tell us something about yourself.
I am an author, wife, and mother who, alongside my husband, has been transforming young athletes for the past 18 years. With our extensive knowledge and experience, we have helped countless athletes reach their goals and maximize their potential. I absolutely love the work we have been able to do thus far.
In my free time, I love to write, read, bond with my kids, and enjoy all that life offers. I love attending sporting events, exercising, snowboarding, rap and hip-hop music, as well as pizza, pasta and Mexican food. Most of all, I cherish my ability to remain young at heart and take life less seriously.
MCA: You clearly have a wide range of interests. Could you tell us what your path to becoming a writer was like?
From an early age, I’ve had a knack for writing, and I decided to take it a step further and write a children’s book. At first, it was easier than I expected to come up with the story, but then I had to grapple with the endless revisions and the thought of how others would respond to my work. I knew I had something special, but I was uncertain of how it would be received by those who chose to read it to their kids.
That’s how I discovered that you don’t have to have everything figured out to make an impact.
The children I’ve trained over the years have inspired all the stories I’ve written. Many of these children went through similar struggles, but no one really liked talking about them—so I wanted to share their experiences with the world from my point of view and show how they developed as they got older.
MCA: We’re so glad you persevered! It seems a lot of would-be authors assume writing a children’s book will be easy, but there’s a lot more involved than they realize. Tell us: What was your inspiration for writing Charlie the Champion?
I was inspired to write Charlie the Champion by a young athlete I was training who had wavering confidence and was hesitant to try new things—despite his family’s impressive athletic résumé in football, baseball, and track. His struggle was with fear; he was bullied at school by some kids who thought they were better than everyone else because they were great at running track. He learned that through positive self-talk and taking action, he would find the courage to finally try his hand at something he’d always dreamed of, just like his dad: track. With plenty of practice and dedication, he became awesome at it. As someone who watched this unfold, I found it truly inspiring, and it has made a lasting impact on my life.
MCA: Truly an inspiring real-life example! What are some of the key lessons found in the book?
Charlie the Champion teaches us that our most potent power lies in how we talk to ourselves. Positive affirmations can be a powerful force in guiding our lives in the direction we want while communicating how we expect to be treated by others—which helps to minimize the bullying in our lives.
The one thing that I want you to walk away from reading my book Charlie the Champion is: believing in yourself is the key to achieving anything! I want you to understand that anything is possible with belief, focus, dedication, and a positive mindset.
MCA: Congratulations on winning a Mom’s Choice Award for your very first children’s book! So what’s next for your writing endeavors—do you have anything in the pipeline?
My second book is almost here! I’m thrilled to share that it’s about Larry, the bully from Charlie the Champion, and his journey to learn kindness. I’ve finished the manuscript, and the illustrations are coming together—I can’t wait for you to read it! The book follows Larry as he discovers the root of his bullying and learns to treat others kindly.
Outside of this book, I have written seven others. They are in the very rough draft stages but will be coming soon as well.
MCA: Larry’s story sounds like a wonderful follow-up—turning the bully into a well-adjusted individual. We’re so glad you’ll be continuing to write for young people, and we wish you all the best with those efforts!
You can learn more about K.R. King and her award-winning book, Charlie the Champion by visiting her MCA Shop pages.