AUTHOR INTERVIEW 77 – Kendra Rogers


Kendra Rogers

United States

Age 36


Kendra Rogers was born in PA in 1984 where she attended elementary school before moving to AL for third grade. In PA, she had a second grade experience that still affects how she learns and teaches. The class wasn’t challenging, and the teacher was not understanding. She had the privilege of attending a gifted and talented pull-out program during the school day, but still remembers being bullied by the teacher. In AL, she learned to do just enough to earn the A’s she felt she needed. Her mother homeschooled Kendra for eighth grade which increased her desire to do so with her own children one day. Just before entering High School, Kendra moved to MI where she still lives. In High School and college, Kendra enjoyed faster paced classes and advanced placement. She also enjoyed doing exactly what the instructors cautioned against—seeing them as challenges to be attacked.
She is now married to a gifted man whose childhood was anything but accommodating of such a gift. They are trying to raise and educate four gifted children with minds of their own and lofty goals. Kendra chose to write “Growing Exceptional Seedlings: Companionship for Parents of Neurodivergent Kids” because of her experiences raising such children. She powered through their early years guessing how to address their many large needs, but without knowledge from those who had gone before. The helper in her spurred Kendra to write her story in hopes that it would help countless other parents avoid the sleepless nights wondering whether they’d completely failed their children that day.
In addition to her first book, Kendra writes a blog and has three more books she is planning and working on.
Neurologically diverse children must often attempt to navigate through daily obstacles that others may view as simple tasks. Because these gifted children often struggle with other mental challenges, they can present a puzzle to unsuspecting parents that prompts feelings of isolation. The good news is that there are practical ways for parents to first understand and then help their exceptional seedlings overcome these hurdles.
In an essential guidebook for parents of neurodivergent kids, Kendra Rogers relies on her experience as an elementary educator and mother to four gifted children to share valuable insight into a variety of important topics that address the early signs and symptoms of neurological challenges; coping mechanisms, therapies, and medications; ways to parent together; sibling differences; and schooling options and accommodations. Included is a beginner’s guide to raising neurodivergent children as well as life hacks and resources that will help parents as they progress with their children through each stage of development.
Growing Exceptional Seedlings is a trusted companion for parents seeking guidance on how to raise neurodivergent children who are a larger blessing than life itself.

Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN ABOUT WRITING?

Kendra Rogers: To be myself.

Romelia: HOW MANY HOURS A DAY DO YOU WRITE?

Kendra Rogers: Between none and 2.

Romelia: WHEN YOU ARE WRITING AN EMOTIONAL OR DIFFICULT SCENE, HOW DO SET THE MOOD?

Kendra Rogers: I am open and honest, and write from my heart.

Romelia: WHOM DO YOU TRUST FOR OBJECTIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM OF YOUR WORK?

Kendra Rogers: Other parents navigating the same waters for content, and those passionate about writing for structure.

Romelia: HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH THE SUBJECT OR THEME OF YOUR BOOK?

Kendra Rogers: My son was diagnosed with Autism and giftedness. After failing to find adequate parenting books on how to address what was happening in my home, I decided to write my own.

Romelia: WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WRITE IN YOUR PARTICULAR FIELD OR GENRE? IF YOU WRITE MORE THAN ONE, HOW DO YOU BALANCE THEM?

Kendra Rogers: I didn’t decide so much as a need called and I answered. I only write non-fiction at the moment.

Romelia: WHAT CULTURAL VALUE DO YOU SEE IN WRITING?

Kendra Rogers: Writing is modern day story-telling. Rather than oral tradition literature, we now have written language. Passing stories through generations bridges a gap and helps with cultural awareness and sympathy.

Romelia: HOW DOES YOUR BOOK RELATE TO YOUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICE OR OTHER LIFE PATH?

Kendra Rogers: I am a Christian, but I didn’t write with a Christian bent. I simply wanted to reach as many people as possible. While I do discuss some religious and spiritual topics, I do so without bias so I don’t exclude any reader groups.

Romelia: WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS AND INTENTIONS IN THIS BOOK, AND HOW WELL DO YOU FEEL YOU ACHIEVED THEM?

Kendra Rogers: My biggest goal is to reach parents who, like me, feel they are drowning in their special needs parenting journey. I feel I am beginning to scratch the surface of what I can do as I continue to advertise my book, and more people spread it with word of mouth.

Romelia: CAN YOU SHARE SOME STORIES ABOUT PEOPLE YOU MET WHILE RESEARCHING THIS BOOK?

Kendra Rogers: I met only online. My target audience is a small slice of the market, and I had to reach out to people via the internet.

Romelia: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE REFERENCES THAT YOU USED WHILE RESEARCHING THIS BOOK?

Kendra Rogers: Google scholar and the library were my biggest platforms for research. I used several psychology books to inform my conclusions and back up my assertions. They are cited in my book along with resources for parents all over the world.

Romelia: WHAT DO YOU THINK MOST CHARACTERIZES YOUR WRITING?

Kendra Rogers: Honesty and vulnerability. I didn’t hold back anything of myself or my family while writing.

Romelia: WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART OF WRITING THIS BOOK?

Kendra Rogers: As much as it pains me to say as a very organized person, organization! I had difficulty arranging chapters and sections in a way that flowed.

Romelia: ARE THERE VOCABULARY WORDS OR CONCEPTS IN YOUR BOOK THAT MAY BE NEW TO READERS? DEFONE SOME OF THOSE.

Kendra Rogers: Non-neurotypical—outside the expectations of normal brain function.
CBT, ABA, equine therapy, music therapy—different types of therapy used with people on the Autism spectrum. I delve into each in the book’s section on therapies.

Romelia: ARE THERE UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS OR IDEAS FEATURED IN YOUR BOOK? IF SO, DISCUSS THEM.

Kendra Rogers: The gifted and twice exceptional community is far underrepresented in media of all forms. We are only in the last few years being introduced to characters with Autism in mainstream TV and film. Those like Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory are rare, but my son is a lot like him. As are many I have encountered within this subcommunity. Not only do people like my son have incredible brains, but the way they see and interact with the world is beautiful and unique too.

Romelia: ARE THERE MISCONCEPTIONS THAT PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT YOUR BOOK? IF SO, EXPLAIN.

Kendra Rogers: Not that I am aware of about my book per se, but about the people in my book, yes. Many think those with Autism are withdrawn and don’t interact with the world at all. In reality, they interact more deeply with the world.

Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOUR SUBJETC/GENRE, THAT THEY NEED TO KNOW?

Kendra Rogers: Autism is a spectrum which manifests differently depending on the individual.

Romelia: WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Kendra Rogers: My children.

Romelia: HOW DID YOU GET TO BE WHERE YOU ARE IN YOUR LIFE TODAY?

Kendra Rogers: Hard work and planning. Also a lot of encouragement and support from my husband and best friends.

Romelia: WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS THAT YOU FEEL WERE INFLUENTIAL IN YOUR WORK? WHAT IMPACT HAVE THEY HAD ON YOUR WRITING?

Kendra Rogers: My favorite author is Ray Bradbury. While I love reading his work, he did not influence my writing at all. We have very different voices and genres. I admire his persistence in publishing his first work, though, in an unconventional manner.

Romelia: WHAT DID YOU FIND MOST USEFUL IN LEARNING TO WRITE? WHAT WAS LEAST USEFUL OR MOST DESTRUCTIVE?

Kendra Rogers: I found learning how to structure and argument an dose an economy of words most useful. I don’t think there is anything I found destructive. I was blesses with instructors who encouraged creativity in writing.

Romelia: ARE YOU A FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME WRITER? HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOUR WRITING?

Kendra Rogers: Part time. I think it allows me to write what comes without the outside pressure of needing to write a certain amount each day.

Romelia: WHAT ARE SOME DAY JOBS THAT YOU HAVE HELD? IF ANY OF THEM IMPACTED YOUR WRITING, SHARE AN EXAMPLE.

Kendra Rogers: My time working in a photography studio and as a preschool and kindergarten teacher helped me see how very many kinds of children there are in our world and how each deserves a unique approach.

Romelia: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT EBOOKS VS PRINT BOOKS AND ALTERNATIVE VS CONVENTIONAL PUBLISHING?

Kendra Rogers: I prefer to read print books, but ebooks certainly have a place in our technologically advanced society. I am glad different forms of publishing exist. There are many stories waiting to be told, but not everyone can access conventional publishing.

Romelia: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE FUTURE OF READING/WRITING?

Kendra Rogers: As a bibliophile, I hope the future of both is outstanding. I hope more people learn to love reading and writing. I think we are entering a time when brevity will rule, though, and we will need to write in a different manner.

Romelia: WHAT MAKES YOUR BOOK STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD?

Kendra Rogers: I think it stands out because it is raw and vulnerable. I tell real stories without sugar-coating them. I give advice that I wish I’d had as a young parent. I offer support and guidance I missed out on.

Romelia: DO YOU WRITE MORE BY LOGIC OR INTUITION, OR SOME COMBINATION OF THE TWO? SUMMARIZE YOUR WRITING PROCESS.

Kendra Rogers: I use both. When I write, I sit and type whatever comes out. Then I organize and edit later.

Romelia: WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN THE WRITING COMMUNITY?

Kendra Rogers: I am a writer, blogger, and editor.

Romelia: WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE PRESENT? WHAT DO YOUR PLANS FOR FUTURE PROJECTS INCLUDE?

Kendra Rogers: I am working on a children’s book to kids like my son. I am working on an allergy awareness book because of my other son. And a book to the general public about how to treat those with any and all disabilities.

Romelia: describe yourself in a few sentences. Tell us something we do not know about you and something you hate about the world.

Kendra Rogers: I am smart and passionate. I research thoroughly and don’t take anything at face value. I am a reader, writer, and lifelong learner.

I have always had a passion for children and teaching. I didn’t think I would have the patience to parent the children I have. I never could have dreamt about how they would change who I am as a person through my parenting them.

I hate ignorance and egocentrism and selfishness.

https://www.archwaypublishing.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/811369-growing-exceptional-seedlings

Kendra Rogers: kendra.rogers@gmail.com

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