Love For Local: Stacey A. Cowan & Rachel Schulte

The longer Missy and I write this blog, the more amazed we are by all the talented people we meet. This week we are showing off two of our local children’s authors, Stacey Cowan & Rachel Schulte. Both of these published authors have written wonderful children’s books that would make the perfect holiday gift!

Be sure to pay special attention to the reasons they wrote their books. Each of them has such a wonderful story about the inspiration behind each book. 

Meet Stacey Cowan


Q. How long have you lived in Jefferson City or this area? 

A. I am a Jefferson City native. I was born at St. Mary’s hospital in 1983 and attended public schools through high school graduation in 2002 as a prideful Jaybird of Jefferson City High School. After graduation I moved to Springfield, MO to attend college where I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Marketing & Management at Missouri State University in 2008. In 2011 I moved back home to Jefferson City after the loss of my father, I wanted to be closer to home and family. When you lose someone it makes you realize how much the ones you still have mean to you. Since then, I have worked for various associations, a local credit union, and now the Missouri Department of Revenue. 

Q. What has been your biggest accomplishment?

A. My biggest accomplishments have all happened this year in 2018. In April I graduated with my Master’s degree in Business Administration from Columbia College. In January I started on my book; Mommy May I Explore Jefferson City then had it published in May after it was complete. My husband and I bought our first house in July and was also promoted in August at the Missouri Department of Revenue as the Educator for the call center. 

Q. What inspirations did you draw from for this book?

A. Growing up I was always polite and had good manners. I remember my gymnastics coach taught me the importance of saying may I rather than can I. When I would ask if I can get a drink of water he would always say, “I don’t know can you?” that was how I learned to say “may I please.” 

I have been married almost 4 years and have been blessed with two amazing step-sons, that sometimes would lack the words; please and thank you, as do so many others in the younger generations these days. As these words were ingrained in my vocabulary at such a young age, it was hard for me not to hear them come from the kids today. 

I was never a big fan of history growing up, I always found it to be so boring. Once I moved back home I learned to love the history of our quaint hometown and especially loved taking pictures of our downtown architecture and historic buildings. 


Q. What made you want to write this book?

A. In January of 2018, I was between jobs, at home, and bored. For many years I wanted to write a book about Jefferson City and the importance of manners. It wasn’t until I had the free time to come up with Mommy May I Explore Jefferson City. It was literally one day a light bulb went off and I knew how I wanted to incorporate both the history of Jefferson City and manners into one book. This would allow children to learn them both in a fun and exciting way, with vibrant colors and pictures. I did some research and found that there isn’t any other children’s history book about Jefferson City and thought this is my chance to make learning our history fun and not boring like I thought when I was a kid. I wanted/want to help educate our kids. History is so important and so is manners, I feel those simple little words like please and thank you can take you a long way in life.

Q. Who are your biggest supporters?

A. My biggest supporters are definitely my husband and my mom. They both have been through so much with me and they love to see me accomplish something so extraordinary! It was a difficult time after the loss of my father, yet I feel I have come out on the better side of it all. I know first-hand how short life can be after his death at 51. With knowing that, I now want to live my life to the fullest and do as much as I can in the life I have been given. I have many more things I would like to accomplish, so this book is the first of many. Sometimes you have to lose something so special to gain something just as special. My motto is; It is better to try and know, then never try and never know. So many people are scared to follow their dreams because of failing, but you will never know your capabilities unless you try.

To purchase Stacey’s book, you can find it on Facebook or check out her website!

Meet Rachel Schulte


Q. How long have you lived in Jefferson City or this area?

A. I have lived in the Jefferson City area my entire life! All 37 years!

Q. What made you want to write this book?  

“Anna’s Special Gift”  truly holds a special place in my heart since it was inspired by a lesson my mom taught me about appreciating the generosity of others. When I was a freshman in highschool, my friends and I all participated in a Secret Santa gift exchange at Christmas. We all drew names and set a limit of $10.00. I went out and bought a $10 gift for the friend who’s name I drew. When the time came to exchange our gifts, I received a used one. It was a little ceramic jewelry box that had some chipped paint. It was pretty, but I could tell it wasn’t brand new. When I got home that day, I complained to my mom that it wasn’t fair that I paid my $10.00 for a gift, and I ended up getting something used. That’s when she kind of laughed and explained to me that when she was younger, she was invited to a birthday party; however, she couldn’t buy a birthday gift for her friend. She grew up poor and had very little. She did, however, have a half-full bottle of perfume. She chose to give that to her friend, but she was so ashamed of the gift that she couldn’t even put her name on it. When her friend opened it, my mom’s gift was mocked and laughed out. Hearing her story made me feel ashamed for being so petty about the gift I had received. She explained to me how embarrassed she felt in that moment. After hearing her story and knowing she gave all she could, I thought about it very differently, so, right at that moment, I grabbed a pencil, a piece of paper, and I headed to my bedroom and I wrote “Anna’s Special Gift” at the age of 15. Twenty years later, I was finally able to get it published. For me, it was more about honoring my mom more than anything. Anything else that comes of it is just icing on the cake!


Q. What was your favorite part of the publishing process?

A. The publishing process was such a neat experience. The most exciting part was hearing that my story was good enough for publishing because that was the very beginning of the journey. Just getting published was a dream come true, but once that dream came true, I had to have another dream. Now, I want my writing to touch young hearts. In addition to that, my favorite part of the publishing process was seeing the illustrations bring my writing to life.

Q. What is your writing process like?

A. When I write, I am inspired by the stories of others. I don’t really plot anything out. I simply write from the heart. I do enjoy playing with words and creating rhyme patterns. I just go from there. I wrote my second book, “Curly the Cow,” at the park while my daughters played. I used the talk to text feature in Google Docs and spoke my thoughts. Later, I made my revisions and edits. Writing is all about getting out what is in your heart. I just let my heart do the talking.


Q. What is your favorite novel and why?

A. As a middle school English Language Arts teacher, I get to read so many wonderful books with amazing life lessons, but the one that stands out to me as the most powerful is Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikealson. It is about a juvenile delinquent who has an abusive father and a mother who drinks her pain away. The main character, Cole, is always in trouble with the law, but when he brutally attacks a classmate for reporting Cole’s crime of vandalism to the police, he faces a prison sentence. With the help of two adults who refuse to give up on Cole, rather than prison, he is granted the opportunity to go through Circle Justice, which is extreme isolation on an Alaskan island. At the start of his banishment, he nearly lost his life after being mauled by a bear. While fighting for his life, he realized that his life was worthless the way he was living it. He resolved to change his life and learned that to heal, he had to learn to forgive. It is a powerful story that teaches us the power of forgiveness.

Q. What does literary success look like to you?

A. To me, literary success isn’t just about sales and profit, but it is about teaching important life lessons. The purpose behind my writing is teach lessons about the importance of kindness. I recently talked to my nephew about what he wanted to do when he grew up. He didn’t know. My words of advice to him were, “Do something that leaves your mark on the world. Big, fancy houses don’t leave your mark on the world. They end up on the auction block. Do something that makes a difference, and then you will have left your mark on the world. “ That’s what I want to do with my writing. I want to make difference.


Both of Rachel’s books are available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble (ebook and print), iTunes, and Google Play (ebooks), and can be ordered at any local bookstore.

If you would like to meet these two authors, they will both be at the Missouri River Regional Library Author Showcase Sunday, December 9, 2018 from 1:30pm - 4:00pm!

Happy Reading!

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