- About Keri -
Keri Vellis and her husband are passionate and involved parents of six children: three biological and three adopted through the foster care system. Keri always enjoyed reading with her children but was surprised to find that the local bookstores and libraries did not offer age appropriate, yet engaging books relating to foster care and the experiences that those children encounter. She wanted the kids she fostered over the years to feel comfortable with new families and pets, schools and activities. It occurred to her that there was a void for all of the children who moved through the system, not just hers.
This is when she decided to write Sometimes. When she read it to her little ones, they immediately related to the story. Keri knew she needed to find an illustrator and publish her book. Through a swift series of coincidences, Keri was connected with illustrator Jin Lehr, a foster child herself! Having aged out of the system, Jin could actually feel the emotions of what Keri had written because she had gone through it as a child.
Keri's goal is for her books to help children transitioning to another home feel good about themselves and understand that there can be loving people around them and happiness in their lives. Keri and her thriving, busy family live in Sonoma County in Northern California.
- About Jin Lehr -
Jin Lehr was born in Nebraska but quickly trekked all over the country, attending 11 schools in just over 10 years. In a life of instability, the only control and constant in her life was her art.
Jin was placed in foster care after moving to Sonoma County, CA at the age of 13. The process of being a "foster kid" peeled away at years of abuse and neglect. She found peace and positivity by drawing in sketchbooks. The time spent drawing lifted her from insomnia, anxiety and the pressure of court dates. Over the transitioning years, her new support system of family, social workers, lawyers, friends and husband continuously encouraged her to pursue her talents. Though she has never had any formal training, her own children inspire her to pursue children's illustration - where she has found her passion.
Jin and their growing family call Sonoma County home.