kerimikulskiGet to know Keri…

Keri Mikulski writes under the pseudonym Nicole Leigh Shepherd. She is the author of Head Games (Razorbill/Penguin, 2011), Stealing Bases (Razorbill/Penguin, 2011), Making Waves (Razorbill/Penguin, 2012), and Fifteen Love (Razorbill/Penguin, 2012). A three-sport athlete in high school, Keri worked as a personal trainer, lifeguard, registered nurse, middle school teacher, columnist, and high school coach. Currently, she teaches college writing courses while working toward a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at Rutgers University. Keri splits her time between the New Jersey suburbs and the shore with her family. Find out more at her website.

Let the conversation begin! 

If I gave you a brick, what would you do with it? 

I would probably chalk decorate the brick with my daughters.

Do you bake or buy?

We buy from the bakery up the street from my house every Friday. I attempt to bake cupcakes, cookies, and cakes with the kids at least once a month.

What kitchen utensil would you be? Why?

A spoon so I could enjoy ice cream.

What is your concession stand must-have at the movies?

Necco Nonpareils 

What is one quality that you really appreciate in a person?


What is the most distinguishing landmark in your city?

The major city closest to me is Philadelphia, so as an ex-athlete, I’d have to go with the Rocky Statue and/or the stadiums (Sorry, Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross). As far as my tiny town, the Little Red Schoolhouse is probably the most distinguished landmark – the others are more fun and a little less distinguished like the Train Bridge, the Wawa, and the custard stand. 

What food item would you remove from the market altogether?

Raw meat

What would you rather have: a nanny, a housekeeper, a cook, or a chauffeur?

My hubby is an amazing cook so probably a housekeeper. Although, a nanny would be nice when I need to work so I don’t have to bother my babysitter.

What initially inspired you to pursue a career in writing?

I was inspired by the lack of sports books for girls. While teaching seventh grade, I noticed a ton of girls, who like myself at that age, were morphing into reluctant readers because they couldn’t connect with fictional characters found in mainstream literature. I began writing and hoping to fill this gap in the market. 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep learning. Keep working hard. Keep reading. And most important of all, keep writing!