Meet Our Creatives – Cardinal Rule Press
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Meet Our Creatives

These are the talented publishers, authors & illustrators behind our books.
You could be next! Learn more about our submission process.

Founder, Publisher & Author

Maria Dismondy

Sunny Side Upbringing
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun

Maria uses her experiences as an award-winning author for over a decade to work with writers on getting their messages into the world. She takes pride in mentoring CRP authors & offering a customized marketing campaign that the CRP team coordinates and implements.

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Author & Series Creator

Carol McCloud

Bucket Books

Carol McCloud, a.k.a. the “Bucket Lady,” enjoys teaching people of all ages, all over the world, how to be happy. The secret: “Be a Bucket Filler. Be Kind.” She’s undertaken a “mission for meaningful happiness.”

In her book and life, Carol focuses on the reciprocating benefits of “filling” buckets by helping others and being kind. It’s a lesson she learned from her parents at an early age by putting a portion of her allowance in the church basket each week. As a result, she established a habit of giving back a part of everything her family received.

Currently, Carol’s books have sold over three million copies and have received hundreds of awards and five-star reviews for her titles. She now has ten titles, with translations in ten different languages and published in various formats.

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The Authors

Anita Nahta Amin

Raja’s Pet Camel

Anita Nahta Amin is the author of several forthcoming chapter books and many short stories for children. Her work has been featured in a variety of children’s literary magazines. This is her first picture book. Her family roots stretch across India from the vibrant camel-filled desert in Rajasthan to the bustling river city of Kolkata. She lives in Florida with her husband and twin children. She would love a pet camel too, as long as it doesn’t eat all of her dates.

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Nikki Bergstresser

Lila Lou’s Little Library

Nikki Bergstresser is the author of Seasons for Stones. She lives on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada with her husband and two daughters. Nikki can be found surrounded with books and a good story to share.

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Hannah Carmona

Dazzling Travis

Hannah Carmona is a writer who currently resides in Tennessee. Dazzling Travis is her second book and was inspired by her work in children’s theater. In addition to being a writer, Hannah is also a mother of two wonderful girls, co-founder of Collective Art School of Tennessee, YouTuber, and actress. When she is not working on her books, Hannah enjoys binge-watching shows on Netflix, avoiding housework, and spending time with her two cats, dog, and iguana.

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Vanessa Garcia

What The Bread Says

Vanessa has written and worked for Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, and Caillou. She also writes plays, articles, and novels too! She bakes bread with her son and daughter in their Miami kitchen all the time, passing down Papan’s recipes.

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Michele McAvoy

Cookie & Milk

Michele McAvoy is an inspirational speaker & award-winning children’s book author from New Jersey. As a child, she read Judy Blume and drew Garfield comics. For her 10th birthday, she asked for a pink typewriter. Michele always loved the smell of new books. Now all grown-up (typewriters near obsolete) she loves bringing joy to children through her own stories.

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Claire Annette Noland

Evie’s Field Day

Claire Annette Noland knows that everyone who reads is a winner. As a children’s librarian, reading specialist, and author, she has made it her life’s goal to get kids excited about books and reading. Claire lives with her family on a river in central California. She has never won a sack race but she keeps trying.

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Cindy L. Rodriguez

Three Pockets Full

Cindy L. Rodriguez is the author of the YA novel When Reason Breaks and has contributed to the anthology Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles. She has also written the text for three Jake Maddox books: Volleyball Ace, Drill Team Determination, and Gymnastics Payback. Before becoming a teacher in 2000, she was an award-winning reporter for The Hartford Courant and researcher for The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team. She is a founder of Latinxs in Kid Lit, a blog that celebrates children’s literature by/for/about Latinxs. Cindy is currently a middle school reading specialist in Connecticut, where she lives with her family. 

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Michelle Schaub

Kindness is a Kite String

Michelle Schaub is an award-winning children’s author and language arts teacher. Her poems appear in several anthologies, including Great Morning! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud. Michelle speaks at conferences on the power of poetry to boost literacy. Michelle lives near Chicago, where she loves finding creative ways to cultivate kindness.

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Cindy Williams Schrauben

This Could Be You

Cindy has been writing her whole life. She is an educator by profession, but has also served as the editor for Healthy & Fit Magazine, Central Michigan Edition. Hobbies are Reading, drawing, painting, creating, traveling, and lazing at the lake.

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Stephen Tulloch

The Little Linebacker

Stephen Tulloch is a retired NFL linebacker. He launched the Stephen Tulloch Foundation in 2009 and has helped thousands of people through his community outreach and generous giving. Tulloch was named as one of the top 100 players in the NFL in 2012 & 2013, was selected as a team captain of the Detroit Lions by his teammates and has been awarded multiple awards nationally and locally for his efforts off the field.

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The Illustrators

Dawn Beacon

The Potato Chip Champ

Illustrator Dawn Beacon lives with her husband and son in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. During the winter months she loves snowboarding with her family at their local resorts, while summertime finds her biking and gardening. Inspiration for her artwork is found directly out her back door with the abundance of wildlife and breathtaking views of the Vail Valley.

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P.S. Brooks

The Jelly Donut Difference

P.S. Brooks is a YA writer and children’s illustrator based in Yorkshire, UK. He is a graduate in Fine Art and works primarily in Photoshop using scanned textures such as pastels, paints and other media. He has worked in video games and enjoys connecting with other writers and illustrators online. When not illustrating or writing, he likes to watch fantasy and sci-fi movies and shows, and also plays with his Sheltie guinea pigs Little Jupiter and Big Jupiter.

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Begoña Fernández Corbalán

Three Pockets Full

Begoña was born and raised in a small town in Spain. As a child she loved to draw, so when she grew up she knew that she wanted to get a degree in Fine Arts. After finishing her degree, she specialized in illustration, and since then has dedicated herself to it. In her free time she likes to sit in the sun in the garden and observe how the light changes at different times of the day, something that she tries to reflect also in her work. She has worked with techniques such as watercolor, gouache or colored pencil, but keeps the digital illustration because of the great advantages it offers when working.

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Donna Farrell

Chocolate Milk Por Favor

Never a fan of cold cereals, Donna’s go-to breakfast before school was always toasted bread and chocolate milk. Today she still enjoys an ice-cold glass of chocolate deliciousness slurped through a straw. (Note: Donna has on occasion been scolded for blowing bubbles in her chocolate milk—a habit that she has tried unsuccessfully to break.) If you are ever near Rochester, NY, she highly recommends a trip to the Pittsford Dairy to pick up a bottle of the thickest, yummiest chocolate milk ever made, certified by her three chocolate-milk-loving kids.

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Brenda Figueroa

Dazzling Travis

Brenda Figueroa is a freelance illustrator based in Madrid. She was born in El Salvador, a colorful land of volcanoes, coffee plantations and beautiful sand seashores. At an early age, she developed a deep interest and sensitivity for illustrated books. Her professional background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and a Children’s Book Illustration MA. She has several years of experience in advertising and a wide range of illustration projects, including published picture books.

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Jessica Gibson

Cookie & Milk

Jessica Gibson is a self-taught professional illustrator based in Michigan who has been illustrating for children’s publishing since 2016. Besides picture books, her artwork has been featured in publications such as “American Girl Magazine.”

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Heather Heyworth

The Little Linebacker

Heather Heyworth lives and works in a sleepy Suffolk market town in the UK. Her introduction into the world of children’s books started with illustrating, designing, and co-publishing her own licensed character activity books. She wrote and illustrated her first picture book in 2009. To date she has illustrated many books including picture, board and educational books. From an early age she has had a passion for illustration and can’t imagine doing anything else.

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Sejung Kim

Lila Lou’s Little Library

Sejung Kim is an illustrator and author who lives and works in France. She often works on early childhood subject matter, and she has several books published by different publishing houses.

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Claire LaForte

Kindness is a Kite String

Claire LaForte (JungHwa Lee) is a former animator having worked in Seoul, South Korea for nine years. Her passion for drawing began as a child sketching in the sand and on the rocks all about the remote little island on which she grew up in Korea’s Yellow Sea. She likes to think her illustrations today are done with the same joy and enthusiasm as that little girl’s on the island.

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Tim Palin

What The Bread Says

Tim Palin was born in Salem, MA, to a non-witching family (as far as he knows). From elementary school and beyond, Tim took lots of art classes and stayed up WAY too late drawing. He had a knack for making works of art using everything from pencils and ink to clay and egg cartons and Popsicle sticks! It didn't take him long to discover that Popsicle sticks weren't really his medium. Now he uses his computer and his imagination to make the world a cuter place. When Tim isn't illustrating or designing books, you can find him baking cakes, time-traveling, planning his global takeover, and binge-watching cheesy sitcoms with his super-charming husband, Michael, and three canine beasts, Edith, Lavinia, and Esteban (who goes by 'Steve').

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Cary Pillo

Pink Tiara Cookies for Three

Cary Pillo grew up in a small town nestled near the foot of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. She spent her childhood riding her bicycle, drawing, and building forts in the forest. Cary attended Washington State University and majored in Fine Arts. She has illustrated numerous articles, educational materials, and books for children. She lives in Seattle with her husband and a mischievous fox terrier named Atlas. Cary still rides her bike and draws but prefers hiking in the forest instead of building forts.

Ronnie Rooney

Spoonful of Sweetness

Ronnie Rooney grew up in coastal Massachusetts. As a young girl, she always envisioned herself as an illustrator, creating art for people to enjoy. Her dream is to have a studio close to the beach. For now, the Army has other ideas for her husband and their family. In the meantime, she is enjoying painting in her studio, and taking long strolls along the Hudson River with her labradoodle, Cricket.

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Julia Seal

This Could Be You

Julia Seal knew from the age of five what she wanted to do for a living—draw pictures! After graduating with a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration and then working in the greeting card industry (and getting covered in glitter every day!) she finally moved onto her dream job—illustrating children’s books. She lives in a small village in England with her husband and two children—who provide plenty of inspiration.

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Kathryn Selbert

The Fruit Salad Friend

Kathryn Selbert is a freelance illustrator currently living in New York with her French bulldog Margot. She earned her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Her work is inspired by the people she meets in her everyday life, our colorful world, flora and fauna, and having fun.

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Kim Shaw

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun

Kim Shaw has been drawing and painting since she could hold a crayon. Because of her passion for unusual food, and her big hair, she was born to illustrate Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun. She is a self- taught artist and comes from a very artistic family. Kim attributes her ability to both of her wonderful grandmothers, Gloria and Marian, who were also artists.

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Parwinder Singh

Raja’s Pet Camel

Born and brought up in the Steel City, Jamshedpur, drawing and coloring has been Parwinder’s hobby and passion since childhood. Spending the early years of his career in classical 2D animation and fascinated by various styles of illustrations, he was ultimately driven to the beautiful world of children’s books. Freelancing has given him the chance he always wanted – he is able to explore more subjects and travel to different places.

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Alicia Teba

Evie’s Field Day

Alicia was born in Spain. She has been drawing since she was three, and has never stopped. She studied cinema and arts. She has been working as an illustrator for known Spanish publishers and this is her fifth book. She also has done comics for magazines and stationary design. She has always loved animals and nature and this is very apparent in her artwork.

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The Photographers

Sarah Luczak

Sunny Side Upbringing

Sarah is the owner of Burlap & Pearls Photography. She is a lifestyle family and newborn photographer serving the Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor regions. Sarah has built her photography business by focusing on authentic and emotive images that portray the true connection found in the families she photographs . Sarah’s favorite things in life are her husband, two children, dogs, and chips & salsa.

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