Kendra Hadnott ’08

A young mind with a profound passion for writing, Kendra Hadnott ’08 realized what she was destined to do at the early age of seven. Today, she has transformed her lifelong hobby of writing into a full-time career as an author.

“I used to say that writing was one of my hobbies, but it doesn’t feel like that anymore,” Kendra says. “There is a big difference between selling books and just writing any old thing for the fun of it. I tend to gravitate toward doing both instead of one.”

Kendra loves working as an author and having the ability to do the two things she is most passionate about: encourage children to read and write. She is grateful that people enjoy her art. “I have had kids tell me they were hooked on my books,” says Kendra. “That’s a great feeling. Out of all the TV shows and YouTube videos they could have been watching, they took the time to read my work.”

Previously, Kendra worked as a sixth grade Chicago Public School teacher, a Content Producer for a well-known toy company where she wrote gaming and application content for Disney and as a Project Manager for an insurance company.

She happily traded in her nine-to-five gig for a more fulfilling writing career. “Once I finally decided to start writing full time, things sort of took off from there,” she adds.

Kendra currently has four novellas and two novels that are published. “Something Watching Me” was her first middle grade level novel that was nominated and chosen for the 2016 Chicago Public Schools ‘Battle of the Books’ competition. Somebody’s Nobody is an adult mystery novella, the third place winner of the 2014 International 3-Day Novel Contest, and was written in just 72 hours. Her 5-book LIVE series is a set of science fiction/thriller novellas written for adults. Her most recent piece of work, written for teens and adults, called Death Leaders, is her first full novel accepted for publication. 

Kendra was inspired by a writing workshop in her second grade classroom. “I will never forget about the short story I wrote, The Bear Who Went to the Barbershop,” says Kendra with a smile. “My teacher refused to believe that I had written it.”

Kendra is constantly motivated by her husband (also her beta reader), family members and her two puppies. “My two cuddly poodle puppies do a good job of keeping me on my toes while I’m writing as they climb in my lap and onto my laptop when I reach the most suspenseful part of my book,” Kendra says.

Kendra graduated from Lewis University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, concentrating in Writing. During her time on campus, she was a writer for The Flyer, a mentor for the Black Student Union’s Big Brother Big Sister program, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and a member of the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta.

“I always knew that words came to me easily,” Kendra says. “It was not until I started taking some upper level English classes at Lewis, that I was pushed outside of my comfort zone by my professors, and eventually learned to use my powers for good.”

“Taking Lewis’s Shakespeare class was a bit of a wakeup call too,” Kendra says lightheartedly.

An ultimate bookworm, Kendra enjoys reading books just as much as she does writing and feels that “nothing compares to having a really good read during a thunderstorm.” In her spare time, she loves to play and watch basketball, partake in game nights-only the very competitive kind- and watch horror movies.

She would advise others to be unafraid of getting things wrong and making mistakes.  “You can never learn by striving for perfection, but you can certainly strive for perfection by learning.”

August 2016

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