Keith McGowan

Keith McGowan © Angelika Nohalka

Keith McGowan is the author of The Witch’s Guide to Cooking with Children, which received glowing reviews and honors. A former teacher, he currently lives in the third district of Vienna, Austria.

Q & A

Did you write a lot as a kid?

Yes. In fourth grade my teacher did a lot of creative writing with us and I loved it. In sixth grade, after reading a lot of Choose Your Own Adventure stories, I decided to write my own. My manuscript came to something like 70 pages, although most of the pages were just a paragraph long. I sent it to the publisher with a letter saying that kids might enjoy a Choose Your Own Adventure book if it was written by a kid himself. But the publisher didn’t like my idea and turned me down.


Do you use your childhood as inspiration?

Well, really, I use everything from my life, the people I’ve known, and the things I’ve seen as inspiration. Not just my childhood. But when I write I do try to remember the stories I liked to read when I was young.


Where do you live now?

I live in Vienna, Austria, in Europe, near the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. The last places I lived in the US were New Orleans and Chicago.


Who are a couple of your favorite books?

Some of my favorite books for kids are:

M.C. Higgins the Great by Virginia Hamilton

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Patterson


What one or two words of advice would you give for young authors/illustrators?

Write stories with a group of other kids and read the stories to each other.

Do you have a website with more info about you and The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children?
Sure, visit KeithBooks.com.


The Witch's Curse

Keith McGowan; illustrations by Yoko Tanaka

A shadowy witch, a cursed hunter—it’s tricky business for Sol and Connie as they face off against this awful pair. The kids narrowly averted being eaten by the last witch after them,...


The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children

Keith McGowan; Illustrated by Yoko Tanaka

A spine-tingling modern day retelling of Hansel and Gretel