Verla Kay, Author

Changing the world - One book at a time

Verla Kay, author of beautiful, poetic, historical picture books for young children and also of her father's P-38 Lightning fighter pilot WWII POW biography, is renowned for helping other writers and illustrators on their journey to publication.

She loves many things - including reading, writing, travel, cooking, sewing, scrapbooking, gardening, puzzles of all kinds and playing games (board, cards and video, but especially pinochle).

Verla gives dynamic talks and workshops to adults and children and has a fervent desire to make history compelling and interesting through books.
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Wings Forever

Non-fiction WWII Aviation Biography

Deeply moving, honest and sincere — this is the real thing. You will experience WWII through a P-38 fighter pilot's actual diaries and letters to his parents.

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Tattered Sails

Historical fiction

A family sails from London to Boston in the 1600's

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Hornbooks & Inkwells

Historical fiction

Two brothers learn to read and write in a 1600's one-room schoolhouse

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Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails

Historical fiction

A family moves west in a covered wagon

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Gold Fever

Historical fiction

Jasper rushes out west to make his fortune in the gold fields of California

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Homespun Sarah

Historical fiction

A little girl gets a homemade dress in colonial America

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Broken Feather

Historical fiction

A Nez Perce indian boy is forced to live on a reservation

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Iron Horses

Non fiction

The building of the transcontinental railroad

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Whatever Happened to the Pony Express?

Historical fiction

The rise and fall of the Pony Express

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Civil War Drummer Boy

Historical fiction

A drummer boy joins the Civil War

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Rough, Tough Charley

Non fiction

A stagecoach driver from the 1850's surprises everyone

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Orphan Train

Historical fiction

Orphaned children move west on a train to find new families

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Andrew Rosen 11/11/21 - Wings Forever
An enthusiastic history buff from Lynnwood, WA, has a special interest in WWII European and Pacific Theaters of War

"Verla Kay’s book, Wings Forever, is a look at the life of her father, Donn Deisenroth who flew P-38’s over North Africa and Italy as part of the 27th Fighter Squadron 1st Fighter Group. It is told through his letters home through training, combat and his time as a POW in Germany. Verla’s style of writing is a little unconventional for a subject like this but she has found a middle ground of providing enough detail in her father’s words to keep people with some sense of history engaged. and annotations and extra details that make it a good read for someone younger or no knowledge of the wider context in which Donn’s experiences took place. Many of those who returned did not want to tell their stories - in Donn’s case he tragically died in a airplane accident in 1960, or like many of the 27th FS fellow pilots he mentioned in his letters, never returned and who are now lost to history with few left if any who knew them. We should cherish opportunities like this to hear in their own words what they faced because we were fortunate enough to have his letters and diaries survive."

Jane Fort 11/14/21 - Wings Forever

It’s a wonderful book to read.

Kathy Dykgraaf 11/14/21 - Wings Forever

Anyone looking for a great WWII story, this is the book for you. Reading about Donn and everything he went thru in his life was amazing. I loved how the book includes stories of his personal life as well as his time as an American soldier. The book is a real page turner, I could not put it down until the end. Donn lived an incredible life and this book makes you feel like you truly got to know him. It is written beautifully and never left me guessing well what happened next. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. I was telling some friends about the book and they are extremely excited to get a copy and read it for themselves. I give this book 2 thumbs up. This is a book Donn would be proud of.

Lee Leikam 11/14/21 - Wings Forever

What a moving story this is. I couldn’t put the book down once I got past page one. This book provided me a unique opportunity to be able to ‘ride along’ as Donn explains aerial combat during world war two over the skies of North Africa and Italy. It’s amazing in that it allowed me to feel the emotions and fear involved in aerial combat: all from the pilots own thoughts as they occurred and he wrote about it in letters and logbooks. This is ‘the real deal’! An amazing story, which a week later is still in my mind. Thank you for all the work you did to put this wonderful story together. I’m encouraging my entire family and friends to read it.

Linda Joy Singleton 12/1/21 - Wings Forever
Author of over 55 children's books including CURIOUS CAT SPY CLUB series, A CAT IS BETTER, LUCY LOVES GOOSEY, MEMORY GIRL, THE SEER & DEAD GIRL series, CASH KAT, CRANE AND CRANE, & SUN AND SON (2022/Amicus)

Verla Kay shares her father’s first-hand account of his experiences as a WWII fighter pilot and prisoner of war. Fascinating details include photos and descriptions of the planes he flew, the battles he fought, and his struggle to survive as a POW—twice! Horrors and heroism are recorded in his war log, letters, photos, and documents that include an autograph from a famous heavy-weight boxing champion who visited the prison. A fast-paced story with the drama and plot twists of a movie—and it’s all true! This AMAZING book deserves to be a movie someday.

Linda Joy Singleton's website

Suzanne K. Endres 12/4/21 - Wings Forever
Review excerpt from Amazon

I ordered this book to give my Father-in-law (who LOVES war stories, facts about old planes, and history). I decided to read it because it sounded intriguing to me as well. I'm glad I did!…Once I started reading it, I couldn't stop until I read the whole book…The story is easy to read and has many facts … I don't know if I can part with the book to give it as a gift now, especially because my husband saw it and said, "Where did you get that? It looks really good!" as he flipped through the pages to see the photos and other illustrations. When I told him it was for his dad, he looked a little disappointed, but he said, "That's just the kind of thing my dad will love!" So I may just buy another one so we can read it and have our grandchildren read it, too. They could use a little trip through history with such interesting information. It's probably the best history book I have read for quite some time!

Victoria Phillips 12/18/21 - Wings Forever

Your book arrived today.. I couldn't put it down until I read it all... I am amazed at how the Red Cross was able to accomplish things in enemy territory.. And the roll the YMCA played.. and how Americans pulled together to make things happen support our efforts in that war.. What really is amazing was how this book finally came together.. It was meant to be you Verla ..who was to share this part history with the world ....♥ Also to find out what the guards ate showed their side of history too.. I felt while reading this book I bet many of the Germans wished there wasn't a war...

Author Talks & Presentations

Verla Kay gives dynamic, exciting presentations imparting lots of fun along with quality information. She has worked extensively with children -- as a paid Teacher's Aide in the classroom, a Den Leader and Cubmaster of Cub Scouts, a Sunday School Teacher, a licensed daycare provider, and as a volunteer at a local library for Story Hour.

Verla gives both children and adults a look behind the scenes of a working author. Where authors get ideas, how books are conceived and written, what happens inside publishing houses, and how to get started as an author are just some of the things Verla can share during her talks. She has given many presentations -- to small classrooms, huge assemblies up to 1600 people, and at lots of writing conferences. She works well with people of all ages, from elementary school children through adults. Verla enjoys dressing in period costumes when she speaks to young children about her picture books.

Email Verla today about an Author visit for your organization or school: Contact Verla Kay

Below are two thank you notes (pictured on this page) from a 4th grade class where Verla gave a presentation (on November 15, 2021) on her Wings Forever WWII fighter pilot biography book:

"Dear Verla Kay,
Thank you for presenting your presentation. It was an awesome story about Donn Deisenroth, and I felt like I was in the cockpit of Norma. It was interesting in the prisoner of war camp, and how Donn and his mates tried to escape. The prison camp was my favorite part and getting to know what the prisoners ate. Thank you for the book. I enjoyed it.

"Dear Vela Kay,
Thank you for coming and telling us about your father Donn Deisenroth. I enjoyed your displays as in the old papers and medals. Your presentation was amazing! It was interesting about how he was at prison camp. It was very interesting what they ate for food. It was very kind of you to come and tell us about your dad. Thank you for the time and effort.

Donn Deisenroth cropdusting a strawberry field in Watsonville, CA around 1955.
Watching him is his cousin, Carl Deisenroth - his daughter, Linda - his son, Mike - and his wife, Norma.

Airplane sounds added with thanks to

Changing the world - One book at a time Contact Verla Kay today

  • Rockford, Washington, United States

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