Illinois Authors

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Haley Watson

Born: in Florida
Connection to Illinois: Watson lives in Freeport.

Biography: Haley Watson is the author of Horus the Friendly Pumpkin Finds a Family. As a little girl, Haley began a modeling career, appearing in ads for well-known brands. She continued to participate in pageants and fashion runway opportunities through her teenage years. She discovered that when people are focused on the physical beauty, they can lose sight of what makes a person special inside. Haley realized her true calling was to inspire children to believe in themselves. When she was just 26 years old, she published her first book for children, Horus the Friendly Pumpkin Finds a Family. She is also the author of Peppermint Path Animal Shelter: A Christmas Story, Horus and the Not So Spooky Show-And-Tell, and Katie Kate Saves the Day, which are scheduled for release in 2023 and 2024. Haley’s approach to inspiring children was refined through her involvement with several organizations, including the Girl Scouts of America, 4H, YMCA Camp, and a special volunteer program, Techniques of Equine Therapy (TROT) through partnership with the University of Alabama, where she learned to work with children who have special needs. Haley also has a passion for the ocean, animals, and nature. She has a BS in Human Environmental Sciences from the University of Alabama. And she often weaves these topics into her children’s stories. Born in Florida, Haley spent her teen years in Alabama, and now lives in Illinois with her faithful companion, a golden retriever named Dwight. She enjoys writing, drawing and painting, family time, and walks in the park with Dwight.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Children


Selected Titles

Horus the Friendly Pumpkin Finds a Family

Independently Published 2023

Horus the friendly pumpkin was grown in the Mystic Meadows Pumpkin Patch at the edge of town. For years, he dreamt of finding his forever family. However, Horus is a bit different from the other pumpkins. He has lumps and bumps all over him! Can the power of friendship and self-acceptance help Horus find his forever family? Kids and adults will enjoy this story of patience, positivity, and a pursuit of what makes Horus special.

Peppermint Path Animal Shelter: A Christmas Story

Independently Published 2023

Santa brings magic to the Peppermint Path Animal Shelter with the help of his dedicated and trusted elves! Plum, Ginger, Chestnut, Hazelnut, Tinsel, Nutmeg, and Jolly Beth work together to find a home for every cat, kitten, dog, and puppy on the list just in time for Christmas. This book teaches kids the importance of using their special skills and individuality when contributing to a positive cause. Based in Leavenworth, Washington, this story will warm your heart and fill you with the holiday spirit.