Kelly Kandra Hughes, PhD
Imagine. Create. Inspire. Play.*
*For best results, include animals.
As a professional pet and house sitter, I hang out with dogs all day long, sometimes cats, occasionally chickens, and every so often goats – a life I much prefer over my past career as an associate professor of psychology.
The best part about my job? Loving on all the animals! The next best part about my job? I haven’t paid rent or utilities on a regular basis since August, 2015.
While on sabbatical from my teaching position, I realized I wanted so much more in my life than the path I was currently on. So, I turned in my resignation, gave up tenure, married the love of my life, and together we gave away 95% of our belongings. We now travel the country staying in other people’s homes and caring for their animals on long-term house-sitting jobs. We have no permanent residence, though we have a PO box in Harrisburg, PA, that my parents check for us on a regular basis.
In addition to getting published, one of my life’s greatest ambitions is to get all my worldly possessions down to one backpack. I’m pretty close.
Our house-sitting adventures are what inspired my contemporary middle-grade novel UNPLUGGED IN SCHAGHTICOKE. A non-romantic version of SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, UNPLUGGED features Henry Harrison, a 12-year-old video game champion who is forced to unplug from technology over the summer while staying on a small farm. His new neighbor, Olivia, wants to win the Schaghticoke Fair Talent Show and the prize money that goes along with it. If her Dad wasn’t a tech junkie with every gaming system known to humanity, Henry would have never agreed to be her dance partner. Especially since Henry does not have moves like Jagger.
My favorite part of writing this manuscript has been watching YouTube dance mash-ups in the name of research. Favorites include:
Also, I may be learning the entire choreography to Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation video. You know, for writing purposes,
Good luck to all those entering #PitchWars! I look forward to getting to know this community better.