Minnesota author, speaker, and outdoor enthusiast Kevin Lovegreen finds great joy in inspiring kids to read, write, and enjoy the outdoors. He has found his path and is pursuing what he knows he is meant to do, even if he did not always know he was meant to do it.
It all started in 2011. Lovegreen was at a life crossroads. After selling his family business shares to his brother, he sought his next adventure. A life coach pointed him to his childhood journal, which was full of cherished hunting and fishing adventures.
"That led me to meeting a very persistent author who insisted that I share the stories through children's books," Lovegreen said. "That began an adventure that I never saw coming. My story shows that sometimes finding your mission and passion in life takes some time and shows up unexpectedly."
His collection is immense. Beyond the 16 titles in the "Lucky Luke" adventure series, he also has coloring books and picture books. The "Lucky Luke" hunting adventures series follows Luke, who shares a name with Lovegreen's son but is partially based on his son and himself. He pulls inspiration from his childhood and the adventures they shared. Lovegreen's daughter Crystal shows up in the book adventures, too.
Though his children are grown (Luke is now 22 and Crystal is 25), Lovegreen continues to connect with school-aged children via his stories and as a public speaker. He is frequently booked to give presentations at elementary schools that encourage kids to read and play outside. Inspiring, teaching, and entertaining kids are one of his favorite parts of the job.
"I have written several award-winning hunting and fishing books for elementary-age children," he said. "I also have found a passion for visiting schools and firing kids up to read more."
It must be working because, in recent years, his book sales have significantly increased.
"We have sold over 250,000 books in the last two years," Lovegreen said. "That is a true blessing from God because we did not sell over 50,000 books in the first eight years."
Curious readers can purchase all of his titles online. Inquiries for speaking engagements can also be submitted via his website. His love of the outdoors stems from childhood. Both sets of his grandparents had cabins in northern Minnesota.
"We always went to the cabins and had fun in the lakes and in the woods," he said. "My dad was a big outdoors lover and introduced all of us kids to the outdoors."
In many ways, his upbringing, both in the outdoors and within the family business, prepared him to be an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. He has learned to leverage all those skills and experiences.
"I learned how to manage people, deal with issues and negotiate family dynamics," he said. "I love hunting and fishing, and that love drove me to take adventures. Those experiences filled my memories with stories to tell, and that's how the books were created."
Just because he had the raw materials to build a career he loves does not mean it was an easy thing to do. Lovegreen has had plenty of challenges and, indeed, plenty of success.
"First, there is no standard road map," he said. "Second, how hard it is to sell books. Third, how much I love writing books and entertaining kids."
The key takeaway of his work?
"Find something you love and never give up," Lovegreen said. "Persistence and prayer are two very good combinations."