By Terriana Hicks
Kate (Adams) Bruns, ’99, credits a legendary children’s author for her own literary inspirations.
“I had that sort of creative Dr. Seuss-type of element to my personality,” said Bruns, author of Cy’s Surprise, the new children’s book published by the Iowa State University Alumni Association.
Brun’s book was released last summer for children enrolled in the association’s LegaCY Club to replace My Friends All Call Me Cy, written more than 20 years ago by Debra (Solberg) Gibson, ’81. The original book, which contained references to such ISU events as VEISHEA, was due for an update, said Bruns, who serves as associate director of communications for the alumni association. And though the LegaCy program had been scaled back a few years ago for budgetary reasons, it was relaunched recently to assist in university student recruitment. That was the green light Bruns needed to write a new children’s book.
Bruns said she wanted Cy to be relatable to children, not mythical or limited to his role as the mascot who performs at athletic events.
“I took the approach that I wanted him to start as a baby and to kind of grow up and figure out what the actual purpose of a university is,” Bruns said. The Waterloo native also wanted her story to focus on majors that will inspire a young child’s imagination, since she couldn’t capture all the degree programs Iowa State offers.
“I just wanted something that they will find really cool and have that diversity there in terms of what they can do, but still have it be something a kid could understand,” Bruns explained.
Tara Gartin, ’87 graphic design, illustrated the book.
“Tara did an absolutely fabulous job bringing the story to life,” Bruns said. “So many cute little details make it fun for the kids when they’re reading it.”
Bruns lives in Des Moines with her husband Ben, ’01, and their son. In her free time she enjoys creative writing or doodling.
Bruns says she lives by the quote, “Give a busy person something to do, and they will have it done.”