Today you get a two for Tuesday 12 x 12, as the authors are a husband and wife team – Chris and Mel Bugaj. Even more exciting is the chance to share their unconventional path to publishing, proving once again what exciting times we live in as authors. As they embark on publishing their 50th story through their podcast and blog – Night Light Stories – they are now venturing into the app space. Congratulations Chris and Mel, and welcome to Tuesday 12 x 12!

Hi All! We are Mel and Chris, a husband and wife duo who started writing children’s books about thirteen years ago. After years of writing query letters to publishers, we decided to make a platform to tell our stories. Being two special educators, we recognized the impact of listening to audio stories on the reading abilities of students. Therefore, we thought it would be fun to create an audio podcast.

We started the podcast and compendium blog four years ago as a creative project to do together. We thought it would be a fun alternative for families, educators, and classrooms to listen to our stories on car trips, around the house, as part of listening stations, as literacy projects, or anytime.  We also thought that since our kids seemed to enjoy the stories, other kids around the world might like them too.  We say in the podcast that the stories are “for children of all ages” and it is our hope that families are enjoying the stories together.

One of our goals for the project was, of course, to get published. Recently one of our stories, Dragonfly, Dragonfly, Show Us the Way, was produced as a fully-illustrated e-book as in-app purchase from a children’s literacy app called Flying Books. We have a few other Night Light Stories currently in the process of production for release within this app as well. It’s a fun experience to see our stories come to life!

The 12×12 has really helped us feel like we part of a community working toward the same goals together.  We had a challenging summer to say the least with some unexpected personal events, so this really helped us keep our eyes on our goal of producing one picture book a month to post on our podcast. On top of that, the “Featured Author Posts” and “Tuesday 12X12” provided us with useful information and inspiring stories. Thanks, Julie, for posting so many incredible resources! And keep on rocking the picture book writing 12×12’ers!

Chris and Mel are the proud parents to their seven-year-old boy and four (and a half)-year-old girl. They are both special educators in their thirteenth year of teaching. Mel has taught all grade levels from preschool to grade five in both general and special education. Currently, she is a Supervisor for student teachers for Walden University as well as a Homebound Teacher in the evenings. She also has a solo blog that she writes about the silly antics of her family called According To Mags. Chris is a speech-language pathologist and founding member of the Assistive Technology Team for Loudoun County Public Schools. He and a co-worker were published by the International Society for Technology in Education. Their book is called “The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools“.  After hours he also produces and hosts the A.T.TIPSCAST, an award-winning podcast about free or commonly found technology that can be used to help students meet their educational goals.

Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Apps, Authors, Children's Books, Digital Publishing, ebooks, Goals, Guest Blogging, Picture Books, Storybook Apps, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. Thanks so much for the opportunity to share our story!

  2. Wow – what a team! Nice to learn more about fellow 12x12ers and what they’re up to!

  3. It is so good to learn the story behind Night Light Stories. Thank you for sharing with us, and may you continue to enjoy wonderful success with your stories!

  4. Thanks for sharing. All your work listed in the bio amazed me. Good luck with the rest of the challenge.

  5. Thanks for telling us more about your writing adventure. The list of stories on your website is incredible!! What a great option for classrooms and parents.

  6. It’s always fun to hear more about other 12x12er’s journeys! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I enjoyed hearing about your blog and stories. What a fun, creative project!

  8. How wonderful to have a creative project you do together. It’s nice to meet the people behind the Night Light Stories voices.

  9. wow! Lovely creative team. Like the others have said, it’s always lovely to meet other 12x12ers.

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