Meet our Kids Authors

AuthorPhoto_2_2015Matt Galeone
  currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland and was raised in Seekonk Massachusetts. He is the author of The 15th Chair Book 1: The Journey and The Champion of Clarendon Ditch Trilogy. In 2015 he published his first Kids book, Oberst & Valentine Find Their Human which is based on his two cats rescued from BARCS. He is currently working on the next book in the 15th Chair trilogy and the next installment of Oberst & Valentine titled, A Very Oberst & Valentine Christmas.

Matt became a new father on June 19, 2013 with the birth of his son Aaron Christopher. In addition to writing and playing with Aaron, Matt’s other interests include paddle boarding, snowboarding, photography, reading sci-fi and comic books, traveling to see friends and family, and playing with his cats Oberst and Valentine.

He has degrees in English and psychology, a masters in industrial and organizational psychology, and a doctorate in organizational leadership. Matt has noted that his influences include Ender’s Game and its sequels by Orson Scott Card, Y: The Last Man by Brian K Vaughan and Pia Guerra, the music of the independent band Bright Eyes, and the Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont.

Check out all of Matt’s books and find out how to get your own copy on our list of published works!



Leona Upton Illig is a book critic for Children’s Literature, LLC, ( whose book reviews are distributed to libraries and schools around the nation. Her fiction has been published by magazines such as The MacGuffin, The North Atlantic Review, The Western Online, and Residential Aliens, while her non-fiction has been published by Sky and Telescope, the premier astronomy magazine in the United States. The Elephant and The Birdfeeder: Adventure in Thailand is the first book she’s published with 1st Ride!

She lived in Thailand, as well as in several countries in the Middle East, and developed a deep appreciation for the customs and cultures of other countries. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education from Anne Arundel Community College and a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park. A member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Maryland Writers’ Association, and the Eastern Shore Writers’ Association, she currently lives between Baltimore and Annapolis with her husband, David, and a small spaniel named Clara. Further details can be found at her website,


author-photoKelly O’Blenis Henry is a native New Yorker and mother of three wonderful children – Anthony, Ray Jr. and Ciara. She lives in a small village in Rockland County, NY and enjoys spending time with her family, dancing, reading and teaching.

Kelly is a teacher at her alma mater, Montebello Elementary School in Suffern, NY. and has a B.S. in Elementary & Special Education from St. Thomas Aquinas College and an M.S. in Special Education from The College of New Rochelle.

A first time author, Kelly has always dreamed of becoming a writer, and after a little push from family, friends & colleagues, her story Miracle – which captures an unforgettable moment in her eldest son’s childhood – came to life.


JenJen Katz and Tippy Katz is a working mother of two who holds a degree in English from the University of Mary Washington.  She has a lifelong love of reading, and has recently started working as a creative collaborator with 1st Ride Enterprises to help promising new authors get their work published and out to the public. Although her focus has been on other writers, little did she know the story she herself crafted in Mr. Neff’s class at SuffernHigh School years earlier would become on of her children’s favorite bedtime stories. A native New Yorker, Jen now lives in Atlanta with her husband, children, and dog Tippy.

Check out Jen’s book and find out how to get your own copy on our list of published works!


 Patricia PerrinPatricia Perrin graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Fine and Professional Arts. After finishing a few years of graduate school, Patricia felt called to move to Rhode Island and began teaching art at a private Christian school.  She currently teaches part time and spends her free time running, trying new recipes, and entertaining friends. She lives with her husband, five fish and three birds. This is her first children’s book, and it came to her as a dream many years ago while studying animal habitats and adaptation in college. She held onto that dream and over the years she made her animal friends come to life!

Check out both of Patricia’s books and find out how to get your own copies on our list of published works!


img_2385Beth Williams
is a first-time author who hails from Colorado by way of Bermuda, North Carolina, New York, Virginia and a few other places besides. This book was inspired by years of working with kids and therapy animals all over the country.

In 2012, she co-founded 1st Ride Enterprises in order to help others fulfill their creative dreams. Building on her Masters in Publishing and six years working in that field, Beth loves helping authors through the pre-production and publication process.

When she isn’t supporting 1st Ride or volunteering, Beth works the site manager for a before and after school program at a local elementary school. In her ‘spare’ time she enjoys cooking, photography, crocheting, running and spending time with family and friends.

She lives with her two cats – Xander and Jasmine – who show her first hand every day how animals enhance our lives!

Get your own copy today! Check out our list of published works!