AND, I’m giving away a free e-copy of the book!
A member of SCBWI, YALITCHAT and THE POETS’ GARAGE, Gayle C. Krause is a published children’s author. Rock Star Santa (Scholastic 2008) has sold over 138,000 copies to date. Her work is in Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul 2, Meanderings; An Anthology of Poetic Verse (Diversion Press) and soon will appear in And the Crowd Goes Wild -A Global Gathering of Sports Poems (Friesens Press) coming this month. Please visit her website at www.gayleckrause.com http://thestorytellersscroll.blogspot.com.
Here, Gayle and I discuss her writing in general and “The Storyteller’s Daughter” in particular.
Q: What made you want to be a writer?
A: I’ve been writing all my life, first poems about broken hearts in high school (don’t we all do that? J), then a poignant one when my grandfather died suddenly.
As an educator, who trained prospective teachers, Children’s Literature was my favorite unit to teach. I was a ‘do what I do,’ not ‘do what I say’ teacher, and every assignment I gave the students I did, too. Consequently, I wrote children’s plays starring my high school students and my Pre-K children, which they performed for the children’s parents. These plays were a perfect segue into picture books.
And of course, I was, and still am an avid reader. I love fantasy and historical fiction and when I read the call for the YA Timeless anthology I knew I had to combine my two favorite genres. I came up with a historical fantasy for my selection.
Q: "The Storyteller's Daughter" is set long ago in the Middle East. How did you become interested in this locale and its stories? How did you get the idea for this story? What kind of research did you do?
One of the parties I developed for my nursery school was “An Arabian Nights” party. We turned the classroom into a nomad tent, took the legs off the children’s tables and sat around on pillows on the floor. I taught the high school students to prepare Middle Eastern food and to sew harem costumes, so essentially ‘The Storyteller’s Daughter’ was living in my head since that party.
Another factor is that a few years ago I participated in National Geographic’s Deep Ancestry Study and my familial information came back that my mother’s long-ago ancestors traveled across Northern Africa, through the desert and across the Mediterranean Sea to land in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and the southern hills of Georgia.
As soon as I found this out I thought about writing a Middle Eastern fantasy about one of my female ancestors and “The Storyteller’s Daughter” was born. (Though I’m really not related to Scheherazade, or maybe I am, with all those stories in my head J)
Q: What wonderful parties those must have been! Your classes were lucky. =)
In "The Storyteller's Daughter" you use wonderful similes. They always reference and strengthen the world of the story. Is this a "writing gift" you've always had, or did you have to develop this skill?
A: It’s a by-product of my teaching days. When I explained a concept to my students I always gave them examples to help them understand what I was saying. I guess the similies serve the same purpose in my writing, especially in cases of words the young reader may not be familiar with.
Q: Why did you decide to submit this story to Pugalicious Press for Timeless?
A: As I said above, the concept was in my head for a while and the specifications of a YA historical romance short story coaxed it out.
Q: What are your current projects? Are you working on anything new? Anything being published soon?
A: Currently, I have two projects in different stages:
1. A YA sexy historical set in the early 1700’s in the Caribbean. (first revision)
2. A YA contemporary romance with thriller and light paranormal elements (ready to sub to agents.)
Q: Those sound fantastic! What advice do you have for teen writers, or other writers just starting out?
A: My main advice is when a character whispers in your ear… “LISTEN.” And once you start writing… “FINISH” what you start.
Q: If you were a frog, what kind of frog would you be?
A: Ha! That’s easy…….The Frog Prince, of course.
Thanks Gayle, and we look forward to hearing about all your future endeavors! And now – the giveaway!
Leave a comment on this post by Sunday August 19 by midnight, and you’ll be entered into the drawing. The winner gets a free e-copy of Timeless in Kindle, Nook, or PDF.
Timeless: An Anthology of Young Adult Romance is available for Kindle, Nook, and other e-formats.
Here are other blog interviews with Timeless authors!
http://deatwood.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/interview-with-j-r-sparlin-and-a-chance-to-win/ (D.E. Atwood interviews me!)