Friday, October 8, 2021

Why Are You the Person to Write This Story? by Gayle C. Krause

Though I’ve been writing for nearly twenty years, it’s not the question that’s foremost in my mind when I create my stories, and yet, the answer is important. Some agents even want the answer when you query them. 

With every author, the answer varies, but not until I really sat down and made myself think of why I wrote my five published books did I realize what my answers were.



 

Let’s take my first book, a rhyming picture book, ROCK STAR SANTA, published by Scholastic. It’s about a little boy who goes to a Christmas Eve concert and is surprised that Santa is the star and is rocking out with his rowdy reindeer band. What inspired that story?

 

A Trans-Siberian Christmas concert. A rock band that plays traditional Christmas carols with a heavy metal/progressive jazz attitude, complete with pyrotechnics and loud, blasting music. The next day I wrote Rock Star Santa. If I hadn’t gone to the Christmas concert, I never would have considered writing a picture book featuring Santa Claus as a Rock Star.

 


My second book, RATGIRL: Song of the Viper was born from my love of fairytales and a man I met at a writer’s conference at Keystone College in Pennsylvania. He was an ethnobotanist and led us on a tour of the college campus, pointing out wild plants, or plants in general, that can be used for food and medicine. My YA retelling of The Pied Piper set in a dystopian future with global warming (and scarce food) was influenced by what I learned that day, and I incorporated that knowledge in my novel.


My third book, TWICE BETRAYED, a MG historical fiction was influenced by three things:


1.  an invitation to celebrate George Washington's Birthday at Christ Church in Philadelphia, PA (the church were he attended each Sunday) complete with a formal celebration with a reenactment of his First Light Brigade.


2. My own sewing skills, as I am a certified Home Economics teacher.


3. And my interest in colonial history (Hello, Betsy Ross!) By the way, her designated pew in Christ Church was right behind George Washington’s.) 

 My fourth book, DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON? another picture book introduces a serious topic to children, but set in rhyme, so it’s not too scary. (Though it is all too familiar with military children.) Filled with emotion, and family, I had a hard time coming up with what inspired me to write this book. Though both my father and husband served in American warsneither came home wounded. But this story came to me strong and clear, and I believe it may have been triggered by the amputees from the Boston Marathon bombing. Ten percent of royalties from this book is donated to Our Military Kids, an organization that sponsors the children of veterans in group activities while their wounded parent is recovering.

 

And my last published book, ONCE UPON A TWISTED TALE, came solely from my love of rhyme and fairytales and is a MG collection of “fractured fairytales” in various poetic forms. And as a teacher, turned children’s author, I teach Children’s Literature to other educators, and children’s writers. One of my favorite workshops to teach is "Beyond the Fairytale!"


 

Now, as I reflect on my WIPS, I see that I’ve drawn on the lives of my students, and their idiosyncrasies, as well as people I know, again coupled with my favorite genre (fantasy/fairytales). 

 

So, yes, take some time to delve into the reason behind your stories. Where did they come from? Who inspired them? Sometimes, you’ll surprise yourself.

 

Giveaway:

 

For anyone who follows The Storyteller’s Scroll and shares this on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, your name will be put in a random drawing for a signed copy of ROCK STAR SANTA, which is now out of print. 

 

When you comment below, please list the social media link that you used, so it can be verified.

 

Drawing will be held on November 15, 2021. And you should get it just in time for Christmas!

 

 

****(And by the way, Trans-Siberian Orchestra is BACK celebrating 25 years of Christmas Eve and Other Stories this year. Maybe you’ll be inspired too!)

 

 

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Kirkus Magazine Mentions DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON?

 So this just happened yesterday...


INDIE BOOKS THAT TAKE KIDS TO THE MOON

BY DAVID RAPP  YESTERDAY

THE MOON HAS LONG BEEN A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR WRITERS AND READERS, EVER SINCE POETS STARTED RHYMING IT WITH THE WORD JUNE


CHILDRENS BOOK AUTHORS ARE NO EXCEPTION; JUST LOOK AT MARGARET WISE BROWNS CLASSIC, GOODNIGHT MOON, IN WHICH THE NARRATOR TREATS THE SATELLITE AS A GOOD FRIEND. 


HERE ARE THREE MORE MOON-BASED BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS IN KIRKUS INDIES ORBIT:


IN MALISA SANTIGULS 2019 PICTURE BOOK, THE DOOR TO THE MOON

COLORFULLY AND RICHLY ILLUSTRATED BY JUNG SENARAK, A BOY AND HIS DOG FIND A STAIRWAY THAT LEADS DIRECTLY TO THE BRIGHT-YELLOW MOON, WHERE THEY MEET MULTICOLORED ALIENS AND ASTRONAUTS AND EVEN FLY AROUND IN A SPACESHIP. KIRKUS REVIEW NOTES THAT THIS SIMPLE, FANCIFUL NARRATIVE WILL DELIGHT YOUNGSTERS WHO ALREADY DREAM OF THE MOON.


THE 2020 MIDDLE-GRADE SF NOVEL BOON ON THE MOON BY JOHN HUDDLES TELLS THE STORY OF 9-YEAR-OLD BYRON BOON BARNETT, WHOS EXILED TO A LUNAR COLONY BY A JUDGE AFTER A SPELUNKING MISHAP. FORTUNATELY, HE CAN BRING THE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY ALONG, BUT BEFORE LONG A TERRIFYING OUTER-SPACE PHENOMENON CALLED A WHITE WORM PUTS THEM ALL IN DANGER. KIRKUS REVIEWER CALLS THE BOOK A COMICAL LUNAR ROMP FEATURING A BRISK, DELIGHTFUL STORY.



DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON? 
(2019) BY GAYLE KRAUSE AND ILLUSTRATOR CARLOS DE LA GARZA ESCHEWS SPACE ADVENTURE AND INSTEAD USES THE LUNAR BODY AS A WAY TO HIGHLIGHT A BOYS STRONG CONNECTION TO HIS FATHER. BEFORE THE DAD DEPLOYED AS A SOLDIER OVERSEAS, HE TOLD HIS CHILD, AT BEDTIME, LOOK UP AT THE MOON. / AND I WILL TOO. ILL BE HOME SOON. LATER, THE STORY DEALS WITH THE FATHERS RECOVERY FROM CATASTROPHIC INJURIES. KIRKUS REVIEWER WRITES THAT THE PICTURE BOOK ADDRESSES A DIFFICULT TOPIC IN KID-FRIENDLY TERMS DESPITE SOME ADULT-LEVEL EXPECTATIONS.


DAVID RAPP IS THE SENIOR INDIE EDITOR.


If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy of this book about a boy and his soldier dad, you can contact me on my website : https://www.gayleckrause.com


Thanks!


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Fall Writing Frenzy 2020 - Image #12 LITTLE WITCH

FALL WRITING FRENZY 2020


A “Little” Witchy Magic!

 

 

My sisters said I can’t attend the Midnight Magic Ball. 

“A snip of a witch! Untried! Unskilled! Besides…she’s much too small.” 

 

My biggest sister says she turned a boy into a ghost. 

And changing puppies into cats? My middle sister’s boast!

 

But I will prove them wrong if I practice every day. 

My spells will be original. Not any “old witch” way! 

 

I’ll make my magic perfect. All I need to do is focus. 

A sparkling wand, some spooky smoke…a “little” hocus-pocus! 

 

I’ll call the forest fairies to dance upon a pin. 

And set green vines a twirling ‘round all pumpkins with a grin. 

 

I’ll send a vampire bat to swoop across an eerie moon. 

And change one sister’s cat into a goodie-stealing goon. 

 

My other sister’s cat will bring me all her candy treats. 

And I will give the sweets to costumed kids that walk the streets. 

 

Do not misjudge my magic! Be it potion, chant or spell… 

My “little” witch enchantments are for “Show” and not for “Tell!”


170 words

 

 


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fall Frenzy Writing Contest 2020


 I entered this last year and it was a great writing experience. This year’s rules:

1. Choose a fall image from Lydia Lukidis’s blog 

www.lydialukidis.wordpress.com

2. Write a 200 word (or less) poem, story, mood piece, whatever strikes your fancy from the chosen image as long as it’s child friendly.

3. Entries MUST be submitted from October 1-3 by midnight.

4. Enter by posting on your blog and then leaving the link for your submission on Lydia’s blog post.

5. One entry per person.

6. Winners announced on 10/31/20

7. Prizes feature critiques from editors, agents, and published authors.

Monday, September 14, 2020

WALKOUT - A PICTURE BOOK BY TINA SHEPARDSON

 My last post, in July, was to celebrate and review one of my Wheatie sisters for her picture book, SHE LEADS. 


Today, I am celebrating and reviewing another. 




Tina Shepardson's new picture book just released this week. WALKOUT demonstrates for young children that they have the right to let their voices be heard for a topic that concerns their safety.



Shepardson’s WALKOUT is a simple explanation  

to the very young that standing up for what you 

believe in is important. And Sirrell’s illustrations 

artfully being Shepardson’s story to life. Maddie 

organizes her class for the schoolwide walkout

against school violence. And Stella, her best 

friend is afraid to participate. Through gentle 

persistence and delicate persuasion, Maddie 

repeatedly tries to get Stella to participate. Stella 

understands the importance of the schoolwide 

movement but takes the principal’s words to 

heart (only older grades may participate). So,

when her whole class (including her teacher) 

line up to join in the walkout, Stella sees and 

understands that there is a balance between 

interpreting the words of adults and doing the

right thing to support the safety of all students, 

whether they be young or old.



Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Book Review of SHE LEADS by June Smalls

So, I won a copy of this book in Zombie Week. June Smalls is my Wheatie sister and I am pleased to post my review here. I thoroughly recommend this book for classroom, bedtime, family readings, and for all adult lovers of elephants.


One of the first things that attracted my eye as I opened June Small’s SHE LEADS was the double text (one for preschoolers – simple) and one for older children – (more fact-filled sidebars on individual pages). How cool is that? The second was Yumi Shimokawara's naturalistic illustrations. (Beautiful!) A powerful book of feminine leadership in the animal kingdom. The Elephant Queen nurtures strength in her family and looks after her herd. The stunning story starts with the birth of an elephant princess and ends in the same manner. SHE LEADS demonstrates “girl power,” and will inspire human girls to “take the lead” in discussions, achievements, and life. 

Monday, June 22, 2020

SO YOU WANT TO WRITE FOR CHILDREN....CHECK THIS WRITING RETREAT OUT!!!

INSPIRATION, MOTIVATION, AND CREATION

 IN TWO DAYS

JUNE 25 - 26, 2020



 

THE WRITING MAGIC WRITING RETREAT sponsored by CALLIE-METLER SMITH IS ABOUT Strengthening writing skills, clarity7 on writing goals, and inspiration for your writing passion.


Please join me on June 25, 2020 at 2:00 EST. for my presentation of "BEYOND THE FAIRYTALE."   

 

FROM CALLE:


I've assembled some of my favorite and informative people (Melissa Stoller, Lynne Marie, Gayle C. Krause, Alayne Christian, Vivian Kirkfield, Stephanie Hansen, Doris Imahiyerobo, and Mira Reisberg) in the Kid Lit community to do just that!

8 experts over 2 days will teach you about bringing diversity to your books, how to find ideas in your own world, and how to write marketable ideas, among many other things.

 

Everything you need to know about the Writing Magic Virtual Retreat!

WHEN

The Writing Magic Virtual Retreat will run from June 25th-26th with a variety of presentations to choose from each day.

WHERE

I don't know about you, but I prefer to leave my house as little as possible. With that being said, you can tune into the retreat from anywhere with Internet access.

PRESENTATIONS

Presentations will be 45 minutes in length. The presentations and all other elements of the retreat will be available through August 31st to encourage you to stop waiting for the right time and take action along with hundreds of other writers.

PARTY IT UP

You’ll also have access to a private Facebook group for the retreat where we’ll be partying it up before the retreat starts and working together to write great books once it kicks off.

 

 


It is Time to Join Us

Buy Your Ticket to Enjoy two packed full days of Fun, Kid Literature, and Writing Magic!

https://www.writingwithcalliemetlersmith.com/pl/187021


Why Are You the Person to Write This Story? by Gayle C. Krause

Though I’ve been writing for nearly twenty years, it’s not the question that’s foremost in my mind when I create my stories, and yet, the an...