Monday, August 1, 2011

Mommy Monday: Interview with Children's Writer Kara Froberg

Welcome to Mommy Monday, Children's Writer Kara Froberg!

Miranda:  I'm so excited that you've taken time out of your busy schedule as mother and writer to share your experiences with readers.  Kara is an aspiring children's author on the path to publication - a track that many of our readers share!

Miranda: Kara, let's start at the beginning.  How did you decide you wanted to write for children? 

Kara:  I’ve always enjoyed writing for all ages, but when I had my first child I became interested in writing for him, featuring him as the main character. He enjoyed reading about himself and it sparked his creative side.

Miranda:  Neat!  Since then, have you published any of those stories featuring your son (or other characters)?

Kara: I have not been published – yet. I’m currently compiling a list of markets I’d like to submit to and am working on several projects.

Miranda:  Getting writing ready for publication isn't easy, and I know you're finishing up a course from the Institute of Children's Literature to help you become a better writer.  Would you recommend that course to other Moms who want to write for children? 

Kara: I would definitely recommend ICL to other moms. They are extremely flexible which is what every mom needs. I email my lessons to my instructor so it’s that much easier for me, I don’t have to go to the post office, or have the added expense of envelopes and postage, or paper and ink. If a problem arises, like one of my kids gets sick and I’m unable to get my lesson done on time, I can call or email student services and request an extension for my assignment.

Miranda:  Now - let's talk about those assignments, or stories!  Being the mother of three boys, do you find yourself writing stories geared more for boys? 

Kara: I usually do write more for boys. I don’t know if it’s because I have three boys or because I’m somewhat a tom-boy myself. My boys are the inspiration for several of my short stories. I’ve written two stories based on true events from my boys’ lives. One is for earliest readers and the other is for middle grades.

Miranda:  I have two children–a boy and a girl– so I can't imagine how three boys allow you time to write.  When do you fit that in? 

Kara: It’s not easy finding time to write with a teenager who is active in band, athletics, and works part-time plus a five year old and a two year old who crave their mommy’s attention. I try to write during nap time, when the little ones are outside playing, and, my personal favorite, after the rest of the family has gone to bed. I have always been a night owl so staying up until two or three doesn’t bother me. My husband and my oldest son are very good about keeping the younger two occupied if I have a deadline to meet or want to get some research done.

Miranda:  What are some stories you're working on currently? 

Kara: I’m currently working on my final assignment for ICL which is the first three chapters of a novel. The working title of it is Following the Path. It’s a young adult novel about an obese teen being bullied her senior year in high school. I intend to finish the novel by spring 2012. I am also working on several short stories for Christian middle grade markets and mainstream middle grade markets. I’d also like to try my hand at writing for adults. I have the seed of an idea for a horror story and I’ve been researching in preparation for a paranormal romance that has nothing what-so-ever to do with vampires or werewolves.

Miranda:  Sounds like a lot of ideas!  Which do you like better - the process of creating a new story, or revising one already written? 

Kara: I get excited when I have the seed of an idea. I like to nurture it and make it grow. The actual writing of a new story is difficult for me. I have all these ideas and I know where I want my story to go, but then I get a new idea and want to add it to the plot right away, it makes writing frustrating at time. However, once the story is done, I can sit down and really play with things. I can re-arrange scenes, add to them, or delete them altogether. I would much rather revise work that is already done than have to decide what should happen first and if a character fits this story or belongs somewhere else.

Miranda:  You've mentioned to me before this interview that one of your breakout strategies is to enter contests.  Can you tell us more about that?

Kara: I think the reason I’m doing contests is because if I don’t win, it doesn’t feel like a rejection. Plus, with a contest, you have strict word counts and deadlines to meet as opposed to writing a story and then looking for a market that fits that story. I also would like to be able to add to my resume that I’ve won this contest or was runner-up in that contest. Most contests publish the winning entries and give contributor copies and sometime prize money, so that’s an added benefit.

Miranda:  Besides giving yourself the occupational titles of writer and mother, what are three titles you might use to describe the 'full Kara Froberg' to readers?

Kara: Christian is the title that I enjoy most. I love God and am not afraid or ashamed to admit it, but I also don’t feel the need to push in other people’s faces.

Film and book critic also apply. I used to work for a video store and enjoyed recommending or warning the customers about the movies. I would also suggest the book that the movie was based on. After awhile, customers would stop in the store to ask me what a book title was that I had recommended or if I knew if I movie had been made about a certain book.

Lastly, I’d have to say the title of Supreme Procrastinator fits me perfectly. If I can think of something else to do, instead of the thing I’m supposed to be doing, you better believe I’ll do it. My goal is to become a Procrastinator instead of a Supreme Procrastinator by the end of the year. I have plenty of time before the end of the year, so, I’ll work on that goal later.

Miranda: Too funny!  Well I won't procrastinate in saying thank you for stopping over to be interviewed on my blog!  ¡Muchas Gracias!

Want to learn more about children's writer Kara Froberg?  Kara’s Blog can be found at 


KatieC said...

Great interview!

Claudine Gueh said...

The part on entering contests as a way to build credibility is also a great way to build writing confidence & patience. Thanks for the reminder!

Anne E. Johnson said...

Nice interview. And I'll second the vote for ICL as a great way to get started. I learned a lot in my course there. Keep working and keep submitting, Kara!

Miranda Paul said...

Thanks for the posts. Great encouragement for Kara - and all of us!

Even published children's authors have to keep on submitting and entering contests, too!

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