WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES
INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION
GAYLE C. KRAUSE
I run into today’s Will Write for Cookies guest at so many kidlit online forums, and I even got to meet her at a conference a couple of years ago. But I got to know her a bit better through our interactiion in the #PictureBookBuzz debut picture book author group this year with her beautiful book, DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON?
As a Master Educationalist, Gayle C. Krause has taught Children’s Literacreative writing, and storytelling techniques to prospective teachers and children’s authors. Her work has been nominated for the Boston Globe /Horn Book and The International Reading Association Award. She’s a PAL member of SCBWI, the 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge, a past member of the Historical Novel Society, and The Poets’ Garage. She serves on Angie Karcher’s Rhyming Revolution Committee, selecting the best nationally acclaimed rhyming picture book award from 2015-2018. Ms. Krause writes Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult novels. Rebecca Angus of Golden Wheat Literary Agency represents her. You can find the latest news about her books at www.gayleckrause.com
ME: I’m thrilled to welcome you to Picture Books Help Kids Soar, Gayle. And I know everyone wants to get to know more about you and your writing journey.
Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?
GAYLE: As a young child, which was a long time ago, I owned a slew of Little Golden Books. I read to my younger sister every Saturday morning. My two favorite books were THE LITTLE GRAY DONKEY (about a donkey who ate wild strawberries) and UNCLE MISTLETOE (about Santa’s friend and his wife, Aunt Holly) I still have my UNCLE MISTLETOE book.
ME: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?
GAYLE: That you cannot write in a vacuum. No matter how terrific your manuscript sounds to you, other eyes must read it and pass judgment on your work. In my case, my husband (who is a nonfiction guy) is my first and hardest critiquer. (and I write children’s fiction) Then I send my story to my critique group (three other kidlit writers). The best piece of advice I have is to let a critiquer’s advice sit and percolate, whether it’s your crit partner’s or an paid professional editor/agent.
And DO NOT to fall prey into thinking that an editor’s advice is ALWAYS right for your story. YOU MUST STAY TRUE TO YOUR VISION.
You can’t just fix the issue with changing a word or two. Sometimes, you even disagree with the advice given until weeks later, when suddenly you find a way to incorporate that advice into a stronger manuscript.
Bottom line…there is always room for improvement, but you must embrace the changes suggested.
ME: Where do you like to write – inside, outside, special room, laptop, pen and paper?
GAYLE: In the spring, summer, and fall I write in my writer’s loft. It’s really an inspiring area to work in.
In the winter, I find writing in front of the woodstove or fireplace is more satisfying, especially with a cup of tea.
Sometimes, when traveling on an airplane or in the car I use pen and paper to write a scene, but when I am home I go straight to my laptop.
ME: When do you write – early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes?
GAYLE: Since I’m a panster I write when the muse strikes, although I’m always thinking about my current WIP. Sometimes, when I sleep, a solution for a particular troubling problem comes to me and I wake in the morning to write it down immediately. I also keep a small tablet and pen at my bedside just in case a great idea strikes in the middle of the night (more often than not this scenario involves rhyme for my picture books).
ME: Why do you write for children?
GAYLE: My first career and love was teaching. I prepared prospective teachers at the secondary and post-secondary levels. I also directed a Pre-K Laboratory Nursery School in conjunction with my Education Academy program. It was there, spending countless hours on the nursery school floor either reading to the children or performing creative dramatics to bring the stories to life, that I was inspired to write picture books.
And the personalities and quirks, sometimes even exact quotes, of my juniors and seniors find their way into my YA manuscripts. So my past life as a teacher has segued into my present life as a children’s author.
ME: If you have any thoughts or advice for aspiring writers, please share.
GAYLE: My one piece of advice for aspiring children’s writers is never give up the dream Persistence Pays Off!
ME: WOW…thank you so much, Gayle. I totally agree with you…Persistence is probably the most important ingredient for success in this business!
And, speaking of ingredients, Gayle has a yummy cookie recipe for us. Take it away, Gayle!
GAYLE: When it comes to chocolate, more is better, right? So, here is a TRIPLE Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!
And I want to wish you all a very happy FLAG DAY…even with all the things that aren’t the way we wish they could be, I believe this is still an amazing country where you can dream…and build that dream into reality. I hope you all have a safe and wonderful weekend.