About Karl Beckstrand:
Karl Beckstrand is the bestselling and award-winning author of 19 multicultural/multilingual books and more than 50 ebook titles (reviews by Kirkus, School Library Journal, The Horn Book’s blog, ForeWord Reviews). Raised in San Jose, CA (he knows the secret to peeling avocados), he has a B.A. in journalism from BYU, an M.A. in international relations from APU, and a broadcast & film certificate from Film A. Academy. Since 2004 he has run Premio Publishing. His survival western, To Swallow the Earth, won a 2016 International Book Award. A college media instructor, Beckstrand has presented to Taiwan’s Global Leadership for Youth, city and state governments, festivals, and schools. His nationally lauded Y.A. stories, e-book mysteries, nonfiction, ESL/ELL Spanish/bilingual books, wordless and STEM books feature ethnically diverse characters—and usually end with a twist. His work has appeared in: Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Costco, Deseret Book, Follett, iBooks, Ingram, Papercrafts Magazine, Target.com, The U.S. Congressional Record, Walmart.com
What inspires you to write?
This was a complete accident because I hated writing (and reading) as a kid. While I should have been doing homework in college, I would get ambushed by ideas for kid’s books and write them—thinking I’d get published when I retired from a “real” job. I joined a writer’s group and met a gentleman who wanted to publish one of my manuscripts. Unfortunately, he died the day we were to print. I got a crash course in publishing/marketing. Another publisher asked me to write a true story about an immigrant child. I knew about a girl in my family history who arrived here alone, not knowing English. I found the account—and then got hooked on family history. So, now I’m writing other true immigration stories. I have ideas for novels—only one is published so far.
Tell us about your writing process.
I try to write to entertain adults–regardless of the target age range. They are the ones who are going to buy the book, and I don’t want them to cringe when a kid asks them to read a Karl Beckstrand book. I want them to get the humor that the child may not get. I want the parent/teacher/librarian to stay awake and read my books even when they are alone. I try to write every day and am both a plotter and seat-of-the-pantser. I do some illustrating too.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I certainly listen (I have no choice!); but I don't talk to my characters–only to the six-foot rabbit that follows me everywhere.
What advice would you give other writers?
Join a writers' group! It is there that you'll find advanced readers/critics/supporters, professional editors and designers (and maybe an agent).
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was fortunate to have my early efforts for attention rewarded. I've been traditionally published and self-published (I like the latter).
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think ebooks are becoming more interactive—even animated (I worry that this will be a disincentive for reading).
What do you use?: Co-writer, Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: YA, biographies, mysteries, STEM, picture books, wordless books, language books, how-to, business
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.