VISION and VERSE - My Interview with Carol Ann Kauffman
Wednesday, March 21, 2018Interview with Author Christine Almstrom
Croydon, NH, USA
Good morning, Christine, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the place for Art and Authors. Can you tell us a little about what you've written?
Mostly pre-K/early readers but also middle-grade fiction, poetry, and a young adult novel. More specifically: “How Do You Catch a Falling Star?”, “Popover: Little Mouse in a Big World,” “The Legend of the Black Grim,” “Seaglass: wayward thoughts of a wandering heart,” “Grandfather Thunder & The Night Horses,” “Wee Angus.” I’m currently editing my young adult novel titled “Blood Moon Eclipse” (for an October 2018 release) and working on illustrations for an upcoming book written by author Mary Morton Cowan. I’m also starting rough sketches for another project with the Thunder Valley Lakota Language Initiative in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. They provided translation for “Grandfather Thunder & The Night Horses” and have asked me to illustrate a series of traditional oral stories to preserve their heritage and language.
What is your favorite genre to write? Young adult urban fantasy.
Lobster, sushi, scallops...seafood.
Tea or coffee?
Tea (especially chai)
Pizza or ice cream?
Neither but gelato...that’s a different story.
Wine or beer?
Beer, in the bottle, dark (stout, lager…).
Where would you like to visit?
Ireland, Scotland, the Grand Canyon, The Black Hills, Yellowstone..
Favorite musical artist. Do you listen to music when you write? What?
My music depends on my mood and my taste is rather eclectic: eerie violin pieces, ethereal instrumentals, heavy metal, grunge, alternative...I have different playlists depending on what I’m working on. My current novel “Blood Moon Eclipse” has a background playlist called “Into the Abyss.” Music can really set the mood for my writing.
What makes you laugh?
Kids being kids and animals.
This is an Art AND Author blog, so I am obliged to ask: Favorite work of art or sculpture.
I’m partial to Salvadore Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” but also adore Monet’s “Water Lilies” and some of Jackson Pollack’s work.
How old were you when you started writing?
Do you plan out your book with outlines and notecards? Or just write?
I prefer to start with a spiral-bound notebook and just let the work flow. After, I’ll put it to the Mac and I’ve also starting using an app called Scrivener for keeping things organized but I really love the feel of pen on paper and the just letting the muse take over.
Describe your perfect evening.
Flannel pjs, snuggled on the couch with my family watching a movie that we all actually agree on. Chinese food would be a bonus.
Where do you get your inspiration?
From my kids, from my childhood, everywhere! I don’t need much for inspiration to hit.
What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I actually suffer from the opposite of writer’s block. I have writer’s flood! Ideas come at the worst times: the middle of the night, in the shower, driving in the car, sitting in church (sorry God), in line at the grocery store...I actually have a blog on my website called “The Voices in My Head” because I swear that’s what they are and they’re usually all trying to get my attention at once!
Who is your favorite author?
That’s a tough one: Katherine Howe, Diana Gabaldon, JK Rowling...
Best book you ever read.
Tie between “Tuck Everlasting” and “Les Miserables.”
Last book you read.
“The Lie Tree” by Frances Hardinge
What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
I’m also an artist so maybe an art teacher.
Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My father. Despite a violent and negligent upbringing, he chose to rise above it. He left home at 16, joined the Navy so he could see the world, and chose to be a better person. He taught me the value of honesty, integrity, and hard work. Even through a long and painful battle with cancer, he never lost his sense of humor.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
I am of Native American descent (Blackfeet Sioux and Onondaga Iroquois) and very proud of my heritage so I would love to sit down with Wilma Mankiller. She was the first woman to serve as chief of the Cherokee Nation and a strong community organizer. She revitalized its tribal government and improved its educational system. I love her quote: “The secret of our success is that we never, never give up.”
What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Don’t give up. The road is long, winding, and tricky but worth the journey.
A little about Christine:
“A self-proclaimed Imagination Expert, Literary Addict, collector of shoes and sea glass, Christine Almstrom lives in New Hampshire with her husband and children (two- and four-legged) - endless source of inspiration and more than a little insanity. She enjoys reading, roaming, and all things oceanic or Steampunk. When not working on one of her own books, she can usually be found with her head buried in someone else’s.
Christine is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators), BroadUniverse, and an author/presenter with CLiF (the Children’s Literacy Foundation). To learn more about Christine, her current projects and upcoming events, please visit her at: www.christinealmstrom.com or follow her on Facebook (ChristineAlmstromAuthor) and Twitter (@calmstrom13).”
Thank you, thank you, Carol Ann for the wonderful interview!