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Blog: This Writing Life


  • Writer's pictureMelissa Stoller

3 Question Interview - GAYLE KRAUSE

I'm so happy to feature fellow Clear Fork Publishing/Spork author and friend Gayle Krause! I look forward to adding both of Gayle's fabulous upcoming picture books to my collection. Read on for Gayle's thoughts about stories . . . creativity . . . and connection. And, she's offering a fantastic giveaway too!

STORIES – Discuss the inspiration for your ideas and stories, and share the process about your latest projects.

Inspiration for my stories comes from everywhere. Sometimes they surprise me. Just this week, I was in a card store and picked up a stuffed sequined dinosaur. I can’t tell you how that made my brain start doing rhyming quatrain flips. I almost bought it, just because it was inspiring a new story idea. Who knows? Maybe I’ll go back and purchase this week!

Because I write across the genres, PB to YA, sometimes, after I spend two years on a novel, the concept remains with me and I use it again at a PB level. This happened to me recently. My YA novel is the one that attracted my agent, but I recently wrote a picture book based on the same concept, which I submitted to a nationwide contest.

DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON?, my newest picture book (illustrated by Carlos de la Garza, Clear Fork Publishing/Spork), will be released April 9, 2019 during The Month of the Military Child. The inspiration for that story came from a combination of the news and my experiences as a former Pre-K Director. I’ve seen how young children operate in difficult adult situations such as divorce, separation, and deployment. And what adults don’t understand is that these children need to be part of the “wounded warrior” experience, just to understand at their own cognitive level what is actually happening to their family.

I hope this book is a start, to help the children of separated military families see that they’re not the only ones going through this serious situation. And 10% of the royalties for this book will be donated to military organizations that support military children.

CREATIVITY -- How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?

I’ve always been creative. As a young girl, I wrote poems, made doll clothes, directed neighborhood talent shows, and led the younger kids on jungle safaris through mud puddles in a big field. As an adult, I spent my first career as a master educator, preparing prospective Early Childhood and Elementary teachers to be creative with their students.

When I’m not writing, I fill the creative well with different things such as quilting and doll-making (I make dolls that represent my main characters.) Here is the boy with his Army bear from DADDY CAN YOU SEE THE MOON?

CONNECTION -- How do you connect to your young readers through your writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the KidLit community?

As I mentioned above, I ran a teacher educator program at a Career and Technical Center in New York. As part of that program I directed a Laboratory Pre-K. I spent many-a-year sitting pretzel-legged on that floor reading picture books, performing creative dramatics, or teaching reading to pre-school children. It was there that I developed a keen understanding as to what preschoolers enjoy. And I’m here to tell you that they like rhyming stories the best. So I use that life-long expertise in developing my picture books. All of my picture books rhyme.

And as far as my YA novels are concerned, many of my high school students can be found among the pages of my stories. They give me the best character role models, with their attitudes, idiosyncrasies, and heartfelt/ heartbroken relationships.

I stay connected with the KidLit community by participating in 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge, Sub Six, and KidLit 411. I’m a former member of the Historical Novel Society and spent six years as a member of The Poets’ Garage. As a PAL SCBWI member, I attend multi-state SCBWI meetings each year. This year, I’m running an open table on “Fairytale Retellings” at the EPASCBWI in April. Which will tie in very nicely with my second book coming out with SPORK/Clearfork on June 18, 2019 titled ONCE UPON A TWISTED TALE (illustrated by Caroline O'Neal).

Hope your readers are inspired to check out my new books and celebrate both of them with me. I’m offering one lucky reader a chance to have a rhyming picture book evaluated by me.

Just comment below and share this blog post on social media. Tell me where, and one winner will be selected randomly.

Write on!!!


As a Master Educationalist, Gayle C. Krause’s years as a creative role model for young adults and pre-school children have led to her career as a children’s author. She has six children’s books published. She currently serves on the YA Advisory Council for Clear Fork Publishing, Stamford, Texas, and on the National Rhyme Revolution Committee, choosing the best rhyming picture books from 2015-2018.



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