top of page

Blog: This Writing Life


  • Writer's pictureMelissa Stoller

3 Question Interview - KIRSTI CALL

I'm happy to feature my #2020VisionPB friend Kirsti Call on the blog today! Kirsti is incredibly active in the KidLit world and she has several new books coming out - including MOOTILDA'S BAD MOOD releasing this week (with co-author Corey Rosen Schwartz, illustrated by Claudia Ranucci)! Read on to learn how Kirsti and Corey collaborate, to get a sneak peak at Kirsti's origami earrings, and to watch a beautiful video of Kirsti singing with her family! Kirsti also shares her thoughts about stories . . . creativity . . . and connection. Welcome, Kirsti!

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

I have five children who inspire ideas all the time. MOOTILDA’S BAD MOOD was inspired by their bad moods (and mine!). I’m also a marriage and family therapist, so I work to help people overcome their bad moods. Corey Rosen Schwartz (my co-writer) and I felt it was an important topic that could be written with humor and yet still evoke discussion. My co-written stories with Corey involve meeting on google docs, typing in real time, or texting ideas and rhyming stanzas back and forth. We usually don’t start writing until we know where we think the story is going to go.

Usually my picture books start with a title that I love. I’ve got a story about a skunk in love, called LOVE STINKS, and a Shakespeare inspired story called RAMIO and MOOLIET. Lately I’ve been revising a chapter book series about a girl with magical sneezes, and a YA about my great great grandmother who lied on the census record and changed her name and her race in order to change her life. I wrote a chapter a day for both books. And now I’m using index cards to re-order and improve the stories. I love working on a variety of projects so that I can vary what I work on depending on what time allows and my mood.

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

I’ve always loved to create. I love putting words together in a way that influences people for good. I love the feeling of making a dress, knitting a scarf, painting a picture, folding origami earrings or singing a song in five part harmony.

Creating beauty in the world helps us connect with people and there’s nothing better than that!

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

I connect with young readers through my words—I hope they laugh and feel because of the words I put on the page. I also love school visits and library and bookstore events. Interacting with kids and my books is one of the best parts of being an author. I connect with the KidLit community as a co-coordinator of Reading for Research month, a Cybil’s award judge, a Writer’s Rumpus blogger, a 12x12 elf, and a critique partner. I especially love critique groups and the synergy of how we help each other improve our manuscripts in person. I attend writing conferences like NESCBWI and Highlights where I meet new writing friends and connect with old friends. There’s nothing better than connecting with people who love to write for children as much as I do!


Kirsti Call loves putting words together. She co-hosts the Picture Book Look podcast, co-runs Reading for Research month, has judged for the Cybil's award since 2014, blogs for Writer's Rumpus, and her second picture book, Mootilda's Bad Mood (Little Bee) comes out this fall. Cow Says Meow (HMH) and Cold Turkey (Little Brown) release in 2021!



Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page