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The Author Interview

Karl Beckstrand
Latest Book Title
Bad Bananas: A Story Cookbook for Kids, She Doesn’t Want the Worms – Ella no quiere los gusanos, Crumbs on the Stairs: A Mystery, Sounds in the House! Sonidos en la casa
Available at
Premiobooks.com, Amazon, Bn.com, Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Follett/BWI, Brodart, Kindle/Nook/Kobo/Diesel/Sony/iBooks
Tell us about your latest effort, (Title, genre, etc.)
I’m working on a series of books for a food media launch. I’m also working on more bilingual stories and non-fiction stories of immigrant children overcoming obstacles
What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
I like any idea that lifts/empowers (this is why I write bilingual books, non-fiction stories of courage, and activity books for family together time)—of course, there has to be a good story!
What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out, or do you just let it unfold?
It usually just comes to me; I scramble to scribble ideas as fast as the thoughts flow. I go back afterward and polish.
How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
A lot (I haven’t grown up yet—so my stories are goofy and silly)
How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
The more successful I become, the more I resent marketing (it gets me exposure, but doing it takes away from creative production). It takes special effort to maintain a dedicated writing time
What breaks you out of a creative slump?
My nieces and nephews—my muses—they have wild imaginations and remind me of my own crazy experiences
Do you ever censor your writing to avoid offending or displeasing people?
Not really. What I find myself doing is trying to be more inclusive of peoples, ideas, and perspectives.
Is there a story you want to tell but avoid because it would be too controversial?
Perhaps my own story. But then, whose life isn’t loaded with drama?
How can you write an honest autobiography without offending people who recognize themselves?
I’ll get back to you when I figure that out! One thought: be charitable in depicting a human being
How do YOU build or create an effective platform to reach your audience?
So many themes are universal/universally appealing. I build on themes of redemption, fun, family, faith, and learning
What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?
Learn the ropes and rules before you break them (one rule is that it’s okay to break the rules—just not in ignorance). I’m still learning them—they are changing rapidly. You don’t need a publisher, but you will always need an editor!

Karl Beckstrand is a five-time published author with 21 titles on Amazon.com. Raised in San Jose, California, USA, he received a BA in journalism from BYU and is pursuing an MA in international relations from APU. Since 2004 he has run his own publishing company-producing captivating stories, ads, and scripts.

An engaging guest and consultant, Beckstrand has experience in high tech, TV/radio broadcasting, film, and public policy. He has lived abroad, been a Spanish/English interpreter, and he enjoys volleyball and kayaking (usually not at the same time). Beckstrand's activity books, Spanish & bilingual books, ebook mysteries, and nonfiction stories feature minority characters and have been lauded by national reviews. His work has appeared in: Border's Books, Barnes & Noble, Costco, Deseret Book, Nook/Kindle, Children's Miracle Network, The Congressional Record of the U.S. House of Representatives, BioPhotonics Magazine, Papercrafts Magazine, LDS Film Festival and various broadcasts. Search: "Karl Beckstrand - Author" on FB.


Horn Book online review  “Bizarrely Funny!” (Bad Bananas – A Story Cookbook for Kids)


“This striking bilingual exploration of a little girl’s aversion to all things wiggly works effortlessly on every level …Spanish and/or English—plus a humorous, yet gross, index of bugs … museum-quality, collage-like artwork; this title raises the bar for all children’s picture books.” – ForeWord Reviews, Aug. 2011 (She Doesn’t Want the Worms)

“Fluff forsaken, here's to communication clear and concise.” BYU Comms Magazine, 2008

“This is a fun book for kids ages 4 to 12. … While banana characters get crazy, this cookbook shares healthy recipes for everything from banana muffins to pancakes and smoothies. This is a family-fun cookbook that’s a story and a cookbook.” – Kat Dennis, Easy Cooking in the Kitchen (re: Bad Bananas – A Story Cookbook for Kids)

"A story, an activity book [with] recipes parents and kids can enjoy together, ... a rollicking romp through badness that any kid can relish. Charming; even a bad banana can turn out good!" – Alison Levy, Park Slope Food Coop Linewaiter’s Gazette, Brooklyn, NY        http://foodcoop.com/files_lwg/lwg_2011_04_07_vFF_n7.pdf

“A silly book about bananas. … The book has seven recipes for things like banana bread and cookies and a smoothie. …The bad bananas make the other fruit mad. The pictures were kind of funny. Most of the recipes are pretty healthy and not really hard to make.” – Marten Weldon for ReaderViewsKids.com           (4/11)  http://www.readerviewskids.com

“She Doesn’t Want the Worms is a funny tale about a little girl and what bugs her. The illustrations are colorful and edgy—and full of surprises.” – Amy Stewart, Midvale Valley Journal

“This story cookbook for kids lets parents do two good things with one action. Parents can read with their children and share quality time, … preparing and enjoying the recipes in the book.” – Kids-recipes.com

“El libro envia un mensaje para enfrentar los temores”. – Normand Garcia, AhoraUtah, Mayo 2011




Interview with Jeff Davis

Interview with Tom Doganglu

Interview with Dawn Batterbee Miller

Interview with Karl Beckstrand

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