Sunday, January 3, 2010
An Interview With Ronica Stromberg
Ronica Stromberg is the author of four children's books and of stories in eighteen anthologies and numerous magazines and newspapers. Her first book, The Glass Inheritance, came out in 2001, followed by the picture book, The Time-for-Bed Angel, in 2008. Her latest two books, A Shadow in the Dark and Living It Up to Live It Down, are inspirational books for tweens and teens. They're available from Royal Fireworks Press at www.rfwp.com
Here are a few questions that I came up with to ask Ronica about her books:
1. Did getting published take a long time?
After hearing about the path to publication other authors have taken, I'd say no. I quit working as an in-house editor at a small corporation in 1995 and wrote two books while caring for my firstborn. The first book took about a year to write but didn't sell. The second book, The Glass Inheritance, took a little over a year to write and almost three years to sell. The publication process took about a year and a half. So, my second book was published about six years after I started writing seriously. I've heard most authors write an average of five books before selling one, and finding a publisher and seeing a book into publication often take longer than the writing. I think six years is probably a short time to break into publication.
2. Did writing articles for magazines and newspapers help you to get published?
I had sold The Glass Inheritance before I broke into magazines, so I can't say my magazine credits helped with my first sale. I had written for newspapers and corporate newsletters, but not a significant amount and only nonfiction, so I don't think that helped much either. I have written many short stories for magazines since becoming a novelist and think that has improved my writing and given me a platform that may have improved my chances of getting published by later publishers.
3. Who encouraged/influenced you to become an author?
Books themselves. I love reading and have wanted to be an author since third grade.
4. How would you use A Shadow in the Dark and Living It Up To Live It Down with classroom curriculum?
Many public schools have a multicultural curriculum in which they explore issues such as religion. My books trace the lives of young teens interacting with their own Christian faith in today's society. The books can be used to spur discussion about Christianity and how it affects our culture.
As the homeschool movement continues to grow and more children are schooled privately, these books are also a natural in a Christian environment for exploring issues. I'm posting questions on my Web site that teachers or leaders of reading/book groups may use for discussion.
5. Do all of your books have a spiritual/inspirational message?
The Glass Inheritance doesn't. It's a mystery surrounding the Depression glass a young girl inherits. As she's solving the mystery, she learns about the Great Depression, World War II, and the Holocaust. This book fits well with the fifth-grade curriculum in most schools.
My picture book, The Time-for-Bed Angel, can be considered inspirational because it has a guardian angel who watches over the accident-prone main character, but angels appear in noninspirational books as well. This book is a "crossover" book in that it's sold in the main market as well as the Christian market, crossing over from one to the other.
Even my latest books, A Shadow in the Dark and Living It Up To Live It Down, are crossover books. They address faith directly but are published by a nonreligious publisher for both markets.
6. Are you planning on writing any books for older teens or adults?
I wrote an inspirational romance a couple of years ago and am looking for a home for that. I may write more in The Kirsten Hart Series, which A Shadow in the Dark and Living It Up to Live It Down are part of. The character ages in this series so, if I continue to write it, she may reach adulthood and appeal more to older teens and adults.
Thanks to Ronica Stromberg for allowing me to read and review 2 of her books. Those reviews follow this post.
Books can be ordered from Royal Fireworks Press at http://rfwp.com