Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Interview with author Kat Kronenberg
1. What really inspired you to write Dream Big, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?
Ten years ago at a symphony with my husband, my dream was born. The idea to write a book about a smile that would help encourage children and their families to live their best life filled with connection and kindness, hit me over the head like a 2 x 4. I have personally experienced a lot of heartache in my life. I’ve buried a brother, a sister, a brother-in-law, and both of my parents all very suddenly and at different times, and I think that is what forced me to write Dream Big. It was a way to turn my heart ache into something meaningful and to show people how to find meaning, hope, direction, and connection when life gets hard. The one beautiful constant, the one true connector I have found over and over again in my life in spite of circumstance has been the power of a “Big Belly Smile”. A smile that comes all the way up from your belly, through your chest, and radiates from your face a belief in yourself, your dreams, and “Something Bigger”.
2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?
The book is about the power of possibility, showing us how the first caterpillar with 16 feet actually achieved her dream to fly. Napoleon Hill said, “If you can see it and believe it, you can achieve it.” Or Zig Ziglar, “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” A tadpole with no legs can end up dancing and singing on the side of the stream. We too, no matter what age we are, can live our dreams. Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” So Dream Big is meant to be shared and enjoyed by all age readers!
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?
The importance of their dreams and the power of their smile to help make them come true. Dreams are the heartbeat of our lives. They are where our passions flow from. Dreams are our hope and inspiration. They give us a reason to wake up in the morning. They show us which direction to go, what goals to set, what thrilling people to meet, etc. To sit at the dinner table or in the classroom and talk about everyone’s dreams, brainstorm on how to achieve them, people you can meet, books you can read, etc. I hope creates strong, lasting bonds that gets everyone out there to live their best life.
4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
Persistence. Read. Persistence. Critique groups. Persistence. Learn new things. Set new goals. Meet new people and celebrate every step of the process. Never see anything as a failure, but only an opportunity to learn and improve.
5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
I think the book world like all creative endeavors is always changing with the tide, but with children’s book I see the children driving the sales as much as the schools, libraries, and parents.
What the kids enjoy and want to read I think is becoming a great key to the industry.
6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book?
I had a lot of real life happening for the 10 years I wrote the book. Planning two weddings for my adopted daughters, the birth of two grand babies, raising two amazing young men, and the loss of both of my parents separately in that time frame. I also was not clear for a long time besides the power of a smile on what the story was supposed to be about. I knew the specific animals I wanted in the story, but how or what type of book I was meant to write eluded me. So I wrote it every which way imaginable. I must have written 100’s of drafts over the years, with people, without, middle grade, 100 word picture books, in verse, and the list goes.
7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
People should buy Dream Big to create lasting connection with those around them as they share the thrill of becoming the hero of their own story by pursuing their dreams using the animals—SHHH— secret from Dream Big.