A: I believe this to be a natural evolution for me. Having a science and business background sometimes logic overrules emotions. I love doing research; I love finding the nugget of information and putting my voice to the story. When I sit down to write, I truly have kids in mind. I never think about the editors. I think to myself,how can I entice a child to want to learn about history.
Q: Tell us about your excitement and why you are looking forward to 2017?
A: Yes, I am anxiously looking forward to 2017. I know that once the first book hits the shelves, then it should seem as thought the publishing world runs smoother, or at least I hope. I have two stories releasing in 2017 and two in 2018. All are pure nonfiction.
LONG MAY SHE WAVES debuts May 2017 from Simon & Schuster and FLIGHT FOR FREEDOM is set to release September 2017 from Chronicle Books. Two more books, authored by Kristen will follow with A ROYAL RIDE and WHEN SPARKS FLY. Both will be on bookshelves in 2018.
Q: Tell us about your state standards chart that you created for grades Kindergarten-5th grade. How does it help you in knowing if a picture book manuscript is viable?
A: Many writers are familiar with my Fab 5 List. I teach it in my Nonfiction Archeology class and it was recently shared on Lynne Marie's Blog: My Word Playground.
The last word, viable, is the most important part of this question you can ask yourself as a nonfiction writer. You must be able to answer yes before you invest all that time into research along with these basic questions:
1. Will children find this topic interesting (not do you think, but will they)?
2. Is the person, event, or subject something that children can relate to? I am not talking about the deep underlying thread that you try to weave through the story to give it a morale. You know, hard work pays off, or it's good to be different.
3. Will your agent or editor be able to promote this book to schools? Does the topic fit into classroom studies?
4. Can you answer these why questions? Why is the story important? Why now?
5. If the topic has been done before, is my approach different and unique?
Once I answer yes to these five questions. I then refer to my school chart.
What grade level and subjects will my topic fit? These are great selling pints. This is the most common material for all 50 states for each grade level. There may be a state that studies state history in third grade instead of fourth, but this is based on the majority. In most cases it was an almost unanimous curriculum criteria.
Kristen's School Chart
|Created by Kristen Fulton|
A: Okay, I am such a fruit-loop. I love Regency Romance books. When I want r to relax, I will fix a cup of tea, grab a well--loved Regency romance book--Julia Quinn, Tracy Ann Warren, Eloise James, Judith McNaught and get lost for the day.
I do try to read at least three picture books a day. Even if I have read them ten times before, I will catch new things because I am looking for new things, such as did the author transition? How long to get into the story? How compelling was the hook?
|A cup of Earl Grey Tea|
and nonfiction picture books
A: I played Snow White at Walt Disney World in Florida during my summer vacations. I had to take a two-week class to learn how to sign the signature of Snow White so that all autographs would look the same whether it was signed in 1985 or 2016. I was instructed on how to walk, hold my hands, and tilt my head just like Snow White. I had a blast.
Q: You are presenting at the upcoming SCBWI Wild, Wild Midwest 2016 Conference. Tell us more about how you encourage "the writer inside you".
A: First, anyone reading this who is attending the Wild, Wild Midwest 2016 Conference, please come and meet me. There is nothing more exciting that meeting other authors who are chugging along just like I am. We can do this together. I love writing; I absolutely LOVE this job. Come sit by me. I promise my love for nonfiction writing is contagious.
Q: Share some information about the WOW Retreat 2016: Peace, Love and Books held in Helen, Georgia during one week in July 17 ~ 23, 2016.
A: The WOW (Week of Writing) Retreat is a result of my own selfish wants. I've attended lots of conferences and I learned what I like and didn't like. WOW is the conference that I wish I would have attended. It takes the small retreat atmosphere and gives a faculty of big conference agents, editors, and big name author mentors. We have a 1:4 working ratio to help each writer get the most for the retreat. Our cost includes everything-transportation to and from the airport, all meals, one week at the Lodge, all lodging, all gratuity, a fabulous party, networking and a fun swag bag.
You can find out more at: WOW Retreat 2016.
Q: Share information about your Nonfiction Archaeology Class and how it encourages writers to write nonfiction.
A: The Nonfiction Archaeology Class is my love. I think what makes my class unique is:
1. Weekly Live Interactive Webinars
2. Small group of writers creates opportunities for writers to share homework and network with each other.
3. Daily homework arrives via email
But, the biggest thing is--the material is presented by an analytical person. I attend conferences nonstop, still take several online classes, and read many writing-related books. I process the information presented differently and in my unique way. Most writers and illustrators are creative and go-with-the-flow. I am not; I am way too uptight. So, I think my ability to dissect the information, add what I have experienced, and then put it in step by step small pieces makes my class unique. The class holds your hand through the research, creating the bibliography, writing your draft, polishing your manuscript, creating your back matter, and then teaches you about all of the other areas of nonfiction as well.
You can find out more at: Nonfiction Archaeology.
A: Kristen Fulton, Children's Author