Friday, March 4, 2016

Meet Kristen Fulton ~By Suzy Leopold

This is not the first time that nonfiction picture book author, Kristen Fulton, is featured on the GROG Blog. Her analytic mind and her background in veterinarian science are perfect matches for the genre of nonfiction that she writes.  Personally, I am impressed with Kristen and her determination with her writing career. I admire her sincere kind, generous spirit as she shares her experience and encouragement with many aspiring writers. Thank you, Kristen, for the opportunity to interview you.
Kristen Fulton
Author
Q: Tell us about your love for nonfiction picture books and why you choose to write in this genre.

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
School Chart
Q:  What books are you currently reading and enjoying?

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
Q:  Share something about yourself that very few people may know about.

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.

Q:  Where can GROG Blog readers find more about Kristen Fulton?

A:  Kristen Fulton, Children's Author
       Facebook
       Twitter

57 comments:

  1. We are so excited to host Kristen as faculty for the Wild, Wild Midwest SCBWI Conference 2016 at the end of April. Her three hour intensive "Bring An Idea to Life: A Workshop In Which You Start with an Idea and Leave with a Manuscript Road Map" will be worth the price of admission.

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    1. The Wild, Wild Midwest SCBWI Conference 2016 is in for a treat. Kristen always has outstanding *nuggets* to share with writers. She is very giving and supportive.

      Thank you, Carrie.
      ~Suzy

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    2. I am so excited to be given the opportunity to speak at the Wild Wild West. Carrie and I met in NY at SCBWI when I was called at last minute to come up to the main stage and share my story. Me, no name, in front of famous authors and illustrators. The response truly moved me and the bonds that were formed that morning have stayed true.

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  2. Great interview! Kristen's even more WOW in person!

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    1. So true, Sue. I agree with you.

      This Sue thanks you for stopping by the GROG Blog to read All About Kristen.

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    2. You are bias because I raided your room at highlights ;-)

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  3. Love, love, love Kristen Fulton! She is not only a great mentor, but she's also extremely generous with her time and resources. And she's right; her enthusiasm is contagious. Great interview, Suzy Leopold!

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    1. Thank you :-) you are a keeper yourself.

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    2. You, too, are appreciated, Kristi. Thank you for sharing your love and respect for Kristen through your sweet comments. Everyone sees what a generous individual Kristen is.
      ~Suzy

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  4. Great interview and a very helpful chart! Thanks for sharing, Kristen and Suzy!

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    1. Thank you Ariel. I can't wait to get to know you better since we are debut sisters.

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    2. Hi Ariel!
      Thank you for reading All About Kristen Fulton on the GROG Blog. Your comment warms my heart. I appreciate you and am thankful to call you my *writerly friend*. Wishing you and Kristen the best with your upcoming debut books and continued success.
      ~Suzy

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  5. Great interview with a great writer and woman - she is inspiration and an encourager to all.

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    1. Thank you Janie. I think my early years as a cheerleader are embedded.

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    2. I agree with you, Janie. Kristen is a great writer AND a great woman who shares and gives with her big heart.
      ~Suzy

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  6. Thank you, Kristen and Suzy, for a great interview. Kristen is a champion to all of us who have experienced her class and the fab WOW Retreat in GA. Her leadership, concern, and mentoring pushes your writing spirit toward your goal. Congrats, Kristen, on the forthcoming books :) I look forward to reading them.

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    1. Thank you so much Ms.Charlotte.

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    2. And thank you, Cute Charlotte, for reading and sharing kind comments about Kristen on today's GROG Blog post.

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  7. Super interview, Suzy. Kristen is one of my favorite people. She is the most generous, genuine person I know. I highly recommend her class and retreat. She has taught me so much about the craft of writing non-fiction as well as the business of being an author. I am so happy for her well-deserved success!

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    1. You are too kind, Ann. It is evident that everyone loves Kristen. There are no *airs* about Kristen. She truly is a genuine person as you stated.
      ~Suzy

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  8. Kristen, your voice comes through in everything you do. I love it!

    I've taken Kristen's class and cannot say enough about how generous, straight-talking, and wise Kristen is. I wish I could attend the WOW conference, but it's not in the cards this year.

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    1. I wish you were coming to wow as well. I can't wait until we finally meet ;-)

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    2. And thank you, Jilanne, for sharing your voice to support Kristen. Hope you will have an opportunity to attend a WOW Conference in the future.
      ~Suzy

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  9. Kristen breaks everything down into just-right-sized pieces so you always feel confident that you can achieve your goal. She's one of the kindest, most caring, most supportive people I've ever worked with. Sign up for her classes early because they fill up fast.

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    1. Cynthia you are a gem. Your support is just as valuable to me.

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    2. Thank you for your support for Kristen, Cynthia. I agree with you. Kristen shares her love of writing for children through her unique style and is always generous in helping writers learn and grow.
      ~Suzy

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  10. So fun to discover new things about Kristen. . .I can just imagine her as Snow White! I've been so blessed to know you, Kristen, and benefit by your expertise. Looking forward to seeing you at WWMW conference. Great interview, Suzy!

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    1. Yay I will see you at Wwmw and wow. Do you have your roaring 20s and 60s outfits ready?

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    2. Thank you, Jarm, for sharing you love for Kristen. Enjoy the Wild, Wild Midwest Conference.

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  11. Lovely interview! I so enjoyed Kristen's class and recommend it to my kidlit friends.

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    1. I agree with you, Tina. Kristen's The Nonfiction Archaeology Class is an excellent class for a writer to learn and grow.

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    2. Hi Tina. I hope that your Nonfiction journey is going smoothly. Thank you for recommending my class.

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  12. Suzy thank you for inviting me to be part of this blog and all of your kind comments-- you are a rare flower.

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    1. Kristen, it is always my pleasure.

      Now, I must thank YOU for finding time to share your love of writing nonfiction. It is obvious that everyone benfits from your generosity and kindness as you give and share so much with the writing community.

      It is with great pleasure that I share this GROG Blog post, All About Kristen Fulton. Wishing you much continued success.
      ~Suzy

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  13. So nice of you, Suzy, to host Kristen on the GROG. And thank you to Kristen for such wonderful advice -- you've put your heart into writing nonfiction and helping others do so, too.

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    1. It is my pleasure, Patty, to feature Kristen.

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  14. Yes...Yes...and...Yes! Kristen's class is the BEST! I am going to see her at the Wild Midwest SCBWI conference! And...I'm returning to the WOW retreat in July! No wonder I am always smiling. ;)
    Thank you so much, Kristen...I don't know how I missed the K-5 chart...I know you mentioned it the other day..but I'm thrilled to see it...this will be so helpful, not only for when I am deciding what topics to explore, but also for when I have to put together a pitch for the story after it is written. AWESOME post! Thank you, Suzy and GROG!

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    1. Thank you so much Vivian, love you.

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    2. Your kind words of appreciation warm my heart, Vivian.

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  15. Yes...Yes...and Yes to Vivian's comment above. You are the best motivator teacher I've ever had. You are so disciplined in the way your analytical mind picks up on specific facts and ideas of a new struggling manuscript, and the help you give is 'right on'. I wish I could be at this WWW conference, but, unfortunately, not this time. So glad you will be there for others to meet you (I hope to meet you someday in person too) and have loads of fun. Great post Suzy!

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    1. Thank you Ms.Virginia. Can't wait to meet you some day.

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    2. It is my pleasure to share this post about Kristen with our GROG BLOG readers. Thank you, Virginia.
      ~Suzy

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  16. Great post, Suzy. Kristen, I can't wait to meet you in person in July!

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    1. I, too, look forward to meeting you, Ellen. You will love Kristen.
      ~Suzy

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  17. I've been to two WOW conferences and I can attest to wonder of the week long literary engagement. I had a blast. Learned a LOT! This is such a great post. This was such an informative interview with take away tools. Thank you for the links. What a talented resource you are Kristen.

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    1. Thank you Ms.Pam, you are always so supportive and kind.

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    2. Thank you, Pam, for sharing your excitement and appreciation for Kristen and the WOW Retreat.
      ~Suzy

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  18. Kristen, Thanks for sharing your school chart. I have heard so many great things about your Week of Writing Retreat. It's on my wish list!

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    1. Kristen is so generous and giving. The school chart is sure to support your writing. Thank you.
      ~Suzy

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  19. It is just perfect to learn from Kristen here & everywhere. She is the picture book maven. And a right fine human being, too. (I'm late getting a paper note to you, but don't give up on me... please.)
    Luv you, Kristen. Will be fun to get your autograph in 2017 & 2018 & forever after.

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    1. Everyone loves Kristen and her generous spirit, Jan. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
      ~Suzy

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  20. I am so thrilled for meeting Kristen, online and more excited waiting to see her in July, and talk, talk for books and writing! She's a motivator and a person with a golden heart as we say here in Greece. I feel honoured knowing her, she's both generous and exceptional than anyone in the writing world! Thank you Kristen for sharing your invaluable expertise for struggling for all of us for being there any minute! I am so happy for having you as my WRITING MENTOR!!! Love ya!

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    1. Aah, Agatha, thank you for checking out this GROG blog post. I agree with you. Kristen does have a heart of gold. I am so impressed that you traveled across the ocean all the way from Greece to attend the WOW Retreat 2017. It was so nice to meet and hug on you. All the best.
      ~Suzy Leopold

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