Jackie Kramer is one of the most resourceful, "go get 'em" kind of writer that I have ever met. I admire that about her and always know that I can get great info and critiques from her because of the passion she holds for this genre. Plus, not only is Jackie incredibly saavy about writing, she is also one of the published authors in our group. You can check out her wonderful work at www.Utales.com.
Please welcome the fabulous Jackie Kramer!
What do you do in real life?
What time is it? No kidding…I need to check my watch first. Here’s an edited version of my CV: actor, director, guidance counselor, singer, sales rep, waitress, arts administrator, voice over/narrator, receptionist. Funny, looking back, I got something out of each and every one of those jobs. Now I’d like to answer this differently, if you will. I, personally, never ask or care what a person does. At one time, it may have mattered, but I’m more interested in “who” you are, than what you do. To me there is no difference between work hard and play hard. That being said, who am I? I’m a mom and wife. I have an artistic soul with a globe trekking spirit. I try to live my life in the moment, present, open with compassion and in search of purpose and meaning. In addition, I write.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
True story…when I was 4 years old, my mother, who’s from Puerto Rico and spoke little English, mentioned to my nursery school teacher how impressed she was because I was already reading. My teacher (sorry to say I don’t remember her name) responded that that was impossible and handed me a picture book to prove her point. Without pause, I happily and convincingly “read” the pages of the story I was making up. She whispered in my mother’s ear, that indeed, I wasn’t reading. My mother replied, “But it’s such a good story.”
How often to do you write? Where? What time of day?
I’ll look for ANY excuse not to write. I’ll read a book, watch an old movie, do anything outdoors, get yummy food, hang with my kids or friends. So, inspiration ends up being everywhere and there for the taking. When the idea hits me there’s no stopping me from writing. When I write, it’s like being in love. I’m excited and I can’t stop doing it, day or night. I want to dive in completely and yet, I feel vulnerable and a little scared of the result. It’s all or nothing for me.
What was your favorite story/book as a child? and why?
The picture book version of King Arthur - Sword in the Stone. I was about 7 or 8 years old and my parents took my three siblings and me out of school for a month to live in Montego Bay, Jamaica. There, in a pile of books, I found Sword in the Stone, and it was glorious. Before that moment, I was horseback riding everyday and pretending I was a mermaid in the bluest, warmest water. I was hooked to this book. What’s not to love about a story of an orphan, destined to be King, if only he can pull the sword from the stone? A quest filled with humor, magic, Merlin and Mad Madam Mim!
What kind of stories do you like to write? Where do you get your inspiration?
Oh boy, hmmm, I’m going to share big time here. This may require psychoanalysis to get at the core. But, I believe all the stories I’ve written, am writing and maybe, will ever write, are in someway or another, about me. No matter whom the protagonist, like Paolo, in Oinkers Aweigh, a pig who dreams to be in the Navy or spunky Eva the Diva, fashion designer or loving sister, Bella, who’ll do anything to make her baby brother, Miles Smile, I feel it’s me. I believe, it’s called Transference.
For those of you who know me, you may want to test my theory. Take a peek at these and my other eBooks, published on uTales.com. Shameless plug, but I’d love to hear your thoughts:)
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Assuming I’ve grown up…I wanted to be a singer with the coolest back up band EVER! Still do.
If you could go back in time and tell your 8 year old self one thing, what would it be?
Easy! You’re an amazing human being, a complete miracle. The future is yours. Be BRAVE! Listen to you’re inner voice…there’s no one-way or right way and you can start again. Be kinder to yourself. While on this crazy journey…love, love and laugh a lot.
What is the greatest piece of writing advice you have ever received?
Honestly, I don’t feel I’ve been given one piece of amazing advice. Rather, I’ve listened and shared wonderful nuggets from various mentors in the kidlit community. Including the two supportive crit groups I belong to, their insights are invaluable. In a nutshell, here’s what I’ve gathered…be inspired and write with complete abandon, but then be prepared to revise, revise and revise some more.
Do YOU have a Friendspiration you would like to introduce us to on a future Friday? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make that happen.