Ronica Stromberg is the author of four children's books, including two recently released novels for tweens and teens, A Shadow in the Dark and Living It Up to Live It Down, and an international picture book, The Time-for-Bed Angel. Her stories have appeared in 18 anthologies and various magazines and newspapers. She keeps a blog HERE.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to be an author since third grade. I loved books and couldn't wait to see my words in print and the pictures to go along with them. Whenever I saw paintings or illustrations of other children I would make up stories in my mind about them.
Even before any of my words hit print, I was writing in a diary every day without any intention of it getting published. Writing seems to be a part of my DNA.
I have two new novels, for tweens and teens. A Shadow in the Dark is a mystery about a girl who’s seen at the windows of a farmhouse and yet never comes outside. The main character in the book becomes a sleuth to find out who the girl is and why she never comes out. The inspiration for this book is an experience from my own childhood when I heard that a girl lived in a house not far from my grandmother’s and I was warned to stay away.
The second book, Living It Up to Live It Down, deals primarily with the question, "Why is the pastor’s kid always the worst?" I am not a pastor’s kid, but a lot of my friends were, and their experiences informed this book.
Are you a disciplined writer? What is your working style?
I am not a disciplined writer. I’m a mother first. When my kids are older, perhaps I’ll be able to focus more on my writing career, but right now, I do what I can with the time I have. I don’t write every day but take an occasional day here and there and write for most of it. I’m getting published and making progress. I’d like to be more disciplined — that’s always a goal for me — but I am writing and getting published even without following the classic advice, “Write every day.”
Do you like to outline and plot ahead, or are you more of a stream-of-consciousness writer?
Both. I started out being more stream-of-consciousness, but this can make for some hellish experiences revising. I’m becoming more of a plotter as I go along. I usually have the beginning and the end of a story in mind before I start out writing. Sometimes the ending changes before I get there. I usually have several plot points for the middle section of the book, but they’re more skeletal. These can all change as I begin fleshing out the novel.
I keep a blog at www.ronicastromberg.wordpress.com. I’m involved in several writing groups, and some of the beginning writers in them expressed a wish to see into the day-to-day life of a writer. They also had general questions about advances, royalties, and such. My blog is an attempt to give them insight and answers.
Where are your books available?
My picture book, The Time-for-Bed Angel, was first published in the United Kingdom in 2008 and now is available in bookstores around the world. I recently had a Philippine blogger tell me she had seen it in her local bookstore. The book is carried by distributors in both the Christian and main market in the United States, so it’s available to almost any bookstore.
My books published by Royal Fireworks Press are harder to find. Royal Fireworks recently lost their distributor, so right now, my books — A Shadow in the Dark, Living It Up to Live It Down, and The Glass Inheritance — are available from the publisher at its Web site, www.rfwp.com. I’m expecting the books to be available on barnesandnoble.com and other on-line sites soon.