Interview with Bilingual Children's Book Author Karl Beckstrand

kenneth parnell ·

We were lucky enough to have the renowned author and personality Karl Beckstrand join us for an in depth interview, his Spanish and English titles are also available for sale on Multilingual Books and many other sites. 

Publisher & Speaker Karl Beckstrand is the bestselling and award-winning author of 19 multicultural/multilingual books and more than 50 e-book titles (reviews by Kirkus, School Library Journal, The Horn Book blog, ForeWord Reviews). Raised in San Jose, CA, he has a B.A. in journalism from BYU, an M.A. in international relations from APU, and a broadcast & film certificate from Film A. Academy. Since 2004 he has run Premio Publishing. His survival western, To Swallow the Earth won a 2016 International Book Award. A college media instructor, Beckstrand has presented to Taiwan’s Global Leadership for Youth, city and state governments, festivals, and schools. Beckstrand's nationally lauded Y.A. stories, e-book mysteries, ESL/ELL Spanish/bilingual books, nonfiction, and wordless books feature ethnically diverse characters—and usually end with a twist. His work has appeared in: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Border’s Books, Costco, Deseret Book, iBooks, The Children’s Miracle Network, LDS Film Festival, the U.S. Congressional RecordPapercrafts Magazine, and various broadcasts. 

INTERVIEW – The Bridge of the Golden Wood: A Parable on How to Earn a Living


Q. What genre is your book?

Karl: Business, juvenile

Q. What draws you to this genre?

Karl Seeing a need for kids’ curriculum on how to earn a living

Q. Briefly, what led up to last/latest book? Also, please describe what the story/book is about in one sentence.

Karl child with a knack for solving problems helps some hungry fish and finds a treasure (illustrated folk tale teaches the value of work and comes with money-making activities; ideas for businesses; and online resources for ages 5 and up).

Q. What was the time frame for writing your last book?

Karl A few days

Q. How much research do you do?

Karl More for this book than a typical picture book; I had to find valuable tips and ideas.

Q. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

Karl No

Q. What is the easiest thing about writing? 

Karl Ideas that ambush me

Q. What motivates you to write?

Karl See above!

Q. When did you decide that you want to be a writer?

Karl In college, when I should have been doing my homework

Q. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

Karl Every review can be helpful.

Q. What do you prefer: Pen or Computer? And how do you stay organized (any methods, systems, tools you use)?

Karl  I usually write ideas on scraps of paper then write out the story on my laptop.

Q. How do you relax?

Karl Volleyball, music

Q. What were your few biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?

Karl When my first publisher died, I had to learn the publishing business.

Q. What would you have done differently if you could do it again?

Karl  I would have sought reviews more for my early titles.

Q. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know? No matter how many achievements I have, I struggle with self-doubt, fears, and (at the same time) pride.

Karl No matter how many achievements I have, I struggle with self-doubt, fears, and (at the same time) pride.

Q. What’s next? What are you working on at the moment? Non-fiction stories of immigrant kids and more bilingual books

Q. Do you re-read books? One book that you would read again & again?

Karl The scriptures

Q. Your influence(s)/ favourite author(s)?

Karl  I love history, so anything by David McCoullugh is ideal. Other authors I love: Tolkien, Harper Lee, C.S. Lewis, Clancy, Grisham, Shel Silverstein.

Q. What book(s) are you reading at present? 

Karl. Major Problems in American Colonial History

Q.  Best piece(s) of writing advice we haven’t discussed?

Karl. Write every day.

Great advice thank you KArl Bechstrand for this informative interview!

Q. Website(s)?


Speaking topics:
"Getting Your Book to the World - Traditional vs. Digital publishing"
"Entrepreneurship: Bless Lives, Make Money with Your Gifts"
"Artistic Education - How the Humanities Enrich Us"
"Writing Scripts for Shows, Film, Ads & the Web"
"Writing for Media: News Stories & Press Releases that Get Attention"
"How Diversity Enriches Everyone"
"Making Habit Work for You - Replace the Bad with Milestones"
Reviews by Kirkus, School Library Journal, Horn Book blog, ForeWord Reviews