36 Finalists Blog: Kristen Schroeder

Kristin Schroeder, author of So Much Snow; illustrated by Sarah Jacoby

Children’s Literature Category, sponsored by Bernadette Janisch

Each week leading up to the 35th annual Minnesota Book Awards, we are featuring exclusive interviews with our finalists. You can also watch the authors in conversation with their fellow category finalists here.

Would you tell us one or two things about your finalist book that you are particularly proud of, and why? 

Writing this book was a departure from my usual style. Previously, I focused on writing humorous picture books, but when I had the idea for So Much Snow, I forged ahead with it anyway. 

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer with an interest in your category? 

Based on this book, I would say “write what you know” is still solid advice. Also, study the art form of picture books and familiarize yourself with what is being published today. Take courses and get involved in the kidlit community. 

Tell us about a favorite book. Why did you find it moving, influential, or otherwise memorable? 

Growing up, I was obsessed with the Nutshell Library Books by Maurice Sendak, Hilary Knight and Robert Kraus. They were sets of tiny books that came in their own little case. The stories themselves were quirky and memorable. I still have them. 

Tell us something about yourself that is not widely known.

I’m a dual American Australian citizen and lived down under for 11 years before moving back to my home state of Minnesota. 

The Minnesota Book Awards is a celebration of writers, readers – and libraries. We’d love if you would share thoughts about the role and value of libraries.

My mother was an English teacher and made sure we visited the library at least weekly, especially during the summer. I read voraciously and many of those precious stories still stick with me to this day. The library is still one of my favorite places. 

Kristen Schroeder grew up in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. Kristen loves to travel and lived in Australia for 11 years. She returned to Minnesota with an Aussie husband, two children, and dual citizenship. She began writing for children in 2014 in between running a business and raising her kids.