Kristi Grimm and her husband Dave work as a team. She writes and he draws. Both are natives of AZ and currently reside in Gilbert, AZ. Dave has three sons from a previous marriage and together they have one son that is highlighted in the books. Along with her love of writing, Kristi also enjoys participating in 5K's with her son, hand-cycling, camping, church activities, and spending time with friends and family. Kristi has been a paraplegic for 26 years and used to compete and coach wheelchair tennis while she attended Biola University in CA. Her favorite part about being an author is reading her books to schools and other children's groups. Kristi and Dave have really enjoyed publishing her first three books and look forward to adding more to the series in the future.
Kristi’s titles include:
Mommy, Tell Me a Story about What Daddy Does
Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Plane
Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Car
About “Mommy, Tell me a Story about What Daddy Does”
‘Mommy, Tell Me a Story about What Daddy Does’ is a story about recycling. Waiting for Daddy to come for a play-date is hard so while you wait, why not ask Mommy about what Daddy does? Soon Mommy is telling a story about Charlie the Chimp because Charlie and Daddy work together as a team to keep our world clean. Learning that recycling is very important and why it is important is what this book explains in a fun way to children.
DP: When did you first decide you wanted to become an author?
Kristi: May years ago I started writing short stories for my 3-4th grade Sunday School class. I just didn't have the confidence yet to do something with my love of writing. A little over a year ago my husband did some artwork for the city he works for and I was suddenly hit with the idea that he could draw for me. The rest is history.
DP: How did you decide on the idea for your first book?
Kristi: I used to homeschool my son. In order to make sure he still had PE we would go running every morning. (Yes, I would wheel next to him, but it just sounds strange to say wheeling.) Every time we would go he would get bored and say..."Mommy, can you tell me a story." I have told him hundreds of stories because of this so I decided that was a perfect title for a book. What child hasn't asked someone to tell them a story? All kids can relate to this idea. It also left it open for me to write about a huge variety of topics. My son's favorite thing is cars. In honor of his passion, my first book is Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Car.
DP: How long did it take you to write your first book?
Kristi: Well, keep in mind that these are children's books so they are not very long. Every story I wrote only took me a day to finish the actual writing. It took several days after that to get all the editing done. I am terrible at grammar and spelling. The art work for the books took my husband many months to do. The first book took him a lot longer because he was trying to figure out what style he wanted to use.
DP: Did you self-publish or are you signed to a publishing company?
Kristi: We self-published these first three, but we are hoping to get picked up by a larger publishing company for our future books.
DP: How did you decide on the cover for your most recent book?
Kristi: That is my husband’s department. Because it is a book series some things stay the same for each book. We mostly make sure that the main character, in this case Charlie the Chimp, is big and colorful so children and parents can see the idea for the book at a glance.
DP: Tell us about your writing style. Do you write on a schedule?
Kristi: All of my books rhyme so I really have to get in a certain mode of thinking to get it on paper. If I get an idea I have to write it down as fast as possible so I don't forget. Then the family knows to leave Mom alone until she is done!
DP: What makes your writing unique?
Kristi: I like to make sure every story has a lesson. Because I have been disabled for 26yrs, sometimes I see things from a little different perspective than most people. I like to bring that into my stories. That perspective comes out the most in the book we are working on right now...Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Fish.
DP: As a writer, what motivates you?
Kristi: Kids! I love children very much. My favorite part about being an author is reading my books to children and seeing the looks on their faces as they get into the story.
DP: How do you balance your writing and various responsibilities that come along with being an independent author?
Kristi: That has been very hard for me. I had to put my son in a small private school because I didn't have time to homeschool him anymore. In some ways it was good because we were planning on doing that at some point anyway, so it pushed the decision a little sooner. Social media is very time consuming. This is mostly because I am not much of a computer person. I would much rather do things the old fashioned way. I just have to watch the clock a lot to make sure I am not spending too much time on any one thing.
DP: When you’re not writing what are you doing?
Kristi: I am being a Mom and House Wife. That pretty much covers it. I volunteer at church and participate in various sports events as well, but my family is my main priority.
DP: What’s a typical day like for you?
Kristi: I get up at 6:30 and get my son ready for school. He is at school by 8. I come home and get started on house work. It depends on the day as to what that might be. Because I am in a wheelchair some things take me a little longer than other people. Then I start my work on social media. I check email, twitter, facebook, blog and then I respond to anything that needs it. I might try and read some articles that would be helpful as well. Then I play ball with my dog Bobby or take him for a walk. Then comes lunch and then I finish up anything around the house or yard before I go and pick up my son from school. Then I have to make dinner. After dinner I am usually back on the computer again checking social media while my son does his home-work. That is what I am doing right now. Then I spend some time with the family before bed. I wish there were more hours in the day!
DP: Tell us about your last book signing.
Kristi: I had my first Barnes and Noble book signing in TX in October. I have a cousin in TX so she made the contact for me. It was really fun because I was able to mix business with pleasure. We stayed with my cousin so I got to see family and do the book signing at the same time. I was also able to make a school visit at the local elementary school as a bonus. It is always so nice to make personal contact with readers at a book signing. I met some really wonderful people in TX.
DP: Do you have contests or giveaways?
Kristi: I had my first book giveaway for the 1yr anniversary of our first book Jan 16th. If anyone wrote a comment on my blog site they could win a copy of our first book. For a first effort it really went well. I might try it again in May for the 1yr anniversary of our second book ‘Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Plane.’ I have also done two radio shows. If people called in they would win a free book as well.
DP: Many independent authors find it hard to get readers to buy their books. How did you handle the challenges that come along with being a first-time author in a competitive and ever-changing market?
Kristi: Are you kidding? I am still having trouble with this. The market is so full of new children's books that it is so hard to get people to know about you and your work. That is why I am on social media so much. I am really working at it.
DP: What did you do on your 2nd book that you did not do in your first one?
Kristi: I think my husband did a better job on the art work in the second book. The second book is also a little longer than the first.
DP: If you could give one piece of advice to an up and coming author, what would it be?
Kristi: The one thing we would have done differently if we could do it again is start spreading the news about the books even before they were published. I started on social media a little late. We also would have done a little more research on our publisher before we spent the money. We are in the middle of changing publishers because of this.
DP: Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Kristi: Readers can go to my blog site in 2 ways
The first 2 books are on barnesandnoble.com, but all three are on amazon.com. All three books are also in ebook format as well. You can also buy them from me personally if you want them autographed. Just send me your address to my email firstname.lastname@example.org (they are $9 a book with $2 for shipping in US or three for $25 with $2 shipping). You can also pay me through Dave Grimm on paypal.