When I first met Angel Krishna, I thought her name was a pen name. But Angel Krishna is her real name (Krishna being her married name) and it suits her perfectly. Angel is an angelic person who believes in kindness, compassion, and love. She is the author of three adorable picture books and the creator of the Genius Kid educational app.
It’s hard to believe we’ve been working together for several years already. As you will be able to tell from her interview, she is a ball of positive energy and enthusiasm. Read on to learn more about her process of creating picture books, her disappointing experience with a publisher, and her challenges as a self-published author.
1. When did you first think about publishing a book and what gave you that idea?
My first thought of writing a book was roughly twelve years ago. Why did I wait so long to publish? Hmmm… my kids were much younger and full of energy. They were fifteen months apart and NOT great sleepers! Grrrr, lol… I wrote the books and put them up and away until I could really give them my full energy. So, what gave me the idea? My imagination was responsible, and a confident thought that I can do this! If you have a dream, it does not mean you have to tackle it in a hurry. Let the dream bring you on a journey! You will get there, promise!
2. Tell us a little bit about your background – where are you from? Career? Hobbies?
My background, well ok… youngest of 8 kids… dysfunctional for sure! 5 brothers and 2 sisters. It was crazy but NOT 100% of the time! I was very resilient and creative. I dealt with the crazy because I had too! But I kept my belief that I would do better and make something of myself. Knowing this and always thinking it made me stronger and more productive to work hard and never give up! I have two wonderful kids and married to a pretty decent guy. I was very particular on who I wanted to be with in life and when I met my husband, I just knew he was it. I loved that he followed through and did everything he said he was going to. Oh, yes, he’s not bad looking either… ha, ha…
Where am I from: Kansas! No, NOT Dorothy Kansas. Kansas is great and charming as well very current/metro. Great restaurants, shops, tech you name it.
Career: I’m creating my children’s books and working hard to build my brand. Deep-Breath, lol…
3. Tell us about your kids and your experience being a mom.
I have a daughter, 16, and a son, 15 years of age. Both are great kids, but they do the usual teenager stuff, ugh… You get it! My daughter is a huge soccer gal. She just made the DA Team with sporting. Also, she’s extremely smart. Her GPA is 4.57. I’m hoping to get her into an Ivy-league school. Fingers crossed. We will see. My son, who is my guy (giggle), is big at tennis and loves it. His GPA is 4.0, and he has the kindest heart. He treats everyone with kindness. He is so darn fun and funny and very responsible.
Experience being a mom: Being a mom is a great dream come true. It’s happiness and total ultimate LOVE. It’s strength, compromise, frustration, stress, (gasps of air exhaling, lol) exhaustion, etc. But I would never give it up or change a thing!
4. Your kids are pretty grown up now. Why did you decide to write picture books for the 3-5 age group?
Well, my kids are teens now. Yes, much older than toddlers. I wrote two of these books 12 years ago, and the other maybe a year ago. All three are published, Yay! I feel kids need valuable examples on how to behave, and I feel my books can make a difference. Everything starts at an early age and we must help, support, educate, encourage children early on and every day.
5. Monkeys and crocodiles playing baseball together, creatures with magical goo coming out of their hair, and a hippo who dreams of going to space – where do you get your book ideas?
My ideas honestly pop into my head. No joke! I truly like the idea of helping others, and I like when I think of a character that makes an example of that. I have a great imagination, truly. I believe as a kid many eons ago, I spent roughly 10-12 hours outside tooling around and playing games. And the games we made up were so fun! My family also has very artistic skills, really. I loved creating stories and adding these wonderful creatures that could show how easy it can be to help others, communicate, dream big, and never give up. If I had given up, I would NOT be in this interview and telling you about myself. It’s hard. I know. Trust me, it’s just frustrating, but keep going!
6. Your books have gorgeous illustrations. How do you chose an illustrator for your book? How difficult is it for them to capture the vision you had of your setting and characters?
I find my Illustrator by looking at many portfolios on SCBWI. I know what I am looking for on each book, which makes it a bit easier. I usually search for “whimsical” styles and start zoning in. If I like what I see with the first Illustration, then I open the artist’s portfolio and start looking through it. Now, how does the Illustrator capture my vision? Well, I write VERY specific notes for each page. Then communication back and forth.
7. Do you ever think about writing any other kinds of books for older kids or adults?
Oh gosh, yes! I have a blinking fantastic idea for an adult fiction novel. I just have to put my fingers on my keyboard and go.
8. What are you working on right now?
9. What are your challenges as a self-published children’s author?
Well, building my reputation and brand, selling books, getting to know the right people. Look, honestly, I’d rather be a self-published/indie author. I WAS with a small publisher and it was not so great. They took a big percentage and didn’t provide any marketing. It’s better to be on your own. Now, if one of the the BIG 5 gives you a call and strikes up a great deal, why not!
10. What advice do you have for imaginative people who are thinking about creating picture books for kids?
Start writing the words on paper or in Word, or whatever works. I like to write on paper then transfer to Word. My brain really thinks on paper, and my imagination is just ON.
Search for an Illustrator. They are VERY pricy, boo… BUT you need to talk with many and strike a deal. Also, I have a new Illustrator that has mad talent and the price is very good. Contact me if you need help with this and I will give her contact info.
Read your contracts and all the details. Make changes if you don’t like something. Make sure your paying a flat fee. Do not give a percentage. Ask for permission to use the images wherever you want. Also, ask for the ownership of the images. Remember this! Always ask for the MOON and perhaps you will get come cheese.
I WON’T let you make the same mistakes I did, promise. Find someone to help you. Ask for help. Contact me if I can assist. I will help you through the process!
Thanks to Angel Krishna for sharing her experience with us.
Contact Angel Krishna