Katherine B. Smith – Bia Gets a New Baby Brother

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Bia Gets A New Baby Brother is my most recent book, a children’s book. The main character Bia is experiencing the newness of a new baby brother and all the things that go along with one. She particularly does not like all the crying he does. It has some funny parts as well as some cute and tender parts. I think the adults will appreciate it as much as the children.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am a mother of four from Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to writing my husband and I own a property management firm in the area. When I am not writing and running my business I am very busy running my children to soccer, which we all love, as well as swimming and Girl Scouts. I am active in Church and love to do readings at my children’s schools.

What inspired you to write this book?

When I was pregnant with my fourth child I was looking for a bright colorful book that would keep the attention of a toddler. I found that most of the books about new siblings were done in pastel colors. I really wanted it to be a delightful experience for the child and not to wordy for the parents. After searching for the book I wanted and not finding it, I decided to write it.

How did you choose the title?

It was pretty simple to choose the title. I wanted it to be apparent what the book was about and I think it presents that to the browsing parent.

What obstacles did you encounter getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

Well, the original manuscript was entitled Olivia Gets a New Baby Brother. Anyone with children knows that there is an Olivia the pig, and she is quite popular. So the name held it up for quite a while. I keep presenting it to different publishers and was just getting no where. I managed though to come up with a new name thanks to my youngest child who could not pronounce his big sisters name and eventually I found the publisher I am working with now who was willing to work with me to get it published.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Actually, I did not really know what I wanted to do, but I know what I enjoy and I enjoy reading and writing and I enjoy children. Many people think that children’s writing is not difficult but I find that it is very challenging to relay what you want in a way that a younger mind can process it. You have to really scale down the number of words so that you can hold the child’s attention, and I really like seeing them “get” what you are writing about. I think that is what made me want to write more and more is finding different ways to entertain the children.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

Boy did I! Most people really believe that you find an publisher or an agent and you do the writing and they do the selling, but that is so far from the truth. It really takes a lot of hard work and persistence to get your material out there into the hands of the consumer. The book market is so competitive and you have to really have a thick skin and the ability to make people take notice of what you have to offer. It takes a great deal of self confidence. I think that is what I learned the most is to have confidence in myself.

What types of books do you like to read?

Currently I am reading Diana Gabaldon. I also love Robin Cook and recently was turned onto Harlan Coben. I really like any type of Sci-Fi, mystery, murder type books. The more twists and turns the better.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

My next book is going to be a children’s chapter book. I wanted to try something a little more involved with more of a story line to follow. I enjoyed developing the characters and picturing them in their elements with their friends. I have some editing and re-write work to do but it is probably 80% finished at this point.

What is the best advice you could give writers about writing or publishing?

The best advise I can give someone wanting to write would be find yourself an agent. They will work for you and with you make sure your book is successful. Also I would say be prepared to work hard. The hard part is not always the writing, it quite frequently is the marketing and production process that turns out to be the difficulty.

Who is the perfect reader for this book?

Well, in the case of my book, I think it would be who is the perfect listener. This book is particularly geared to the three to five year age and as many children that age can read, they still like mom and dad to read to them. That is why I tried to gear the content of the book to the children but the word count, so to speak, to the parents, that they might find it enjoyable as well. Over all the the perfect reader would be a family preparing for a new brother or sister.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

I have a web site where all my links can be found, try looking me up at www.katherinebsmith.com. I also have a fan page on face book at Author Katherine Buerger-Smith