Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Meet Author Ronica Stromberg!

I'm pleased to welcome author Ronica Stromberg today. Ronica has a brand new children's book out, The Time-for-bed Angel. I've had a chance to look at a digital copy, and it's a gorgeous, fun book!

Here are some things I learned about Ronica:

Q: Ronica, I love your story! Can you tell me how you came up with the idea?

A: As a young child, my oldest son, Josiah, was a lot like Andrew in The Time-for-bed Angel. He never wanted to go to bed. After tucking him into bed for the umpteenth time one night, I was exhausted. I remember asking him, “Josiah, what about your guardian angel? Don’t you think he needs a little rest?” We ended up discussing guardian angels for the next few minutes, and I left his room, thinking that a bedtime story with a guardian angel might be reassuring to children who are reluctant to go to bed alone or who have a fear of the dark or “the monster in the closet.” Such a book might calm children by letting them know that guardian angels protect and watch over them at all times. When I couldn’t find anything on the market like this, I knew I should write the book.

Q: Great idea. How did you and the artist get together?

I’ve never met Kristina Stephenson or had any communication with her. My publisher chose her and handled the match of graphics with text. This is common with picture books. Historically, authors and illustrators have not always seen eye-to-eye, and most publishers today carefully manage the relationship between author and illustrator. I have to say, though, that I am delighted with Kristina’s artwork and think it really captured the spirit of the book.

Q: I see you’ve also written middle school and teen books. Could you tell us which will be out next, and give a description?

A: My “tween” (ages 10 to 14) book, The Glass Inheritance, was published in 2001. This is a mystery centered on the Depression Era glass a young girl inherits from her grandmother. I have three teen novels under contract and am expecting them out this next year. One, Wrappers, deals with abstinence from a boy’s point of view. The other two, A Shadow in the Dark and Living It Up to Live It Down, are about a young teen, Kirsten Hart, and her struggles with living out her faith in her nonbelieving family and in her public middle school.

Q: What does a typical writing day look like for you?

A: Unfortunately, I have yet to become disciplined enough to write every day. I generally write in spurts—maybe spend one or two days per month writing from morning until night and then spend odd times throughout the month revising. If I’m writing a full-length novel, I often get “on a roll” in which I’ll write a few hours every day, but I like to have downtime, too, when ideas can stew in my mind.

Q: What’s something you enjoy in your free time?

A: Reading, travel, spending time with friends and family, and shopping for antiques. I can’t pick just one!

Q: What’s something that most people don’t know about you (and that you don’t mind sharing!). :)

A: As a child, I wanted to be a missionary, improving the lives of orphans and poor children overseas.

Q: Very in interesting! Thanks for sharing. How can readers buy a copy of “The Time-for-bed Angel”?

A: The book has distributors in both the inspirational and mainline markets, so any bookstore—whether it be one of the large chains like Barnes & Noble or a small, independent Christian bookstore—may stock it or at least be able to order it. And, of course, the book is available online at places like Amazon.com.

Thanks so much for being on my blog today, Ronica! I enjoyed our visit.

Ronica Stromberg is the author of a picture book, The Time-for-bed Angel, and a tween mystery, The Glass Inheritance. She also has three teen novels under contract and is working on an inspirational romance. Her short stories appear in 16 anthologies and numerous magazines.


Becky C. said...

This book looks and sounds adorable!

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks for stopping by, Becky!


Keli Gwyn said...


I enjoyed your interview. It's interesting to hear that you don't write every day and yet have so many books under contract. I know many writers set daily quotas, and yet I'm more like you. When I sit down to write a story, I pour out an 85,000 rough draft in six to eight weeks. Guess we're all different in how we approach our craft.

Your picture book looks lovely. I've heard that it can be tough to get one published because the house has to invest so much in getting it printed. How many times did you submit the story before you landed the contract?

Missy Tippens said...

Hi,Keli! I would love to be able to write in long, uninterrupted periods. My ideal would be to be able to go to a beach house and write a book straight through in like two weeks.

But alas, real life gets in the way. :) But who knows for when my hubby retires! I guess I better save my pennies for the beachfront property. :)

Thanks for stopping by.


Belinda Peterson said...

Great interview! The books sounds great and like the way you came up with the idea.
If you can't find it, write it! Love that.
Congrats on your other projects that are soon to be released.
And thanks Missy for doing this interview.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Ronica, I love the idea of the guardian angel for children. Congrats. Picture books are difficult to publish so its quite an accomplishment.

Thanks Missy for spotlighting another great source for parents.

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sandra!

For anyone who hasn't seen it, Sandra has a beautiful children's book as well, God's Spirit Within Me (writing as Sandy Wardman). I love good children's books!! I still read them to my daughter, even though she's 12 now. (We mix them in with the chapter books.)


Ronica Stromberg said...


I submitted the book to many publishers, I'm guessing between 30 and 40. I didn't have an agent or any special contacts, so finding the right fit was difficult. I might have given up earlier, but I did receive a positive comment along the way, just no sales.


Missy Tippens said...

Hi, Ronica. You made a great point about sticking with it! Persistence is key in this business! :)


Keli Gwyn said...


Your persistence paid off. I keep hearing that it's very important not to give up and that a rejection doesn't necessarily mean "no." It may simply be that the house has filled its quota, that your story isn't a fit for them at that time or that the agent or editor isn't the one who gets your voice or your idea.

I'm so happy you stood by your story and are seeing your beautiful book in print.