Joshua Kriesberg lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife and two sons. His sons were willing listeners to countless “make-up” stories, which eventually formed the novel Horatio’s One Wish–one of the top-rated children’s animal novels released this year. Kriesberg has written for most of his life. He has an affinity for animal characters in fiction.
“Although I wrote the book for children,” says Kriesberg, “the story’s characters and universal themes of friendship, loyalty, family, and courage can appeal to all ages. The story is really about how a lost and lone creature, Horatio, ventures out into an unknown world and overcomes great odds to find his true home. A journey all of us can relate to.”
What inspires you to write?
I have been writing since I was a boy. I remember when I was in 3rd grade I would make up stories to tell to the class. My classmates enjoyed the stories so much that my teacher set 1 hour a week for me to tell the class a story. I would stand up in front of the class and read the story I had written that week. They couldn’t wait to hear the next story the next week.
Then when I was in 7th grade I wrote a novella; it was about 70 pages. It was an adventure story and the characters were toys that I played with at home. I found the novella some 30 years later and in re-reading it as an adult it reminded me of the time in my life when I would just write stories for the fun of telling an adventure, without trying for any real higher purpose but to have fun. I wanted to try to recapture that way of story-telling and set off to write my novel. I really didn’t know where it would take me, but I wanted to have fun with it and to tell an adventure story. And I feel if I stay true to the purpose of writing I felt as a kid–create an adventure and have fun with it– I will continue to be able to produce more novels readers will want to read over time
Tell us about your writing process
When I’m working on a novel, I try to write every day, about 2-3 hours per day. If I get stuck on an idea, sometimes a long walk outdoors will help clear my mind and give me some creative way to approach the matter.
I often do not have the whole book formulated in my mind before I start. And if I don’t like what I’ve written, I will rethink the book until I have a narrative that works for me. I may write the first 50 pages or, and then scrap them and restart the novel. Or I may end up with many sections that don’t work well, and will reedit the book and cut large sections out.
How do you think writing for children and young adults is different from writing for an adult audience?
I think the content of the story needs to be different, naturally. I generally enjoy writing with animal characters which works well for children. But I rarely alter the prose to make it more readable to children. I believe good prose should work for all readers–children and adults. I rarely replace a word because I feel a child might not understand it. If it’s the right word, I’ll use it. And if a child is not familiar with the word, I trust they will understand the meaning by the context in which the word is used. I enjoy writing works that appeal to readers of all ages, so I try to write stories that can be read and interpreted at many different levels.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wanted to publish my book independently because I wanted it to be in readers’ hands quickly and I wanted to be in charge of the creative process end-to-end. I had already spent more than 5 years on the book, including putting it away for about 4 years and not looking at it all. So when I finally decided it was ready to publish, I wanted it to be available to readers sooner rather than later.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think self-publishing will continue to grow and it will become increasingly difficult for any new author to break from the pack. Readers will have a lot more choices, but may not know how to evaluate those choices. It is like the Internet as a whole; there’s a lot more information out there, but what information is valid or worthwhile is going to be up to the individual to decide. There is more information and more books than any one will have time to evaluate or digest. The key will be what resources will emerge for readers to turn to in order to help them evaluate what book is worthwhile for them to purchase and read.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write:: Middle-Grade Novels
What formats are your books in: Both eBook and Print
Joshua Kriesberg Social Media Links