L.S. Keilbart and I go a ways . . . okay, a long ways. We were high school buddies, long before either one of us ever became published authors. We hail from a small southwestern Colorado town and when Linda went into the Navy, I headed to Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. Life took us to separate ends of the world for many years and now, well, now we’re at least on the same side of the Mississippi. The author of the internationally acclaimed children’s book One. Linda has graciously agreed to be interviewed. It only took a couple of high school blackmail stories and we were good to go.
1. What prompted you to become a writer?
It is a goal that I set in high school. It wasn’t necessarily a conscience decision as it was that I naturally gravitated towards it. I enjoyed English so much in high school that I took 4 classes of English as a Senior!
2. What is your routine, on a daily basis, as far as being a parent and a writer?
I am not sure that “routine” is in my vocabulary. I live in a very rural community and so a trip to town is literally an all day event and that happens no less than three times a week. Writing is done as I am inspired or as I get emotionally overwhelmed. The latter could be because of current events, things in my personal lives or in the lives of others I am closely involved with. It is a way to release the emotions that are within. I spend hours a day doing for the family. All my children are in school, but college and missions are looming ever closer.
3. What is your genre and why did you choose it?
I write predominately children’s books. I guess it is because I am mentally closer to that age group than any other!! I believe that children need a happy world that they can escape into while learning principles that will help them in their adult lives. To help a mind open into the world of reading is to give a gift for a life time. Imaginations soar and progress is made in communities and nations because of it.
I also write poetry. To play with words and make an image come to the mind of the reader is just as hard and challenging as writing. I’ve been writing poems since I was in 7th grade. Those were mostly silly no non-sense poems, but as I grew my work blossomed. Mostly from the pain and sorrow I see in the world, but I also see the success and the survivors of life and they are heros to me.
4. Tell me a little about the books you’ve written.
My first published work is called “ONE”. It’s an early reader that teaches children that they all need to work together instead of leaving the work to one person. The moral of the story is summed up on the last page “Everyone takes care of every “ONE”‘ It was written in a moment of extreme frustration a few weeks before I had a near fatal collision. I was dependent on every one around me for weeks and months. I learned more from that story than I am sure anyone else ever will.
5. What do you have on your website and why did you choose those particular topics?
My website is currently being constructed as www.lskeilbart.com. The color is sage green, a calming and comforting color which gives a sense of stability or grounding. After my accident I had my living room painted, by an artist no less, and chose sage. He was the one who said it was a natural choice for my emotional well being at that time.
My song is “I Believe I can Fly” because I have learned that what I believe inside makes all the difference in the world. It is self-esteem and self-image that will either make us or break us in life. I have learned that I am very much loved by my Heavenly Father and no matter what anyone else does to tear down my image I will always know I can fly, if I remember who I really am.
I also have a butterfly on my site. It is in motion because I also believe in change from where I am now to where I will be in the future. I can get there and soar on wings and have fun while doing it.
I have a page dedicated to my poetry so that hopefully others can find a release for their emotions as well. Poetry can touch the hearts of individuals as much as the lyrics to songs.
There is also a page for recommended sites, because I believe in the work of the individuals whom I recommend.
“Off the Wall” Art is another tab that will host unique wall art created by myself and family members and will be available for sale. Some pieces can be personalized for the individuals who order and others will be pre-made and available for those who may need something in a pinch. My poetry will be available for sale as wall art on these pages.
6. What advice do you give to those struggling to become published writers?
Don’t ever get up on your dream. Make time to fulfill your dreams. Every one has something they can contribute to society, so why not you? Seeing my name in print for the first time is one of the greatest feelings I have felt. It was as if I showed the world that I was a somebody. I knew I never had to prove my worth to anyone ever again. Coming from two bad marriages, this was very important in my steps to self-esteem recovery.
7. Who are your favorite authors/artists and why?
I love Robin Cook and right behind him is Mary Higgins Clark. What can I say? I love mysteries. Of course there are those that are closer to home such as Candace E. Salima, the author of Out of the Shadows . . . Into the Light and others. I’ve known her from childhood and it is refreshing to see where she has been and where she is now.
8. Is it difficult to maintain your standards as a writer/artist in today’s market? Why or why not?
I don’t necessarily think about the standards of the world when I write. I simply write based on my standards and when they are in line with the Lord’s standard, then there is always a place in the market. Sometimes a person has to make that market and that can be hard, but there is always a place for it.
9. How does your faith play into your writing/your painting or creation?
In the 60′s & 70′s a revolution happened. Women were told that they were of no worth if they remained at home, that there were bigger and better things for them to be doing out in the world. Even in recent interviews we hear that women are a hindrance to society because they don’t contribute to the work force. As I review reports and comments from the prophets I see prophetic wisdom on the role of divine womanhood and motherhood. They have reaffirmed the need for mothers being at home and teaching their children on a daily basis. The path that they have shown is straight and narrow, but it is clear as well. Yes there are circumstances that are “exceptions” and not rules. It is with this faith in the Prophets that I write children’s books. It is a hard job for mothers to do and even they need a break once in a while.
10. What is your funniest memory in recent years?
After my accident I was confined to a wheelchair. I was learning how to cook from a deficit height of about two feet. I was trying to put a turkey into a roasting bag. The bag had been floured and seasoned already and all I needed to do was get that blasted thing into the bag. I have difficulties with those bags when I am standing on two feet, so I don’t know what in the world made me think I could handle it with finesse while in a wheelchair. Anyway, I was holding the bag and helping my daughter get the bird in the bag. It finally slid in and then it promptly went through the bottom of the bag, onto my legs and then on to the floor. I had flour, raw turkey and juices all over my legs!!! It was so gross all I could do was laugh and then I had the kids take pictures of the mess. Talk about setting myself up for blackmail pictures in the future!