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What motivates you as a writer?

People and their stories. 

What types of books do you like to read?


I think an easier question for me to answer is what you won't find on my bookshelves which is a far shorter list. What I am less drawn to are science fiction and romance novels. What makes me forget to cook dinner are captivating picture books, historical middle-grade books or stories that exist in the fairy and fantasy world and any historical fiction. I am also a fan of many classics like THE GREAT GATSBY and ANNA KARENINA.

How has becoming a writer affected your own reading habits?

I read a lot! It's an occupational hazard but one that I love! To be a writer you must be a reader. The challenge for me becomes that as a writer I rarely read for pleasure. I always find myself analyzing and picking apart the stories I read to see how I can learn from them and apply those lessons to my own writing.

Raina's Unhappy Birthday Cover with 2 aw

PUBLISHER: Balboa Press, A Division of Hay House, 2018

Follow Raina and her beloved stuffie, Lola, on their profound journey from birthday jitters to cake-filled happiness. Celebrate the courage of one little girls conviction to decide for herself when to speak up. This relevant and important book shouts YES to sharing ones truth. Brava to author Britta Stromeyer Esmail for empowering and elevating girls and their grown-ups.