Author Karl Beckstrand

Publisher & Speaker Karl Beckstrand is the bestselling and award-winning author/illustrator of 20 multicultural/multilingual books and more than 80 ebook titles (reviews by Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, School Library Journal, The Horn Book’s blog, ForeWord Reviews). Raised in San Jose, CA (he knows the secret to peeling avocados), he has a B.A. in journalism from BYU, an M.A. in international relations from APU, and a broadcast/film certificate from Film A. Academy. Since 2004 he has run Premio Publishing. His survival western, To Swallow the Earth, won a 2016 International Book Award. An ESL and college media instructor, Beckstrand has presented to Taiwan’s Global Leadership for Youth, city and state governments, festivals, and schools. His nationally lauded Y.A. stories, ebook mysteries, nonfiction, Spanish/bilingual/ESL, wordless, career, and STEM books feature ethnically diverse characters—and usually end with a twist. His work has appeared in: Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Costco, Deseret Book, Follett, iBooks, Ingram, Papercrafts Magazine,, The U.S. Congressional Record,, FB, Twitter,,, info@

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Interview with author Karl Beckstrand on The Bridge of the Golden Wood: A Parable on How to Earn a Living

What genre is your newest book? Entrepreneurship. It was selected by the State of Vermont for it's primary school financial literacy curriculum. I hope it helps bridge the gap between what kids know and what they need to know/do to succeed in life.

What draws you to this genre? Seeing a lack of kids’ curriculum on how money is made—how to earn a living. I used to be a recruiter in Silicon Valley; today’s graduates don't seem as prepared for work as their parents. Many young people don’t know that failure is normal and can nourish future success.

Please describe what the story is about in one sentence. A child with a knack for solving problems learns that helping some hungry fish—who can’t pay him—facilitates his finding a treasure.

What was the time frame for writing your last book? A few days (illustration is the real work—and I had to do some on this book.)

How much research do you do? More for this book than a typical picture book; I had to present valuable tips and business ideas I’ve learned over the years.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? No (but I spend hours on books/marketing every day).

What is the easiest thing about writing? Ideas that ambush me

When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer? In college ... when I should have been doing my homework

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? Every review can be helpful (even bad ones contribute to visibility—and they offer great feedback).

Which do you prefer: Pen or Computer? And how do you stay organized (any methods, tools you use)? I usually write ideas on scraps of paper in odd moments/places, then I write out the story on my laptop.

How do you relax? Volleyball, music, films

What were your biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process? When my first publisher died; I had to learn the publishing business.

What would you have done differently if you could do it again? I would have sought more reviews for my early titles.

Something personal about you people may be surprised to know? No matter how many achievements I have, I struggle with self-doubt, fears, and (at the same time) self-absorption.

What’s next? What are you working on at the moment? Non-fiction stories of immigrant kids and more bilingual books

Do you re-read books? One book that you would read again & again? The scriptures

Your influence(s), favorite author(s)? I love history, so anything by David McCoullugh is ideal. Other authors I love: Tolkien, Harper Lee, C.S. Lewis, Clancy, Grisham, Shel Silverstein

What book(s) are you reading at present? Major Problems in American Colonial History by Karen Kupperman

Best piece(s) of writing advice we haven’t discussed? Write every day and join a writer’s group.

Beckstrand has included tips he has learned in “The Bridge of the Golden Wood,” written in dyslexic-friendly font and available in hard cover (pre-order) and ebook via major distributors, Amazon, and info at premiobooks[dot]com

Get the book.

“The Bridge of the Golden Wood encourages kids how to think for themselves … while also thinking of others. … The illustrations throughout the book are absolutely lovely and bring to life the story of the boy in a peacefully enchanting way. The story is fast-paced and would do well for children with short attention spans but is also fulfilling enough for children who are a bit older. The extra activities and money-making ideas at the end of the book are also nice touches to get kids motivated to be like the boy in the story, and help them use their imaginations.” – Rayleigh Gray, blogger