Sunday, October 25, 2020

# 20 Questions

20 Questions with Linda Karimo Author of BABY BEAR'S SPAGHETTI MISADVENTURES @karimolinda #20Questions


Today's guest is Linda Karimo, author of the children's picture book, BABY BEAR'S SPAGHETTI MISADVENTURES. Linda is here today to answer 20 questions about her life, writing and goals.

  1. . Are you a morning writer or a night writer?


Definitely a morning writer. When the clock reaches the dinner hour, my brain starts to snooze. Luckily I eat my dinner earlier in the afternoon.


  1. Do you outline or are you a pantster?

Most of the time I create a basic book outline. From there I look at each item and further define specific points that I want to make.


As a children’s book author my general outline would be different scenes in the book. Within the scenes I define what each of my characters might be doing. My writing is very heavily dialog driven and there are occasions when I just write what I feel and figure out later where each scene starts and ends. It is far easier to write too much text than to struggle to increase the content.


  1. Which comes first – plot or character?

In the case of my series of children’s picture books it is fairly easy to define my two characters in the first book: Baby Bear’s Spaghetti Misadventure. The characters are Mama Bear and Baby Bear. When I have defined in my head how each of them will react given different life situations, it is time to start creating the outline for a plot idea that I have chosen.


As more characters arrive in future books in this series then they will go through the same development as I am doing with Mama Bear and Baby Bear.


The reality is, children’s picture books are the most challenging type of literature to write and produce. You have to engage an adult audience (the people who hand over the money and are likely to be the ones reading your book every single day!). Still, you also have to engage the children, who will beg their money-wielding parents to buy the book and read it to them every day.

Additionally, you only have a limit of 1000 words to communicate an entire story, with inciting incident, climactic moment, and final resolution, to the full satisfaction of both adult and child. For kids over age 8 who will be reading chapter books, the writing is like an adult novel.


  1. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?

Definitely quiet for sure. I multi-task but it was a lot easier when I was younger, grin.


  1. Favorite TV show?

Hands down, my favorite show is Jeopardy. I’ve been watching it since it came on air, seems like centuries ago. It keeps my brain stimulated and therefore I write easier.


  1. Favorite type of music?

That would be country music at this point in my life. The artists and song writers tell stories that people can relate to in their day-to-day lives. I have been to countless concerts and music festivals and the only thing that is starting to bother me is thee increasing volume coming from the stage. It makes it more difficult to appreciate a ballad when the sound is at a reasonable level.


 Also classical and opera have come to be important to me. My mother introduced me to these types of music at a young age. My favorite opera singer was Luciano Pavarotti and more recently Andrea Bocelli. Puccini, in my opinion was the most lyrical composer of opera music in particular La Bohème. Regarding classical, my preference is for composers that wrote music for the piano, namely Tchaikovsky with his Piano Concerto No. 1.


  1. Favorite craft besides writing?

My passion has always been cooking. When being rushed just to put something together in a flash, this is not what I like at all. As for sweets, I leave that to others far more proficient with that plate on the menu. In particular my interest leans toward discovering different ethnic foods from around the world. On several holidays I would cook for a crowd always inviting someone who didn’t have a place to celebrate the day.


  1. Do you play a musical instrument?

I don’t play an instrument at this point in my life. When I was young the accordion attracted me and I knew how to read music. Being visually impaired, I memorized all the tunes that I played.


As an adult I played keyboard/organ, not the piano since my fingers are small and trying to reach an octave would have been painful. My ear was rather sharp enabling me to pick out the melody and relying on sheet music to give me the chord structure. 



  1. Single or married?

Happily married for the second time. My first husband died of cancer.

 In a couple of weeks we will celebrate our tenth anniversary.


10.  Children or no?

No children but I rely on my wonderful childhood to write my children’s picture books. My sister had two boys and I have spent countless hours with them as they grew to manhood and still keep up with their lives on a frequent basis.


11.  Pets?

As a child we always had a cat roaming around the house. Decades later, a friend told me about a cat that had been abused and she knew that I was partial to those that are black and white. It was a match in heaven.


We were companions for each other during difficult moments and times of joy. He lived for almost 16 years and unfortunately I had to put him down before he reached his birthday. It was quite a month, first losing my best friend, burying my first husband and a day later putting down my Lumpycat.


People say that you should get another cat but it was not for me. We were just too close and I live my life now with his sweet memory.


12.  Favorite place to write?

 We have a room where I have my office and a sundry of other things. My husband uses our dining room table as his domain.

13.  Favorite restaurant?

For Italian food, there is a restaurant in the next village, Capriccio 2 which has been around for decades. This establishment has been so helpful through this Pandemic as we could order from them and have our goodies delivered.


For steak, that would be the Outback Steakhouse for sure.

 Nothing like a juicy strip steak on the barbie, aye mate!


14.  Do you work outside the home?

Most of my life has been centered around work at home. First as an accountant for thirty years, followed by serving as a B2B Copywriter and finally now as a children’s book author.


My family had a business that transcended down through the years. It was the reason that I decided to work for myself, no boss, just my discipline to get the work done for my clients.


15.  What was the name of the last movie you saw?

My movie watching is not a current interest for me as I preferred some of the ones that were classics. My favorite one would be Sound of Music. I have traveled to Switzerland and Austria and my love of scenery makes this my favorite.


Titanic, Oh, God! Mr. Mom, Caddyshack, Silkwood and many others are on my list.


16.  Favorite outdoor activity?

That would be my love of listening to the waves as they roll to and from the shore. It pulls me toward Miami Beach in recent years and in earlier days to the Caribbean.


 Sitting out on the balcony early in the morning listening to the waves and letting my mind relax is clearly my favorite outdoor activity. It is just so restful helping me to move forward in life with focus.


17.  Pet peeve?

When thinking about this, I would have to say that it is very hard to listen to young people use the word “like” in every sentence, sometimes more. The ones who do this might be very bright, intelligent young adults but you would never know it by the way that they speak. It is also hard to tell how they communicate on paper as their texts are so full of abbreviations.


 There are some studies that show that writing coherently is definitely an issue. They are our future and one can hope that some way they will improve with age.


18. Your goal in life?

My goal in life has changed over the years depending on what my focus was at the time. Now I want to make enough money to get out of debt, be able to travel with my husband when and if this Pandemic becomes a thing of the past.


 My children’s Picture Books teach young kids simple life skills all having fun with my Baby Bear character. I hope that my books make it easier for parents to care for their children and make learning easier for them during these difficult times.


19. Your most exciting moment?

There were so many memorable moments in my lifetime that picking just one would leave the rest categorized as second best, and that was not the case. Here are just a few that top the list: making my First Holy Communion, landing my first full-time job as an Accountant in a world dominated by men in that field, my trips to Miami Beach after meeting an older lady that would be a friend of mine for decades, marrying my first husband all dressed in white-a young girl’s dream and reading the first email from Pedro, who would later become my second husband after the death of the first to cancer.


It gave me great joy to watch Pedro as he stared transfixed, looking out the window of our plane that would land at Liberty Airport in New Jersey. He was just about to stand on American soil for the first time. What joy I would have going forward showing him all about the culture and all that goes with it.


 Finally, I was so proud and had to blink back tears as I watched my Pedro becomes an American citizen, pledging under oath to preserve and protect.


We are now in business working together to write-edit-publish children’s books.


20. The love of your life?


In the memoir that I wrote about my mother’s life, I Know My Way Memoir: Always Remember to Color the Sky Blue. The subject came up when she tried to explain how different her two husbands were. She explained that there should not be a comparison as they were as different as apples and oranges. For her, it was her first husband that would always be her true love. That is so because my mother and her first husband had just gone through too much together for it to be anything else.


So, having lost my first husband to cancer as my mother did, I find myself having been blessed with my earlier marriage in lots of ways.


But, as for my dear current husband, Pedro…

 We complement each other. He’s definitely the love of my life. As with my mother, Pedro and I have been through so much with his immigration papers and getting used to a new culture. It’s interesting to mention how I just sit back and watch children naturally gravitate to this man of mine.

Back in the Stone Age, well maybe not that far back…

When Linda Karimo was very young, she learned to read at the knee of her Irish immigrant grandmother. Nannie, as she was known to the family, was just learning English herself.

They read all the classic children’s stories together. There was one in particular that became the inspiration for Linda’s current series of children’s books.

Moving forward, Linda was always a ravenous reader. She would often read all the books by a given author and then go onto yet another great fiction author. Espionage, legal, medical, suspense, and some “who done it” were her game.

Her day job as a Copywriter paid the bills while she dreamed of writing an extraordinary series of children’s books.

So, what childhood story prompted Linda to write a series about those characters?

It was Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Linda’s nickname was always Goldilocks.

She transports her readers into the world of bears whose lives are not much different than humans, just bear style.

She has a conversational style of writing and wants her readers to feel a part of the action taking place, not just looking through the window watching it all going by.

A Lifetime full of love and compassion!










Meet Mama Bear and her sweet little bear child, Baby Bear.

Sometimes he doesn’t do what Mama Bear says, sound familiar?

This one particular day when Mama Bear was cooking spaghetti and meatballs, Baby

Bear bounced his ball against the cave wall.

Baby Bear knew it was on the forbidden list.

He did it anyway.

Mama Bear gave him the look.

He did it again.

Find out what happened to Mama Bear’s spaghetti dinner and naughty Baby Bear.


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