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  • Writer's pictureLittle Thoughts Press

Interview: Karen Gonzalez-Videla

A photograph of Little Thoughts Press Issue Three: Hit the Road with a sneak peek of the poem "Our Car Broke Down Before Vacation So We Make One on the Spot" by Karen Gonzalez-Videla. A white page with black text.


Karen Gonzalez-Videla is an Argentinian writer living in Florida. She writes for all ages, but enjoys writing for children the most. She’s usually hiding among the animals and plants and finds them much nicer than people. You can find her on Twitter at @Gv12Karen or on her website.


Little Thoughts Press: I saw via Twitter and on your website that in addition to writing, you are a photographer. Can you talk a bit about how these two creative outlets interact for you? In what ways does photography inform/feed your writing and vice versa?

Karen Gonzalez-Videla: My writing and my photography come together in a lot of ways. Perhaps the most obvious one, though, is theme. Although I write about a lot of things, readers might notice that a lot of my work is nature related. Similarly, my camera is filled with images of sandhill cranes, marsh rabbits, strange mushroom patterns, and other super cool natural things that I find during my little exploration walks. I also find that when I’m tired of writing, photography comes easily; and when I’m tired of editing photographs, the words to a poem or story flow out much better. It’s basically a balancing act. I’ve even been toying with the idea of taking some photos and writing some things to go along with them, so stay tuned for that!

Little Thoughts Press: Issue 3: Hit the Road is all about travel and summer adventure. Can you tell us your favorite place you've traveled to, as well as somewhere you hope to go in the future?

Karen Gonzalez-Videla: It’s hard to pick my favorite place I’ve traveled to because I honestly enjoy everywhere I go. Some of my favorite memories, though, are from exploring the Smoky Mountains with my family. I particularly remember running into a crowd of friendly elk! If you ever run into them, make sure to give them space and appreciate the moment as much as you can. As for a place I hope to visit, I would have to say Iceland. I have been obsessing over it for quite some time now and can’t wait to experience all of it: the volcanoes, the waterfalls, the culture, the cold, and most of all, the puffins (if you don’t know what these are, I suggest you look them up because they are adorable!).

Little Thoughts Press: You write for both adult and youth audiences. What initially drew you to writing kid-lit and what do you find most challenging and rewarding about writing for a young audience?

Karen Gonzalez-Videla: Kid-lit has always been my true love. Although I read a bit of everything, I’m typically at my happiest with a children’s or middle-grade book in hand. There’s just something so beautiful about writing with the mind of a child or a teen and remembering that we adults were once in their shoes. That in itself, and having a child connect with what I wrote, are for sure the most rewarding parts. The most challenging part, I would say, is making sure that I’m using kid-friendly language and not putting too many difficult words in there!

Little Thoughts Press: Which kid-lit authors and books were your favorites growing up?

Karen Gonzalez-Videla: I was (and still am) a massive Percy Jackson fan. I remember checking all the books out from the school library and basically devouring them. Rick Riordan is such a wonderfully funny writer, and I still love reading his books.

Little Thoughts Press: And what about today? Any kid-lit writers you love and want to shout out?

Karen Gonzalez-Videla: There are so many other kid-lit writers that I love reading. Kate DiCamillo, Jessica Townsend, and Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book is one of my favorite books of all time) are some of the ones that come to mind. I also very much enjoyed reading Hannah Gold’s recent debut, The Last Bear. I’m also quite the picture book lover. Some picture books that I’ve read recently and absolutely adored are Delia Ruiz’s, Roqui’s Pandero Beat, and Katy Hudson’s. Too Many Carrots.

Little Thoughts Press: What advice would you give to young writers?

Karen Gonzalez-Videla: Keep writing, but also take breaks. I don’t like the mentality of “you have to write every day to be a writer.” I write when I feel inspired to, and I don’t write when I’m feeling drained out. It really makes the process more enjoyable and less like a chore.

Little Thoughts Press: Is there anything else you wish I had asked? Any upcoming projects, publications, or other news you'd like to share?

Karen Gonzalez-Videla: I’m currently working on a middle-grade novel that is very dear to my heart. I finished writing the manuscript, and I am very proud of it. I’m enjoying the editing process quite a lot (especially thanks to my writing group’s wonderful advice). I hope I get to share it with you all one day and talk more about it, but for now, I’ll keep it slightly secret!


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