HomeInterviewsAuthor InterviewsHow the Heck Did You Come Up with That?

How the Heck Did You Come Up with That?

By Kristina Springer, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: December 26, 2009

Book ideas pop into my head ALL the time. And really, anything and everything can prompt them. My first book, THE ESPRESSOLOGIST, is about a barista at a Chicago coffee shop who discovers this talent to matchmake people based on their regular coffee drinks. People are always asking me, how the heck did you come up with that? And really, it just hit me one day when I was sitting in the local Starbucks. I was on a date with my husband and I was watching people come in and out of the coffee shop. I realized I could sort of tell what people were going to order. Like, that guy is totally a vanilla latte and that girl is such a caramel frappuccino. At first I thought I’d write a guide to drinks and the type of people who drink them and then I thought no, I’ll have a coffee barista keep a notebook of this and matchmake people based on it.

My middle grade book coming out next fall, MY FAKE BOYFRIEND IS BETTER THAN YOURS, came to me one day when I was reflecting on my own 7th grade fake boyfriend. He wasn’t around for too long and he only got me into a little bit of trouble back then. But I thought, what if my character had one that got her into a lot of trouble? My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours is about two BFFs who find themselves caught up in a crazy-fun competition of fake boyfriends.

Another book I wrote, REVENGE QUEEN, is about this girl who appears to be perfect—fellow students and teachers/administrators alike adore her. No one would ever suspect that she is running a revenge Web site for the school. You paypal her the cash and she’ll exact revenge for you. This idea came to me one day when I was watching Dr. Phil. There was a woman on the show talking about how she wanted revenge on her ex-boyfriend and I thought wouldn’t that be great if you could just hire someone to do that for you? Of course it would have to be anonymous– someone that no one would ever suspect. And then I was off running with that book.

My most recent book, PUMPKIN PRINCESS, is about a rural girl who wants to be Pumpkin Princess more than anything, but then her rich and famous cousin comes to town and changes everything. This idea came to me one afternoon when I was staring at my pumpkin-colored kitchen walls and thinking what a great color it’d make for a book cover.

So, as you can see, my ideas come from nowhere and everywhere. I never know what will trigger me next. For instance, just now I was staring at a piece of Christmas candy and it’s got my brain going. I think I better go jot down some notes.

 THE ESPRESSOLOGIST by Kristina Springer, *In stores now* from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

MY FAKE BOYFRIEND IS BETTER THAN YOURS, Fall 2010, Farrar, Straus and Giroux


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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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