Gayle writes across genres from poetry to short stories and picture books to young adult novels, too. Her best-selling picture book, ROCK STAR SANTA, is available from Scholastic Book Clubs, and has sold over 139,000 copies.
Here's the book splash on Gayle C. Krause and her new novel, Ratgirl: Song of the Viper.
Can you share a favorite beach memory?
When I was a child, my family visited cousins at Cape Cod. They lived close to the beach and when the parents gathered to reminisce, or do whatever adults do when kids get into something they shouldn’t, I led my sister and my cousins out to sea. Not in a boat or on a boogie board. Oh, no, we walked for what seemed like forever. The blue horizon was ocean and sky, and we kept walking.
Little did we know the tide was out, which made walking the sandbars easy. But, it would eventually come back in. Need I say more? My cousin’s grandmother came searching for us, with her dress hiked above her knees, yelling for us to get back to shore. We weren’t allowed to go to the beach unsupervised after that, but it was a great experience, exploring the fish, shells and life in the tide pools. Almost sounds like it should be a picture book, doesn’t it? J
If you were an ocean creature, what would you be and why?
I’d like to be a bioluminescent creature because they look like diamond dust on a human’s skin at night, and because they live only in tropical waters, so I’d be warm all the time. Some of them are pretty unique and I’d like to think I am, too.
Are seas or oceans part of your new book in any way?
Actually, no. The only body of water mentioned in RATGIRL: Song of the Viper is a toxic river, where Jax, my main character, leads the rats of Metro City to their death, with her hypnotic singing voice. The only problem is rats are good swimmers, and she must risk her life in a boat to lead them across the deadly waters. Halfway across the river, the boat springs a leak. Jax and her companion must think quick, or die like the rats she was commissioned to kill.
Does your main character enjoy, live near, or visit the ocean?
No, Jax lives in Metro City, a once beautiful, bustling city. Now, with advanced global warming and a tyrant Mayor, who has hoarded all the electricity for himself, it’s a dying city. Jax and the other homeless are forced to live underground, surfacing only at night to barter their goods and services for food.
Would Jax be adventurous enough to do a deep-sea dive?
Jax is a streetwise warrior. She’d do anything to save her friends or her little brother, Andy. This is clearly demonstrated in her story. So, if her brother was held captive under the sea somewhere, I’m sure she’d gather the courage to do a deep-sea dive to rescue him, even if she didn’t know how to swim.
What, you say? Sounds impossible. I told you I was unique. I went scuba diving in the Virgin Islands many years ago, but I didn’t know how to swim. J
Taking care of our seas is important to me and the students in my book, THESE SEAS COUNT! What causes are important to you besides writing for children and young adults?
Insuring that today’s children are aware of good nutrition and healthy lifestyles. When I was a teacher I was the first to introduce my high school students to BMI and healthy food choices. I even carried my “healthy choices” mantra to my preschoolers, when I checked their snacks from home. They told their parents I said, “No sugar water and no chips.” Believe it or not, snacks changed after that, to fruit slices, cheese sticks and natural juice or water.
If you could create a spectacular sand sculpture on a beach, what would you build?
A life-sized sandcastle, complete with Rapunzel in one turret and Aurora in the other, bramble covered one. Can you tell I’m a fairy tale enthusiast?