Hey there, Eerdnerds!

For those of you who don’t know, I’m Katherine. I’m the assistant managing editor for Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, and I just got back from the Norwegian Literature Festival, which, as you may have guessed, was in Norway.

Animal Beauty

Yup, I got to go to Norway. For work. It was extremely awesome.

And upon hearing that I would be traveling to their country of residence, Svein Størksen (who published the original editions of I’m Right Here, Animal Beauty, and Why Am I Here?) and his wife Kristin Roskifte (who wrote and illustrated Animal Beauty) promptly invited me to their house for dinner.

I mean, twist my arm.

In case you’re wondering what children’s book authors are like in real life, allow me to use Kristin as an example. Picture the nicest, humblest, pleasantest person you’ve ever met. Now double that, because that applies to both her and Svein. They would never, ever suggest/act like/remotely hint at the fact that they might be cooler than you. But they’re probably cooler than you.

Here’s the evidence:
They live just outside of Oslo, in a cozy neighborhood with a beautiful hiking trail through the woods. Their house has a little cottage that Kristin uses as her studio. This is what her studio looks like.

Kristin in her studio
Kristin’s studio

And this is her doing swanky illustrator things in her studio.

They eat fabulous meals all the time, because Svein is an excellent cook. (I don’t have a picture of the duck he prepared for us; I ate it too fast. But it was beautiful and yummy.) And Svein also has his publishing offices inside their home, which gives him a highly enviable commute. His office, as you’d expect, is filled with books. Including all the foreign language editions of Animal Beauty.

Animal Beauty 2
Animal Beauty—International Covers

Most impressive of all, it’s clear from talking with Svein and Kristin that they both love what they do. Their enthusiasm for their jobs bubbles over as they describe their current projects. You get the feeling that even though they’ve both accomplished tons of cool things, their best days are still ahead of them. Personally, I can’t wait to see what they come out with next.