That wasn’t always the case, though.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Erin and her then-boyfriend (now-husband) packed their bags and headed east for New York City. As luck would have it, Erin landed a job as a children’s book editor after sending a blind letter to the HR departments of several publishing houses.
After a few years there, she left for jobs at other companies – Pepperidge Farms and Nickelodeon – as well as for another country – Sweden. But she always had a hankering to write.
After moving back to the States, she took the plunge and began writing Young Adult Romance novels, working closely with an editor she knew from her own editing days. And although writing was a bit of grind as she balanced her full-time job, it was a labor of love.
“I think I’m a kid at heart,” says Erin, “so writing the YA (young adult) genre allowed me to tap into that.”
She and her husband eventually moved back to Minneapolis after they had their first child, but before their twins arrived. In fact, she credits both maternity leaves as her most productive time, writing a book during each.
As her kids grew, they gave her fodder for her first children’s series, The Quirks. The books tell the story of the Quirk family and how each member’s magical power gets them into trouble.
There’s the mom who can control minds, the grandpa who twists time, a twin named Penelope who has an all too real imagination, a brother named Finn who is invisible and the other twin named Molly, who happens to be normal.
And although it’s the other family members who have a hard time fitting in because of their magical powers, it’s Molly who is constantly striving to fit in, not only with the community but also with her own family.
Erin sprinkles in some tidbits from real life into her stories. For instance, her own kids would often blame many of their mishaps on their invisible brother, and thus Finn was born.
Along with providing fodder, her kids also are her biggest fans…and critics.
“If I’m working on a children’s book, I’ll read to them what I wrote while they were at school,” she says. “Sometimes they ask me to keep going, which is good. Other times, they’ll literally walk out of the room when I’m mid-sentence. Then I know I have some work to do.”
Erin has made the transition and now writing is her full-time career. When she’s not writing The Quirks (three books in the series are currently available, with the fourth due to hit the shelves in November of this year), she’s either working on novelizations of movies, or on her next series, Puppy Pirates.
Whereas The Quirks is targeted toward middle grade readers, Puppy Pirates is an early chapter book geared toward younger kids, who like puppies and/or pirates. The first two books in this six-book series came out in July of this year, and four more books are scheduled to be published in 2016.
So what’s next for Erin? She says she is eager to get back to some young adult novels and even a book for grown-ups.
And if you can’t make it then, perhaps you can catch her at another reading. For more information on where she will be and when, and to purchase her books, check out her website, ErinSoderberg.com.