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  • Writer's pictureMary Boone

Six Questions with Kimberly Wilson

Kimberly Wilson is the pun-loving children’s book author of A Penny’s Worth, a nominee for the 2024 Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award, A Dollar’s Grand Dream, and A Credit Card Takes Charge (Fall 2024), all illustrated by the cent-sational Mark Hoffmann and published by Page Street Kids. As a full-time writer, she enjoys sprinkling wordplay, humor, heart, and educational tidbits into her writing.

When she’s not writing, Kimberly enjoys volunteering with local literacy nonprofits, browsing the shelves of her favorite bookstores and local library, and unwinding at yoga class. Kimberly lives in North Carolina with her husband, two daughters, and their dog. You can find her on Instagram, X, Bluesky, and at

1.     Do you ever struggle to come up with your next project? Or do you have lots of ideas and find it a challenge to narrow down your ideas?

Thanks to Tara Lazar’s Storystorm and brainstorming sessions with my critique partners and agent, I feel like I always have a long list of project ideas. I am frequently excited about many at the same time. Unless there is a specific reason to focus on one, I typically end up prioritizing the project that speaks to me most—the one where I know the plot and message and can visualize my main character and know their personality, motivation, goals, stakes, and growth. In other words, if I can write a pitch for the story, it flies to the top of my list, and I’m ready to write it.

2.     What three things bring you joy?

As a writer, I find joy in so many parts of the process, like finding the perfect pun or coming up with a line that fits seamlessly into the emotional arc. If it’s both at the same time, even better! I truly love being part of the kidlit community, so meeting up with critique partners or attending conferences are highlights for me. One thing I treasure is visiting with young book lovers at school visits—it is seriously the BEST!

Apart from writing, spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, and doing yoga are high on my list of joyful moments!

3.     What are you working on? What’s next for you?

A Credit Card Takes Charge, illustrated by Mark Hoffmann and published by Page Street Kids, releases this fall! I also have a couple projects under contract that have not been announced yet, so I’m super-excited to share those with everyone soon. I have some other manuscripts out on sub and some at the revision stage. Lots of fun stuff!

4.     Where did you get the idea for A Dollar's Grand Dream? What was the inspiration?

In late 2021, as the launch of A Penny's Worth (April 19, 2022) approached, Mark Hoffmann asked me if I had any song ideas for some promotional reels he was putting together for Instagram. The songs, If I Had a Million Dollars and Billionaire got stuck in my head, and I knew Big Bill needed his own story!

5.     Was this always the title for this project? If not, what other titles did you consider and how did you land on this one?

The title I had on the first draft was “Million Dollar Bill,” but as I did research, I quickly learned the biggest bill ever circulated in the U.S. was the $10,000 bill. So, then I changed it to “Big Bill’s Grand Life,” which was the working title when it sold. At that point, the editorial team and I brainstormed a list of alternate ideas and all agreed on A Dollar's Grand Dream, which I love!

6.     What was the process or timeline for this book, from idea to publishing?

This one was quick—two years and a few months from idea to book release! I had the idea in February of 2021. We sent the completed manuscript to my editor at the end of April and had an offer approximately one month later! The book came out July 11, 2023.

Are you a traditionally published middle-grade or picture book creator? Would you like to be featured on SIX QUESTIONS? We have opening in late 2024 into 2025. Email for details.

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