AuthorsFrom the Wire

Q & A with Karina Yan Glaser

Join us for a Q & A session with the talented author, Karina Yan Glaser, as she shares insights into her beloved “The Vanderbeekers” series. Inspired by her love of books about big families and her childhood dream of living in New York City, Glaser brings to life the story of a large biracial family living in Harlem. With the series expanding from its initial plan of two standalone books to seven, Glaser tackles tough issues such as homelessness, loss, and illness, while emphasizing the importance of community support. Drawing on her experience working closely with her editor, Glaser takes us on a journey of writing and revision, culminating in the emotional conclusion of the final book, “The Vanderbeekers Ever After.” Through this captivating series, Glaser has left an indelible mark on the world of big-family NYC books and continues to inspire readers young and old.

Q  A with Karina Yan Glaser

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Introduction to Karina Yan Glaser

Karina Yan Glaser is a talented author known for her popular book series, “The Vanderbeekers.” This heartwarming series centers around a large biracial family living in Harlem, New York. Glaser’s books have captivated readers of all ages and have touched the hearts of many with their relatable characters and heartfelt stories.

Inspiration for ‘The Vanderbeekers’

Glaser drew inspiration for “The Vanderbeekers” from her love of books about big families and her childhood dream of living in the bustling city of New York. Growing up, she was always enchanted by tales of close-knit families navigating the challenges and joys of life together. This passion for family dynamics and the charm of New York City came together to form the foundation of her beloved series.

Writing Journey

Glaser’s journey as a writer began after she took a children’s book writing course and participated in National Novel Writing Month. These experiences ignited her creativity and motivated her to bring her own stories to life. She embarked on a writing journey, discovering her unique voice and storytelling abilities along the way.

Q  A with Karina Yan Glaser

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The Vanderbeekers Series

Original Plan and Expansion

Initially, Glaser planned for “The Vanderbeekers” series to consist of just two standalone books. However, as she delved deeper into the lives of the Vanderbeeker family, Glaser realized that their story had so much more to offer. The series expanded organically as the characters grew and new ideas emerged. What started as two books blossomed into an incredible seven-book series, much to the delight of fans.

Addressing Tough Issues

One of the remarkable aspects of “The Vanderbeekers” series is its ability to tackle tough issues with grace and sensitivity. Glaser fearlessly incorporates themes such as homelessness, the death of a close friend, and a life-threatening illness into her stories. By addressing these real-life experiences, Glaser highlights the strength and resilience of her characters, while also emphasizing the importance of community support and empathy.

Writing Process

Glaser approaches each book in the series with a similar writing process. She starts with a fast first draft, pouring her ideas onto the page without worrying about perfection. This helps her capture the essence of the story and allows her characters to come to life. Once the first draft is complete, Glaser revises and refines, paying close attention to pacing, character development, and plot intricacies. Her dedication to creating engaging and heartfelt stories is evident in each book of “The Vanderbeekers” series.

Working with Ann Rider

Throughout the series, Glaser had the pleasure of working with editor Ann Rider. Their collaborative relationship spanned six of the seven books in the series. Glaser speaks highly of Rider, expressing her appreciation for her valuable insights and guidance. It is clear that the partnership between Glaser and Rider played a significant role in shaping the success and impact of “The Vanderbeekers” series.

Finale Book

“The Vanderbeekers Ever After” serves as the final book in the series. Gently wrapping up the storylines and bidding farewell to the beloved characters, this book holds a special place in Glaser’s heart. The themes of family working through difficult times and the growth of both families and communities are beautifully highlighted. As Glaser read the final book with her child, she experienced a flood of emotions, realizing that it marked the end of an era. The finale book serves as a testament to Glaser’s talent as an author and the enduring impact of “The Vanderbeekers” series.

Q  A with Karina Yan Glaser

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Karina Yan Glaser’s “The Vanderbeekers” series has captured the hearts of readers with its relatable characters, heartwarming stories, and thoughtful exploration of tough issues. Glaser’s journey as a writer, from her initial inspiration to the expansion of the series, showcases her dedication to storytelling. The collaborative efforts with editor Ann Rider and the emotional experience of reading the series’ finale book demonstrate the profound impact these stories have had, not only on readers but also on the author herself. Glaser feels honored to be mentioned alongside other notable authors who have written big-family, New York City books and takes pride in the legacy that “The Vanderbeekers” series will leave behind.