Interviews With Authors

Our next interview is with Charlotte Ostermann, the author of The Crystal Queen. If you are interested in reading this story; you can contact the author at or contact me and I will make sure your request reaches her.

Write a little bit about your story. Try to give the basics of its plot line:
The Sky King’s wife is a crystal lady, who goes through their kingdom with their rainbow of little glass daughters enjoying the lives of their subjects. Trouble starts with rumors of the kingdom being divided into dowries for the girls. After a lot of misunderstanding and down-sliding, they gradually find their way back to peace and better understanding of one another’s contributions to the kingdom.

The title of your story is The Crystal Queen. Where in the development of your story did the title come to mind? At the beginning; in the middle; at the end? What sort of other titles came to mind? Why did you choose this one in particular?
It was named as I saw the lady rising from the sands as the Sky King beamed down upon them with his heart full of yearning for a wife.

Is The Crystal Queen a story you would ever consider publishing?
I’d love to publish it! Alas, it is maybe too wordy for a picture book (tho’ it DEMANDS to have lovely pictures!) and too Christian for a secular publisher and too high a vocabulary for children (tho’ it’s meant to be read aloud) and too poetic for people used to modern dialogue….sigh…!

How did the idea for The Crystal Queen come to mind? What sort of things inspired it?
I saw the Queen rising and it all came from there….then, the rainbow imagery came from dear (now deceased) Chiara Lubich, who has taught so many about the love of Christ and the way to live in unity with others through uniting yourself to His passion and desire for unity among His followers (John, Ch. 17)…she speaks of the many ways in which different people express love in community, and saw the rainbow as a way of illustrating how all our ways and gifts must be united to be most effective.

The main character in this story is the near invisible Queen. Does this name have any particular meaning or connections for you?
Her near-invisibility, combined with her graceful and commanding presence, transparency to the light of her King, love for all his subjects, and beauty remind me of Mary, the Mother of Christ. Her flawed humanity, need for a sense of humor, and self-protective response to attack remind me of all the moms I know. I’ve often reminded young moms that they are meant to be Queenly like this in their own homes, so that thinking got in here.

Have you considered writing a sequel to The Crystal Queen?
No, but I’d like to add a photo album (in the same illustration style as the book) at the end, with ‘pics’ of the girls’ weddings.

Is there anything about this story that you would consider changing at some point?
If there were some minor point that an illustrator thought was important, I’d change text to correspond to their visualization of the story.

Are there any particular scenes in The Crystal Queen which you especially enjoyed reading and/or writing?
I love the one with Rhubarb, the monkey!

How good do you consider this in comparison to your other stories? Is it better than most of them? Worse?
I’ve not done but two whole children’s stories, and they are so different it’s hard to compare them…..I love each one most when it’s the one on my mind!

Out of all the characters in The Crystal Queen, which one do you identify with most? Tell a little bit about that character.
I guess I’d have to relate to the Crystal Queen herself, since she’s the Mom. I like the way people can look through her, and see whoever she’s looking at with her love. I think this is a big part of being a mother….to hold people in your heart as they are held in God’s, and not just see their current smallness, lameness, brokenness.

About how long did it take you to bring this story to its current state of completion?
About 20 hours writing, 4-ish to type, a few more for editing, rewriting, retyping.

Is there anything else you would like to say about The Crystal Queen?
I am happy just to have this story, whether it gets published or not…it makes me happy!

Would you like to give any contact information, give a pen name, or remain completely anonymous?
I’m happy to be known: Charlotte Ostermann, and would be happy to be contacted if anyone had comments or questions: charoster 'at' yahoo 'dot' com.

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