“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. ” – Gandalf
Andrew Zellgert is a children’s author who grew up in St. Cloud Minnesota and attended Minnesota Virtual Academy.
His books are typically written in the sci-fi genre and deal with the calamities of real life in the form of sci-fi allegories. He currently has 6 in general releases – Nerdia, The Spectrum of Light, The Frozen Time, Split, The Adventures of Wally Winderkins, which was featured in a small art exhibition, and ICDA.
His latest book, A Night at the Cinema, is a collection of three novellas, two short stories, and eight poems. The concept is to provide the reader with an epic, cinematic experience while remaining engaging, heartfelt, and enjoyable.
Today, Andrew still lives in St. Cloud, with his pet cat, Edith. Currently, Andrew is building his own literary universe he nicknames the ZLU. You can learn more about it here: https://www.zellgertbooks.com/zlu
You can contact or connect with Andrew Zellgert at:
Describe yourself in five words
Imaginative, Adventurous, Curious, Mysterious, and Amusing.
What fact about yourself would really surprise people?
I am introverted
How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
I convert them into stories. Self-doubts and fears are antagonists begging to be defeated
What scares you the most?
Spiders. I have to channel my inner Ron Weasley somehow!
What makes you happiest?
Seeing the look on peoples faces when a story I have written changed their life.
Why do you write?
One of the biggest things that many people lose as they grow up is their imagination. I want to bring that back to them. To embrace the impossible. To bring them places they would never have known existed!
Have you always enjoyed writing?
Oh yes! I have always enjoyed writing! I especially love the satisfaction of finishing a book (Though it’s a bittersweet moment)
What motivates you to write?
I find if the story is worth telling, that motivates me the most. I tend to write stories that involve the calamities of real life and learning how to overcome those challenges is always worth telling!
What writing are you most proud of?
I am proud of ICDA. This work was my first worldwide release and was overall the most successful! It was very imaginative, and I had a lot of fun writing it!
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
Figuring out a schedule that works for me. I have always struggled with routine, so having this established is a huge accomplishment for me.
What books did you love growing up?
Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Phantom Tollbooth, and The Little Prince
What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
That I ‘Made people laugh and smile’
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I grew up (and still live) in St. Cloud Minnesota. It is my favorite place to gather inspiration and story ideas. The streets can be very quiet and peaceful which is helpful for writing ideas down.
How did you develop your writing?
Mainly through my creative writing instructor, Miss. R and librarian I knew named Lois.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Marketing. It is true the other two options are hard, but marketing is very difficult. Convincing someone who doesn’t know you to purchase a book they know nothing about can be tricky, but very rewarding when it pays off.
What marketing works for you?
I find the best marketing that works for me are giveaways. I love them because I get to share my stories and the readers love them because they get something for free!
Do you find it hard to share your work?
Sometimes. It depends upon how personal the story is and how much I have worked on it.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
Yes! Ever since I started writing my family and friends have been there to support me and my work. I am really appreciative of the help they have given me!
What else do you do, other than write?
I love to design board games with my brother. Even if they are way too complicated to ever make it to market, we still enjoy creating them.
What other jobs have you had in your life?
I broadcast a youth orchestra in the St. Cloud area. I love seeing all of their hard work pay off and seeing the online community react to their talent!
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
Creative Writing. I find no matter how old you are there is always room for improvement!
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
At first, I was going to say on an alien planet one hundred years ago, but I realized that is not on Earth. I would probably enjoy a small, quiet town such as Bufford MN.
Tell us about your family?
All of my family members are artists so it should come as no surprise that I ended up in that category as well. My mother creates paper mache sculptures of geodes, my father plays and teaches violin, and my brother is still deciding what he wants to be.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
I write on a desktop computer at a desk. I find when I use this setup, I get more work done.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
At least eight hours. Anything lower than that calls for coffee!
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
El Holly. She is a fantasy author, I met online. She is a great friend and has really helped shape my writing and get me to where I am now.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
Seeing the joy and happiness in my readers eyes when they finish a book or read something surprising. The little lightbulb inside their head that gives them the inspiration to write their own work. I have done my job if the reader feels immersed in the story and is happy to be immersed.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
I write for children and young teens, so I tend to market towards parents with children. Though I primarily target kids, I have found many adults who have enjoyed my stories as well!
Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?
My new book is titled ‘A Night at the Cinema.’ It is a collection containing three novellas, two short stories, and eight poems. I wanted to create a volume of works that felt like the movies. In this collection there is a sci-fi epic, a thriller, and a fantasy story. I sprinkled in a mixture of different age groups and genres to create interest. I wrote it primarily to give a feeling of awe and wonder. To inspire chills and fear. To have the reader finish the collection and say: “That was epic.”
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
Norton Juster. He wrote one of my favorite books, The Phantom Tollbooth, and he just passed away last year.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I tend to listen to a lot of music in my spare time as well as keeping up to date with my author friends.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
A lot of my writing focuses on real calamities in real life. The one thing I hope people learn from my work is how to overcome them. From worry to depression. Anxiety to fear. I want children and teens alike to have the tools they need to face those monsters and inevitably defeat them.