October 19, 2006 at 6:41 a.m.
Trandahl’s short stories about life with a big family have found a niche in the publishing world and are quickly helping her become well-known in a fast-growing genre.
Three of Trandahl’s stories are contained in anthologies released this month – Chicken Soup For the Shopper’s Soul, Chicken Soup for Busy Moms and a Cup of Comfort for Mothers to Be.
She also has three more stories which have been accepted as part of three more works, including the Teacher Miracle Book, Chicken Soup Cooking with Kids and Chicken Soup for New Moms.
Trandahl humbly describes her experiences as a wife, mom and freelance writer as “nothing special” or extraordinary from most people’s lives. The difference is she has found the humor in every day life and relayed those stories to readers in a way that appeals to a mass audience.
“I find beauty in every day things,” Trandahl said.
For instance, her story in Busy Moms was about the trials and tribulations of having a broken dishwasher. Her family of eight soon discovered that everyone working together to get the dishes done was actually a lot of fun.
Her story in Shopper’s Soul is about her embarrassment as a young girl when she was forced to tag along when her mom shopped for intimate apparel.
The stories are short – less than 1,500 words, but the demand for more has kept Trandahl busy.
Trandahl put her career as an elementary education teacher on hold when she started her family, but her minor in writing lured her back to expressing her creative side.
After joining a local writer’s group, River Voices, Trandahl was encouraged to submit her works to publishing companies.
She started by simply browsing the Internet two years ago, looking for submission requests from publishers.
“You format your piece the way they want it and email it – anyone can do it,” Trandahl said.
Now that Trandahl’s works have been accepted in several different publications, she said work now comes to her.
“They solicit me now by letting me know about new books coming along,” she said.
The pay isn’t great for her stories, but it is a nice supplement. Trandahl said she convinced her husband that it would “all work out” when they became a one-income family. It also helps when the publishers pay her for book signings and give her big discounts on copies of the books.
Trandahl isn’t relying on anthologies like the Chicken Soup series to get all her work published, however. She is also currently working on a memoir book about finding time for a weekly prayer hour with her children and the funny experiences they have had along the way and a Chicken Soup Teen Planner, which will include inspirational stories geared toward teen girls.
She has had book signings recently at Coffee Depot in Chisago City and another one in Blaine.