We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristen Bobst and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristen, why did you pursue a creative career?
For me, it’s always been writing. Well, I was a kid, I wanted to be a veterinarian. However, these days, I tend to write about animals (pet care, nature conservation, fictional fauna), so, it all kinda came together. Whether it’s writing stuff that makes people laugh, provides some sense of escapism, or is educational, writing is my best hope of making some semblance of difference. That’s why I starting scribbling and why am still type-type-typing away now.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I write mostly about space, tech, and animals–or some combination of those. For career accomplishments, I am most proud of my YA graphic novel series, Style Engineers Worldwide, which is published by Global Tinker. The SEW books follow the adventures of teen engineers out to change the world for the better using technologies that they invent themselves. To get the animals in there, there’s a dog with a prosthetic leg and a plot line around saving rhinos. Speaking of animals, I am also quite proud of the work I do writing musical mobile apps for kids covering topics of climate change and animal conservation. I work with the amazing composer Shirley Choi for Happy Diamond Music Studio as a co-writer, and the apps we create represent a unique brand of whimsical, educational fun. As for overcoming challenges, one of my biggest hurdles in life is dealing with a voice disorder called spasmodic dysphonia. I was diagnosed with it when I was a kid, and took some time (years) to comes to terms with it as a fact of life. As far as professional implications, it makes things like phones nearly impossible, and pitching is, well, hard. Some people are kind about it; some are not. I’ve learned, though, that everyone has something they are trying to or need to overcome… whether it’s visible or invisible. The idea of kindness as a tool to overcome adversity shows up quite a bit in my work.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My absolute favorite place in LA is Wallis Annenberg PetSpace in Playa Vista. It’s a community center & animal adoption location featuring adoptable dogs and cats. In non-pandemic times I volunteer there, and I cannot wait to get back to scoopin’ litter boxes, helpin’ doggos, and meeting the small friends in their new Critter Corner. I always take out of town friends there, and without fail, everyone, is always impressed by just how fabulous & cool the place is. PetSpace is a high-tech, interactive facility, and they have all kinds of wonderful programs from educational seminars to training sessions to online events, and more. Oh, and I adopted my dog Willow from PetSpace! She seconds my recommendation. For restaurants, I love taking people to this delicious gem: JR’s Barbecue in Culver City. It is perfection. In the marina, I frequent Tony P’s Dockside Grill. For burgers and people watching, I take people to Hinano Cafe in Venice Beach. I also love a drive up the PCH to Point Dume or to the dog-friendly beach at Lee Carillo State Park. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to my creative friends both in Los Angeles and elsewhere. I’m lucky to have filmmaker and storytelling friends to commiserate with in regards to the highs and lows of the creative process. Shortly after I graduated from USC, I joined the Women of Cinematic Arts and had great experiences planning monthly events back in the days of 2010 with actress/filmmaker Chrissie Weatherup. My journalist and creative writer friend Laura Moss of Atlanta, GA, is a constant source of artistic support, comma usage knowledge, and cat photos. A brilliant classmate from USC, Brandie Coonis, always has the best story notes and is totally rad in general. I could go on; honestly, I count myself lucky to have many kind and talented folks in my friend circles.