Author, dreamer, geocacher — Interview with Kat Kronenberg

Trackable fans know of her, children love her books, and dreamers dream bigger because of her. Kat Kronenberg is at the center of everything wholesome in our world. If you are not familiar with her, she is a best-selling and award-winning author who lives in Austin, Texas. Her two popular children’s books “Dream Big” and “Love Big” carry positive messages to children and adults alike. If this sounds familiar to you as a geocacher, it’s likely because of the two trackable promotions in recent years. Between her two campaigns, 2,600 trackables have been released and have travelled a cumulative 7 million miles  (11 million km) to 114 countries.

Kat chose to work with Geocaching HQ because she herself is a geocacher and has a connection to the community:

“The treasure hunt theme and community are why I decided to partner with Geocaching. I have to be true to my vision and if I am going to put any time and resources to building the vision of what my books are intended to be this was the place to do it. Mine started in Austin, Texas with the hope to make it to Africa. So far it has been to Hawaii and is in Canada now. AMAZING!”

The ups and downs of life are something Kat is intimately familiar with. Her story is inspirational, intriguing, and full of love. We interviewed Kat Kronenberg to share her amazing journey.

 

Where did you find the inspiration to become an author?

I would say my stories needed to be written. They found me while closing my eyes taking in the music at a symphony. I don’t know if you’d call it God or divine inspiration, but it was like it whacked me over the head; that I was meant to write books about the power of a smile to encourage us all to live our best life. I think I got the whack because I have dealt with a lot of hardship and heartache in my life from losing a perfectly healthy brother and sister at different times suddenly from undiagnosed arrhythmias. I have a defibrillator as a result.

I have also lost my brother-in-law, and both my parents suddenly and at different times which led me on a quest to better understand the hows and whys in life. I could ramble on for hours with some of the amazing heroes I have come across, stories, books I have read, but the overall take away was that the folks who could really rise above to live their best life no matter their circumstances had two powerful things in common – a smile and the ability to believe.

I call a smile a “U-Shaped Bridge.” A bridge is span that allows two fixed points that would never meet over chasms or obstacles to connect. These folks used their smiles to connect their head to their hearts, our lives to one another, and our dreams to the power of  “Something Bigger.” They also had an ability to believe in themselves, in others, and in the power of “Something Greater.” I wanted that! I have since found it in my life, and I want the same things for kids and families which is why I am writing a The Live Big Trilogy to hopefully accomplish just that!

Why did you choose to write for children?

My books are based in the wilds of East Africa when life first began – a mythological fable of sorts – to help explain the how and why certain animals came to be. Children can see themselves in animals and nature and it’s evolution has so much it can teach us, there are so many things we can learn.

I think the story ended up being for children because they are books I needed as a little girl. I like to say they are books with shoes. Hopefully, kids that are struggling with heartache and tough issues as kids like I did, can find hope and some direction with what the books alongside the website www.katkronenberg.com have to offer.

You have an interesting origin story when it comes to geocaching. How did you begin?

One of the themes in my book is that we are all made of a priceless, timeless treasure, a gift called stardust. It is scientifically proven to live above us, around us, and within us all. We all have hearts of stars, treasure in our chest. So while doing research for my books while googling treasure chests and hunts I came across geocaching. I was blown away. What an incredible world I just discovered: a worldwide treasure hunt that all ages, nationalities can play, everyone is included and it builds incredible community – everything I want my books to represent and facilitate.

I had to learn more so I went to a local Geocaching Event, knowing no one or nothing. Plus, I am the most non-tech savvy person in the world so I needed to find a friend. I came across an amazing lady, Gadget Girl, that was willing to take me and my young boys out geocaching and show us how it is done.

We had an absolute blast. The first cache we found was one where you find a treasure and leave a treasure. The boys thought that was the best, and we got to sign our names to prove we were there. The next one we found, I am not sure what kind of cache you call it, it was so long ago, probably 15 years ago, but it was tiny magnet one on a bench in the parking lot of a shopping center where we just signed our name.  

Gadget Girl some ten years later met with me again, nice person in the world, to help me open my own geocaching account and further explain the tech side to everything so I could start doing it on my own. Then a couple years later, she came to my event in Austin and was in charge of passing out The Catch-M Trackables to my winners.

Do you still attend geocaching events?

life has been so busy with family, writing, and school visits that not until my second promotion did i think to weave in events so YES, I have gotten to go and host events where I could actually meet fellow cachers – a thrill – and hand deliver a Trackable rather than just through the mail, which I have to say has been a highlight of my year!

What message do you want to get across to your readers young and old?

Life is better together! Together “WE” can be more so let’s all DREAM BIG & LOVE BIG in 2019!!

As a creator, where does your motivation come from?

The constant tapping on the shoulder. This whole thing is bigger than me. It wants to be out in the world, and it has a drive that keeps tapping, reminding me to get out there and get everyone fired up to celebrate our incredible world and living our best lives together.

If someone reading this is contemplating making a commitment to something “Big” what words would you share with them?

Dare to dream and go BIG it is the grandest adventure you can take and I really think what we are all here to do! Each one of us with our own unique gifts and experiences.

————————————————————–

Are you interested in learning more about Kat’s story and her next book? You can check out her blog and read about her life on her website https://katkronenberg.com.

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew is a community manager at Geocaching HQ. He is typically laughing at his own jokes, getting into mischief with Signal, or looking for the next adventure.