Bingo Book #33 is The ABCs of Writing for Children: 114 Children’s Authors and Illustrators Talk About the Art, Business, the Craft & the Life of Writing for Children’s Literature, edited by Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff. This book is a great resource to pick up and flip through when you are in need of inspiration. It is filled with quotes and anecdotes on topics ranging from writer’s block, rejection, voice, suspense, poetry, marketing, fan mail, censorship–just about any topic you could think of is covered here. Mixed in with the sections of quotes are interviews with some of our industry’s biggest names like Sid Fleischman, Richard Peck, Chris Crutcher, Jane Yolen, and (one of my childhood favorites) Zilpha Keatley Snyder.
Here’s just a handful of what you can find:
“The worst advice starts with ‘You must. . . ‘ For example, ‘You must write everyday. You must start with a complete outline. You must know your characters intimately before putting pen to paper.’ If I had to do each of these, I would never have written a word of fiction.”
–Marisa Montes (in the Worst Advice Received section)
“I make a three ring binder for my research. I read through it over and over again so it becomes a part of me. I probably use ten percent or less of what I find, but it’s the other ninety persent that makes me secure in place and time.”
–Karen Cushman (in the Research section)
“I use photographs. Any artists who say they don’t are lying! It’s a way of capturing the essence of someone. Something as simple as how your skin wrinkles over your knuckles. It helps to have the model. Generally, my stories are reality-based. But sometimes I make up a person. Then that person has to look the same in every illustration.”
–Patricia Polacco (in the For Art’s Sake section)