Today I once again Get All Grateful on Your A** on Katie Davis‘ Brain Burps About Books podcast. It’s a special segment because it’s all about The Bologna Children’s Book Fair. I talk about specific people I met who inspired gratitude, but also about the overwhelming sense of honor I felt walking the halls and realizing that I am part of this amazing community and industry. The segment is about 10 minutes in, before the main interview, which is AWESOME! Author/Illustrator Maryann Cocca-Leffler talks about taking one of her books to the stage, and about how she sold more than a million copies of two of her books. Fascinating!
I haven’t written much about my experience in Bologna on the blog yet. I’m still writing my articles for SCBWI and CBI, and I don’t want to scoop my own self by publishing on the blog first. However, I would like to share some inspirational quotes with you from some interviews I caught in the Author’s Cafe.
- “I love to write because I can live so many lives.”
- “The world is full of people with talent, but perseverance is rare. To be a writer, you need talent and perseverance.”
- She writes for children because, “I have the same questions that children have, and I haven’t been able to answer them.”
- “I don’t publish anything I don’t love.”
- “It is very humbling to have someone say that your book inspired them to become a writer.”
Sonya Hartnett, Australian author and recipient of the 2008 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
- “When you write for children, you have to call upon every single ability you have as a writer to write a difficult scene (like war). Never do I have to reach as deep into my abilities to write for adults as I do for children.”
- “A writer lives many times, and yet doesn’t live at all. I put my entire experience into my writing. I’ve given my life to fiction.” She said in reference to sometimes feeling existential angst with regard to questions such as, ‘Who am I?’, ‘What am I?’
Ryoji Arai, Japanese Illustrator and recipient of the 2005 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
- “The ending of my stories are also a beginning. I think about that beginning when I write my stories.”
- “An artist has to find space between the words.”
- “People ask me, ‘How do you invent stories?’ I answer, ‘Well, how do you play?”
- “A child equals hope.”
Lin Oliver, U.S. Author and Executive Director of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
- She became a children’s author because she went into the L.A. Unemployment Office and saw a sign that said, “Children’s Book Writer Wanted.” She went on to say that she “hasn’t seen those words before or since.”
- “If you write for children, you are going back to your own childhood.”
- On writing for boys: “They like to laugh or be scared.”
- If you want to get published, “Read everything in the field. Write and practice your craft until you are good enough to be published.”
- On why we need to support libraries. “Librarians are people who teach you how to find information.” This is a critical skill for 21st century kids.
- “It is important that we all come to regard children’s literature as a global enterprise.” That is why SCBWI is now playing an active role in advocating diversity in children’s literature.
Which of these quotes inspires you the most?