My colleague, Stephanie Anderson, interviewed Judy Blume last night. Ms. Blume is on tour for her book, In the Unlikely Event. The text below was captured as fast as I could manage it during the Q&A session.
“Teachers and librarians are the ones to put the right book with the right characters in the right hands at the right time.”
“Reading should be something you do for pleasure. I’m so worried about tests turning kids off from resting.”
Thank God for George. We talk to each other in code.
“I can know all those secrets (of adults), and if I don’t know, I make them up.”
“Dystopian fiction isn’t my thing, but so what.” That’s why it’s so important that they have lots of options in their reading.
“Tony Bennett singing Because of You. happens in a very important book. It’s the sexiest part.”
Writing advice: start with the day that something different happens. You need a great editor. We all do.
I track them. I’m very proud of Blubber. I’m glad I wrote that.
I made a calendar to track things in Blubber.
For characters, I know where it’s going, but in the middle that’s where it gets really scary. I think of books like jigsaw pieces. I then have to put them together. The first draft is me figuring it out. Everyone figures out their own process.
My mind is cluttered and messy. There is no one way. Whatever works.
I only work on one project at a time. John Updike did fiction in one room, then essays over here, and reviews over there.
Now when I start something, I stay with it. In the beginning, I started a lot of things. I kept them. It’s good to see where you came from.
I hate beginning.
If someone talks on the phone in my hearing, I’ll listen.