Barry Rudner has been an author/poet of self-esteem books for children for over thirty years, dealing with universal truths such as, reaching for your dreams, homelessness, undying friendships, disability awareness, always being yourself, autism awareness, hope and utter silliness. He firmly believes that we cannot educate our children unless they feel good about who they are; and ultimately, as they grow up, they will not feel good about themselves unless they educate themselves.
Welcome to Blogger News, Barry! When did you decide you wanted to become an author?
I decided to become an author while I was in graduate school in the late ’70s trying to earn a Masters degree in neuroanatomy in the hopes of being admitted into medical school. I was at a friend’s house, and he had a room mate who was taking a children’s literature course. On the kitchen table was Shel Silverstein’s, The Giving Tree. It immediately changed the direction of my life. For children, at least, it remains the most linear thought ever committed to paper; and, everyday I try to emulate its absolute brilliance.
Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story?
The story, Silent Voice, is a modern day allegory about autism awareness: that the only ought in autism is that we ought not ever give up. Ever. Most of the general population has no idea of the pandemic occurrence of this disorder: one in eighty-eight children worldwide fall within the spectrum. Their story not only needs to be told, but it needs to be heard. There is a dire need to show those who have a child that falls within the spectrum of autism that there are many who care and are aware; and secondly, to address those parents lucky enough to have healthy children until it inexplicably happens to their child; and then it becomes incomprehensible.
Agatha Christie got her best ideas while eating green apples in the bathtub. Steven Spielberg says he gets his best ideas while driving on the highway. When do you get your best ideas and why do you think this is?
My best ideas come from listening to children, and using a thesaurus, dictionary and rhyming dictionary. For me, they are all indispensable tools.
How was your experience in looking for a publisher? What words of advice would you offer those novice authors who are in search of one?
It took almost eleven years to become published. For anyone aspiring to become an author, do not take rejection personally. Take it as a complement. It means your work is being circulated. You are looking for that one editor who is searching for that very manuscript which you have written. Case in point: I once met the editor at a symposium who rejected Richard Bach’s, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, because there was no mass market appeal for it. Need I say more.
Do you have any favorite books?
I think Shel Silverstein’s, The Giving Tree, is the most linear thought ever put down on paper for children. In general, I think Abraham Lincoln’s, Gettysburg Address, is the finest thing ever written. It is so brilliant, he took less than a page to write it!
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
More than once I have read a book by Robert McKee, entitled, Story. He taught me the three most important concepts I have ever read about story. The first is to always write from the inside out. The second is to always look for the turning point. The third is to never fall in love with what you write: the chances are it will end up on the floor.
Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?
Yes. Silent Voice is being offered in hardcover and other various electronic versions, as well as the nine previously published books on www.nickoftime.us.
Anything else you’d like to say about yourself or your work?
I have always considered myself as barely-an-author. (Which is much more fun than barely not-being-an-author.) Ten books published, in my mind, does not make me an author. It just makes me published. Being well read makes me an author. I bear that in mind everyday.
Thanks for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here!