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FIVE ON FRIDAY with Barbara Robinson

Our guest this week on FIVE ON FRIDAY is celebrated Children’s author Barbara Robinson. Her The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is one of the most beloved children’s books of all time and was made into a classic television movie. She is also known for the Best Halloween Ever, My Brother Louis Measures Worms and several other favorites.

When did you know that you first wanted to be a writer?

I’m not sure I wanted to be a writer…probably didn’t dream that I ever could. I just loved writing stories and did so, from about Grade 3 on.

What book or writer/artist do you feel influenced you the most?

When I was a kid there weren’t nearly so many books for children as there are today, so I sort of devoured whatever there was and loved them all. My true favorite though – then and now – was Treasure Island.

What book or books are you currently reading or have recently read that you’d recommend to others?

I mostly read children’s books since, as we all know, they are the best. However, as I labor away to finish a couple of my own, I suffer too much guilt to really read my fill, so to speak. I tend, right now; to reread things I’ve loved…not always the author’s best known work…like Jerry Spinelli’s Space Station Seventh Grade and Kate DiCamillo’s The Tiger Rising.

If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?

Well, of course, read everything in sight because it forms your taste, write every day because it forms your habit, recognize that ours is not a profession dependent on efficiency…you have to be prepared to write six pages on Monday, tear up five of them on Tuesday…and it’s not wasted.

Can you share with us your next project or any information about the next book you’re working on?

As I said, a couple of books and a play…and I’m going to plead that old bunch of baloney…if I talk it, I won’t write it. I’m pretty sure it’s a bunch of baloney but I’m such a slow and lazy writer that I don’t dare tempt fate.

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