A Message From Blue Balliett
When I speak with readers of any age, I always try to share the nitty-gritty of dreaming up, writing, and living with these books. As a kid, I remember thinking that it all looked so impossible, the path to a published piece of work; I like to let writers of any age — but especially kids, of course! — know that what I do isn't all that different from what they are doing, and whenever possible I show them what a manuscript page looks like, what my writing notebooks look like, or how dreadful my handwriting is when I'm just scribbling down my own ideas. I like to show them what my desk looks like when I'm in the middle of working on a book (not a pretty sight). I do believe that there's a place for mess in all kinds of creativity — and, in time, an essential place for neatness so that ideas can be communicated.
I try to share secrets that will inspire others to do the things I love to do, as a mom, a classroom teacher, and now a full-time author. I am always so happy when I hear from kids that my books have inspired them to try something they might not otherwise have dared to try, or to work toward changing something in their world that kids don't usually tackle. Determination, creative thinking, collaboration...these are all so valuable, and without them I wouldn't be doing what I do, and I wouldn't be communicating with all the amazing kids and readers who are now a part of my world. The inspiration goes two ways!