Betsy Byars
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Betsy Byars
Children's Author, Newbery Award Winner

    When I was a girl growing up in the Carolinas, I didn't want to be a writer. I didn't know any writers - I'd never even seen one. But their photographs looked funny, as if they'd been taken to a taxidermist and stuffed.

    Betsy Byars I read a lot, so I saw many dust-jacket photos, and it seemed to me that no matter how hard authors tried - the men put pipes in their mouths, and the women held little dogs - nothing helped. Authors, even my favorites, looked nothing like the kind of person I wanted to become.

    This corpselike look, I figured, came from sitting alone all day, in a room typing, which had to be boring and couldn't be good for you. Oh, sure, I was glad there were people willing to do this. I loved books and didn't want them to become extinct. But I cared too much about myself and my future to consider becoming one.

    When I grew up I was going to work in a zoo. I would take care of the baby animals whose mothers had rejected them. I envisioned myself in an attractive safari outfit feeding lions cubs and other exotic offspring from a bottle.

    Well, it's now been almost forty years that I've been a writer, sitting in a room all by myself, typing. In those forty years, I've probably had every emotion there is. I've had moments of great satisfaction, deep disappointment, depression, elation, surprise, rejection, acceptance, fun, sorrow, laughter, tears - you name it, I've had it. I've had every emotion but one. In all those forty years, sitting in a room all by myself, typing, I've never once been bored.

    Betsy Byars

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