Congratulations and a mighty woo-HOO to Robin Blasberg, winner of this year’s Jack Reid author scholarship for our upcoming 25th Annual SCBWI MD/DE/WV 25 and We Still R(ev)ise Conference! To help celebrate her accomplishment, (as well as our illustrator winner, Young Vo,) I thought it’d be fun having her do a Coffee & Conversation interview … since y’all know I love a good coffee and conversation. Enjoy!
Robin Blasberg has had pieces accepted by both Cricket Media’s Ladybug magazine as well as Highlights’ High Five magazine. Most recently, her work was published in the August 2017 issue of the latter. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
Now on to the interview!
Robin, what was your favorite book as a child? As a teen? As an adult?
My favorite book as a child—Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. As a teen … quite honestly, I was disappointed in the books that I read as a teenager. As an adult, I read the YA novel, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I thought it was wonderful! It wasn’t written, though, until well after my youth. My favorite book as an adult—The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.
What is your favorite writing/illustrating how-to book, technique, or website that has helped your craft or provided inspiration?
Just Write: Here’s How! by Walter Dean Myers. While I do not follow all of the techniques advocated in this book, I thought it was very inspiring.
Tell us about your writing/illustrating journey. When did it begin?
My journey began in 2014. I had had a long, stressful commute for over a decade after which I was presently racing home and shuttling my children to their activities. While I was thrilled that my children were having so much fun, I started wondering about myself. It forced me to come to terms with what my job was and what it wasn’t. After a long search, I found a new position near home. The shortened drive definitely improved the quality of my life, but I was also seeking an avocation that would provide additional fulfillment. I remembered how much I had enjoyed writing stories when I was in elementary school, so I picked up a pen. I started writing poems and submitting them to children’s magazines like Ladybug and Highlights High Five. It’s been a lot of “learning by doing” since then.
You’ve been locked in a bank vault Twilight Zone style, so you finally have time to read! What’s the first book you crack open?
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. Perseverance and positive thinking are key!
For one day, time travel is a reality and you have the opportunity to visit any famous deceased author/artist you want. Who do you pick?
Crockett Johnson—I love his illustrations as well as his imaginative story Harold and the Purple Crayon.
You magically find a $100 bill in your box of cereal. In what frivolous way would you spend it?
I might buy tickets to the theatre.
What is your favorite quote?
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.—Lao Tzu
What do you enjoy doing when not writing?
Reading, listening to music, talking to friends and family, going out for coffee, and occasionally hiking.
Awesome, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and congrats again! I’m looking forward to meeting you at the conference.
And be sure to be on the lookout for more pre-conference interviews!