Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of Barry Rudner, author of 'Silent Voice'

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.

Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

In the late ’70s while in graduate school, I read Shel Silverstein’s, The GivingTree, and it changed the direction of my life. I thought it was the most linear thought that has ever been committed to paper for children. I have been chasing after it ever since.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

It is the hardest business you will ever love. But once it gets into your blood, there is no remedy for it. Writing is no different than a beating heart. It beats whether you think about it or not. It is visceral.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

My writing career has been a hybrid of both. But the one thing I never did was take rejection personally. In fact, I thrived on it because it meant my manuscripts were being circulated. 

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

I am sure if my parents were alive today they would be very proud. I have a surviving sister that has always been there to encourage me throughout my career. I also have a dog that probably understands things better than I do.

Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

I once received a letter from a child and she asked, “Are you and Frankie the only animals who live in your house?” We have been together for eighteen years. I am at her beckon call. She deserves it. Although I am not proud to admit this, I have not had relationships that have lasted eighteen days. :)

What about your plants? Are they actually still alive?

Only outside they have surviving chance. I leave it to nature’s care. 

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

I have been a bachelor all my life. So most meals are eaten right over the kitchen sink. I am barely technical enough to answer my smart phone, and I only answer to my dog. She is the boss.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

Just once in my entire career, I walked into a major bookstore chain. I meandered into the children’s literature section and there, sitting on the floor was a young girl sitting cross-legged reading one of my books. I was so stunned that I was insane enough not to introduce myself and sign it for her. (She probably would have asked for proof of identification, anyway.)

How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

To be honest I do not know enough about them to comment intelligently about them. I know how important they are. The publishing company did contract with a professional organization that specializes in social media: Facebook, Twitter and google+.

Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?

We have a website which is selling various electronic formats on line of the current release, Silent Voice, and the other nine previously published books. The first nine books will also be re-released in hardcover. Since most of the my themes are very target specific we do a lot of events connected to their specific causes.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?


Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

If I may quote Thomas Paine, “I am a far better religionist than I am a religious person.” But with that being said, I truly believe that this is the way God drew me: to love science and poetry equally. I believe this intelligent design gives me a certain insight into the minds of children. In other words, as a scientist, I know the leaves fall from the trees in autumn because the trees are retaining their nutrients to survive the winter months. But, as a poet, I believe that a child would think that the trees drop their leaves to the ground like tears of paper because they mourn the passing of another year to await winter's end.

I am not a teacher. I am not an educator; and, to be quite honest, I am not even a parent. But it should be apparent to everyone how much I love what I do.

This is why, in the “scheme of things”, I “wouldn’t have it any other way”.

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