Women’s History Month
In honor of Women’s History Month we’ve asked authors and illustrators in our booking service to participate in our special questionnaire. Each week we will be posting different member’s responses to the three questions below. We hope you enjoy their answers as much as we did!
1. What women writers do you admire?
2. What women in history would you invite to a dinner party?
3. What advice do you have for young women today?
Darleen Bailey Beard:
1. There are so many wonderful women writers that's it's hard to say just a few. Off the top of my head, I'd have to say Katherine Patterson, Judy Bloom, Eve Bunting. Then I have several women friends who write for children who are fabulous writers--Gwendolyn Hooks, Anna Myers, Tammi Sauer, and so many more.
2. I'd invite Eleanor Roosevelt, Lucy Maude Montgomery, and all the women suffragists who worked long and hard to allow women the right to vote.
3. Believe in yourself. Don't worry about what others are doing. Just run your race the best you can and everything will fall into place. Keep your eyes on your goal and run, girl, run!
1. There are so many to list that I want to make sure to put a disclaimer at the beginning--this is not an all-inclusive listing! But, to continue.... Top of the list: Virginia Wolf. Long before I ever dreamed of being a writer, I discovered Virginia Wolf's A Room of One's Own in college, long before I ever dreamed about being a writer. But everything she said about a woman needing a room of her own and money to support herself in order to truly create seems as brilliant to me today as it did when I first read the words. As a more contemporary option, I admire Sandra Boynton. So many times I read her books and then pay her the highest compliment I could give another writer: I wish that I'd written that same book first.
2. Again, so many to list, but here's a few: Cleopatra: The jewels, the power, the men...who wouldn't want to know how she handled all of that? Belva Lockwood: I admire her so much, I wrote a biography of her! Mary Magdalene: I'd love to get the inside scoop on the most influential book ever writtenâ€¦. Jane Austen: Could there be a better brain to pick for story ideas? Marie Antoinette: I'd want to watch her eat cake...
3. Know who you are, and be that person no matter what challenges you face. Live until it hurts, as life is too short to take the safe path. Be proud of everything you do, because chances are if you are ashamed of it, you shouldn't have done it.
1. Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, and Margaret Mitchell.
2. Eleanor Roosevelt, Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Helen Keller, Amelia Earhart, Mother Teresa, and Princess Diana.
3. To make certain that their self-definition and the direction their life is moving are compatible. To speak up and recognize that assertive communication is an important skill to learn. To live in the present.
1. Lois Lowry, E.L. Konigsburg, Margaret Atwood, Candice Millard, and Donna Jo Napoli.
2. All of the above.
3. Don't be afraid to "talk back". Take every math course available to you!
1. Margaret Atwood, Isabel Allende, Ann Patchett, and Amy Tan.
2. Mary Magdalene, to ask if she ever wrote an account of Jesus' teachings.
3. Believe in yourself, listen to your inner voice, and be persistent.
1. Of course I admire Jane Austen for her insight into the human heart. I also admire Beatrix Potter for the tender charm and imagination she imbued her books with. And I am particularly enchanted by Daphne du Maurier whose stories are so complex and so far ahead of her time!
2. This was hard as I couldn't think of many. The two that come to mind are Queen Elizabeth the first--can't imagine what she would have to say about life and men and power, and Maggie Walker, a woman I just researched for a children's book I wrote as part of a series for an educational publisher. Maggie Walker captivated me because she was the first African American woman to charter a bank back in 1903!
3. Life for women today is primarily about choice. There is no inherently right or wrong choice in terms of lifestyles (well, except self-destructive ones), but each choice should be made in accordance with an individual's heart and strengths, knowing that we can't have it all because each choice limits our options. And no one should judge another's choice except to see if it is the best possible way of using her talents.