Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, novelist Judy Blume (1938-) has captured what children feel and think by creating popular characters and frank stories based on familiar experiences.
One fan confessed that she, too, talked to God like Margaret did in Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret (1970), a memorable Blume book about sorting through the challenges of adolescence.
"The best books come from someplace inside," Blume explained. "You donít write because you want to, but because you have to. Become emotionally involved. If you donít care about your characters, your readers wonít either."
About her writing technique, Blume added, "I am a rewriter. That's the part I like best. I despise, and am terrified by, a first draft. But once I have a pile of paper to work with, it's like having the pieces of a puzzle. I just have to put the pieces together to make a picture."
She encouraged writers to read their work aloud. "When you read aloud, you can hear what doesn't work."
By remembering what growing up was like, Blume writes from the child's point of view. The first to write candidly about what it's like to be a sexually active teen, she has been a vocal critic of censorship. Self-esteem and peer acceptance are also prevalent themes and her books.
Blume won the 2004 National Book Award for contributions to American letters. Her books have sold over 75 million copies worldwide and have been translated into over 20 languages.
She said, "The more you write, the more you learn, the better you get. And that helps you become a professional writer."
Put your ideas on paper and watch them grow.