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.
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Barry: While I was in graduate school in the late ‘70s, I was at a friend’s house. He had a room mate who was taking a children’s literature course. On the kitchen table was Shel Silvertein’s, The Giving Tree. I read it, put it down and knew I would spend the rest of my life pursuing the most linear thought that has ever been committed to paper for children.
The book that was just published, Silent Voice, is a modern day allegory about autism awareness. Whether most of us are aware of it or not, children that fall within the spectrum of autism is a pandemic disorder: afflicting one in eighty-eight children worldwide. This is a staggering number. What is even more staggering, is the population who is not even aware of the problem.
Is this your first book?
Barry: No, this is not my first book. There are nine previous fairy tales or allegories written for children. They deal with universal truths such as reaching for your dreams, being yourself, disability awareness, homelessness, the ecology and other topical issues, as well as utter silliness.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Barry: This book, Silent Voice, is a hybrid of all of the methods above. Since it is so target specific, and the need for awareness so enormous in scope, we decided to take the best that all publishing genres had to offer and use them to launch its success.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Barry: It took eleven years to get my first book, The Littlest Tall Fellow, published. For anyone aspiring to become an author, do not take rejection personally. Take it as a complement. It means your work is being circulated. You are looking for that one editor who is searching for that very manuscript
you have written.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Barry: It is the toughest business you will ever love. But even editors are human. Case in point: I once met the editor at a symposium who rejected Richard Bach's, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, because there was no mass market appeal for it. Need I say more.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Barry: With the advent and evolution of digital printing today, if you feel that strongly about your project then print the book in limited numbers to circulate it. The industry has come a long way and the advantage now belongs to the author.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Barry: Firstly, learn the word “rewrite”. Even Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is #@$#.”
Secondly, learn your craft. I write children’s literature. Specifically thirty-two page picture books. But for years I read Campbell, Eliade, Fletcher, Burton, Bettelheim, Grimm and many others. I truly believe you must always remain a student.
Lastly, I recommend this book for any author who wishes to enter the arena of writing. Although it was written specifically for screenplays, its information is invaluable. More times than I wish to count, I have read this book by Robert McKee, entitled, Story. He taught me the three most important concepts I have ever read about story. The first is to always write from the inside out. The second is to always look for the turning point or transition. The third is to never fall in love with what you write: the chances are it will end up in the recycle bin.
Connect with the author and publisher on the web: