In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
****** I thought I would begin a new post series every few weeks: Interviewing authors and favorite people: I’m choosing to interview people whom I admire and appreciate. I decided that it would be wonderful to begin with someone who I’ve appreciated for years as an expert for leading parents in creation and sustenance of mother-daughter book clubs (they don’t necessarily need to be mother-daughter book clubs.) Cindy Hudson:
I met Cindy Hudson years ago through my good bookseller friend at Powells. I appreciated Cindy’s ambition to help others create book clubs and also all the amazing knowledge she had on books, quality book discussion questions, and book club management. I was quite excited to find out about the publishing of her book: Book by Book that I was able to recommend and hand to numerous parents over the years. I highly recommend sharing this book with anyone who wants to create or enrich their book club. Additionally, Cindy continues to read, write book reviews, and post wonderful ideas on her blog: http://motherdaughterbookclub.com Here are my past two book club posts: I already blogged about Cindy Hudson in this post: Mother Daughter Book Clubs I also wrote about my former after-school book club in this post: Student Book Clubs
Goodreads summary for Book by Book The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs by Cindy Hudson – Mothers and daughters share a special bond. . . why not further this bond through reading together? Book clubs have been growing in popularity over the past ten years, started by a variety of people with various interests and goals. Mother-daughter book clubs offer a great way for families to grow and share — with each other and with other mother-daughter pairs. In Book by Book Cindy Hudson offers all the how-to tips mothers need to start their own successful book clubs. Hudson offers her own firsthand experience as the founder of two long-running successful mother-daughter book clubs.
Hudson offers suggestions on books topics, club guidelines, and how to keep the club going as daughters grow older. How big should the club be? Whom should we invite? How often should we meet? How do we make sure we actually read the books? Hudson has all the answers. With recommended book lists (divided by four age groups), online resources, and suggested recipes for book-club treats, Book by Book is a great resource for helping moms and daughters form new memories and traditions.
Here is my interview with Cindy Hudson:
What was your favorite childhood book memory?
My favorite memory is not of a particular book but of my library. It was in an old Victorian-style home in Plaquemine, Louisiana, and each room was crammed with books. I remember devouring shelves and shelves of books in the middle grade room, then being thrilled to move to another room as I became interested in young adult books.
Are there any authors or books that you liked as a child that you still read now?
Yes! I was lucky to have daughters who are not only interested in reading, but who allowed their mom to read some of her favorite childhood books to them. It started out early with books like Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman and Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Later we read some of my favorite middle grade books from childhood, which were Drake, the Man They Called a Pirate by Jean Lee Latham and The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. The three of us just finished reading The Hobbit by J. R. R.Tolkien.
Have you read any children’s literature books recently?
I read children’s and young adult books frequently so I can continue to recommend new titles to readers and members of mother-daughter book clubs. For books read see: http://motherdaughterbookclub.com
What was a favorite genre you read as a child? How have your tastes changed as an adult?
As a child, historical fiction was my favorite genre. I was always interested in how people lived in the past. While I still enjoy historical fiction, I now tend to read more general fiction where the characters are living in present times. I really like reading about how characters handle issues that many people may currently be facing. I also like to read non-fiction about current issues.
Do you still have any of your books from when you were a child?
I didn’t really own books when I was a child; almost everything I read came from the library. I still tend to pick up most of my books from the library, and I’ll buy a copy of something I really like and want to read again.
Are you in a writers group? If so, has it helped you?
I love my writer’s group! The other members help me strengthen my writing so it gets my thoughts across better.
Do you have a key writing tips for kids? Or adults?
Even if you have a natural style and ability for writing, there’s almost always something you can learn from others. I find that writing-advice magazines and books inspire me to keep writing and keep improving the way I craft stories.
Do you have a new book being released in the next year?
I’ve been writing magazine articles these days about reading and literacy, and I don’t have a new book in the works yet.
How do you feel about the development and growth of the e-Book industry?
I can’t know how the growth of e-books will affect the long-term prospects of publishing. However, I believe that e-books can be more attractive to some readers, and anything that puts more books of whatever type in the hands of readers can’t be all bad.
Did you always plan on a writing career or if not…?
I always loved writing, but I didn’t always know it would be the main focus of my career. I started off working in advertising and marketing for employers in healthcare and banking. I still like to write copy, even though I don’t do it often. There’s just something I enjoy about taking a complicated message and making it understandable to someone who doesn’t know too much about the topic.
What truly influences you as a writer?
I’m inspired by other writers, especially those who write for children and teens, and their accomplishments.
If you weren’t a writer, what occupation would you be working in?
I would want to go back to working in communications for a company, but this time I would like to choose a non-profit that I really believed in, such as The Nature Conservancy or The Audubon Society.
Did any teacher or mentor specifically influence you in your career?
Christina Katz, who teaches online classes and has written several books on writing, has helped me tremendously. Every time I have thought small about an idea I have had, she has encouraged me to think big and consider more possibilities.
*Do you have any favorite topping you like on your pizza? (in honor of my husband who thinks it would be cool if I collect a list of author’s favorite pizza “You can learn a lot about a person from the pizza topping they like.”)
My favorites are artichoke hearts, pepperoni and olives.
Sentences to finish if you don’t mind:
The best advice I’ve received for my profession was….
Don’t take rejection personally. It’s not necessarily a commentary on your writing as much as it may be on what an editor is looking for at the moment.
The habit I never break for my writing practice is…
Keeping old emails and correspondence, because you never know when someone you connected with in the past will be able to play a role in a current project.
If someone had told me…
…that I would sit so much of my day I would have bought a better chair.
Why do people always assume…
…that writers have an easy life because they can work when they want to. Flexibility is a perk, but it has a downside too. It’s a constant struggle to find self-motivation to keep writing despite many opportunities to do something else, because when you write there’s no one to be accountable to except yourself.
Debbie, you forgot to ask me: What are you most proud to have accomplished as a writer?
Surprisingly, it’s not something I wrote. When I started writing stories and articles, then a book, I encouraged my mom to write as well. Over the years she has written a collection of stories about her life that I recently gathered together and published for our family. I cherish the insight I have gained into her life, and to know that she credits me with inspiring her to write is rewarding.
I really loved learning more about Cindy with her answers. Thought I’d share a quick video that Cindy Hudson had shared on YouTube with a read aloud of The Cajun Night Before Christmas:
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