Category Archives: Famous Authors

Are You a Courageous Writer?


Published by Shiloh Kidz, an imprint of Barbour Books

One of my favorite things about freelancing is the variety of project assignments I receive. Some, like 100 Extraordinary Stories for Courageous Girls—Unforgettable Tales of Women of Faith, require that I dig deep in research. I love the digging because I discover a trail of gems along the way.

While sifting through courageous acts of  women missionaries, martyrs and saints, I also unearthed thoughts about courage penned by well-known authors. I saved some to share with you:

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”
― William Faulkner

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
― Maya Angelou

“Courage is found in unlikely places.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Courage is grace under pressure.”
― Ernest Hemingway

1d99af9a1e14ac6813b421a6fdaceaee.jpg“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

When I asked for your help, you answered my prayer and gave me courage.
— King David, the bible, Psalm 138:3 (CEV)

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”
― Victor Hugo

Maybe you’ve lacked courage lately to work toward your writing goals. You’re not alone. Every famous author faced doubt and questioned whether or not to give up on his or her dream. BUT—each dug deep and found courage to go on—

It led to SUCCESS!

Think about what it takes to have courage. Then apply that to your writing.


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Filed under Encouragement, Famous Authors, Freelance writing, Inspiration, motivation, Uncategorized

Trick-or-Treat, Author Style–Favorite Foods of Famous Authors


When I was a kid, Halloween meant trick-or-treating for UNICEF (The “United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund”). My church friends and I went door to door with our little orange boxes and collected donations to help needy children around the world. Generous neighbors dropped coins into our boxes and—bonus gave us treats. Afterwards, we went to our church, counted our donations and enjoyed a sugar-filled party. My favorite treat was anything chocolate.

What do you like to eat? Is there something you love munching on while you write?

According to Bon Appétit Magazine, Agatha Christie’s favorite food was cream, Devonshire clotted cream, a thick, butter-like whipped cream she ate with a spoon. When writing, she sipped cream—not half and half, mind you—from a huge mug with the words DON’T BE GREEDY written on its side. Her second favorite food? Apples. She ate them while taking baths.

Cooking_implements_2012_Morgan_photo_smallEmily Dickinson enjoyed baking. She made breads and cakes and, in 1856, she even entered her Indian and Rye bread at the Amherst Cattle Show bake-off taking second place. At home, she liked lowering from her window a basket filled with little cakes to  neighborhood children waiting in the streets below. She often scribbled poetry on the backs of recipes and food wrappers.

hemingway-headerErnest Hemingway was an avid fisherman. In his essay “Camping Out” he wrote “A pan of fried trout can’t be bettered”. He added his recipe: “Place the trout in the pan (this may require two batches, depending on your luck on the river). After 5 minutes, turn the trout and place 2 strips of bacon over each fish. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.” He was definitely a foodie, and some of his recipes live on in The Hemingway Cookbook by Craig Boreth.


Norman Mailer had an obsession with oysters, eating them and using the shells to draw on. Another favorite, Häagen Dazs Raspberry Sorbet, he even tried as a salad dressing saying that he preferred its taste to the raspberry flavor from a plastic bottle.

Are you a writer who loves coffee? I am. You’ll rarely find me writing without some sort of flavored latte on my desk. Coffee is an author addiction dating even to the time of Honore de Balzac (1799–1850). Not only did Balzac drink, on average, 50 cups of coffee a day, but he also snacked on whole coffee beans. All that coffee gave him stomach pains. He treated them by going on milk-only diets, but always he came back to his beloved coffee.

Victor Hugo, another coffee fanatic, wasn’t a fan of adding cream or sugar to his coffee Instead, he dropped two raw eggs into the steaming brew and chugged it down!
If that sounds good to you, give it a try:

Bon Appétit.
Or Treat?


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Filed under Famous Authors, Fun, Uncategorized

Something You’ll Wish You Didn’t Know About These Famous Children’s Book Authors


Answer this question:
What makes someone want to write for kids?

Following are five famous children’s book authors—their names familiar to almost everyone and their books, classics:

A.A. Milne authored the sweet, beloved “Winnie-the-Pooh” books. They’ve stood the test of time. Just released, August 2018, a movie, Goodbye Christopher Robin, based on characters from his books.

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Margaret Wise Brown, author of that famously simple and soothing, everything-is-alright-sleep-tight, bedtime book,”Goodnight Moon”.

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Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss)— “The Cat in the Hat”, “Horton Hears a Who”, “Hop on Pop”, “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”, “Green Eggs and Ham” . . . He authored 46 books for children.

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Shel Silverstein. He wrote “The Giving Tree”, one of the most popular and widely discussed children’s books ever. Silverstein is also well known among children’s book authors for his poetry collections, “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “A Light in the Attic”.

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Maurice Sendak—”Let the wild rumpus start!” Who doesn’t know that quote from Sendak’s most famous book? Like A.A. Milne’s work, Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” was made into a feature film. Along with other children’s books, he also wrote and directed an animated television special, Really Rosie, based on characters from his stories.

What do these authors have in common? All wrote for children. All were made famous by their children’s books. AND—here is something you’ll wish you didn’t know—They disliked kids!

Christopher-robin-quote-1A.A. Milne didn’t necessarily dislike children, but he disliked that the books he wrote for them ruined his lifelong dream. Milne hated being called a children’s author. He believed his popular children’s books kept him from being recognized as an aspiring British playwright.

5215451-Margaret-Wise-Brown-Quote-Goodnight-nobody-goodnight-mush.jpgMargaret Wise Brown said, “I don’t especially like children. At least not as a group. I won’t let anybody get away with anything just because he is little.” She had a child-like imagination, a playful one, and that translated well to children’s books.

Dr.-Seuss-Quotes-36-I-Was-Saving-The-Name-Of-Geisel-For-The...-QuotesTheodor Geisel didn’t have kids of his own. According to his widow, he was somewhat afraid of them. He didn’t know how to act around or have fun with them. Still, he enjoyed writing for them.

underneath-my-outside-face-theres-a-face-that-none-can-see-a-little-less-smiley-a-little-less-sure-quote-1.jpgShel Silverstein, the “bad boy of children’s literature”. Some of his stories for children are controversial, and that’s no surprise. He wrote for Playboy Magazine, hung out with Hugh Hefner, had numerous affairs with women, and is known for living wild. Silverstein disliked children’s literature and found it condescending. He only began writing for kids after much coaxing by his author and editor friends.

hans-christian-andersen-gonna-make-statue-park-lot-scrambling-quote-at-storemypic-0a8eb.pngMaurice Sendak is said by his peers to have had a bad temper. He thought of himself as crazy and said he would never choose to raise a child himself because he believed he would fail. He didn’t really like children, but they fascinated him by their imaginations—how they thought and survived. His books often showed them a darker side of life, perhaps because he’d lost relatives to the Holocaust. “I refuse to cater to the (expletive) of innocence.” he said. “The Holocaust has run like a river of blood through all my books.”

What makes someone want to write for kids?
Maybe you’ll want to rethink your answer.

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Filed under children's books, Famous Authors, Trivia, Uncategorized