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September 17, 1993 - Image 107

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-09-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

E

JENNIFER FINER

JEWISH NEWS INTERN

arnest

II

arry Rudner knows
what it's like to be
rejected — as an
author it has hap-
pened to him hundreds
of times.
"I'm a seasoned vet-
eran of unsuccess," he
says.
But he also knows
what it's like to prosper
and what it takes to reach a
goal and that's the message

he brings to the children
who read his books and hear
him talk.
Nearly 16 years ago, Mr.
Rudner knew he wanted to
be a writer. It took 11 years
to achieve what he wanted
to do — getting his first
book published. On June 1,
1991, he gave up the steady
income that came with
working for his family's
printing business to launch

essage

a career as a children's
author.
Since then he has been
writing children's books
from his Keego Harbor
home.
Mr. Rudner, who has pub-
lished five books (Tiny
Thought Press), but written
a total of 14, humbly consid-
ers himself "barely an
author" and proclaims he
would rather be well-known
than well-read.
"Being able to talk to the
very audience you write for
is an added bonus but I'm
not a celebrity," says Mr.
Rudner, who decided he
wanted to write children's
books after reading Shel
Silverstein's The Giving
Tree. "Some people see me
as the beach dude who
writes self-esteem books."
All his books have a mes-
sage, just as Mr. Rudner
himself has a personal mes-
sage to deliver to the chil-
dren he speaks to nine
months of the year.
"I talk about education
with the children," he says.
"I tell them I have no talent
or gift for what I do; it's
education that's helped me.
You can't educate kids
unless they feel good about
themselves; that's the bot-
tom line.
"They have to be told the
more they know, the better
off they are; and that educa-
tion is the only thing stand-
ing between them and their
dreams."
During the summer,
when Mr. Rudner is not vis-
iting elementary schools
and middle schools around
the country, he is focusing
on writing. Mr. Rudner
wants children to believe in
themselves. That's the
message in his first book,
The Littlest Tall Fellow,
which lets children know
they can do anything if they
believe in themselves.
His most recent book, Will I
Still Have to Make My Bed
in the Morning?, was
written for the Dream
Factory, an organization
that grants last wishes to

terminally ill children.
His other published books
include The Bumblebee and
the Ram, Nonsense and The
Handstand.
When Mr. Rudner sits
down to write a book, the
first thing he will do is
think of a title.
"The story is already
there. It's getting the title
and working with the
words. It's not what you say
in children's literature; it's
what you don't say. Editing
and reediting is everything.
If I can't say it in 32 pages, I
don't say it."

Barry Rudner
left the business
world to
embark on a
career as a
children's
author.

Although Mr. Rudner will
spend up to 14 hours a day
working on a book, he says
he usually finishes only two
a year. Mr. Rudner also
reads Roget's Thesaurus on
a regular basis.
"You can get great word
plays and ideas by reading
the thesaurus," he says.
Mr. Rudner hopes he has
figured out the key to writ-
ing children's books.
"I think a good children's
book is something along the
lines of thinking like a
child," he says. "You have to
deliver something unique
and original and deliver a
distinct style that becomes
your own. You have to
make a child want to read a
book more than once.
"What makes that hap-
pen? I'm not sure. I think
making them think without
them knowing they are
actually thinking makes a
book good. I'd like to think
that's the key to this busi-
ness."

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