Last week, I sidled up to Jeanette Larson at the Texas Library Association convention and asked, “So what does it feel like to be the one with a book for your fellow librarians this time?” Jeanette grinned. “Pretty good.”
After twenty five years of working in libraries, Jeanette is now the author of Hummingbirds Facts and Folklore from the Americas (Charlesbridge) and a teacher of children’s literature and youth programs at Texas Women’s University. This wonderful book is a compendium of facts and retellings of hummingbird tales from people of the Americas. It is gorgeously illustrated by Adrienne Yorinks. Except they aren’t illustrations, they are quilts, stitched by Yorinks.
I also asked Jeanette what quote inspires her as a writer and she said, “I tend to collect quotes as most people say things much better than I do. One of my favorites is from James Michener:”
I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.
Jeanette goes on, “I think so often we forget that the first attempt is not necessarily the best attempt and revision, editing, re-revising play a really important role in getting the book done. Having said that, another favorite quote is by Sylvia Plath:”
Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
Says Larson, “I think Plath expresses well the idea that we can write. We have to dive in, believing that we have something to share and we can always revise.”
What might be the next thing that Jeanette will share? She can’t say as it hasn’t been accepted yet but suffice it to say, it will be well researched and well crafted. And if Yorinks is involved, intricately illustrated.
If you would like to meet Jeanette Larson and get a copy of her book, here are some upcoming events: