Last night I had dinner with one of my favorite authors, Barbara O’Connor. She’s in Athens, Georgia this weekend to speak at this year’s Children’s Literature Conference at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education on the University of Georgia campus and graciously agreed to dine with a group of writers before the conference. Barbara O’Connor is charming, funny, and friendly, though she admitted to being an introvert, like many writers.
Much can be learned from listening to an author talk about her books. Greetings From Nowhere, is Barbara’s favorite among the many books she has written.
“I liked writing the multiple points of view,” Barbara said, inbetween bites of her healthy-looking spinach salad. Using the software, Scrivener, Barbara continuously goes back to polish early chapters as she writes. She likes to write the first sentence and the last sentence of each chapter first, then fill in from there. “By the time I get to the end, the whole manuscript is polished,” Barbara says. “I sometimes have to rework the ending after showing it to my editor. But I don’t usually end up doing much rewriting.
Though Barbara has lived in Massachusetts for many years (update: she now lives in Ashville, NC), her roots are in South Carolina, where she was born and grew up. “I write about what it was like when I was young in South Carolina because that’s what I know,” Barbara says.
If you’d like to learn more about this popular, award-winning children’s book author and her books, visit her website.