Joyce, Tammi J. Truax and I were lucky to get tickets to see prolific author Judy Blume recently when she was interviewed by New Hampshire Public Radio‘s Virginia Prescott for the ongoing series, “Writers On A New England Stage.” Tammi was kind enough to share her thoughts on the evening:
Judy Blume is one of my heroes; seeing her in person was moving and memorable.
The Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire was filled with fans and she has adoring readers like us all over the world. I wasn’t surprised to see that the historic music hall was near capacity, but was really affected by the amazing age range of her fans. I think that is something few writers have accomplished: filling an auditorium with devoted readers from ages 7 to 70.
After the talk I grabbed a seat at an outdoor café across the street. My plan was to sip sangria while sampling her new book, In the Unlikely Event. (It is historical fiction based on real events, my favorite!) Instead, I sat back and watched the fans as they were leaving. Happy faces all, smiling and talking about what they had heard. It was touching to see children and their grandparents sharing thoughts about an author they both had read.
I wasn’t just admiring what I saw, I was coveting it. I want to achieve that. And one of the bits of advice she gave in response to a question from the audience was, “Don’t give up.”
Blume is a beautiful person, inside and out; a gifted storyteller, a serious anti-censorship activist, and now too, a bookstore operator in Key West, Florida. She is a successful author by any measure used. Her life is the envy of many a writer like me; bungling along trying to keep the lights on, sometimes with no one at all believing in our work. I know the odds of my success are slim, but I will heed her advice.
For she gives me hope that it can be done with grace and beauty and fearlessness.
Children’s literature is a passion for Tammi Truax who works with children, who writes for all ages. Most recently she was editor of a new release of Lady Wentworth; A Poet’s Tale by Henry Longfellow and released her debut novel Broken Buckets as an eBook. She is a published poet in four anthologies, including The Widows’ Handbook: Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival, Edited by J. Lapidus and L. Menn, with a forward by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and has a short story in an anthology called Compass Points. Her work can be found in several journals, magazines, and online including at The Huffington Post. In 2014 she was the first winner of The Provenance Prize for creative short fiction, and in 2013 and 2015 was selected to be one of the writers at A Room of Her Own Foundation’s retreat in New Mexico. In 2015 and 2016 Tammi was awarded the Buffler Poetry Residency at Portsmouth (NH) High School.