Friday, August 7, 2009

BETTY G. BIRNEY: "Committing Serial Fiction With a Smile"

BETTY G. BIRNEY: "Committing Serial Fiction With a Smile"

Hello. This is Bartlett Bear. I belong to Paula Yoo. She's super tired from blogging today so she said I could blog this lecture. I'm very excited to do my first SCBWI blog because it's on my favorite author, BETTY G. BIRNEY! Paula also loves her because they both love hamsters. In fact, Paula's dwarf hamster Bobbi recently interviewed Betty Birney for the conference. If you would like to read it, please check out this link below plus a photo of Paula's hamster Bobbi:

"No hamsters were harmed in the making of this series," Betty Birney says with a smile as she starts her panel on serial fiction. (Below are pics of Betty's lecture and a photo of me, Bartlett Bear blogging live at her panel!)

Some highlights from Betty's lecture:

-- "Getting kids hooked" is the important factor in creating a successful series.

-- Kids believe Humphrey the Hamster of her Humphrey series is real. She then showed a photo of her dog Desi, who is her "real" Humphrey! She also showed photos of her other dog MItzi and her parrot Ricky Ricardo. I don't know why she doesn't have a stuffed bear like me. We're just as cute, if not cuter.

-- What? Betty just said, "Humphrey is me!" Hmmm. Oh, she says they both like to keep notebooks hidden away!

-- She says writing from the point of view of an animal is easy because "I've been doing it all my life." She fell in love with reading books and wanted to write them! So she wrote "Teddy Bear in the Woods." Hey! That's a bear story! I think I like that one. I would publish that!

-- Betty wrote letters from the POV of her dog MItzi. She's a lot like my owner Paula!

-- She concentrated on ONE book - she never thought her book on Humphrey would be a series. 

-- She worked at Disneyland and got her start writing scripts for The Disney Channel (story editing one of their first series, WELCOME TO POOH CORNER and writing over 90 scripts for them). 

-- What makes Humphrey work as a story and a series is that Betty made sure he came off as a real hamster (aside from the notebooks LOL) - to have realistic characteristics. In addition, she said the story had to have real stakes and you had to care for the character and what happened to him.

- She really did lots of research! She interviewed vets and observed hamsters in real life action!

Overall, it was a super fun super awesome panel and I think everyone learned a lot from Ms. Betty G. Birney! Yay!!!!!

Posted by Paula Yoo's Bartlett Bear

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