Get to Know… Rebecca Donnelly!

My name is… Rebecca Donnelly. I go by Rebecca even though my Twitter username says Becca because the other Rebecca Donnellys got there first.

I am a… librarian in my heart of hearts. I’m one at a library and in the files of the New York State Ed Department, too, but in my heart is where it counts. I remember answering basic reference and reader’s advisory questions at my first library job, on an Air Force base in the Florida panhandle, and thinking, This! This is what I’m supposed to be doing with all that useless information in my head and my undefined need to make people happy. So far, it’s worked out pretty well.

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Rebecca’s first novel, HOW TO STAGE A CATASTROPHE.

As a kid, I was… great. And I’m not saying that to be conceited. All kids are great, no matter what, because they’re kids and they’re figuring out how to negotiate this weird world we’ve created. That’s the thing we have to remember if we’re invested in their future. Every kid has needs and wants, quirks and foibles, moments of genius and moments they’d rather forget. We write for kids to reflect the reality of their lives, but we start with the premise that every kid is important and completely amazing.

Writing is… a gift. I don’t know how better to put it. Ever since I discovered that I could write words, I’ve wanted to write books. It took a while before I figured out how to do it decently, but most things worth doing take practice.

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Rebecca’s upcoming novel, THE FRIENDSHIP LIE (publishes August 1, 2019).

Reading is… also a gift. One of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read is Alberto Manguel’s A History of Reading. He goes into the development of silent reading. Can you imagine that silent reading, where all the comprehension happens between your eyes and your brain, had to develop from a culture of reading aloud, to others or to yourself? When we began to write, we didn’t immediately begin to read silently. We murmured as we read aloud to ourselves. Reading silently was seen as a mark of untrustworthiness–how could someone possibly be reading and understanding a text if there was no visible proof? And what might you be reading, that you didn’t want to read it aloud? Silent readers are rebels and even potential heretics in the historical view–a proud tradition.

Books are… good friends, terrible pillows, decent coasters, and some of my favorite objects on Earth.

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Rebecca’s picture book debut, CATS ARE A LIQUID, illustrated by Misa Saburi (publishes October 8, 2019).

Did you know… that your public library probably offers a service you don’t know about? I used to run a teeny little rural library, and we lent out wifi hotspots and canning supplies. Go strike up a conversation with the desk staff at your library and ask what they lend besides books and DVDs.

You can find me… on Twitter @_becca_donnelly, or for more formal communication, through my website, rebeccadonnellywrites.com. And I hope you do!

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