Interview length: 6:22.

This is a wonderful interview. Its biggest strength may be Wendelin Van Draanen’s discussion of the importance of persistence. Her own story of having her books rejected for ten years offers an inspiring vision of an author whose faith in herself kept her from giving up despite repeated rejections. Another very strong part of this interview is her finding in Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine the understanding that her own authentic voice is  that of a young teenager.

  • Persistence pays off. Story of multiple rejections.
  • She starts with a big idea i.e. good versus evil.
  • Inspired by Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine.
  • Talks about teenage years, love of running, her life.
  • Final advice: write every day and never give up!


Internet Links for Wendelin Van Draanen 

Books at

A Stone Soup Book Review of The Running Dream

About the Author

In 1973, I was twenty years old, teaching children's art classes at my college, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and came up with the idea that the best way to encourage children to write was to introduce them to the best writing by their peers. Stone Soup grew out of that idea, and I have continued to publish Stone Soup for all these years.
I am also a culinary historian. I write about traditional foodways. My book, "The Magic of Fire," is about hearth cooking. My book, "Bread, a global history," speaks for itself. I am currently writing a bread history for a University Press. I publish articles on gardening and traditional foodways at Mother Earth News. I also publish on wild mushrooms and other food-related subjects.

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