Listed below are special book-linked people who, each in some unique way, have given me their hand in my writing life.* * * * * * *
JIM WALLACE, SUZIE DAWES, AND MARY DREW, who, while not exactly book linked, are respectively my husband and two good friends who have been my "first readers" and whose support and encouragement have been priceless.
JEAN KARL, already mentioned, who changed my writing life when she took Peppermints in the Parlor, and then kept me with her until the end.
MARCIA MARSHALL, another terrific editor, who so beautifully took over where Jean left off, especially leading me through the perils of those perilous peppermints, and remaining my friend.
JIM TRELEASE, also already mentioned, who among other incredibly kind things, once recommended on a select reading list, "any books by John Bellairs, Barbara Brooks Wallace, or Jerry Spinelli." This still has me reeling.
FRANK HODGE, who once wrote in his Chapters newsletter that he had "done everything humanly possible" to get me to travel north to visit his Hodge Podge Books, but though I never have, continues to be ultra nice and kind to me anyway.
ELISA CARBONE, author of such wonderful prize-winning books as Stealing Freedom, Storm Warriors, and on and on, who has been my friend since she first serendipitously called me years ago for support, which she has turned around and given me back in spades!
LISA WHEELER, writer of amazingly clever, funny picture books, who, when she hardly knew me, generously (as is her usual way) offered to help me improve a sorry rhyming attempt of mine, and has since become a friend on so many other levels.
JULIA DURANGO, who has some delightful books with her name as author appearing on them on her horizon, which is amazing, because she seems to spend all of her life doing things to help others, including me.
BEBE FAAS RICE, whose talent as a writer jumped out at me when we met once as I visited her writers group. What I had found was not only a talented writer, now with many great books to her credit, but what is almost more important to me, a great, good friend as well.
CANDICE RANSOME, whose writing career has spun off into the skies since we once sat on my back patio and she read some of her very first writings to several of us gathered there. I was honored when she wrote me this note about one of my books: "Back when I was a 'want-to-be' children's writer, I wanted to write a book like Can Do, Miss Charlie. I still do. Thanks for crossing your fingers all those years ago. And thanks for writing books like Missy Charlie. It's nice to know there are books that will keep standards high (although I'll probably never reach that level). It's even nicer knowing the person who writes them!" And how lovely to have a letter like this from someone who has reached "that level" and gone so far beyond it!
KATHERINE PATERSON, who actually had me believe I was important enough for her to write this in my treasured copy of Bridge to Terabithia: "For Bobbie Wallace who encouraged me long before the rest of the world gave a flip. With grateful appreciation and love."
ESME CODELL, who can somehow find time from her mind-boggling full life of writing her own books and promoting everyone else's, to send letters, including a star-studded recent one to me, addressed to: "Barbara Brooks Wallace (yes THE Barbara Brooks Wallace!)."
SO . . . this is Barbara Brooks Wallace, a.k.a. Bobbie Wallace, who doesn't feel like THE anything, but who has been lucky enough to be able to present as her friends this amazing slate of people on a web site. If there were just one reason to have the web site (and I had half a dozen reasons not to), this one must surely be it!