I never wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a book illustrator. I used to hurry home from school and draw.
We human beings do a lot of dumb things, and war is certainly the dumbest.
I had a wonderful mother who wanted my sister and me to have everything, even though money was a very prominent thing we didn't have. But we had a very happy childhood - pretty much ideal, in fact.
I was born and raised in Ohio. During my childhood, I spent most of my time drawing and reading fairy tales and myths.
I grew up wanting only to be an illustrator. I studied art at Laurel School in Cleveland and at Smith College.
I have a wonderful husband, and we have had a great life.
I have always loved astronomy, and being an astronomer once lurked in the back of my mind. But I was never good at algebra. In fact, I flunked it twice in high school.
I write for children because I am interested in fantasy and the possibilities for experience of all kinds before the time of compromise. I believe that children are far more perceptive and wise than American books give them credit for being.
My mother was an artist, and I was fairly good at art as a child. I was always the best drawer in class, except in second grade when an artistic genius passed through our school!
My husband wrote the story for my first book, but then he didn't want to do that anymore. So if I was going to go on being an illustrator, I had to start writing the stories, too.
The first two books that I did by myself were long stories in verse. I knew I could do that because I'd written a lot in verse. But, verse stories are hard to sell, so my editor encouraged me to try writing in prose.
Right after graduation, I married Samuel Fisher Babbitt, an academic administrator. I spent the next ten years in Connecticut, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C., raising our children, Christopher, Tom, and Lucy.
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