Are you there, Reddit? It's me, Judy!

AMA! I'll be starting the process at 7pm EST, so get your questions in now!

Proof!

I'm here to spread the word about the first feature film adaptation of one of my books! Tiger Eyes opened in theaters last weekend as well as on iTunes, Amazon, and video on demand! Check here to see if it's playing near you and check our Facebook page for updates.

Our marketing campaign is very grassroots and we're depending on social media and people like you to get the word out!

I'm very excited to be here for my very first time! Feel free to ask me about Rampart although I haven't seen it, so, I'll be making everything up.


Loved chatting with you. Thanks for all the love and the questions.
Hope you get to see Tiger Eyes. Making it was the highlight of my professional life.
Going to get that pasta dinner now. Husb is starving!

Comments: 815 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

streamstroller878 karma

Oh my goodness. One of the most humiliating moments of my life was getting caught with Forever when I was in seventh grade. I was sent to the principal - who called my mom to come pick me up. I was almost suspended. No one had ever explained sex to me. Luckily I had finished it when they caught me. No regrets. Thank you, Judy Blume, for teaching me how it worked without shame or crappy platitudes.

iamJudyBlume769 karma

Whew -- glad you got to finish!

imissthebeach596 karma

Are you and Beverly Cleary friends? Please say yes.

iamJudyBlume657 karma

I wish! Beverly Cleary was my inspiration. I adore her books and so did my kids. We were supposed to meet last year but then I got a sinus infection and couldn't fly.

slenderfox348 karma

Oh my goodness, it's Judy Blume! I have been wanting to meet you since I was nine. This is pretty close! Thank you so much for doing this.

Your books were immensely important to me. Your books taught me from a young age then throughout my teen years that everything I'm afraid of when it came to growing up was completely normal. At the same time, your stories weren't preachy. Your characters didn't demand that I be the same as they are. They dealt with life in their own unique ways, and offered me a chance to relate - which I did. Your books matter to young audiences, and those types of books are sorely needed.

And that's where my question comes in: what inspired you to write for teens and children?

P.S. I am a graduate of Hampshire College!

iamJudyBlume263 karma

Yay Hampshire!
I never thought about writing anything but kids' books when I started. I identified with kids. I identified with the kid inside me.

Nerdy_And_I_Know_It281 karma

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was the first chapter book I ever read completely on my own. Eventually I grew up and read your other books in my pre-teen years. I honestly think that they helped me love reading as much as I do. I had the original copies of all of your books until I lent them to a friend who never returned them. I'm looking through every thrift store trying to find the original covers :) What was your favourite book to read in your pre-teen years?

iamJudyBlume207 karma

I was browsing in my parents' bookshelves by the time I was 12. There were no YA books then. My parents thought reading was a GOOD thing. They weren't afraid of what I was reading. I didn't get it all but it satisfied my curiosity about the grownup world.

miraqui213 karma

Hi Judy! I love your books! I read so much as a kid and I am still an avid reader today, please know that you are no small part of that! I have two questions actually.

1) We read “Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing” as a class in 4th grade. Did you know or plan on your books being read in school settings? Did that influence how you wrote them?

2) How important is verbalizing the second “I must” when doing the exercises to increase my bust? I desperately want bigger boobs but on occasion I am pressed for time.

iamJudyBlume168 karma

Never dreamed my books would be read aloud in classrooms. Love the idea that teachers enjoy reading them to the kids and so many kids have told me -- My teacher has the best Fudge voice! I recorded the Fudge books but can't listen because I can't stand listening to my own voice.

leAlexc184 karma

Where did you get the idea of fudge eating a turtle?

iamJudyBlume303 karma

Read it in a newspaper. No kidding -- a real toddler swallowed a tiny pet turtle. Wrote a picture book about it and got back great rejection letters. "Very funny but this would teach small children to swallow turtles." Great editor suggested writing a longer book (chapter book) and using that story as the last chapter.

MissMichelleP169 karma

Thank you so much for doing this AMA. I'm a middle school teacher and I wish my students would read more or your work. How do you feel about some of the newer works of literature that are coming out for teens these days? (Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter)

iamJudyBlume453 karma

Whatever gets them excited about reading is good! If you want them to read my books don't tell them so. Maybe just leave around a paperback with a new cover and say, "I'm not sure you're ready for that."

You know, it's cyclical. When I started to write series were out. No publisher wanted a series. Some kids will always want to read about reality.

cyott143 karma

I read your books all throughout grade school and never thought I would have an opportunity like this! What inspired you to write Are you there God it's me, Margaret?

iamJudyBlume208 karma

I remember this -- I wanted to let go and write what I knew to be true about 6th grade. Much of the character of Margaret is based on me at that age but the story and her family is fiction.

janflora106 karma

Are you there, Judy? It's me, Janet :) I am a 40-year-old girl who has been a huge fan for most of my life! This is truly a thrill. Congratulations on "Tiger Eyes" (one of my favorites) and thank you for being here. I am looking forward to seeing it and have definitely shared the news online! As an aspiring YA writer, I wondered if you are still writing for children and teens, and if you find there is more acceptance of "controversial" topics now. Is there any topic that's off-limits? Also, out of curiosity, which of your characters is most like you? Sally J?

iamJudyBlume115 karma

Sally J is my most autobiographical book. I'm writing a novel now and have no idea who the audience will be. Don't like thinking in terms of categories. There are both adult and teen characters. It takes place in the (gasp!) 1950s

underdabridge91 karma

Have you ever gotten high with Gordon Korman and hooked up? Because that would be awesome.

iamJudyBlume267 karma

Not yet.

lizwontcry84 karma

Judy - I recall walking around the track at my elementary school, reading the naughtier parts of Forever out loud to dozens of 12-year-old girls following behind me. How does it feel to know you have taught many generations about the more interesting tales of the birds and the bees? Thank you for that, by the way.

I also re-read Wifey once a year or so. I can't really relate to it at all but I think that's what I love about it.

iamJudyBlume88 karma

Love the picture in my head of you walking around the track reading Forever...

Wifey -- Ahhh...I was raised to live Sandy's life (without the sexual fantasies)

BrightZoe75 karma

Judy! You were a huge part of my childhood, and are one of the main reasons why I love to read. Thank you so much for your wonderful books!

"Tiger Eyes" is your only book that's ever been made into a movie: what made you decide to choose it, out of all that you've written?

Edit: I haven't seen Rampart either...but don't tell Woody.

iamJudyBlume76 karma

Thanks, BrightZoe -- Tiger Eyes because it's cinematic, has a good story, characters, and son Larry and I always said if we got the chance to work together that's the one we'd do. Glad we did!

lamaee367 karma

How often do you get recognized, or do you ever get recognized at all?

iamJudyBlume384 karma

Well, my family usually recognizes me.

teenagejesuswasajerk64 karma

god, i remember getting so told off for lending a copy of "tiger eyes" to a friend of mine when i was about nine. i never got it back either, which is sad because i loved it then (and still do now, despite not having read it for a while). me and a friend (one with more liberal parents) received most of our sex education from your books - thanks for that :)

iamJudyBlume103 karma

I've never figured out why Tiger Eyes was challenged so often. You wouldn't have learned anything about sex from that book (sorry) but you might have seen how one girl figures out how to move on after her father's death.

im_not_a_crook61 karma

I loved all the Fudge books. I'm not ashamed to say i'm a 20 year old either. Are there going to be any more Fudge books?

iamJudyBlume96 karma

I think I've pretty much said everything I have to say about Fudge and his family but you never know. Plus, I don't want Fudge to get any older and in Double Fudge he's in first grade. He can read!

lamaee345 karma

In the picture you used as proof, why do you have a second sheet of paper on your desk with the exact same thing on it as the one you are holding?

iamJudyBlume100 karma

Wow, you're observant! It was probably my first draft.

AoifeH41 karma

Hey Judy, I love your books!! I've got to say, although the Fudge books were pretty much my childhood, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret probably had the biggest impact on me. Purely because of how much I related to it, it was so vivid. Does writing that way come naturally to you or do you have to get into the mindset of each character before writing? If so, are any based on life experiences?

iamJudyBlume101 karma

I've no idea how writing works. My son says I'm the least analytical person he's ever met. I think I'm just an instinctual writer. It comes and I go with it. It's from some other part of the brain. I'm just glad it's still coming....

5secondmemory41 karma

Hi Judy, big fan of your books and your blog (visited Key West because you made it sound so awesome and wasn't disappointed!).

Wondering if you've read "Everything I Needed to Know about Being a Girl I Learned From Judy Blume" and your thoughts.

iamJudyBlume88 karma

I've read it. I always cringe when I'm asked to sign it at book signings. I didn't write it. Sweet stories but I didn't like the title when it was pubbed. Made it look as if I'd written it. But now -- I'm okay with it.

lamaee339 karma

Everybody here is talking about how they loved your books when they were little, what were your favorite books when you were little?

iamJudyBlume85 karma

The Betsy-Tacy books by Maude Hart Lovelace. Still wonderful books.

Kisutra39 karma

Hi Judy! I loved your books as a child. No question, just wanted to thank you for making my childhood more special.

iamJudyBlume45 karma

Thanks to you!

lamaee336 karma

Im procrastinating my science project for you Judy. What made you realize you wanted to write books?

iamJudyBlume150 karma

Do your science project!

iamJudyBlume61 karma

Needed creative work/projects in my life.

jeremytheloner35 karma

Judy, I grew up loving your books, like countless others. One thing I've always wondered; it's one thing for a female writer to write about young girls, but how did you so accurately get into the head of your male characters (i.e. Peter Hatcher, Tony Miglione, etc.)? I've always been amazed at how spot-on you were!

iamJudyBlume49 karma

Hmmm... I really liked writing from Tony's POV. Can't explain it.

wish_i_was_the_moon32 karma

I remember that I sent you a fan e-mail randomly around 2001 and you replied to me! Thanks. It was pretty cool for a young fan of your books.

I also remember that you wrote an article about censorship (I think it was the introduction to a book, can't remember the title) where you said someone called you a communist for writing "Are You There, God? It's Me Margaret." Do you still get backlash like this, or has it died down in recent years?

iamJudyBlume99 karma

THat's funny. Yes, it was a phone call just after "Margaret" was pubbed.
Challenges to books in schools are going strong. Just helped a group of 8th graders defend "Perks of Being a Wallflower"

orbitalplankton32 karma

would you rather be the first to set foot onto something of great significance or be the last one to visit something of great significance?

iamJudyBlume45 karma

First.

MicahsAnAristocrat30 karma

When describing your marriage to your second husband, you said, "It was a disaster, a total disaster. After a couple years, I got out. I cried every day." You're someone who's obviously forged a very strong character that persists to this day despite whatever trauma you may have gone through, so could you give us an idea of how you handled that grief and depression in such a way that allowed you to maintain such a productive and inspiring lifestyle?

iamJudyBlume57 karma

I kept writing. Writing saved me every time. Someone (10 yrs old) just told me that about Davey in Tiger Eyes. Showed her that if Davey could deal with her father's death, she'd be able to deal with anything.

Minifig8126 karma

Welcome to reddit Mrs. Blume !

I am /u/Minifig81, I have decided to ask every person who is an announced AMA a few simple questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

  • Is it non-fiction or fiction?

  • What books do you recommend to everyone that they should read or what books have changed your life?

These books will be compiled in to a spreadsheet with your name and the date you did your AMA, so that if you revisit us on a future date, I can remind you of what you were reading the last time you visited our fair site.

Thank you for time!


As per Mod request, I am to ask you one personal question on top of my Reddit AMA Books Project, so I'm going to ask you:

How on Earth do you get around writer's block when it comes to planning out ideas for books, most especially kids books in general?

I also, wanted to say thank you for your books, they meant the world to me when I was growing up.


Reddit AMA Readers who wish to see the Reddit Books AMA Project will have to wait, as I'm still compiling information. I will be sharing the spreadsheet soon!

iamJudyBlume61 karma

Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings. Fiction.

Don't believe in writer's block. There are good days and not so good days. I get up and do something else knowing that tomorrow it will come. And if it doesn't, then it's wrong, and I have to move on.

FishnetSinner26 karma

Judy -

I promise I'll ask a question but you'll have to excuse me for a moment...

You are my hero. Without you, I'd never have gotten hooked on reading as a kid, and ultimately chosen to become an English teacher. I'm inspired by your activism, and especially your belief in the importance of helping young adults deal with challenging issues. Thank you for everything you've given us.

Which other YA novel of yours would you most like to see make the jump from page to screen?

iamJudyBlume41 karma

Um -- maybe Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself. Wifey Summer Sisters. PS I don't think of my books as YA, except maybe Forever and when that was pubbed there was no such category.

TheOpus23 karma

Awesome. I am 44 and I remember every one of your books vividly from reading them multiple times over when I was a kid. Thank you SO much for contributing to my love of reading. My grandma gave me Tiger Eyes for my 13th birthday and I read that book at least ten times. I was so stoked to hear that it was going to be a movie and I can't wait to take my 15-year old niece. Currently, the film has a rather limited release. Will that be expanded in the future? Also, you've written so many successful books, why is this the first one that has been made into a movie?

iamJudyBlume34 karma

Tiger Eyes was released on June 7 in a limited number of theaters but also on Demand, iTunes, all your cable providers. It's the way to go with indie films. Do see it with your niece. I've been at so many screenings and have discovered that even younger kids relate and enjoy it. That surprised me. But I'm glad I can now say, Watch it at home with your family. We're adding more theaters every day --

grant023 karma

Hi Judy! Great to have you. Can you tell us about the best thing you ever received from a fan, and also the first time you ever realized what an impact your books were having?

iamJudyBlume56 karma

GrantO -- My readers' loyalty.
Dangerous to think about impact. Makes it too scary to get into that little room and write.

ReadItReddit246820 karma

1) Now that you have made a movie, do you feel you look at writing a little bit differently? Meaning, do you think that your future novels may have a more "cinematic" feel to them just because of this experience?

2) You said ask you anything... you write about teen sex a lot... at what age did you lose your virginity?

iamJudyBlume64 karma

I'm a 50's girl. We were supposed to be virgins when we married. I guess not everyone was because three girls in my high school class were pregnant at graduation. And that's what kept me and my friends official virgins -- fear of unwanted pregnancy. We were sexual without intercourse. Sometimes I wish kids would go back to that.

Writing differently because of the movie. I don't think so.

Bunny_And_Bear20 karma

Thanks so much for doing this AMA! As I'm sure you know, your books have been banned/challenged in many schools. Did you expect your books to be controversial? What was your greatest fear about the response to your books before they were published?

Also, what do you see as the major differences between writing for a young audience vs. an adult audience?

iamJudyBlume36 karma

No difference for me in writing for different audiences. It's all painfully difficult - at least first drafts are. I really didn't know I was being controversial. I was young and naive.

MicahsAnAristocrat19 karma

Do you think 'Go Ask Alice' was really written by a wayward teenage girl, or do you think the whole thing was written by the Bilderberg Group as a conspiracy to overthrow Big Marijuana?

iamJudyBlume31 karma

I'll go with the girl.

laqueristaa17 karma

Why do you choose to write about such touchy subjects? I.E Are You there God, Then again, maybe i won't, etc

iamJudyBlume98 karma

Wait -- is puberty a touchy subject? It happened to me (after a long wait) I think it pretty much happens to everyone.

bahamatrapezoid17 karma

Hi Judy! Your books made a great childhood wonderful, to me. Thank you for being here! I have a couple questions. When naming characters, do you give thought to the actual meaning? Who or what inspires you, as a writer?

iamJudyBlume39 karma

No idea where names come from but I once told a student that when she's stumped, go to the phone book. That was when we still had phone books.

thesunfoundme16 karma

I am a creative writing major and I read your books a lot as I was growing up! I wanted to know what got you started in writing. Did you start with novels or short stories? What is a tip you would have for writing student?

iamJudyBlume46 karma

Never could write short stories. Loved reading novels so that's where I went. Tips for writers -- read everything you write aloud and really listen. You'll edit like crazy! Also, I tell kids, start on the day something different happens.

lamaee314 karma

Favorite joke of all time?

iamJudyBlume24 karma

You tell me!

14thCenturyHood12 karma

Dear Judy, wonderful to see you here. I really loved your book Blubber when I was younger. I always remembered it for being very much unlike any other book about bullying, in that it told the story from the bully's point of view. What was your inspiration for choosing to write it that way? Were you yourself bullied/a bully as a child?

iamJudyBlume41 karma

Actually, I didn't tell it from the bully's POV. Jill (told from her POV) went along with Wendy some of the time but it was Wendy who was the bully. And when Jill defended Linda (who was being bullied) Wendy turned the tables on her. The idea came from events in my daughter's 5th grade class. She was the quiet observer, like Rochelle. But it was scary to see -- because if it could happen to Linda, it could happen to her or anyone else. We didn't even call it bullying then. We called it victimization in the classroom. I'm glad we're back to calling it bullying --

lamaee312 karma

Did you always know that you wanted to write books? Or when you were younger did you aspire to do something completely different ?

iamJudyBlume39 karma

Had no idea it was even possible to grow up to write books. I wanted to be a cowgirl, an actress, or a detective.

AnnabelleK12 karma

Was the character in Tiger Eyes in any way like you in her response to her father's death? Such a difficult topic!

iamJudyBlume34 karma

No, not really. I didn't even know there was any connection to my father's death until I saw the movie. Then I totally dissolved.

gummywormsyum11 karma

What's the best city you've lived in?

iamJudyBlume32 karma

New York!

facethefaceless10 karma

Hi Judy, it's a pleasure! I have two questions.

Firstly, I've noticed that a lot of your characters are very introspective. What were the challenges while making 'Tiger Eyes' to translate your character's feelings and thoughts into filmable content?

Secondly, you've been an author through a period of amazing transitions in the book industry. What would you say has changed the most, and what would you say has changed the least? Thank you for your time!

iamJudyBlume24 karma

Lawrence (director) wanted the film to feel as intimate as a first person novel. The secret was in the casting. Thanks to Willa Holland's expressive face you know what Davey is thinking and feeling. We're so lucky to have her in the movie. I couldn't have done in 3 pages of interior monologue what Willa can do with a look.

MrSparta6189 karma

What books have you read do you think would make great movies? Which books have you read that should NEVER have a movie?

iamJudyBlume20 karma

I don't think "Margaret" should be a movie. But, hey -- if the right girl came along who knows?

ShadowGamerr8 karma

Omg Judy Blume! When I was a kid I loved your books! I have but two questions to ask you! 1) What inspired you to write the 'Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing' series, it made me laugh all through middle school, and 2) what can an aspiring author do to get known?

iamJudyBlume25 karma

Just keep writing and don't let anyone discourage you!

Moonburner8 karma

Big question... Would you please share some life and author advice to a long time reader (me, a dad, and my 2 little boys (5 and 6) who have a new little sister and I just started reading Superfudge to, exactly 2 weeks ago? I'm so glad you're doing this AMA. Its very timely.

iamJudyBlume24 karma

Moonburner -- I'm not one to give advice. About having kids -- enjoy them!

friedjumboshrimp6 karma

Favorite shrimp recipe?

iamJudyBlume15 karma

Sorry, allergic to shellfish.

kcirvam3 karma

How do you react to sob-stories about people who failed to get their book published?

iamJudyBlume8 karma

They don't tell me their sob stories.