Betsy Byars started her career writing for magazines. Later, she turned her attention to writing children's books. In 1971, she won a Newbery Medal for Summer of the Swans.
Ms. Byars enjoys writing children's books and especially now, with the changes that have occurred toward more realism. She says it is refreshing that no topic is taboo. She reads all the time, and has done so her whole life. She enjoys learning from other writers. Ms. Byars thinks it is most important to learn how to express yourself, no matter what you're going to do, in life.
Betsy Byars used to write constantly, about eight hours a day, but now she writes very intently for several hours at a time. She begins a book by writing the title page, and then immediately starts the book, without an outline.
Ms. Byars finishes the program with a reading from Cracker Jackson.