Ruth Spiro is a children’s book author and freelance writer.
Her Baby Loves Science series is published by Charlesbridge, and forthcoming from Penguin/Dial is a new STEM-theme picture book series, Made by Maxine.
Ruth’s debut picture book, Lester Fizz, Bubble-Gum Artist won awards from Writer’s Digest and Willamette Writers, and was a Bank Street College of Education Best Book.
Her freelance writing has appeared in Family Fun, CHILD and The Writer, and also in popular anthologies, notably The Right Words at the Right Time (Vol. II), edited by Marlo Thomas, and several Chicken Soup for the Soul titles.
Ruth graduated with a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois and earned an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago. She lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and two daughters.
Learn more about Ruth Spiro on her website.
Q1: OUR THEME THIS YEAR IS HERE'S AN IDEA! WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE SPACE FOR PONDERING IDEAS?
Ruth: When I really need a "good think" I take my dog Lily for a walk. There's something about being outside and the rhythm of walking that gets my mind working. I listen to the sounds and try to observe everything around me, which often leads to new ideas or inspiration. I use the voice recorder on my phone to capture my thoughts and then type them out when I get home. If I'm feeling stuck on a story, I may even tell Lily about it. While she hasn't answered me yet, it still helps to talk it out.
Q2: WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL?
Ruth: It should come as no surprise that my favorite subject in school was reading. I especially loved reading books as a class and then discussing them, because I was interested in hearing my classmates' opinions. It always came as a surprise that even though we all read the exact same book, we could have very different ideas about it. I think that's one sign of a great book, that each reader can find his or her own meaning in it.
Q3: WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN TO DO?
Ruth: I would really like to learn photography. I've taken a few classes in the past, but never really understood the various camera settings and how to manipulate them to take artistic photos. I'd love to become comfortable with a camera and then travel to photograph the Northern Lights!
Q4: WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
Ruth: When I was younger, I never considered writing books as a career. It wasn't until I had children and spent hours each day reading to them that I became interested in writing my own stories. I took a class in writing for children and discovered I enjoyed it, so I kept going. It takes years and years of practice to write publishable stories, but if you enjoy it then it doesn't feel like "work."