Maya Angelou a literary legacy of inspiration

Last week while I was at BEA we lost a literary legend, Maya Angelou. Her poems and writing have been inspiring people for years and I came across a couple of her quotes that I think fit what I strive for in my writing as well.

“I don’t know about lying for novelists. I look at some of the great novelists, and I think the reason they are great is that they’re telling the truth. The fact is they’re using made-up names, made-up people, made-up places, and made-up times, but they’re telling the truth about the human being—what we are capable of, what makes us lose, laugh, weep, fall down, and gnash our teeth and wring our hands and kill each other and love each other.”
I agree with her on this one. I like to think that my characters reflect real life and I love to get into other people’s/character’s heads and test what life is made of.

“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”
If you read my blog you know I love spreading the word about literacy and communities that support literacy. I think Maya and I agree on this one too.

“Each time I write a book, every time I face that yellow pad, the challenge is so great. I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.”
This is so true! I will agonize over a paragraph trying to find the best words to communicate what I’m trying to say or make the reader feel. And I always doubt whether I’ve succeeded until readers start commenting and reviewing my book.

“Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as
art.”

This is just a great quote about life.

maya angelou

Share your favorite Maya Angelou poem, book, or quote!

About the author

Bette Lee Crosby

USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby's books are "Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances." - Midwest Book Review The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby's writing is, "A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures." Samantha from Reader's Favorite raves, "Crosby writes the type of book you can't stop thinking about long after you put it down." "Storytelling is in my blood," Crosby laughingly admits, "My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write." It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: TheRoyal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal, Reader's Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer's Choice Award.

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