Linda Bailey - Author

Linda Bailey sometimes feels as though she has multiple personalities. That's because when she's writing a story, she feels as though she's actually inside the character. So for five books, she was “inside” an exuberant dog named Stanley --- who hosted a party, went off to sea and rode a mean skateboard, among other high jinks. She has also gone time traveling (Good Times Travel Agency series) and gotten to the bottom of some truly dastardly crimes (Stevie Diamond Mystery series). In Toads on Toast, she cooked up a surprising (and toad-less) breakfast dish, and, most recently, she got to relive her childhood fantasies as she wrote If Kids Ruled the World.

Fortunately, this multiple-personality thing seems to be working! Linda's books have been honored with multiple awards, including the Silver Birch, the Blue Spruce, the Georgia Picture Storybook Award, the California Young Reader Medal, the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize (BC Book Prize) and the Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada.

A prairie girl by birth (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Linda is now a longtime West Coaster who likes to live within walking distance of the sea. She has two lovely grown daughters and makes her home in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Birthplace?
I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Where do you live now?
I live in Vancouver, British Columbia.

When did you start writing?
I didn't start writing seriously until my late 20s.

What is your favorite book?
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I think it's a nearly perfect book.

What is your favorite animal?
My favorite animal is definitely a dog. I love dogs, especially my Sophie, but after her, I like any dog that wags its tail and looks me in the eye, hoping to get a treat. (I carry dog treats in my pockets when I go walking, so dogs like me almost as much as I like them.)

Do you have any pets?
We have a small gray-and-yellow cat named Daphne and a large, goofy golden retriever named Sophie.

What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is sushi. (There are lots of terrific Japanese restaurants near where I live.) My second favorite food is noodles --- any kind of noodles, but especially Chinese.

Do you have any hobbies?
I love to read. I also love to travel and explore places where I've never been. I've traveled through Europe and Australia and all over North America, and I'm hoping to get to Asia next.

What was your training or schooling?
I have a Bachelor's degree in English, and then I got a Master's degree in adult education --- both at the University of British Columbia.

How did you get involved with children's books?
I got involved with children's books through my own two daughters. When they were young, we went to the library --- a LOT! I always walked out with a great, heavy bag of children's books, and my favorite way to spend time with my kids was to curl up on the couch and read to them. I started to get very excited about children's literature at that time.

Do you have any tips for young creators?
The best way to learn how to write is to read. Try to “read as a writer” --- pay attention to what the writer does to achieve the effects he/she is after. How does the writer describe things? Create suspense? What does the writer do to make you laugh --- or cry? Read as much as you can, enjoy it --- and pay attention to what the writer is doing.

What is the thing you like the most about creating kids' books?
I like the feeling of disappearing into a different world. Anyone who reads knows the feeling of disappearing into the “world” of a book. This feeling happens a lot more strongly when you are writing a book. You become totally lost in the story, and you get to know all these new and intriguing “people.” It can be a very exciting experience.

Where do you work?
I work on an old porch at the front of my house that has been closed in and remodeled into a small office. It has big windows that look out onto the street, and during the day, as I work, I can see people going by with their dogs, groceries, kids, bikes and so on. My dog, Sophie, often lies on my feet as I write. Sometimes she sits beside me and looks out the window. (She has her own chair.)

How do you research or create your stories?
Once I have an idea, I begin to daydream. I daydream about a story for weeks or months before beginning to write and take list of notes on my ideas. When I begin to write, I work directly on my laptop computer. I write many, many, MANY drafts!

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I had lots of ideas for what I wanted to be. Some of them were dress designer, artist and newspaper reporter. I also dreamed of being a writer, but I thought you had to live in New York or London or Paris to be a writer, and I didn't really believe that an ordinary kid from a small Canadian city could be one.

What is the weirdest or most interesting job you've ever had?
I had a lot of weird jobs as a teenager --- onion picker, rootbeer pourer, shoe seller and weed puller. Once I worked on the assembly line of a toy factory in London, England, but it was very noisy and I only lasted about three days.

Do you have any special secrets or insights about one of your books or characters?
Stanley the dog is based on my dog, Sophie.

Adventures in Ancient China

2004 - Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize, Short-listed
2004 - Silver Birch Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
2003 - Best Bets, Ontario Library Association, Winner

Adventures in Ancient Egypt

2001 - Our Choice - Starred Selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner
2000 - Parents' Choice Recommended, Winner

Adventures in Ancient Greece

2005 - Red Cedar Book Award, Short-listed
2004 - Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award, Short-listed
2003 - Information Book Award, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada, Short-listed

Adventures in the Ice Age

2006 - Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award, Short-listed

Adventures in the Middle Ages

2003 - Red Cedar Book Award, Winner
2001 - Silver Birch Award, Ontario Library Association, Winner
2001 - Our Choice - Starred Selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner
2001 - Information Book Award, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada, Short-listed
2000 - Parents' Choice Recommended, Winner

Adventures with the Vikings

2004 - Red Cedar Book Award, Short-listed
2003 - Silver Birch Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
2003 - Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award, Winner
2002 - Our Choice - Starred Selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner

Goodnight, Sweet Pig

2008 - Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award, Short-listed
2007 - Best Bets Picture Book, Ontario Library Association, Winner

How Can a Brilliant Detective Shine in the Dark?

2002 - Red Cedar Book Award, Short-listed
2000 - Tiny Torgi Literary Award, CNIB Library for the Blind, Short-listed
2000 - Silver Birch Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
1999 - Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, Winner

How Can a Frozen Detective Stay Hot on the Trail?

1996 - Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, Winner

How Can I Be a Detective If I Have to Baby-Sit?

1997 - Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, Short-listed
1995 - Silver Birch Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
1994 - Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award, Short-listed
1994 - Notable Canadian Fiction for Children, Canadian Library Association, Winner

How Come the Best Clues Are Always in the Garbage?

1998 - Massachusetts Children's Book Award, Short-listed
1994 - Surrey Book of the Year, Winner
1994 - Langley Book of the Year Award, Winner

If Kids Ruled the World

2016 - Blue Spruce Award, Ontario Library Association, Winner
2015 - Shining Willow Award, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice, Winner
2014 - 2014 OLA Best Bet List for Children, OLA's Canadian Materials Committee, Winner

Stanley at School

2017 - Blue Spruce Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
2015 - 2015 Elizabeth-Mrazik Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award, IBBY, Short-listed

Stanley at Sea

2009 - Blue Spruce Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
2009 - Best Bet for Children and Teens, Ontario Library Association, Winner
2009 - Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize, Short-listed
2009 - Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award, Short-listed
2009 - Chocolate Lily Book Award, Short-listed
2009 - Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner

Stanley's Beauty Contest

2010 - Shining Willow Award, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Award, Short-listed
2010 - Blue Spruce Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
2010 - Chocolate Lily Book Award, Short-listed
2010 - Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner
2009 - Book of the Year, ForeWord Magazine, Short-listed

Stanley's Little Sister

2012 - Chocolate Lily Book Award, Winner
2012 - Blue Spruce Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
2011 - Best Children Books of the Year, Bank Street Children's Book Committee, Winner
2011 - Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Short-listed
2011 - Best Books for Kids & Teens, Starred Selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner
2010 - Best Bets Picture Book, Ontario Library Association, Winner

Stanley's Party

2011 - Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award, Oregon Reading Association, Short-listed
2007 - Ministry of Education Time to Read, Winner
2006 - SMART Award, Winner
2006 - Child Magazine Best Children's Book Award, Winner
2006 - California Library Association Young Reader Medal, Short-listed
2005 - Shining Willow Award, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Awards, Winner
2005 - Georgia Picture Storybook Award, Winner
2005 - Chocolate Lily Award, Winner
2004 - Tiny Torgi Literary Award, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Winner
2004 - Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award, Winner
2004 - Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize, Winner
2004 - Blue Spruce Award, Ontario Library Association, Winner
2004 - Best Bets, Ontario Library Association, Winner
2004 - Book of the Year Award - Silver Medal, ForeWord Magazine, Winner
2004 - Zena Sutherland Award for Children's Literature, Winner

Stanley's Wild Ride

2009 - Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award, Oregon Reading Association, Winner
2008 - California Library Association Young Reader Medal, Winner
2007 - Chocolate Lily Book Award, Short-listed
2007 - Children's Literature Award, Canadian Children's Book Centre and TD Bank Financial Canadian, Short-listed
2007 - Blue Spruce Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
2006 - Best Bets - Top 10 Canadian Children's Books, Ontario Library Association, Winner
2006 - Book of the Year Award - Gold Medal, ForeWord Magazine, Winner

The Farm Team

2008 - Blue Spruce Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
2007 - Chocolate Lily Book Award, Short-listed
2007 - Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award, Short-listed
2007 - Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award, Short-listed
2006 - Best Bets - Top 10 Canadian Children's Books, Ontario Library Association, Winner

Toads on Toast

2013 - Shining Willow Award, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Award, Short-listed
2013 - Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner
2013 - Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street Children's Book Committee, Winner
2013 - Chocolate Lily Book Award, Picture Book category, Winner

What's a Daring Detective Like Me Doing in the Doghouse?

2000 - Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award, Short-listed
2000 - Red Cedar Book Award, Short-listed
1999 - Massachusetts Children's Book Award, Short-listed
1997 - Arthur Ellis Award, Crime Writers of Canada, Short-listed

What's a Serious Detective Like Me Doing in Such a Silly Movie?

2004 - Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award, Short-listed
2003 - Our Choice, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner

Who's Got Gertie? And How Can We Get Her Back!

1998 - Moose Jaw and District Young Readers' Choice Award, Short-listed
1996 - Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award, Manitoba Library Association, Short-listed
1994 - Arthur Ellis Award, Crime Writers of Canada, Winner
1994 - Book of the Year for Children Award, Canadian Library Association, Commended