Dec 3, 2021 • 51M

A Busload of Books: Illustrator Robbi Behr and Writer Matthew Swanson Take Their Work and Their Family on the Road in Episode 292.

An audacious literary partnership begets an audacious literary dream.

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Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

Can a marriage survive nearly a quarter century of co-writing? I (Jess) present exhibit A on the side of yes, absolutely: illustrator Robbi Behr and writer Matthew Swanson. Robbi and Matthew met in college, have been partners in life and publishing ever since, and they (along with their four kids) are about to embark on their greatest adventure yet.

Robbi and Matthew have written over seventy books, initially with their own publishing house, and now with Random House (Knopf). Matthew writes the text, and Robbi creates the illustrations for their delightful picture and middle grade books. One of their favorite parts of being author/illustrators, however, is the part where they get to meet kids and talk about their work and the creative process.

Next year, the whole family will board a refurbished school bus and travel across the country to speak at Title I schools in all fifty states, giving away 25,000 copies of their books as they go.

Here’s a video about the adventure.

It’s an audacious, massive undertaking, and we are proud to be supporters of the Busload of Books Tour!

If you’d like to support them too, go to to donate, stay abreast of their adventures, and find out where they will be speaking in your state.

Links from the pod

The Most Dangerous Writing App

Robbi and Matthew’s books

The Daily Minute

Robbi and Matthew’s YouTube

Robbi’s and Matthew’s Instagram

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Think you’d be pretty good on the other end of a coaching call? Then you should consider becoming a certified book coach through Author Accelerator’s book coach training program. It’s everything you need to know to begin working with clients on writing, planning, revising and querying (and then learning more and getting better with every new client and with Author Accelerator’s support and team behind you). Choose a fiction or nonfiction specialty, study with a cohort and design a new business or side-gig that works for you. Learn more at