Robert Stanek is the author of more than 250 books, written over the past 35 years. He is widely credited with transforming Microsoft Press from a publishing company its readers swore published books in a foreign language called Microsoftese into one praised for publishing books in plain language, and it was Robert himself who created that plain language approach. His words and style were so beloved they eventually became the plain language style of Microsoft itself. His words formed the foundation of millions of training courses and college classes, earning Microsoft and other instructional companies billions. This plain language style informs all of Robert's writing and helped sell more than 20 million copies of his books worldwide. With works translated into 57 languages and counting, Robert is one of the top authors in the world.
Much of Robert's early inspiration came from his forefather, Wallace Stegner, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author, who was Robert's mentor for many years. Wallace Stegner is credited with being the co-creator of the modern creative writing industry, having taught creative writing at Harvard, Wisconsin State, Iowa State and Stanford, where he built the prestigious program. It was Uncle Wallace who inspired Robert to become a columnist and editor of his school newspaper in the 4th grade. It was Uncle Wallace who encouraged Robert to challenge and prove himself through his writing. It was Uncle Wallace who told Robert that he was one of the most versatile and naturally talented writers he'd ever met, and indeed Robert is extremely versatile and talented having written successfully in dozens of subject areas and genres. Everything from a 1600-page megabook on computers to a 24-page picture book for children with original watercolors that Robert hand-painted himself.
Diversity, equality, fairness and justice have been constant themes in
Robert's many works of fiction, as have conservation and the environment.
Robert was asked recently if he was so passionate about #diversity,
#equality, #fairness, #justice and all the other things we was writing about
in his essays why has he been silent? Where was his social commentary 5
years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago. Or is this something he decided to
speak up about just now? His reply, "Have you actually read any of my books?
Have you actually listened to anything my books have to say? Have you
actually listened to anything I’ve been saying?"
Magic Lands is an allegory for our modern world. The main character, Ray, is
a POC, who must battle with stigma, racism and the perceptions of those
around him as much as the wild elements and incredible dangers of his
FACT: Robert really was asked by white publishing to remove #Diversity and
#POC from his Bugville Critters Lass Ladybug books. Thus focusing only on
the Ladybug family. Yes, he really did refuse and publish independently.
Years ago Robert could’ve easily removed POC from his books as white publishing wanted him to, and he could’ve easily cashed the six- and seven-figure checks for the rest of his life because that’s what was offered, but he chose not to. Not only because it was morally wrong and reprehensible to him, but because what would he be saying to his children, to the world, if he did so. He’d rather the few read his work, than his work to represent something he do not believe in.
A lesson from his forefather that really resonated with Robert was related to his many writing awards. Wallace Stegner told Robert that winning the Pulitzer was impressive but it didn’t really help sell his books or pay his bills, nor did the National Book Award, nor the three O’Henry awards, nor the two Guggenheim fellowships. The craft of writing is about the writing. Professional writing is work. Professional writers write to pay the bills and pay the bills Robert did as he wrote for major publishers across several decades.
With so many books to choose from, it's hard to
know where to start, so here's a quick start guide:
The Bugville Critters picture books. Good news! There are over 100 to choose from, all featuring hand-painted watercolor originals. Look for the books in print, digital and audio. Start here with the originals.
* Kids and teens will want to look for:
In the Service of Dragons #1, 2, 3, + 4
Magic Lands #1 + 2
* Adults will want to look for
The Pieces of the Puzzle + The Cards in the Deck
This Mortal Coil
Keeper Martin's Tale, Kingdom Alliance, Fields of Honor + Mark of the Dragon
A Daughter of Kings, Dragons of the Hundred Worlds + Guardians of the Dragon Realms
Find Books by Robert Stanek