Meet the Members: Susan Johnston Taylor, plus a special discount for WLT Members

“I love something Liz Garton Scanlon said during her recent WLT class. When revising her picture books, she thinks not about making them shorter but more potent. I think that’s a good way to approach revisions in any genre.”

-Susan Johnston Taylor

A member of the Writers’ League since September, Susan Johnston Taylor lives in Austin. She’s co-chairing the first Austin regional conference for the American Society of Journalists & Authors on February 3, 2018. It’s a full day of insights and inspiration for nonfiction writers with a keynote by Sarah Bird, sessions on the craft and business of writing, networking and much WLT members get a $20 discount on registration with the code TX18-WLT-TX. More details at tiny.cc/asjatx.

Read the interview to learn more about Susan.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Susan Johnston Taylor: After working as a freelancer writing nonfiction articles about personal finance and small business for almost a decade, I was starting to burn out, so I had the crazy idea to write a picture book. Several classes and manuscripts later, I’m now hooked and find that tapping into my younger self’s curiosity fuels my writing for grownups, too.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

SJT: I’d ask Charlotte Brontë about her revision process. What was in the first draft of “Jane Eyre” that was left on the cutting room floor and did any of those scenes wind up in another story?

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

SJT:  Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. The subtitle (“Some Instructions on Writing and Life”) reflects how the book not only speaks to the craft of writing but also the challenges of being human.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

SJT: I love something Liz Garton Scanlon said during her recent WLT class. When revising her picture books, she thinks not about making them shorter but more potent. I think that’s a good way to approach revisions in any genre.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

SJT: I’m shopping around several picture book manuscripts (including a pun-filled grammar story), so I hope my writing leads to a publishing deal. I’d love to write an adult nonfiction book, too, but I’m still zeroing in on the right focus.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

SJT: Texas has so many awesome writers, it’s hard to choose one! I studied with Jason Gallaher at the Writing Barn here in Austin and loved his debut picture book Whobert Whover, Owl Detective, which came out this summer, so shout out to Jason and his awesome class. (He also spoke at WLT’s July Third Thursday this year.)

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

SJT: Yes, I’m co-chairing the first Austin regional conference for the American Society of Journalists & Authors on February 3, 2018. It’s a full day of insights and inspiration for nonfiction writers with a keynote by Sarah Bird, sessions on the craft and business of writing, networking and much more. WLT members get a $20 discount on registration with the code TX18-WLT-TX. More details at tiny.cc/asjatx.

Thanks, Susan!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on! Please also email us, at the same address, if you’d like to learn more about WLT board service.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s