|Picture by Katherine Roy from sstaylorbooks.com|
Just a few more days until S. S. Taylor, author of the Expeditioners books, is at the store to run a writing workshop for educators and interested students. The event starts at 11:00 am on Saturday, October 18th - conveniently enough also the day of Montpelier Arts Fest 2014 (maps are available at the store).
To warm up for Saturday, we asked S. S. Taylor a few writerly questions, and here's what she had to say:
What was the first story you wrote?
I wrote a blatant ripoff of The Borrowers when I was about 9. It was about little people who live in people's houses and . . . borrow things from them. Sorry, Mary Norton. I've noticed that a lot of kids start out writing this kind of "fan fiction," based on their favorite books. It must be a way of learning about how stories work so you can then write your own original tales.
When you think of your favorite writing teacher, what were his / her best qualities?
I'm thinking of two. One was a high school English teacher who told me that my writing was fine, but a little lifeless, and that I could do better. Looking back, I so appreciate his honesty and willingness to really engage with me. He called me out even though it would have been so much easier to keep letting me write A minus papers. The second was a writing professor in graduate school who simply praised my writing at a time when I really needed a shot of confidence. He just said, "Keep going, keep writing. I know this will be published some day." It was life changing.
When you walk into a bookstore, what books do you look at first? How do you decide what to read next?
I always look to see what the staff is recommending. A good bookstore is staffed by avid readers and I love to see what they've liked. I always check out the tables up at the front of the store and then I like to see what books just sort of grab me from the shelves. I choose books by reading reviews and asking friends about the last book they just loved.
Want to learn more? S. S. Taylor is also the featured author on the Bear Pond Books VT Authors page. . . and, of course, you can join us on Saturday morning! All you need is pen & paper (or pencil & paper, or laptop, iPad, etc). This workshop is free, and part of our author-educators' series.