And the Coffee & Conversation keeps flowing! Today, I’m continuing our series of pre-conference faculty interviews with author Sue Macy. But first, need to register or want more information about the 2018 Still We R(ev)ise 25th Annual Conference? Head on over to our website!
Need another reminder about some important deadlines and things to do? Check out this previous post with our co-regional adviser, Kathy MacMillan.
Missed our previous Coffee & Conversation interviews? No worries, here’s the links:
And now, here’s the full scoop about author Sue Macy!
Sue is the author of 16 books for kids, including nonfiction picture books, middle-grade biographies, and young adult social histories. She was trained as a journalist and cut her teeth as an editor of Scholastic’s classroom magazines. She does all her own research and photo research, and the process of unearthing facts and artifacts in an integral part of her writing process. Her YA book, Wheels of Change, was a finalist for the 2012 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award.
Research Tips Every Nonfiction Writer Needs To Know, Saturday, 1:40 – 2:30PM
Writing nonfiction is a constant process of digging for information, both for the underpinnings of the book and the specific tidbits to illustrate the narrative. Learn tips for doing effective interviews, library research, and Internet searches that help move your writing forward and make it unique, and tried-and-true sources for photographs and other images that are essential to any successful nonfiction writing for kids.
And Still We R(ev)ise, Saturday, 2:40 PM – 3:30 PM
With Laura Gehl, Carollyne Hutter, Megan Wagner Lloyd, Sue Macy, Lakita Wilson and Moderator, Suzanna Banwell: A panel of authors from various genres discuss their tried-and-true techniques for making their work better with each draft and how to handle the emotional ups and downs of the revision process.
And now on to the interview!
Sue, what was your favorite book as a child? As a teen? And now, as an adult?
As a child, it’s been too long to remember, but as a teen, A Separate Peace by John Knowles:
And as an adult, And Again by Jessica Chiarella (fascinating novel about second chances:)
What is your favorite writing how-to book, technique, or website that has helped you improve your craft or provided inspiration?
I’m often inspired by the monthly eNewsletter sent out by Gotham Writers Workshop. The opening letter from the president, the links to articles on various aspects of writing, and the success stories from students and teachers are full of useful information—and they’re very well-written!
How were you inspired to write your current or upcoming release?
Many of my books start with my own curiosity about an era in history, and Motor Girls was no different. When I wrote Wheels of Change, about the impact of the bicycle on women in the 1890s, I ended the book with the rise of the automobile. I had a vague idea that some of the freedoms women won by riding bicycles did not survive into the early automobile age, and I wanted to learn more about that.
If you followed the career path you chose for yourself in high school, what would you be doing for a living now?
I would be a lawyer.
You’ve been locked in a bank vault Twilight Zone style, so you finally have time to read! Your glasses are fine, (whew,) so what’s the first book you crack open?
A mystery by Louise Penny or J.M. Redmann.
For one day, time travel is a reality and you have the opportunity to visit any famous deceased author you want. Who do you pick?
Do journalists count? If so, definitely Nellie Bly. If not, Dorothy Parker, though I’m not sure I’d be cool enough to hang out with her.
You magically find a $100 bill in your box of cereal. In what frivolous way would you spend it?
I would go on a shopping spree at the Container Store. You can never be too well-organized.
What is your favorite quote?
“Hunger makes me a modern girl.” —Carrie Brownstein
What do you enjoy doing when not writing?
Swimming, going to the gym, going to Broadway musicals, taking photographs.
If you could sum up your best advice for new writers in only four words, what would they be?
Write something every day.
And finally, what’s your favorite:
Time to work?
The hour before lunch or dinner. I’m motivated by food!
Music to listen to while writing?
I can’t do two things at the same time, so none. J
Trick to staying motivated?
Playing FreeCell to let my brain regroup and get through the rough spots.
Pair of shoes?
Brown Suede LL Bean Slippers—one of the benefits of working at home.
TV, specifically reality competitions including Chopped, Survivor, Top Chef, Project Runway, and The Voice.
Line from a movie?
“There’s no crying in baseball.” It’s not true, but it’s memorable.
LOVE that line! And thanks so much, Sue, for stopping by. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the conference!