Susan P. Cooper provides a great example of the new paths to publication emerging for authors. She left the corporate world and started a blog where she posts illustrated life stories, deceptively simple recipes, and enlightened her readers with wine reviews. Susan is developing a business site as well. We met about a year and a half ago via LinkedIn, and it’s safe to say she’s tops in my blog commenters as well as a friend. I also work as her copy editor, and she’s been doing career coaching sessions with me. It’s safe to say Susan is up there on my list of admirable people.
1. Please provide a brief synopsis of your book.
Lessons From An Ordinary Life – Volume 1 is a collection of 10 of my short stories about events from my childhood accompanied by my illustrations. I call it my little miracle.
Finding our way through life involves an equal share of joy and woe. The stories we often tell each other throughout the journey help us make sense of it all. The childhood memories collected in my book act as self-discovery guideposts for the reader and myself alike. The deceptively simple lessons shed light on the power stories have to shape and connect us. This collection and the accompanying artwork are a must for those who seek comfort in wondering about life’s seemingly random treasure box of experiences.
2. Tell us a little bit about what motivates or inspires your writing.
I’ve been asked on more occasions than I can count, why in the world would I choose to write anything, much less produce a book, knowing I’m dyslexic? That is an excellent question. I never set out to become a writer. To cope with my dyslexia, I became an acute observer of all that was going on around me. Though my observations, I was able to grow into an auditory storyteller. It was a skill I honed and used for the sole purpose of helping someone see a circumstance in a different light or to teach a lesson.
As time passed, I was encouraged to write and possibly publish my stories. Over time the suggestion to publish my stories with my illustrations grew more persistent. I knew if I genuinely wanted my voice to be heard I needed to find a way to communicate what I had to share. Be it through what I would write, the drawings I created or my photography. Despite the fact that, it was and is a challenge for me to write well, I knew if I put my mind to it and with the help of all the available tools I have amassed, it could be done.
It still amazes me that I am writing and that I have published a book with more on the way.
3. It’s hard to pick just one, but what do you consider your favorite novel and why?
My favorite books are Dr. Zhivago and Lord of the Rings. I love both stories in different was and for different reasons. For me, they are both full of a richness of language that sucks you in and holds your attention. Being an auditory and visual storyteller, the fact that I could see pictures in my mind of the all the events as the story unfolded was a wonder.
I learned that if I could see what the book was were saying as picture in my mind then maybe I could do the same through my story telling in written form.
4. What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?
Finding Our Way Now is all about life where I share stories, food and drink. It’s a place to come, kick off your shoes, relax and let the world go for a little while.
5. Are you traditionally published or self-published?
I knew no other way than to self-publish. The fact that I published anything at all is a bit of a miracle to me.
6. Can you offer one or two helpful tips for fellow writers when it comes to marketing and publicity?
Marketing anything takes planning and support. Although I haven’t done as much as I should, what it takes is being out in front to your potential audience both physically and online. Never over look an opportunity to share your story and your book. If you can find a good marketing expert to helps draft and implement a plan. The fact, coming form a marketing ad sales background, I could write a book on this subject.
7. Describe your writing background.
I had to laugh at this question. I have no real background in writing or no formal or informal education of any kind for this. What I did was transfer my auditory skill of storytelling into written form. I am a work in progress and continue to learn a ton as I go.
8. What does your drafting and/or editing process entail?
Being dyslexic I realized that in order to actually put my stories in print I need a quality professional editor (you) to review and edit what I wrote. It was the best decision I could have ever made. I have not, as of yet, joined a writing or critique group. However, I’m currently in the process of identifying potential groups for the future.
9. What future projects can we look forward to?
There are two more stories/essay volumes that are in the works along with a cookbook.
10. Is there anything else you want your potential readers to know?
You just never know where something will take you. Never limit what we can achieve because of our own prejudices about what we can or cannot do. In a way I never expected, I am achieving my dream through my book “Lessons Form An Ordinary Life” now available on Amazon. Lastly, if you have a dream, then go for it. You just never know where it will take you.
You can connect with Susan P. Cooper via her blog. Her books can be purchased from Amazon.
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The images in this post are for promotional purposes only and comply with fair use guidelines.
Article by Jeri Walker-Bickett aka JeriWB