Happy Book Birthday to UNSTOPPABLE ME! Here joining me today is author Susan Verde!
Hi Susan! Thanks for stopping by my blog!
Hi Dylan! Thank you so much for having me here!
Tell us a little bit about Unstoppable Me!
Unstoppable Me is really about perspective. As a mom and former teacher I have had my own children and students who had lots of energy. People often call these kids “spirited” and can view their inability to be still as challenging and often it’s seen as negative. This story is meant to express the positive things about the need to move and express and expel seemingly boundless energy. It’s the “can” versus “can’t.” I know for myself I am way more productive when I am able to move my body as opposed to being still. I wanted to share the beauty of this way of being in the world.
Tell us a little bit about your writing process.
I set aside time everyday (even on weekends) for writing. That is how I hold myself accountable and how I stay connected to the work. Even if I am not ultimately thrilled with what I have written on a given day I know I sat down and did my best in that moment. When I have an idea I try to let it all pour out on the page without getting stuck on structure or spelling or word count. It is when I feel I have gotten it all down on paper that I then go back and edit and shape my story. I typically use my laptop as opposed to a notebook although I do have a small journal I carry with me in case an idea strikes when I am without my computer. Sometimes I share my early writing with my kids, writer friends or my agent to flesh out ideas.
Have you always been into writing?
I have always written but not with the idea of publishing just as a way to work through things or capture something that moved me. I started realizing when I was very young, maybe 3rd grade that writing made me feel good or better if I was feeling low. I used to write a lot of poetry and in high school I wrote A LOT of angsty teen poems but again it helped me feel centered.
What’s the most exciting part of your job?
I think it is most exciting when I know I have written something good. That doesn’t mean it will get published necessarily although that is a HUGE thrill but there’s a kind of buzzy excitement when I feel I have written something meaningful. The other most exciting part is when I hear from a teacher or a reader who has been moved somehow by a story. And when I get to visit kids and educators and interact and share messages of empathy and peace and the power of books! Oh so many exciting things…hard to pick one!
What inspires your creativity?
I think the moments when I am present and observant and paying attention to the world around me, the kids around me and also staying in touch with my own inner child that I am the most inspired. It can be a conversation had or overheard or a piece of art or an act of courage or even something challenging that can spark an idea.
What is one thing that readers don’t know about you, that only you could tell us?
Hmmm… well I love music, in particular hip hop. I often dance in my kitchen (much to my children’s dismay). I used to work for a music magazine and my mother had a record company so it’s always been a part of my life. I also lived in France for a bit when I was younger.
If you weren’t writing books, what do you think you’d be doing?
I think I would be an elementary school teacher because I have done that and it was an incredibly fulfilling experience. Or I might be working in the field of mental health focusing on children and teenagers. I have a child with ocd and I am always studying things about the brain and learning how to help and support kids with these kinds of challenges and anxiety.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
I have more books coming in my I Am series with Peter Reynolds as well as some beautiful “helpful” fractured fairytales and a few more exciting things in the pipeline.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers of this blog?
Just that I am so grateful to connect with people interested in the power of picture books and love to help support educators and others doing great work in the world with kids. And a big THANK YOU to you, Dylan for all you are doing!