As Written Dreams expands to be a great resource for authors, I look for the best people to help grow this business with me. I was so impressed with Susan’s editing skills, it seemed the perfect fit for her to be a part of our team. Introducing Susan Pawlicki, our talented non-fiction and fiction editor at Written Dreams!
WD: Tell us about your family. What do they think of your editing?
SP: I have two daughters at home, Emily, who is twenty, and Sarah, who is seventeen. Both are students at the local college; Emily is studying art education and Sarah is still in the decision making stage. (Historian? Lawyer? Psychologist? ) Both girls have become avid readers and writers, which is a true joy in my life. They are most happy about my editing for Written Dreams: I truly enjoy the process of editing and I’m a happier person when I have a project at hand.
WD: What are your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
SP: I’m a voracious reader who enjoys everything from “Paradise Lost” to Calvin and Hobbes, so I always have a book or two going. My daughters are both great readers as well, so years ago we designated one table in the house to be the “Reading Table”—right now it has (let me check) twelve books on it ranging from a history of snowflakes to Robert Penn Warren’s All The King’s Men—I’m teaching it in a couple weeks—to a volume on Mary Todd Lincoln and her maid/confidante, Elizabeth Keckly.
In the summer I’m an enthusiastic bike (the pedal kind) rider and outdoor runner; at the moment, though, I’m running on a treadmill to get ready for the Illinois Half-Marathon at the end of April. I like riding the bike because you can cover a fair amount of distance in a short period of time, and out here in rural Illinois it’s just beautiful in the spring, summer and autumn—there’s always something to be discovered on a ride. Running makes me feel fit and healthy, and it challenges both my self-discipline and my will. It makes me a stronger person.
WD: What compelled you to get into editing?
SP: I’ve always loved writing and about the time I began teaching writing at the local college, a friend who was starting a business asked me to look over some writing for him. The volume of writing grew to the point he felt uncomfortable asking me to do the work as a friendly gesture, so voila—I became an editor. And the rest is history! 🙂
WD: Who are some of your favorite authors to read?
SP: My favorite author is F. Scott Fitzgerald. He’s my favorite. What a vocabulary that man has! Emerson and Thoreau. I’m a big fan of Kazuo Ishiguro, too; reading Remains of the Day was a revelation to me; the writing is beautiful without calling attention to itself and rarely has a character been created so three-dimensionally. Hemingway. C.S. Lewis—The Screwtape Letters seems mandatory reading for consideration of good and evil. Terry Pratchett—how can one man be so profound and yet so funny? Robert Penn Warren may well be joining the list; I’m reading All The King’s Men to teach it for a homeschool high school literature class, and his writing thus far is extraordinary!
WD: Who, in your life, has had a large impact on your way of thinking?
SP: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau are up there at the top of the list. Both have greatly influenced my religious and spiritual beliefs, as well as my philosophy of daily living. My daughters, who over the years have brought up or pointed out the obvious that my adult brain was overlooking, have also been a great influence.
WD: What compels you to continue reading a story?
SP: Real characters, an initial intriguing plot element. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie begins with a young girl trying to save her twin infants from dying of whooping cough—I was sucked into the story line immediately! Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled creates a dream-like atmosphere in which you’re unsure of what is real and what is not right from the first page.
WD: What advice would you share with beginning writers?
SP: Write, and then write some more. Don’t get pulled away from your writing by outside distractions, and don’t give up too soon. This business of writing takes a lot of hard word and discipline.
WD: What advice would you share with seasoned writers?
SP: See advice for beginning writers. I don’t think the process ever changes that much…Even when you’ve had a measure of success, writing is about putting part of yourself out in the world for others to see, and that in and of itself can be scary or discouraging.
WD: What is one goal you’d like to accomplish in 2013?
SP: I’m a goal-oriented person, so it’s hard to limit myself to one! I’d like to help multiple authors get published. I want to run a 2:45 half marathon. And I’m taking my own advice and writing a story a week—if you’re trying the project, too, feel free to drop me an email—we can commiserate! 🙂
Thanks, Susan, for being our guest today so others can learn more about you! If you’d like to contact Susan, you can email her at Susan@writtendreams.com. To see a list of our services go to: writtendreams.com