Susie Baxter – Alachua County Writer
Susie H. Baxter is an Alachua County Florida published writer. She keeps a full speaking and teaching schedule. In the questions, she tells you about her upcoming classes being offered this month at Santa Fe College. She is heavily involved in the Writers Alliance of Gainesville.
Susie Baxter is a fifth-generation Floridian, who writes about the Florida she knew before air-conditioning and before anyone dreamed of the Florida Turnpike or the Magic Kingdom.
For most of her career with Mosby, a health-science publishing house in St. Louis (now an imprint of Elsevier), Susie served as an acquisitions editor, writing proposals for clinical reference books, and recruiting and contracting with physicians to serve as authors.
How to Contact the Author
Amazon Profile Page: https://www.amazon.com/Susie-H-Baxter/e/B075MHB9SZ
C.G. and Ethel: A Family History – 2008
Write Your Memoir: One Story at a Time – 2017
Pumping Sunshine: A Memoir of My Rural Childhood – 2017 – NON AVAILABLE IN AUDIBLE as well as ebook, Hardback and Paperback!
Interview Questions/Answers for Susie Baxter
Is there anything else you would like to add to your biography that your readers might find interesting or inspirational?
Since my memoir, Pumping Sunshine, does not go beyond childhood, I do have more to share. Originally, I thought this book would include the angst of teenage years and my marriage at age seventeen. But writing is a journey that often takes us in unintended directions.
As I wrote—and revised and revised!—I came to realize that my childhood experiences worked best as a stand-alone story that perhaps even the younger generation would enjoy. It was an honor that my book won first place in a memoir in the 2018 Royal Palm Literary Award competition sponsored by the Florida Writers Association (FWA). Currently, I am now working on a second memoir. That is the beauty of the memoir, you can write more than one. I hope to complete it this year and that readers will find it both interesting and inspiring.
Are there any hobbies (gardening, traveling in RV, crafts, etc.) that you enjoy doing to decompress from your writing schedule?
Like most writers, I enjoy relaxing with a good book, and I unwind with friends, playing cards and golf occasionally. After the publication of Pumping Sunshine, I took several months off from daily writing and renovated an old house. It was work, but fun. I also like to assist other writers in publishing their memoirs—such as my friend Pattie Martin Macurdy, who at ninety years old, has published Sunsets and Buzzards, a memoir she started just a few years ago. It’s never too late to begin recording one’s life stories. I believe everyone has at least one story to tell.
I noticed that your published works are all non-fiction, would you consider writing a strictly fictional story or series in the future? Please explain why or why not?
I have written some short fiction for children but have never attempted a novel. I doubt that’s in my future since I prefer to concentrate on true life. But I do appreciate realistic fiction—books that are written so well they convince me they’re true, even when I know they can’t possibly be. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, for example. My head tells me that an unarmed boy could not survive for long on a small lifeboat with a Bengal tiger, but the author convinced me he could. That’s the power of good fiction, and I’m not sure I have what it takes to do that.
Who are your favorite writers? and why? (Just a few sentences)
I don’t really follow certain authors, but I adored the child’s voice in Sue Monk Kidd’s Secret Life of Bees and will read more books by her. I like Anne Lamott for her honesty, David Sedaris for his wit. And of the classics, the Bronte sisters are my favorites. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is on my list of “Best Books Ever Read.”
What one piece of advice would you give any new unpublished writer—something that has helped you?
Ask for honest feedback on your writing from individuals other than friends and family. Join a writers group where everyone reads the others’ works and provides critique as well as encouragement. Without that, I doubt I would have ever published anything. If you are not aware of a writing group in your area, contact your local library and inquire, or do an online search. Organizations such as the Writers Alliance of Gainesville (WAG) and the Florida Writers Association sponsor critique groups.
I noticed that you haven’t updated your blog in a couple of years nor do you have a writer’s public Facebook Page or Twitter Account listed, How do you market your books?
While I don’t spend a lot of time marketing my work on social media, I take advantage of other opportunities for promotion, such as accepting invitations from people like you who ask for an interview. Thank you! Also, I’m a member of the WAG’s Speakers Bureau and will accept invitations to talk to organizations about my books, memoir writing, or self-publishing. My most recent invitation is to speak on October 8 at Oak Hammock’s Institute of Learning in Retirement (ILR). I also participate in book festivals, such as the recent Sunshine State Book Festival, and I teach a “Write Your Memoir” course at Santa Fe College in Gainesville where I live.
If you have any questions, I can be contacted through my website, http://susiehbaxter.com.
Susie Baxter’s Interview
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