The Clayton literary community honored one of its own during a “Meet the Author” event at Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library.
As something of a New Year’s baby, Susan Schild’s first novel, “Linny’s Sweet Dream List,” arrived on Jan. 5. She has two other novels slated for release later this year.
Schild read from her new book and took questions from the two dozen in attendance for the Jan. 7 event. She spoke about writing as both a calling and a craft, something she always wanted to do but that came easier on some days than others.
“Writer’s block can be really hard, especially when you’re dealing with a drop-dead deadline,” Schild said to a question about writer’s block. “When you have a deadline, it’s not about whether you feel like it or not. You have to push through it. And maybe you’re writing some junk, but if you keep pushing, some good things will happen.”
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Schild painted a picture of her writing process: a dedicated six-hours from 6 a.m. to noon every morning, with the dog at her feet. But inspiration sometimes strikes in the middle of the night, prompting her to shake her husband awake and talk through an idea. It can also come during a mindless trip to the refrigerator or during a game of fetch with the dog.
“Linny’s Sweet Dream List” follows twice-widowed Linny Taylor’s return home as she sorts out what happiness might look and feel like at this point in her life.
Schild said she typically makes an outline of her books at the outset, first as a requirement by her editor and second to keep the world of her characters straight.
“If you don’t make an outline, you’ll end up with a 12-month pregnancy, a husband changing names and tobacco growing in the middle of winter,” Schild said.
“Linny” is the first book in Schild’s “Willow Hill” series, with “Carolina Morning” and “Sweet Southern Hearts” due out later this year.
Drew Jackson: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104; @jdjackson