Susan Shaw Revealed
About Susan Shaw
What is your birthdate?:8/9
Previous occupations:lifeguard, swimming instructor, music teacher, musician, and babysitting back when I was a teenager.
High school and/or college:Radnor High School, Radnor, PA, and Temple University, Phila., PA
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:J.S. Bach is my favorite composer, Ella Fitzgerald my favorite music artist. There's no one like Ella!
Favorite movie:No favorites, but a few stand-outs: SLEUTH; CHARADE, MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY; THE PINK PANTHER; THE AFRICAN QUEEN; REAR WINDOW
Favorite television show:Mostly, I read, but I enjoy Phillies games on TV.
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. Hahahahahahahaha!
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. Eat dessert first. Also: Hard work always pays off.
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. The feelings created when I'm surrounded by those I love and who love me.
- Q. What’s your greatest fear?
- A. being alone in the world
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. Right where I am. Home. But feel free to tempt me with Tahiti or Aruba. Or a good party.
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. my mother for her ability to always think forward.
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. They must not be overused or I wouldn't be using them.
- Q. What do you regret most?
- A. not eating all the brownies
- Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
- A. hang-gliding
- Q. What is your greatest achievement?
- A. raising three great kids
- Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
- A. impatience
- Q. What’s your best quality?
- A. loyalty
- Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
- A. myself, but maybe a little smarter
- Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
- A. Loyalty. Also, I smile a lot.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
- A. Othello
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
- A. Iago
- Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
- A. Abraham Lincoln, and I'd say, "Sure wish you hadn't gone to the play that night."
- Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
- A. inconsiderate people
- Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
- A. visiting with friends
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. stand-up comedian
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. I'll say four: honesty, a sense of humor, loyalty, and, generosity of spirit.
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. chocolate
- Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
- A. I like all kinds of music with many favorites, but here are a few that never go away: MACK THE KNIFE (sung by Bobby Darin or Ella Fitzgerald. Love her version in which she forgets the words and makes up new ones); YES SIR, THAT'S MY BABY (I sang to my children when they were babies); PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON (yay, Peter, Paul, and Mary!); WALTZING MATILDA (Great the way the Kings Singers perform it), Mozart's ALLELUIA (sure wish I could sing it the way Judith Blegen did.)
On Books and Writing
- Q. Who are your favorite authors?
- A. I've had many favorite authors, but here are a few in no particular order: Annie Dillard, Mark Twain, Harper Lee, Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, James Fenimore Cooper.
- Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
- A. PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
THE SECRET GARDEN
THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. Mostly, I don't reread a book until years have passed, but I have made an exception with TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. No matter how well you know the story, you are rewarded on every page, in every paragraph.
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. Keep trying.
- Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
- A. "I love your books."
- Q. How did you come to write One of the Survivors?
- A. I'm not sure. I never know what a writing project is about until I'm well into it. This story revealed itself to me as I endeavored to discover certain things about Joey. What was behind his attitude? Why was he writing in this journal? Why was he staying outside? Basically, what was Joey's problem, and what was he doing about it? And while I was discovering these things, certain patchwork pieces of my life came to the surface and called to be used. One of these pieces included a house fire when I was seven, in which no one died, but the cat did disappear into the smoke as RuthAnne, the babysitter, led us outside to safety. Another was a school fire during my stint as a substitute teacher in which several teachers kept their classes inside because they thought the alarms going off were faulty, as they had been all day. No one was hurt that day, either, but I was angry about the teachers' decision, and that, no doubt, partially fueled the writing of this book. The more I wrote about Joey, the more I learned about him and the more I saw what to write.