Today I am happy to have Susan Wroble on the blog. She’s a local author friend who serves as one of our SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Rocky Mountain Chapter Regional Advisors and has been a supporter of this blog from the beginning. I’m grateful for so many ways she contributes to the writing community and was thrilled to spend most of Saturday with her when we celebrated books at Second Star to the Right, an adorable indie bookstore in Denver that hosted a wonderful event which I’ll be writing about later this week.
Susan writes nonfiction including writing for the education market. As you’ll see, her writing and her beliefs are beautifully aligned and work together to make help make the planet a better place for future generations. She is offering one lucky winner a paperback copy of ENERGY FROM THE EARTH.
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
As a child, I was incredibly quiet and shy, one of those students who almost never spoke in school. But I loved exploring the woods by my grandparent’s home in northern Virginia. I searched for rocks and arrowheads, and learned the trees and animals. During elementary school, my dad, who was in the Marine Corps, was in training to be a diplomat to represent our country overseas. He would take some of the skills he learned and turned them into games we played at dinner—like building a palace in our minds as a way to remember a long list of things, or suddenly being asked to stand up and giving a speech on something silly, like all the uses for toothpaste. One game took longer. I loved memorizing a poem each week and then performing it on Saturday. Then, in the summer after 4th grade, we moved to Bangkok, Thailand, where we spent the next three wonderful years. Bangkok was built around a network of canals. During the rainy season, everything flooded, and I would wade to the bus stop past fish swimming in our driveway (they were even swimming in our kitchen!)
What inspires you?
I am most inspired by people—and animals—who do things to help our planet and its people. Climate activist Greta Thunberg is one hero. I try to help others by volunteering. One of the places I volunteer is at Children’s Hospital Colorado. My husband and I visit there every two weeks with our therapy dog Nella. She snuggles with sick children in their hospital beds and we watch as some of their worries and anxieties melt away. So Nella is another of my heroes!
What’s something you hope readers take away from your books?
I’m an optimist. I hope that after reading one of my books, readers feel better about the future of the world. I would like them to come away knowing that we each can work to make the earth a cleaner, safer, better place. Each of us, no matter our age, can make a difference. Whenever possible, I try to include a call to action in my books, with ideas for ways to make change.
What’s next for you?
I love research, and love the nights where I dive into an exciting new idea. My problem is knowing when to stop reading scientific papers and start writing! At the moment, I am writing a work-for-hire (WFH) book on living with depression. One of the ways I volunteer is to lead a support group for parents of twice-exceptional children (kids who are highly gifted and who also have learning differences). Every month there is a discussion about anxiety or depression, so I welcomed the opportunity to research this topic and learn more.
I also volunteer by serving as Co-Regional Advisor for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of SCBWI (the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). It’s a lot of work, but I am keeping up my creative side in a year-long nonfiction class. In that class, I am working on a proposal for a MG NF book about volcanic eruptions that caused global cooling and led to the downfall of civilizations. It’s important because these eruptions prove that spraying the stratosphere with dust or chemicals cools the planet. If global temperatures keep rising, we may be forced to mimic this effect—but we need to understand the repercussions.
Thus far, my published work has been in the magazine market and for WFH publishers, but I have a 2023 goal to send out my trade manuscripts and my volcano proposal to agents and editors. Fingers crossed!
Readers can find out more about Susan’s writing: