Polly Shulman: Advice for Young Writers

Today we conclude our interview series with Polly Shulman, author of the Truman Award-nominated book, “The Grimm Legacy.” To read the first chapter online, be sure to visit Polly’s website at www.pollyshulman.com. For more great reading recommendations, don’t forget to check out the full list of 2013 Truman Award Nominees. The Daniel Boone Regional Library thanks Polly for taking the time to chat with us, and we’d also like to give a shout out to Hayden and Garett Ballard for being great interview hosts!

Hayden: What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

Polly: The most important thing is to read. Read, read, read! Read a book you think you’re going to like. Read books you think you’re NOT going to like. Read books that are different from anything you’ve ever read. That will help you learn about how other writers approach their stories and it will give you a ton of ideas.

Skyping with Polly Shulman

Then, once you start writing, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s important to step away and come back to your writing even if you think it’s terrible. Even the best authors write a lot of stuff that’s terrible.

Another very helpful tip is that if you do get stuck, take a break. The best kind of break to take is one where you move around and get a little exercise. Go for a walk, a swim, or a bike ride. It’s important to get yourself moving and get a change of scenery.

You might also have a friend who loves to read and write who could be your writing buddy. You can read each other’s work and encourage one another. My best friend and I read each other’s work and it’s really inspiring.

Garett: Are you working on another book right now?

Polly: I just finished the second Repository novel, “The Wells Bequest,” and it will be published next summer. It involves objects from classic science fiction including time machines and death rays. So, now I’m thinking about the next book and trying to decide what to write next.

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