I thoroughly enjoy connecting and meeting other writers and authors. I meet my fellow writers through various channels online via social media, writers groups, friends and colleagues. I decided while I am getting to know them better I could also introduce these talented writers and authors to you too.
Author Interview with Author Sarah MacLaughlin
1) Please share some of your background.
I was raised by hippies in the San Francisco Bay Area. I call San Rafael my hometown though I spent most of my teen years in Maine (my family relocated when I was 13). College was spent on both coasts as well. I wed Early Childhood Education and Women’s Studies into a Bachelor’s degree with a culminating project about gender bias in the classroom and I studied Elementary Education in graduate school. I am a social worker now, and have worked with children and families for my entire adult life. I love it. There is nothing more rewarding.
2) When did you begin your writing journey?
I started keeping a journal when I was 10. I always loved writing. Having a goal of writing a book about communication with children really helped me become more disciplined about staying focused when writing for longer periods of time. Before the book, writing was always just for me—writing for an audience was really different.
3) Most writers are readers. What is on your nightstand now and/or on your to-read list?
I have about a dozen books on my nightstand. Actually, I think the pile got so large it had to be moved to the floor! I just read Half a Life by Darin Strauss, his memoir about accidentally killing a bicyclist in a car accident his senior year in high school. It is compelling and haunting—he really draws you in. In the parenting realm I just cracked open The Mama’s Boy Myth by Kate Stone Lombardi, and Consciously Parenting by Rebecca Thompson. At the top of my fiction to-read list is Little Bee by Chris Cleave. I’ve heard great things about it.
4) What are three pieces of advice you would give to beginning writers?
Oh boy. I feel so unqualified to give advice in this area. And I’m not sure I have anything “new” to say, but here goes:
• Keep a small notebook in your bag. Inspiration strikes at the oddest moments. Jotting down a sentence that pops into your head, or an idea you want to think more about can be a great jumping off place later.
• Write when you can. I love the idea of having sacrosanct times for getting the writing down, but I am a working mom and my life just can’t be that organized! Write whenever you get a chance.
• If you are on a roll, try to stick with it. I hate nothing more than having to STOP writing when things are going well. I probably stay up way too late way too often because of this practice!
5) Please share more about your book, What Not to Say?
I called my book The Little Book That Could for a long time during the editing process. It was so impossible to stop learning and get to a place where it was “done.” I think I will always feel like it could have been better—I am too hard on myself that way—so I am thrilled with all the positive feedback and support I’ve gotten. I think it is valuable for so many, and not just parents! It is short and easy to read, and full of useful tips and advice without being preachy.
6) What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired by listening to the way children were being spoken to around me and seeing the impact—a lot of it wasn’t great. Over the years I have learned so much about child development and parenting. I am gratified to see some movement in the evolution of parenting recently—that is so encouraging!
7) What else do you have going on for the rest of 2012?
I am looking forward to “stay-cation” this summer; spending time with family and friends, getting some stuff done around the house, and hopefully enjoying some sunshine during Maine’s short summer. I’m hoping to build my consulting practice and in the fall I will teach another round of my class, Cooperative Parenting, based on the communication tools in my book and the listening tools from Hand in Hand Parenting.
8) Please share where people can find out more about you and your book?
You can follow my blog where I write articles about parenting and document my own personal parenting journey; my son is only four so that will be ongoing. http://www.sarahsbalancingact.blogspot.com/ And my website is www.sarahmaclaughlin.com.
Please comment on this post to enter to win an ebook copy of What Not to Say: Tools for Talking with Young Children, in the format of your choice: PDF, epub, or Kindle format. Sarah will be giving away one copy at each blog stop and will announce it on the comments of this post tomorrow. Be sure to leave your email so we can contact you in case you’re the winner!
Other stops and opportunities to win during this Blog Tour are listed on Sarah’s blog here: http://sarahsbalancingact.blogspot.com/p/blog-tour.html.
Also, you can enter at Sarah’s site for the Grand Prize Giveaway: a Kindle Touch. Winner will be announced at the end of the tour after July 15th. Go here to enter: http://sarahsbalancingact.blogspot.com/p/blog-tour.html
About The Author
Sarah MacLaughlin has worked with children and families for over twenty years. With a background in early childhood education, she has previously been both a preschool teacher and nanny. Sarah is currently a licensed social worker at The Opportunity Alliance in South Portland, Maine, and works as the resource coordinator in therapeutic foster care. She serves on the board of Birth Roots, and writes the “Parenting Toolbox” column for a local parenting newspaper, Parent & Family. Sarah teaches classes and workshops locally, and consults with families everywhere. She considers it her life’s work to to promote happy, well-adjusted people in the future by increasing awareness of how children are spoken to today. She is mom to a young son who gives her plenty of opportunities to take her own advice about What Not to Say. More information about Sarah and her work can be found at her site: http://www.saramaclaughlin.com/ and her blog: http://sarahsbalancingact.blogspot.com.