Suzanne, Suzanne, Suzanne…what would we do without you?
If it wasn’t for Suzanne, On the Scene in ’19 would not exist. She took the first step by asking if anyone else would be interested in forming a debut author group and here we are today. We’re twenty strong with diverse stories to tell. But in this interview, we’re excited and proud to celebrate Suzanne’s debut, I CAMPAIGNED FOR ICE CREAM, coming in April 2019.(PRE-ORDER NOW) Let’s all commemorate this occasion with an ice cream sundae on this fabulous Sunday. YUM!
What inspires you to write?
My kids! Whether it be an experience one of my sons had or a topic my students and I have delved into, the enthusiasm radiating from a child learning something new is my primary inspiration.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I was that kid who when assigned a two-page paper, wrote ten. I received my first rejection letter from Western Publishing Company for my manuscript BOOGIE THE SNAIL when I was twelve. In high school, I was co-editor of the school newspaper and co-wrote articles for the High School Happenings page of a local newspaper. As a freshman in college I majored in journalism, but my desire to teach children triumphed. Now as an author, I have combined both passions!
Are you working on something new at the moment?
I have a fiction middle-grade version of I CAMPAIGNED FOR ICE CREAM in the works. It was actually the manuscript I started with, but it was set aside after I took Kristen Fulton’s Nonfiction Archealogy class. The idea of writing nonfiction picture books strongly resonated with me. I teach developing readers by immersing my students in a different science theme each year and I saw nonfiction as a natural segway from my method of teaching to my writing. The course inspired me to try the ice cream truck story in a nonfiction picture book format and it worked! However, I can’t let the original manuscript go—I adore the main character’s voice. My other work in progress is a STEM based picture book that spans several genres: fiction since the main character is an inatimate object and the story is told from its perspective, narrative nonfiction since the information in the book is factual but told in story form, and expository nonfiction since I have included sidebars with additional science and technical information.
What other responsibilities or activities do you have as a writer?
My writing life has me hustling. My prime responsibility is to find time to write, but too often I get distracted by the other writing tasks I can easily check off my list. In a close second, is finding time to learn as much as I can about the craft of writing. I enjoy learning from webinars, conferences, and my critique group. I am especially excited to attend the Nonfiction Writing Retreat hosted by authors Jennifer Swanson and Candace Fleming in May. In addition, I am the co-founder of the debut group On the Scene in ’19 (today’s interviewer); I have four author assemblies and one parent presentation scheduled for this month; and oh yeah, I teach part time and share my love of writing and all things KidLit with my students.
What were your favorite books when you were a kid?
I was also that kid who always had her nose in a book. Some of my favorites include all books by Beverly Cleary, ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET, A WRINKLE IN TIME, and A BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA (the first book that made me cry). My all-time fav was HARRIET THE SPY which I read over, and over, and over again. I even created my own spy notebook—shhh!
What would you like readers to know about you?The acrostic poem SUZANNE JACOBS LIPSHAW from my website should fill in the gaps.
Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw, but you can call me SuzanneUs = My devoted husband Marc + my incredible sons Josh and Jeremy + my furry writing buddy…
Author of children’s books – mostly nonfiction, but I have a fiction middle-grade in the works too.
Never want to stop learning.
Need to read—big fan of the Harry Potter series (BTW, I’m a Hufflepuff).
Educator who’s all about encouraging and engaging developing readers.
Jazzed about science—especially space, nature, and oceanography.
Also dabble in interior design.
Cayaking* is one of my favorite pastimes (*I know it starts with a K, but there’s no K in my name).
On my yoga mat at least twice a week.
Born and raised in Michigan—still livin’ in and lovin’ the Great Lakes State.
Spend my Sunday mornings hiking no matter how crazy the Michigan weather gets.
Live on a peaceful lake.
Ice cream! Pizza! Starbuck’s hot chocolate!
Paul is my favorite Beatle; did I mention I’m a Beatles’ fanatic?
Sunshine and sunsets!
Happiness is spending time with my family.
Always willing to help a friend.
Want to be remembered as a mother, teacher, and author whose passion was growing young minds.
Keep your eyes peeled for Suzanne's cover reveal coming soon!