Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I’m thrilled to have Erin Taylor Young as my guest. Her book, Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe, sounds hysterical. I so admire authors who can write humor. I appreciate humor, and can scatter it throughout my books in dialogue, but I can’t just straight up write humor. That’s hard work.
I also love that one of her young crushes was John Denver. I remember my 4th or 5th grade year, our grade had a music program. One of our songs was “Grandma’s Featherbed” by John Denver. The boy that was supposed to sing the solo verses of that song was sick, and I was the only kid in the entire grade who knew all of the words to the verses, so I had to sing them. (1) I’m not a boy (heh) (2.) I can’t sing. Seriously. I’m a terrible singer. My autistic son will hold his ears when I sing. So, that was certainly an adventure – for me AND the audience. Weren’t my parents surprised?
Please enjoy Erin’s interview as much as I did.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.I’m a humor writer who’d rather wear jeans and a flannel shirt than tights and dresses. I probably belong in the mountains somewhere, but I live in the flat part of Oklahoma with my well-meaning husband, two polar opposite sons, and a noncompliant dog. When I’m not writing or rescuing the dog from mortal danger, I work as an acquisitions editor for Redbud Press—a company I helped found. I’m also partnering in another start-up project—a podcast aimed at ministering to the hearts of writers, with a series of coordinating books. I love what I do! You can visit me at www.erintayloryoung.com where I blog about writing, God, and my aversion to spiders.
Tell us about your current release. Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe is our true-life story about a rogue torpedo of a dog who broadsides our family with love. Think Marley & Me meets Erma Bombeck meets the Roadrunner. (Yes, really!) The book has been repeatedly accused of making people laugh until they cry, but I say folks have to decide that for themselves. I’m working on an additional collection of “Henry stories” (he’s so bad I couldn’t fit everything in one book) that I hope will be out later this year.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? This is a question we writers frequently ask ourselves. Writing is hard. Publishing is hard. The journey is long. But for me, the answer is yep. Writing is first and foremost what I do as an act of obedience to God. And it’s a way I spend time with Him, creating together. I see His faithfulness, His love, and His amazing provision time and again, and so I grow, I change, and I treasure the time with God. So I guess I already know that it’ll benefit one person—me. : ) I hope and pray the things I write will make a difference in someone else’s life too, but all I can do is offer my best effort and see where God wants to take it.
Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Oh, definitely Christopher Plummer in The Sound of Music. Handsome, brave, and he could play the guitar!
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Enjoy the journey. Only God knows ultimately where our path will lead, but the one thing we can know is that it’ll be filled with curves and detours and rough roads and barely visible paths that lead to high bridges that are detours to more rough roads. And we’ll never really arrive, exactly, because there’s always another destination around the next bend. But here’s the thing, it’s a grand adventure.
What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.) I love to sit on the couch, my laptop open, a view of the trees outside, and Henry curled up on the couch next to me. Now that Henry is older, that’s more a possibility. But anyone who reads Surviving Henry will learn about one ridiculously odd position I sat in to write a few portions of the book.
What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? This one’s easy. I NEVER saw myself turning into a humor writer. I mean, I wanted to be a songwriter (John Denver was my next crush after Christopher Plummer). My hubby and kids would tell you I’m not the funniest one in our family, but God had other ideas. He gave me the most ridiculous and difficult dog in maybe the whole wide world, and I just had to write about it. And it turns out that I’m not a very talented musician, but I’ve got lots of funny stories about that too.
Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when you started this story? It was probably early in Henry’s ludicrous string of near-death fiascos. I remember thinking: Oh. My. Gosh. People will never believe the stuff this dog does. I oughta be writing it down…Like that would prove it really happened or something? Or maybe I just wanted a record of it all. And when readers tell me their trials and escapades, and how much the book helped them to know they’re not alone in this crazy pet gig, well, then I’m really glad I wrote it all down.
Thanks very much, Hallee, for letting me meet your readers!
If anyone would like news about future releases, they can signup for my newsletter and get a free, fun ebook of Henry’s World Tour postcard memes. My favorite is the one from Antarctica. : ) Follow this link:
You can catch up with Erin and Henry at the following locations
Erin’s blog: Humor on the Upside of Down
Surviving Henry Book Trailer
Henry’s YouTube channel
You Can Purchase Erin’s Books at:
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