Hello Book Smugglers!
Today we had the chance to speak with S.B. Julian who is the author of Women Who Made the World. In Julian’s book, she provides snapshots of the lives and careers of over 50 accomplished women. Keep reading to see what Julian has to say about being a published author and the inspiration for, Women Who Made the World.
What inspired you to write a book?
I don’t know, I’ve been writing since I first learned to read and write in childhood. I’ve always worked with books, as a librarian and a bookseller. I think being a life-long reader tempts one to cross over to the writing side.
Was there a book or author that you admired that played a role when developing your book?
I kept reading articles which mournfully claim that women were somehow silent, excluded and invisible in past times, which seems to dismiss unfairly the brilliant fore-mothers who wrote, invented, created and founded the works, movements and institutions that make up the modern world. I collected examples from various fields: scholarship, science, arts, literature, theology and social justice, and decided to present them in a short handbook of biographical sketches of women who co-created the world along with men. I think girls and students need to know this, that it is more inspiring for them than is a victim narrative, and that to ignore the accomplished and highly educated women of past times is another form of misogyny, part of our general ignorance of history.
It is often said that in order to write something, you must believe in what you are writing. Do you agree with that?
Yes, it must be hard to write about something you’re not excited about or to write without enjoying yourself.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
I write on a schedule, starting early and alternately writing and researching all day, and taking beach-walk breaks in between. I’m lucky enough to live near woods and streams.
What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing? What would you say is the easiest aspect of writing?
The hardest thing about writing is “marketing” it, and learning the ever-changing technology we have to use in order to produce and share it. Writing itself is the easy part.
Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? How long do they usually last? Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
I haven’t had a problem with writer’s block. (Writer’s diarrhea maybe …) I work sometimes as a Memoirs Coach with seniors in community centers, and recently found it exhilarating to collect printed memoirs of post-WW2 immigrants to Canada as a Readers Theatre script of monologue and dialogue, which has been performed for enthusiastic audiences. I’m interested in personal storytelling as a way to convey history, and in exploring taking writing from page to spoken word.
Are you working on something new at the moment?
I’m writing some plays, a children’s story in verse (a new departure – I decided to play in a different sandbox for a change), and an informational chapbook for readers and writers on law and customs around censorship and freedom of speech in Canada and the world.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Just to salute my tribe! I hope the upcoming generations like books as much as we do, and as much as they like their smartphones.
Women Who Made the World is available in print or as a pdf file from email@example.com. You can read further about Julian on the Penisula New Review.