Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Crystal Kite Winner Interview Week Two: Sydney Salter Husseman, SWOON AT YOUR OWN RISK

Week two of winner interviews continues with Sydney Salter Husseman, whose book SWOON AT YOUR OWN RISK won the 2011 Crystal Kite Award for the Nevada/
Arizona/Utah/Colorado/Wyoming/New Mexico region. To learn more about today's award-winning author, visit her website, check out her blog, or follow her on Twitter (although she admits to being "a reluctant tweeter").

Please tell my readers a little about your winning book. 
SWOON AT YOUR OWN RISK is about a girl with five ex-boyfriends who’s afraid to fall in love again, so she decides to focus on herself for once. But of course there’s this certain guy… It’s also a book about family relationships as Polly struggles with her distant dad while dealing with the fact that her grandmother, a famous advice columnist, has just moved in for the summer.

How does it feel to receive an award voted on by your peers? What does this award mean to you?

Funny paperback romance novels don’t usually win awards, so I’m thrilled, a little surprised, and quite humbled to win the Crystal Kite.

News of the award also arrived on one of those days filled with writerly self-doubt, so it boosted my spirits immensely. Thanks to my fellow SCBWI members, I’ve got that extra bit of encouragement I’ll need to keep pushing to make my WIP better and better--oh, and my husband keeps mentioning the award every time I fret about the state of my WIP. He thanks SCBWI too!

How long have you been a member of SCBWI? How has your SCBWI membership been helpful to your career?

I joined SCBWI upon completing my first novel manuscript in 2002. Since then I’ve attended dozens of regional and national conferences--and I’ve met so many amazing writers and illustrators. I also volunteered in my own region, eventually becoming the Regional Advisor for Utah and So. Idaho. Now I coordinate events, as well as speak in other regions.

SCBWI is my writing family. All aspects of my writing career have been nurtured, from refining my craft and making professional connections, to pushing me out of my comfort zone as a shy-ish writer.

I’m inspired by the generosity of my fellow Regional Advisors as well as the PAL members, who share their expertise, and the pre-published writers working so hard to achieve their dreams. Just to be a small part of that is an incredible honor!

What will be see from you next?

My middle grade story, JUNGLE CROSSING, just came out in paperback.

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