Susan Beal is a full-time freelance writer whose interest in writing dates back to high school. She is best known for writing on gardening and plant-related topics, and has ghost written two published books. She also writes about technology, education, green and home living. She has a B. Music degree in Music History and writes about music on occasion. She specializes in writing articles and blogs. She also creates text for private clients' websites.
Hello Susan. Welcome to Mandy’s Pages. It is a pleasure to have you grace our pages. Do tell our readers something about yourself.
My name is Susan Klatz Beal. I describe myself solely as a non-fiction writer with an intense passion for research, and as someone who embraces challenges in writing assignments.
You know, many writers start out with the intention of becoming great writers, but very few have that will power for dedication and ‘research’, and it is very impressive that you place great importance on research. How did you start writing? How did you get this far?
The first time I ever sat at my desk to write, I was a junior in high school and was writing an assignment for our school newspaper. I was motivated by a family friend who was an established journalist who wrote for Life Magazine, National Geographic and the Smithsonian.
I guess it is huge to be encouraged by an established writer to start your own writing (smiling). How do you usually find your ideas?
I usually get my ideas from clients who send me assignments, or from the title of an assignment I choose. I look at the title or what the client wants and then think about how best to approach it.
So, this means that you don’t have a particular set of topics that you like the most or things you mostly write about?
Actually, I write about many things...but a lot of what I write about has to do with gardening or specific plants, landscaping, green living and that sort of thing.
Ok, let me ask you this: many writers face writing blocks. Does it sound familiar to you?
I don’t usually have to deal with writer’s block because I’m writing for other people. I do, however, face burn out sometimes.
And besides facing burn out, are there any other challenges you face as a writer?
Word counts are always a challenge for me. There are some things that can’t be said in few words and other things that can only be said in few words.
So, with this kind of writing experience, would it be accurate to assume you mightconsider yourself an expert in your field?
Well… I don’t consider myself an expert in any field. I may have a lot of knowledge, but I’m always striving to learn more. That’s what pushes me to provide the most authoritative information.
Susan, assuming a publisher were to review your work, how do you think they will grade you on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the best?
Actually, I ghostwrote two e-books for a client, one of which is now only selling as a paperback. Given the reviews I got from people who purchased the book(s,) I’d say I might get a 10.
This is amazing! And how do you rate the quality of your writing from 1 to 10?
Depending on the subject, and when I wrote it, I’d say I’d rate most things between a 7 and a 9. I believe there’s always room for me to improve.
What would you advice an aspiring writer?
I would tell an aspiring writer not to box themselves in, by only writing on one subject, or confining themselves to one field. The hallmark of a good writer is the ability to step outside of one’s comfort zone and embrace difficult challenges. I’d also tell them to build up a portfolio with a broad range of writing styles, topics and difficulty levels.
Tell me, what stands out for Susan Klatz Beal in the future? Any special dream?
More writing, continuing to work with clients, and hopefully, the opportunity to create some of my own books especially about the plants I love so much.
Thank you Susan. It was great talking to you! I hope you will be able to create the book about plants that you dream about. Keep up the good work!
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