Susan Wile’s Journey from a Lazy Reader to an Eco-Adventure Author

Susan Wile has been a waitress, bartender, scallop shucker, office manager, producer of tv commercials, postproduction accountant and entrepreneur and discovered her passion for the written word while she was a producer. She has edited and written web copy, corporate video scripts, advertising copy, sell sheets, marketing reports, and drafted internal communications for a division of Cargill. She has always loved animals and has a deep kinship with the natural world. Susan loves to travel, garden, hike, bike, and draw. She is married and lives with the sweetest rescue dog, 3 cats, 4 ducks, and thousands of honeybees in New York’s Hudson Valley. Extinction Warrior is her first novel. 

Have you heard of any favorite book that is relatively unknown?

McTeague by Frank Norris, a chilling tale of greed and murder published in 1899.

What is it that moves you the most?

The precision of evocative prose so unusually exact, explicit and beautiful I must dogear the page to read it again and again. There are times I weep with joy or sorrow because of what is so luminously conveyed.

Which books and authors have had a significant impact on your career?

Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones helped me realize I was a writer and author Anne LaMott put me on the path to completing Extinction Warrior. In Bird by Bird she says, one shitty page a day gets a novel written.

What type of reader were you as a child? 

I always preferred to play outside rather than sit and read.  I didn’t learn to read English until I was eight years old because my father was a diplomat and we lived abroad when I was young. Thus, I found reading arduous and was a lazy reader.

What book or books are you embarrassed to admit you haven’t read yet?

I’m embarrassed I never  read much Shakespeare, though I vaguely recall reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet at some point in high school, but that’s it!

When did I start to write?

I was two or three years old, scratching marks on paper with a pencil, which felt exactly like writing to me. My scribbles looked like the repetitive marks of a Cy Twombly pencil drawing, but that was my writing.

Why write?

Writing is an outlet for my imagination, along with some of my drawings.

Who encouraged you?

My nineth grade English teacher, Prudence Churchill had our class keep journals, which she would periodically read. I’d written about going for a walk just after a rain and enjoyed how rhododendron leaves glistened in the sunshine. She liked that.

Did you take writing classes?

I took one creative writing class at New York University as a postgraduate student. I also take webinars.

Do you find writing easy?

Not at all. One must learn the craft. Writing a passage to move the reader in the way one desires is possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Whoever said, “Writing is easy – you just open a vein and bleed.” Is absolutely right!


The book has been positively received, evidenced by consistent 5-star reviews, including:

“…action-packed…this eco-adventure will likely educate and inspire young readers.” -Kirkus Reviews

“Original. Fun. Exotic. Action-packed. Education. Inspiring. And Tuk is a great character.” -Kate Klimo, author

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