Sunday, March 3, 2013

Author Talks: Susan Lebel Young

Young's book covers.
Susan Lebel Young originally came to Just Write Books in 2005 with a manuscript written about her father’s heart attack and subsequent hospitalization and her and her family’s reaction to his illness. In Lessons from a Golfer, Young told readers how the lessons that her dad had taught his children in their youth stood up to this adult crisis. It was memoir of her experience and biography of her father, a championship golfer.

We took a moment to catch up with Young and asked her a few questions we thought would be intriguing to hear the answers.

JWB: When did you start writing?

Young: I didn’t start to write the way I write until I felt the need to get to know myself as an adult, probably later than most other authors. Good friends and some family members urged me to write so that I could help myself unearth some of my own truths and insights and then maybe share them with others.

JWB: What are some of the themes that you return to regularly in your writing?

Young: I always return to the importance of presence, right here, right now, with kindness. It is such a core aspiration for me to live from the heart. I often don’t or can’t. So the call to compassionate mindfulness keeps knocking at the center of my chest and I have to pay attention.

JWB: What is one event that has shaped your writing?

Young: Years ago when I thought my Dad, my greatest hero, was dying after a cardiac event, I talked to people about grief, I read books on open heart surgery, I searched and searched and still felt so raw, so vulnerable. I started to write during his two-week hospitalization because nothing else had helped. I knew if I wrote what was true for me, I would be able to face whatever might happen to him more completely, more fully. Nothing helped as much as writing. Those writing became my first book, Lessons from a Golfer.

JWB: What are three of your favorite books to reread?


1. I love the poetry of Rumi. I have several translations, illustrated volumes, recordings. Every year one of my dear friends gives me a Rumi calendar with one lovely quote on each month.

2. I have several books by John O’Donohue. My favorite is To Bless the Space Between Us. It is a book of blessings for every part of the day and for every season of life. I never get tired of John O’Donohue.

3. Saki Santorelli’s book, Heal Thyself was one of the first books I had ever read in which the author offered such deep self-disclosure that it gave me the courage to tell my stories without shame.

JWB: Any advice for young authors?

Young: Write. Write because you have to. Write because you love it. Write even if you have no idea what you are writing about. Keep writing and save your stuff and some day the pages will tell you what you have to publish. Then, when you decide to be an author, hang out with writers, authors and Nancy Randolph!!

JWB: What are you currently working on?

Young: Getting Food Fix out, marketing it, writing blogs for my website ( and continuing with the monthly “Reflections” columns for the Portland Press Herald.

EVENTS: Book signings and author chats, Susan Lebel Young, author of Food Fix: Ancient Nourishment for Modern Hungers: 

March 12 ~Falmouth Memorial Library, 5 Lunt Road, Falmouth, 6:30 p.m. 

March 17 ~ Dahlia’s Delights, 137 Main St., Suite 102, Biddeford, 1-3 p.m. 

March 30 ~ Nonesuch Books, 50 Market St., Mill Creek Shopping Center, South Portland, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. 

Author Bio
Susan Lebel Young MSED, MSC, author of Lessons From A Golfer: A Daughter's Story of Opening the Heart, is a perfect guide on your journey toward heartfulness in your food and life. Young is a self-professed junk food junkie who has maintained a fifty pound weight loss and a change of food-frenzy mentality for thirty years using these food fix antidotes. Young, a retired psychotherapist, teaches mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

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