Meet the faculty of the 2018 Austin SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Working Conference. We’ve asked all our faculty members to answer 4 quick questions so we can get to know them better.
Chandler Baker, Author
Chandler Baker is the author of five young adult novels, including Alive, a YALSA 2016 Teens’ Top Ten choice, the High School Horror series, and most recently, This Is Not The End. She grew up in Florida, went to college at the University of Pennsylvania, and studied law at the University of Texas. She now lives in Austin, though her heart remains at the beach. She strongly believes that writing quality improves vastly if done while staring out at a large body of water and daydreaming
What attracted you to children’s books?
I knew I wanted to become a writer when I started reading books that I consider part of the YA Renaissance–Lauren Oliver, John Green, Laurie Halse Anderson, Gayle Forman. Impossible choices, life and death stakes, real emotion, these things drew me in. When I made the leap to becoming a writer, I knew YA was where I wanted to be.
What’s the best part of your job?
I feel re-energized by meeting readers. It’s definitely a highlight,. But the thing I always wanted and which still thrills me to this day is seeing my book on a store shelf.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Balancing marketing, parenting, and other life responsibilities with the actual writing. It’s easy to push writing down to the lowest priority because most days, no one is banging on your door demanding that you write more. But in reality I have to continue to remind myself that putting words down on paper should be my top concern.
What’s the best piece of advice you were given that helped drive your career?
Whatever the problem–whether it is a career bump or writers block or a manuscript that just won’t work–the answer is always on the page. You have to write your way through it. That can take many forms. The writing you need may not be in the project you’re currently working on. Or maybe it is. The key is to keep creating.
Come see Chandler at the 2018 Austin SCBWI conference, April 28-29, 2018