From the Booking Desk:
When you have been around the crime fiction community as long as I have, you witness people come and go for various reasons. But when they return to the fold, however, it is always a moment to celebrate and pick up right where things left off. Sarah Stewart Taylor’s fascinating series featuring university professor Sweeney St. George is one of those rare cases where I can remember so much about those books more than a decade after having first read them. When I found out that Sarah was launching a new series later this year, I just knew I had to have her as a guest for the Composite Sketch series. I think you will understand why when you see her wonderful responses to our weekly questions.
Name: Sarah Stewart Taylor
Location: Hartland, Vermont
This person from my personal life is such an inspiration:
When I was in graduate school in Ireland, I started learning Irish (“Irish Gaelic” to many, but just “Irish” to the Irish) and really loved it. But I didn’t keep up with it once I moved back to the States and I always regretted it. Twenty something years later, I was reading an article in our local newspaper here in Vermont and it mentioned a County Clare-born woman in our community who was giving lessons. My youngest child had just started full-day school and it felt like the universe was sort of tapping me on the shoulder and giving me a second chance. I’ve been taking Irish lessons with Maura for three years now and she has become my valued teacher and my friend. I am so inspired by her adventurous approach to life. She is now 90 and she’s taught me so much about how I want to age and evolve and how I want to arrange my life and to stay right in the world, learning things, until the absolute last second I get to be here.
One of the people I admire most in the crime fiction community is:
I’m coming back to this community after a bit of a hiatus. (The short version is that since I was last publishing crime fiction, I had three kids, my husband ran for governor twice*, I wrote a series of kids’ steampunk adventure novels, and I got really, really, really into sheep farming!) It’s so good to be back and to reconnect with friends, and it’s been interesting to see how things have changed and how they haven’t. I am so excited about how the crime fiction community has stretched and grown to include a wider range of voices and identities. I have so much respect for the writers here in the U.S., and all over the world, who are doing that not-always-easy work of expanding and improving our genre, and I really admire newer organizations like Crime Writers of Color, as well as stalwart organizations like Sisters in Crime. They are spotlighting amazing writers, making things better – and greatly increasing the need for new bookcases in my house and the height of my TBR pile.
*Spoiler alert – I am not First Lady of any state.
STALKER ALERT! If this fictional character were real, they would likely need to get a restraining order against me:
Um . . *blushing furiously* . . . Jack Reacher. Though I’m not sure he really needs the order. He can take care of himself . . .
I’m literary-crushing hard on Darren Matthews, Alex Morrow, Sean Duffy, and Cat Kinsella just at the moment. Perveen Mistry, Jane Tennison, Cassie Maddox, and Harriet Vane would probably get really annoyed about me awkwardly hanging around trying to be their friend.
People are always surprised that I am a fan of this individual (singer, actor, or artist):
When I am sick and need to lie on the couch wrapped in an afghan, cuddling one of my cats, and bingeing on something while sniffling and drinking chamomile tea, for some reason my chosen companion for cozy comfort is always . . . Matt Damon in the Jason Bourne movies.
My personal catch phrase is (or should be):
My kids would tell you that it’s “Okay, what does everyone want to accomplish today?” (While holding a paper on which I have written various chores that I want them to accomplish that day.)
But when the chores are mine to accomplish, it might actually be, “I’ll do it after I finish reading this book.”