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I don’t know what this is

Sarah Sanborn – Author, Waking Winter

Note about the episode. Sarah’s pronouns are they/them/theirs. There are a few slip ups during the episode, so please mentally insert the proper pronouns where needed. Thanks!

Island grown, born and raised. Finished their first novel at 15. Published a children’s book, with many more stories shared and stored, unpublicized. Sarah Sanborn (they/them) isn’t stopping; and is just getting started. They are a fantasy/sci-fi writer and photographer, which is why their interview involved dragons, zombies, and gargoyles.

Island residents may also recognize Sarah when working outdoors at Venture Out, a local nursery. Use some common sense, though. Asking them for an autograph is probably best when their hands aren’t holding a forty-pound potted plant.

Sarah’s most recent book is Waking Winter, which has a whimsical cover of a small human (gnome to be specific) softly poking a big dragon with a stick. This may be March, but this children’s book will be back in shopping style in a few months. These years do come around again.

Many members of the Whidbey writing community came here from elsewhere. Because Sarah is from here, the idea of a writing community is a natural environment. That’s an interesting perspective on finding support on and off the island, including online.

If you want a shorter introduction to some non-children’s work, click over to Instagram where several of Sarah’s poems are posted.

And, if you just want to be introduced to what they have to say, listen to the interview that includes steampunk, zombies, gargoyles, and of course, dragons.

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 44 – Sarah Sanborn – Author, Waking Winter


Sarah Sanborn on Instagram

Sarah Sanborn on Facebook

Waking Winter on Amazon

Anna Cosper – Illustrator, Book Designer, Frolicker

Have you been frolicking enough? We started this interview with a question from her website. Anna Cosper helped produce and publish the most recent edition of a familiar Whidbey favorite, Hometown Heroes*. That’s enough of an accomplishment, as well as a great introduction to dozens of the island’s heroes. But she also is a book illustrator, who sells commissioned illustrations and paintings; a book formatter, a frequently requested skill; and a fan of artistic expression in the literary arts, but also in dance, and puppetry. A very Whidbey resume.

She took a long route to get to Whidbey Island, including the Netherlands, Myanmar, Thailand, and Botswana. Those stories alone could probably be enough for hours of presentations and talks. She even did a puppetry tour down the West Coast of the US –  by bicycle. Add that to the list of topics she can talk about from personal experience.

We didn’t talk about all of that; but much of it. Most of the hour-ish conversation was about balancing personal art projects with helping others with theirs (for a fee, as appropriate). She understands that every artist, every author, has choices to make because she has had to make those choices, too.

We also talked about Whidbey’s art community and how uncommon it is, and how that can be appealing enough to draw some people here to live, or work, or simply to visit.

Set aside a bit more than an hour to hear laughter, know that blushing was involved, and listen in as we touch of the rise of AI and its influence on the arts.

Oh yeah, and frolicking – that was the first thing she answered. (To be alerted about the release of her series of cards and other frolicking products sign up at And, remember, at its core, everything is memoir. Sounds like a good bumper sticker.

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 42 – Anna Cosper – Illustrator, Book Designer, Frolicker


Book websites: * 
professional web site –

Instagram – @annamakesbooks

* 100% of all proceeds go to either the South Whidbey Schools Foundation, WAIF animal shelter, or Island Senior Resources.

Luke Kruger-Howard – Graphic Novelist And Ambassador For Cartooning

Graphic novelist. There’s a term that can be mis-understood. Is that a novelist who is graphic? No. Luke Kruger-Howard is a graphic novelist from the cartoonist side of things. He considers himself an ambassador for cartooning. Cartooning stretches from doodles to Dilbert to the other end of the spectrum like anime and Maus. There’s a lot out there.

Luke talked about realities of being printed in the New Yorker, and what to do when their response is a rejection letter. Some of his work is single-panel, but much of it is longer form, hence, graphic novelist. He’s also modern enough that he doesn’t limit himself to the boundaries of a page. Hello, infinite scrolling online. Regardless he continues to have “a romantic relationship with the printed page.”

Creating the art is one thing, actually many things; but he also taught cartooning and book-making at the Center for Cartoon Studies. His move to Whidbey now means he gets to teach things like potty-training to two small humans, a temporary gig. While he is here he is interested in getting involved in art-making classes for kids. Hello, Whidbey’s schools and art organizations.

Throw in some philosophical work regarding the impact of money on creativity – and this description will fall short of the breadth and depth of Luke in this one hour conversation. Imagine if we talked for two.

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 43 – Luke Kruger-Howard, graphic novelist and ambassador for cartooning


Luke’s long-form comics andsothen

Luke’s GoesBooks (including philosophical considerations on art and finance)

Luke on Instagram

Popular Posts 2022

More than three years? That’s a fair amount of podcasts/posts/interview/whatever you want to call these things. Which have been most popular? Well, let’s see what the data shows.

As for the podcasts from 2022, give them a year or two to acquire an audience, particularly one that is not subjected to staying indoors during a pandemic.

Thanks for listening; and to our guests, thanks for opening up to the rest of the writing community.

Lauren Flake – Laughing Into Her Lapel –  Fantasy novelist and writers group founder

Laugh into your lapel. Laugh into your lapel as if you were covering a cough or a sneeze, but laugh into your lapel because you don’t want to be embarrassed by laughing so hard, or at least she did. Our interview with Lauren Flake was fun; but maybe we were laughing as we tried to keep warm as the room heated up. Lauren was nice enough to meet us at South Whidbey Commons on a chilly Saturday morning to talk about her work developing a fantasy novel, as well as her efforts to start a writers group. Digressions and detours occurred.

Lauren may be at the resurgence of writers groups on the island. This blog/podcast has somehow been seen as a possible source of news about writers groups. Thanks, but that’s probably more from a lack of options rather than from any obvious expertise. Coincidentally, the previous two days also included renewed interest in writers groups, so naturally we took the hint and talked about what could happen, what might already be happening, and some of what has already happened. Without a writers association writers groups lost a repository or at least a directory of various groups. Maybe something could be coordinated with Sno-Isle (or maybe leveraging the Foundation Grants to Individuals (GTI) database) or Whidbey Island Arts Council (and joining WIAC does Not require an invitation.) Maybe all it takes is someone like Lauren. Listen in to hear about her approach using Facebook.

Naturally her main goal is to develop, finish, and publish her fantasy novel; which could also become a series. She talked about world building, inspirations, and progress. Books don’t have to be developed as a solid block of work with no preliminaries. She’s using short stories to explore her world and the characters within it. There are advantages to taking small bites.

Her work in progress is one motivation for finding or, if necessary, creating the right writers group because a writer develops their writing as they write; but that kind of development does not have to be done in isolation.

So where does the laughing into lapels happen? For that you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 41 – Lauren Flake – fantasy novelist and writers group founder

Lauren Flake on Facebook
Lauren Flake on Instagram
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