Breakthrough Builders podcast

Authoring Encouragement: Sean Taylor

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(02:24) How the journey started: trips to the library, and an up-and-down primary school experience

(08:23) Studying at Cambridge, gravitating to fellowship over scrutinous scholarship

(15:23) Some of Sean’s inspirations, featuring a reciting of Robert Graves’ poem, Flying Crooked

(17:45) Advice for writers on how to nurture ideas into form

(20:40) Describing the mechanics and joy of working with illustrators 

(22:53) Thoughts on the value of physical books in a screen-obsessed world

(24:34) Why independent bookstores and libraries need our support now more than ever

(31:19) Sean reads from his latest book, How to Be Cooler than Cool

The builders we interview on this show frequently cite the encouragement they received at an early age to explore their passions and find their purpose. And that’s exactly the kind of human encouragement you’ll find in the charming, award-winning children’s books authored by Sean Taylor– stories that include Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise, the recently published How to Be Cooler than Cool, and over 60 others.

In his talk with Jesse, Sean offers advice for aspiring writers, as well as any builder with aspirations to write their own story and forge a unique path in life. You’ll hear why he opted out of the strictly scientific approach to literature that was prevalent during his time at Cambridge; how he found fellowship and honed his storytelling in London as a member of a group called The Basement Writers; and how he found his ultimate calling to write stories for children. Along the way Sean recites poems that have guided him, shares the methods that inspire him, and affirms the virtues of a mantra that you’ll find woven into many of his works: in all things, be yourself. 

Guest Bio

All about Sean, in his own words

Helpful Links

How to Be Cooler than Cool

Sean’s website Find an independent bookseller near you

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