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Member Spotlight: Tavi Taylor Black

author Tavi Taylor Black and an image of her book Serabelle

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? There isn’t anything like falling into a book you love. No painting, no dance, not even a movie can transport you like a novel–and you get to stay in that world for weeks. I’ve learned so much about other cultures, other ways of thinking through books. You can’t tell a person what it’s like to be someone else, to live somewhere else, but you can show them.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? The only thing that works for me is to move to pen and paper when I’m feeling stuck. It helps to be outside as well. It’s too bad they don’t teach cursive anymore in school. It’s so conducive to becoming unstuck.

What is your favorite time to write? I am happy to write whatever time of day that I can squeeze in. I used to write a lot at night (pre-family), but the world has taught me to write in the morning. Before anyone else gets up, before the brain is flooded and distracted.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? The best advice I received was from one of my mentors, A.J. Verdelle. She has a lot of craft advice, but the one that I hear in my head the most is, “clarity is non-negotiable”. Amen.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? I’m currently in the Master of Information and Library Science program at the University of Washington. Right now, the topic on everyone’s mind is intellectual freedom (alongside, of course, misinformation and AI). As writers, we are invested in making sure that people are free to read and write without censorship. I’m so thrilled to be a part of the UW’s program that is invested in DEI. It gives me hope that there is a trend, at least in the library sciences, of respect and dignity for all people. The number of books that are being published by previously marginalized populations is encouraging.

Tavi Taylor Black’s Serebelle: Where the Wealthy Come to Play is out next week with Black Rose Writing.