Susan Gray Foster

Susan Gray Foster.JPG

I love figuring out what is and isn’t working in a manuscript and conveying it in a way that helps another writer create what they've envisioned.


What is your favorite part of the coaching process?

My favorite part of coaching is helping a writer through a challenge – taking them from a point where they feel overwhelmed and confused to a point at which they are confident and happy with the direction of their story. 

What's your coaching style like?

I believe that feedback can and should be honest and constructive. (With all due respect to Simon Cowell, in my opinion, honesty does not need to be brutal.) I think it’s helpful to comment on what DOES work as well as on areas that need improvement.

What genres do you love to edit?

I especially love YA (and MG, too), but really I love discovering and developing  stories, no matter what the genre. 

What do you love most about editing?

I love figuring out what is and isn’t working in a manuscript and conveying it in a way that helps another writer create what they've envisioned.

Who's your ideal writer match? What are you looking for in a coaching client?

A writer who's passionate about their writing and open and eager to learn.

What was the moment when you felt like a real book coach?

Probably the first time a writer told me that having me as a book coach was kind of like therapy. 

What do you believe the most prominent difference between an editor and a coach is?

I think an editor is focused on the writing, whereas a coach works with the writer AND the writing, helping the writer through the creative process.

What's been your greatest achievement in coaching so far?

Helping a writer who was really struggling and confused and on the verge of quitting, and getting her to the point where she was excited about the direction her story was taking.

How did you hear about Author Accelerator?

Jennie posted about hiring editors/coaches on the Pitch Wars Mentor Facebook page.


What's your favorite word?


What genres do you love to read?

I love (and write) YA! But I also enjoy reading a random eclectic mix of other genres.

What are five of your favorite books?

  • The Giver

  • Eleanor and Park

  • Anna and the French Kiss

  • The Harry Potter series

  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

How about nonfiction?

  • Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

  • Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos

  • On Writing by Stephen King

Who are five of your favorite authors?

  • Rainbow Rowell

  • Stephanie Perkins

  • J.K. Rowling

  • Kate Dicamillo

  • Matt de la Pena

If you could meet any author, who would it be and why?

Shakespeare – his insights into life and humanity are beyond incredible, as is his gorgeous use of language. (A close second, though, is J.K. Rowling!)

What are you most excited about right now?

I'm excited about learning more and more about what works in stories and writing, and about having a hand in many wonderful stories as they come to life.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A veterinarian, but after that, a writer!

What does a typical day look like for you?

Often, much of my typical day is spent on my couch with my laptop, and a dog or two at my side. 

If you could fast-forward a year from now, what would your writing life look like?

My current work-in-progress would be on submission (or better!), and another would be well on its way.

What about 5 years from now?

I hope to be producing a steady stream of work that captures minds and hearts.