Charlotte Sullivan Wild is the author of several picture books. LOVE, VIOLET, illustrated by Charlene Chua, is a Stonewall Book Award winner, Charlotte Huck Honor Book, Lambda Literary Award Finalist, and Bookstagang’s Best of 2022 winner for Future Classics and Community Favorites (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Jan. 4, 2022). THE AMAZING IDEA OF YOU was illustrated by Mary Lundquist (Bloomsbury, 2019). Before becoming chronically ill with ME/CFS and POTS, she worked as an educator, bookseller, volunteer radio host, and creator of children’s literature events. Originally from frosty Minnesota, she now lives wherever her wife is stationed, recently in Texas, Italy (with chickens!), and Colorado. Learn more: www.charlotteswild.com
Charlotte Sullivan Wild is the author of several picture books. LOVE, VIOLET, illustrated by Charlene Chua, is a Stonewall Book Award winner, Charlotte Huck Honor Book, Lambda Literary Award Finalist, and Bookstagang’s Best of 2022 winner for Future Classics and Community Favorites (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Jan. 4, 2022). THE AMAZING IDEA OF YOU was illustrated by Mary Lundquist (Bloomsbury, 2019).
She has received grants for her work in children’s literature from the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Minnesota State Arts Board, Metro Regional Arts Council, and The Jerome Foundation, as well as a 2012 Loft Shabo Picture book Award and a Pushcart nomination. Her poetry and essays for adults have been published or honored by Fourth Genre, Rockford Review, Freshwater, Front Range Review, The Minneapolis StarTribune, and others.
She has served as the Regional Advisor for the Southwest Texas chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI); founding host of the Picture Book Salon of San Antonio, Texas; and bookseller at The Twig Book Shop.
She taught children’s literature in the public schools and at the undergraduate level for nearly two decades. During 2011-2012, she served as the Visiting Scholar in Children’s Literature at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota. She earned her MS in Curriculum and Instruction from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and MFA in fiction from Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota.
She has enjoyed volunteering in public and school libraries, and interviewing children’s authors for Write On! Radio (KFAI). Before the onset of chronic illness (ME/CFS), she adored hiking, singing in choirs, and reading stories for hours with her siblings’ kids. Originally from frosty Minneapolis, she now lives wherever her wife is stationed, recently in San Antonio, Texas, and then in northern Italy with a flock of spirited hens, the Eggyatrixes. Now she’s back in the US, living among the pine-filled mountains of Colorado. Learn more: www.charlotteswild.com
What’s New (2019): Italy!
In 2019, we moved to northern Italy, where my wife is stationed. We are nestled in a rural three-road town, halfway between Venice and the sea, and the Dolomite Mountains. We live across from small family farms and vineyards. Our life is filled with the sounds of church bells, recess, early roosters, and the odd tractor (or motorcycle) roaring down the road. We love how our neighbors spend evenings together outside, sharing the freshest food, watching soccer and chatting.
During the Pandemic we added The Eggyatrixes to our family – four spirited chickens, each with their own personalities and opinions. We are smitten! I’m thankful for this unexpected adventure during a hard season.
What’s New (2019): Living with ME/CFS Disability
Unfortunately, 2019 also brought a new chronic illness for me, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), formerly called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Many with Long Covid develop ME/CFS. It flattened me just days before the launch of my debut picture book The Amazing Idea of You (Lundquist, Bloomsbury). Only with the support of many did I get through those book events and our international move. But once we landed in Italy, it became clear I could no longer “push through” normal life.
I now spend most of my day resting. I must use energy very sparingly. That means almost no social interactions, which is not easy for this extrovert! For long stretches at first, I couldn’t write at all. I’ve now learned about my new limits and come to accept them (okay, some days). That has helped me to stay more within my “energy envelope.”
As a result, I’m writing again! Some of the coping strategies I’ve developed have even improved my creative process. I’m engaging with the world in new ways: making videos instead of doing school visits and connecting virtually with colleagues and readers around the world. I’ve also reflected with new insight on bouts of extended illness I had as a child. This journey is inspiring new projects that I hope will speak to kids facing illness and to their friends who care about them.
Some days are brutal. But writing and connecting with others in the midst of that is a gift. It has also given me a fresh appreciation for life, beauty, and relationships. And for the joy of sharing stories with you. For awhile there, I thought I would never get to do that again.