Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?
Married for nearly 28 years, and mother of two wonderful sons, I’m a bit surprised to realize that I’ve been writing in one form or another for most of my life. It started in the third grade, when for some inexplicable reason, I wanted a guitar for Christmas. My parents obliged, and a songwriter was born. I grew up telling stories through three-minute serenades, although it should be noted that singing talent does not run in my family. And as it turns out, neither does melody writing. Which pretty much left me with words. Oh, the astounding revelation when it dawned on me that I could write words (always my favorite part of the song anyway) without music. Funny though, I never saw myself turning into a humor writer. I started out with a children’s allegorical fantasy. But God had other ideas. He gave me the most ridiculous and difficult dog in maybe the whole wide world, and I had to write about that. And then there were all my funny experiences as a semi-talented composer aspiring to get a masters of music degree. Somehow I have way more than my share of “Oh, sure, it’s funny now” stories.
How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?
Everybody has a different coming-to-Jesus story. Mine just happens to be a comedy with the very best of happy endings. I’m writing a memoir about it now, so I’ll give you the abridged version here. It involves me and a raging horde of turkeys. It also involves me getting caught in the middle of a Hare Krishna rant, an argument with strangers about the gender of God, and getting lured through Kum-Ba-Ya shindigs into a weird group of college students who shamelessly (and with frightening regularity) talked right out loud to Jesus. Those very dedicated InterVarsity Christian Fellowship students prayed constantly for me, tirelessly answered my endless questions, and lived as honest reflections God’s work in their lives. The same God who was there in my life all along drawing me to Himself. It was only a matter of time before I bowed to His sovereignty as Lord and Savior.
Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe is the true-life story about our rogue torpedo of a dog who broadsides our family with love. Think Marley & Me meets Erma Bombeck meets the Roadrunner. (Yes, really!) As you might surmise, Henry is a difficult dog. It might have something to do with his Supreme Dictator of the Universe Syndrome. But I think we all have relationships in our lives that aren’t ideal. My experiences with Henry—his endless trials, training, and half-baked suicide attempts—all proved how hard it can be to stick it out through that kind of tough relationship. To keep trying, keep hoping, keep working. But I also learned something amazing: It was worth it. Every bit of it. But for the unexpected reason why it’s worth it, you’ll have to read the book. : )
How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?
My blog is called Humor on the Upside of Down, and I post once a month. We all know life has its rough spots. There’s something about laughing through those difficulties that encourages us to carry on, to grow, to heal. Here’s a link to the latest post: http://www.erintayloryoung.com/erins-blog/. It involves Godiva dark chocolate-covered cherries and prayer.
I’m a Jane Austen fan, and while I love the story of Pride and Prejudice—especially the BBC film version—my favorite book of hers to read is Mansfield Park. I love how Fannie Price sticks with her principles and how crucial good character is to her. In the end, it’s that trait that makes her a better and more true daughter to her Aunt and Uncle (who are raising her) than their birth daughters turn out to be.
Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?
Wow, that’s the subject of my whole Surviving Henry book. But I’ll tell you about one aspect of it. Because Henry required so much time and effort, I sometimes felt like I was cheating my boys out of time with them. Or I felt guilty because their dog experience was so difficult and, you know, nothing like Lassie. But when I see my boys’ relationship with Henry now, how much they adore each other, and how much Henry brings us all together, and how those hard times are bygones now, then I know that what was distressing and potentially harmful has become something beautiful.
That is wonderful. It’s amazing how God can use dogs to bring families together. I have seen the same thing in my own family.
Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?
Many! Memorizing Scripture is an important part of my life, so my favorite is usually the one I’m working on at any given time. But one of the most compelling verses for me is from Ezekiel 3:10-11 where God says to Ezekiel, “…let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself. Then go to your people in exile and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Do this whether they listen to you or not.” I believe everyone has a story, whether they’re a writer or not. Their life is a story that matters in this world. It’s by letting God’s word sink deeply into our hearts that our story is shaped into a message to reflect God’s glory to the world around us.
Where can we find you on the web?
My website is www.erintayloryoung.com but folks can also find information about Surviving Henry, including a book trailer and other fun videos like Henry going down a playground slide, at www.survivinghenry.com. Also, I’m currently giving away a fun FREE ebook of Henry’s “World Tour” memes to folks who sign up for my newsletter. You can do that here: http://eepurl.com/RYuX1
Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?
I’d only like to add my thanks to you for inviting me to visit with you all! : )
You are so welcome, Erin. Thank you for sharing with my readers and I pray God will continue to bless your journey in writing and with Henry:)