Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Interview with #1 New York Times bestseller Susan Wiggs!

Happy Tuesday!

I posted a review of Return to Willow Lake recently and really wanted to have an interview with the author Susan Wiggs. I succeeded! Susan took her time to reply too all my any questions and lucky as I am, I have the possibility to share the interview today with you! She was in Alaska while replying to the interview questions! How cool is that?!!! :)

Thanks goes here of course to Susan Wiggs and also to Katie from Little Bird Publicity!
Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to #1 New York Times bestseller Susan Wiggs!!!

Interview is divided into several sections. First section is about Susan Wiggs, second section is about her books, writing them, about characters etc, third part is about her favorites.

Part I

MR: Please describe yourself with few sentences. Who are you?

SW: I am a wife, mom, stepmom, daughter, sister, writer, traveler, adventure seeker, reader, dreamer. I’m a lot like my readers.

MR: What inspired you to want to become writer?

SW: In the words of Lady Gaga, I was born this way, telling stories before I could read OR write. I used to illustrate and dictate scribbles to my extremely patient mom.

MR: Who did you want to become when you were a kid? What did you dream about?

SW: I feel really luck, because I wanted to become who I am–a WifeMomWriter. Only the woman I dreamed of being was thinner and better at sports.

MR: What brought you to writing? When did the idea of writing your first book form?

SW: I grew into writing like a tree grows, deepening the root system and reaching for the light, getting stronger as time goes on. How’s that for a metaphor?

MR: What do you do when you are not writing? Do you have any hobbies?

SW: Gosh, where do I start? I’m always reading. I like hanging out with my family and friends. Love to travel and in fact, I am typing my answers from an internet café in Alaska. I do yoga, ski in the winter, play in the sun each summer.

MR: What is the most difficult aspect of being a writer for you?

SW: Trying to juggle and balance all the bits and pieces. Just for example, I have a brand new book out now (Return to Willow Lake! Buy it! It’s awesome!) Yet at the same time, I have a manuscript due to be turned in to my editor. I keep fiddling with it and it’s taking longer than planned. Plus I’m having way too much fun on this blog tour and interacting with readers about the new book. Balancing all that with everyday life can be challenging.

MR: If you wouldn’t be a writer, what would you be and do?

SW: A chocolate-taster and professional puppy petter. A fit model for my husband’s apparel design business.

MR: Who or what is your Muse?

SW: My readers, the women I know, the men in my life.

MR: Did you ever experience writer’s block when the writing process just wasn’t moving ahead?

SW: Not really. I make wrong turns and stall, but it’s not like being blocked. I can usually write my way out of it.

Part II

MR: What went through your mind when the first book you wrote was published? How did you react?

SW: Gosh, it’s been so long (1987) I barely remember. It’s pretty surreal. You feel really detached from a book once it’s published. You’ve done your job. Now it’s in the hands of readers, and each reader brings something special to the book she’s reading, so it kind of takes on a life of its own.

MR: How do you write? Do you sketch a plot first, create characters first and then starting to write?

SW: I start with a character in a tricky life situation. Sonnet in RETURN TO WILLOW LAKE is dealing with unexpected turbulence in three areas of her life–career, family and romance. Once I dream up that situation, I’ll plot out the story. Then it’s a matter of writing and rewriting for months on end. My writers’ group meets every other week, and I have a really smart, creative editor and agent who are a huge help in the revision phase.

MR: What do you think is the most important thing while writing?

SW: Coffee. Really excellent coffee. Lots of it.

MR: Would you briefly give us an overview what your latest release Return to Willow Lake is about?

SW: Sonnet Romano is dealing with one of life’s most dramatic curveballs–a sudden family crisis. It really forces her to examine the path she’s on and struggle with making changes.

MR: Where did you get the idea for the Return to Willow Lake? How was it born?

SW: From multiple readers and friends. The issue in the book is one so many women face. They say many women get breast cancer, and every woman knows a victim of it. I knew I wanted to write about Sonnet–smart, over-achieving, insecure Sonnet–and I knew I wanted to highlight her relationship with her mother, Nina.

MR: How do you create characters?

SW: I start with a really powerful emotion–passion, rage, fear, euphoria–and layer on humanizing characteristics. For research, I tend to read a lot of psychology and self-help books, which aids in keeping characters consistent.

MR: Which character can you mostly relate to in Return to Willow Lake? Why?

SW: Nina. She’s really close to her daughter, wanting to protect her from anything and everything.

MR: I must ask you about your next book. What are you working on? Anything you can tell us already?

SW: THE APPLE ORCHARD is done. I just need to do massive revisions and turn it in. It will be published in May ‘13. It’s the story of 2 sisters who don’t meet until they’re adults. They discover they were born on the same day, but to different mothers. And it only gets more complicated from there!

Part III

Who is your favorite author? SW: Besides me? Probably Edith Wharton. Her writing is still fresh and clear.
What is your favorite book or series? SW: Oh, so many. I just re-read THE THORNBIRDS and loved it all over again. Series? How about the “Rhanna” books by Christine MacDonald Fraser? Anyone remember them?
What is your favorite song? SW: “Thank You” – the cover done by Chris Cornell.
What is your favorite season? SW: Summer. I love the long days and bright sunshine we get in the Pacific Northwest.
What is your favorite food? SW: San Juan sea salt caramel chocolate by Seattle Chocolates.

 What is your favorite car? SW: Huh? I’m not really a car person. If it’s paid for and it runs, I’m fine with it. I drive a Lexus 450h, a hybrid, because I need an SUV (for dogs and boat towing) and I hate filling up with gas.
What is your favorite color? SW: Deep turquoise
What is your favorite movie? SW: The Wizard of Oz.
What is your favorite time of the day? SW: Bedtime with my adorable husband.

What is your favorite weather? SW: For writing? Dark, cold wintry days. For play? Brilliant sunshine, 70s and dry.

Thank you! I hope your readers will drop by www.facebook.com/susanwiggs  and join the conversation!


Thank you so much, Susan, for coming by! I highly appreciate that!

I really enjoyed reading Susan's answers! It was fun! The reason I love making interviews is, that it gives you more personal picture of authors.

If you haven't read Return to Willow Lake, then what are you waiting for? :)

Happy reading!


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