Interview and introduction by Tracey Meyers
**Giveaway is now closed**
Blunt scissors, pages from a Big Chief tablet, a borrowed stapler and a Number Two pencil .... Those were the items Susan Wiggs used at the age of eight to create the first book she ever published.
Sadly, her first "novel" wasn't well-received by her public, and didn't go on to win any awards. However, that didn't deter this talented writer from pursuing her aspirations. But the road to writing greatness wasn't necessarily a direct one. Prior to the fateful night she would yet again pick up a Big Chief Tablet and pen her first novel, she used her "left brain" to teach math.
Today she is an acclaimed writer with 35 books to her credit, with her 36th (!!!) and latest installment of the Willow Lake series, "Return to Willow Lake," due out in September.
To learn more about Susan, visit her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and her website and blog!
Thanks to Beyond Novel, we have a copy of "Return to Willow Lake" to give away to one lucky CLC reader anywhere in the world!
Of all the books you’ve written, which is your favorite and why?
The next one. The one I haven’t ruined for myself by writing it. Of my published books, I love Return to Willow Lake because it's still fresh in my mind, the characters near to my heart. Sonnet, the main character, really resonated with me. She's very prickly in some ways, but she has a huge heart. It gets broken over the course of the book, but she survives.
Which part of the writing process takes the longest for you?
Revisions! They never seem to end. I have a bad habit of picking things to death, taking a story apart and putting it back together again.
In 2011, you published a memoir with your daughter, Elizabeth Wiggs, called “How I Planned Your Wedding: The All-True Story of a Mother and Daughter Surviving the Happiest Day of Their Lives.” In what way(s) was the writing process for this book different from the ones you had previously published? In what way(s) was it the same?
Writing is always the same. But this book was so different in so many words. First, we had to tell the truth, since it’s a memoir. Even the painfully funny truth. Working with my daughter was a hoot. She’s hilarious, we respect each other, and Google Documents helped us coordinate the master document.
What three traits do you feel a successful writer should possess?
1. A heart.
2. A work ethic.
3. A patron of the arts. :)
The bio section of your website mentions your approach to writing was like skydiving… "by taking a blind leap and hoping the chute will open." Have you ever been skydiving? If so, describe the experience. If not, would you ever try skydiving? Why or why not?
I’ve never been. I’d love to, though, and I hope to get to one day.
Describe your personal version of paradise:
It would look a lot like an endless library, except it would come equipped with an ice cream dispenser, a latte machine and a fantastic stereo system. In my paradise there would be no war or suffering, just great books, good conversation, friends and family all around me.
What is one thing you’ve done that people who know you best would say doesn’t fit your personality?
Jumped in my swimming pool in February (in the Pacific northwest). I did it right after my literary agent called to tell me my book had hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
If you were to live in another country, which country would you want to live in?
France, in a little vintage flat in Rue Bachaumont. I just love it there.
A heartfelt thanks to Susan for a wonderful interview and to Beyond Novel for sharing a copy of "Return to Willow Lake" with our readers.
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Giveaway ends September 3rd at midnight EST.