Thursday, November 29, 2012

Susan Isaacs is really grand...plus a book giveaway

**Giveaway is now closed**

Whenever Jennifer Weiner does a book signing and someone asks her who her favorite author is, she immediately answers with Susan Isaacs. She speaks so highly of her and given that we think so highly of Jennifer, we just HAD to meet the author she admires. So we were honored when we received the opportunity to do an interview with Susan! And you know what? She's not only an eloquent "speaker" (or writer in this case), but she also has a great sense of humor!

After graduating from Queens College, Brooklyn born Susan Isaacs took a job working for Seventeen magazine, giving advice on how to write letters to boys. That led her to write political speeches in her spare time, while also raising young children. Eventually, she wrote her first mystery, Compromising Positions. Before she knew it, her novel was chosen the Main Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, auctioned for paperback, sold to the movies, translated into thirty languages, and became a bestseller. It inspired her to keep writing and yada yada yada...all her novels have become New York Times bestsellers, two of them being produced as movies.

Susan is a proud wife, mother and grandmother. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Elkan Abramowitz. Her latest novel, Goldberg Variations, was published in early October. Thanks to Laura Rossi and Tandem Literary, we have TWO copies for some lucky US readers! (Now you get to see for yourself why Jennifer Weiner loves her so much...)

Susan can be found at her website and on Facebook and Twitter.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
Essentially, a character came into my head and said, “I need you to tell them my story.” She did add “please,” so I was obliged to do it. At that time, I was reading more mysteries than was probably healthy. Perhaps I became deranged, but at some point I said to myself, “I can do this.”

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Getting paid, getting recognition for doing not only what I love, but what comes naturally. I was the kind of kid who could sit alone in a room and tell herself stories and be pretty content. So to be able to do this is an adult and have people call it art? Priceless!

There was one moment that was so splendid it seemed more out of a grandiose fantasy than life. I was in London on a UK book tour, on my way to a chat show, and the phone rang in my hotel room. “Madam,” a voice said Britishly, “your car from the BBC is waiting.”

When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?
I wanted to be a cowgirl. I lived in Brooklyn. I suppose that’s proof enough that I was never overly fond of dealing with reality.

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
On a personal level, my grandma Rosie. She was brave (tossed out an abusive husband in 1912, got a job in a factory, and raise my father on her own. She was a brilliant cook, seamstress, crocheter, and a political junkie par excellence. And she loved me without reservation.

As for any public figure: Winston Churchill, without a doubt. I know I’d be dazzled by his intellectual gifts, but more than that, I’d love to learn what was going on in his mind as he dazzled FDR, and also how an aristocrat came to be able to communicate so brilliantly with ordinary people. Also, how does the child of an alcoholic father and a charming but indifferent mother survive and thrive?

Tell us what male movie star makes you go gaga.
I never go gaga for the stars because, frankly, when they’re not scripted, a lot of them sound dumb. The ones who don’t, like Ben Affleck, don’t do it for me; I’d vote with him, but wouldn’t sleep him. The guys to whom I’m attracted tend to look like offspring of construction workers and gorillas.

If Goldberg Variations were made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
Jane Fonda or Faye Dunaway for Gloria. Zoe Saldana or Rosario Dawson for Raquel. Armie Hammer or Logan Lerman for Matt. And Ellen Page for Daisy.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
Read. Watch movies and TV--right now I’m especially mad for all those British detective shows. Follow politics: early on, I was a freelance political speechwriter, and I’ve never gotten the electoral bug out of my system. And I adore the traditional pastimes like baking, gardening, and hanging with my grandchildren. Really, I’ve become one of those dreadful grannies I run from, the ones who like you in direct proportion to your enthusiasm for the photos you bamboozle them into looking at.

Who is your greatest love?
My husband. I realize that’s not a particularly clever answer, but it is the truth.

Special thanks to Susan for entertaining us and to Laura Rossi/Tandem Literary for sharing Goldberg Variations with our readers.



How to win Goldberg Variations:
Please comment below with your e-mail address. (Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)  

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Since Susan mentions (on her website) that she loves being a grandmother and since Goldberg Variations is about a grandmother, as well....Please tell us: 
What is a fun memory you have of any of your grandparents?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

5. Follow us on Twitter and/or Pinterest.
6. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.


US only, no P.O. Boxes. Giveaway ends December 4th at midnight EST.  

37 comments:

Anita Hughes said...

I can't remember a time when I didn't love Susan Isaacs!

The Every Free Chance Reader said...

A fun memory of my grandparents...when we were young, they would take us to lakes or pools to go swimming. Those were always a fun trips.

Sounds like a great read. thanks for the giveaway chance!

I follow the blog, twitter, facebook, pinterest.

everyfreechance@gmail.com

Nina said...

Sounds like a great premise! A grandma memory: My grandmother used to have an adult-sized tricycle! With a bell, a basket on the back, everything! After her rides around town she would take me for a ride in the basket, which as a little child was the most thrilling thing in the world! I also follow you guys on twitter!
nina565(at)aol(dot)com

faithspage said...

I grew up on a farm and my grandmother and I were walking in "the back" of the farm, that led to an open field and a pond. Anywho, on the trail we just happened to look up and see a man in a treestand, hunting deer! UMMM I don't think so! My grandmother was on him quicked than I could say spit. He had built a wooden treestand on our land without permission, no hunting was allowed to anyone! My grandmother scared him to death.

Kritter said...

I received my love of reading from my maternal grandmother, she took a book everywhere, just in case we were stuck!

kdurham2@gmail.com
i am a fan on facebook
i follow via gfc

Nova said...

sparkle40175@hotmail.com
I remember my poppo's dog's name was "kitty "!
and I remember my Granny always wore a different apron everyday.
Fan on facebook.
Follow blog by email.
Follow blog with GFC.
Follow on pinterest.

bn100 said...

One memory is cooking with grandma.

I follow the blog.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Bonnie K. said...

Fond memories of my grandparents are when we visit them and stay overnight. During those times, my brothers and I would go exploring and take a walk to the Russian river through the back way behind their property. They lived on at least an acre, and there were acres behind them that lead to the river. I don't know who owned the land behind them. But it was fun exploring.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

I follow your blog.

I shared on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/bonnie.karoly/posts/380880731998088

I'm a member of Chick Lit Central.

I follow on twitter.

susieqlaw said...

I love Susan's books and found out about her via Jennifer Weiner's website.

I have a fun memory of visiting my grandparents on their farm and taking a drive with my grandma and brother to pick strawberries. It was a most beautiful day!

sendsusanmail AT gmail dotcom

I follow the CLC blog, CLC facebook, and CLC twitter.

I tweeted this awesome contest @susieqlaw

I totally would love to read this book!!!

Mary said...

Love, love, love Susan's books! Just had to get that out there.

My grandpa used to tell us "If you can't be good, be as good as you can" and then he'd wave goodbye to us with both hands and his feet as well. Loved him.

I follow by email, Facebook and Twitter.

mryward(at)yahoo(dot)com

Samantha Hoffman said...

Love Susan Isaacs! I read Compromising Positions when it was first published (tells you how old I am) and then immediately told my best friend Judi to read it.
samantha@samanthahoffman.com

Samantha Hoffman said...

Love Susan Isaacs! I read Compromising Positions when it was first published (tells you how old I am) and then immediately told my best friend Judi to read it.
samantha@samanthahoffman.com

Samantha Hoffman said...

Love Susan Isaacs! I read Compromising Positions when it was first published (tells you how old I am) and then immediately told my best friend Judi to read it.
samantha@samanthahoffman.com

Samantha Hoffman said...

Love Susan Isaacs! I read Compromising Positions when it was first published (tells you how old I am) and then immediately told my best friend Judi to read it.
samantha@samanthahoffman.com

Samantha Hoffman said...

Love Susan Isaacs! I read Compromising Positions when it was first published (tells you how old I am) and then immediately told my best friend Judi to read it.
samantha@samanthahoffman.com

Samantha Hoffman said...

Love Susan Isaacs! I read Compromising Positions when it was first published (tells you how old I am) and then immediately told my best friend Judi to read it.
samantha@samanthahoffman.com

Samantha Hoffman said...

Love Susan Isaacs! I read Compromising Positions when it was first published (tells you how old I am) and then immediately told my best friend Judi to read it.
samantha@samanthahoffman.com

Samantha Hoffman said...

Love Susan Isaacs! I read Compromising Positions when it was first published (tells you how old I am) and then immediately told my best friend Judi to read it.
samantha@samanthahoffman.com

Claire Matthews said...

Susan Isaacs is probably my favorite women's fiction author. Almost Paradise...gah, I bet I've read it 100 times...

My favorite grandparent memory is drinking coffee, with huge amounts of cream and sugar, with my grandmother when I was just 6 or 7 years old.

I'm a member of the blog, I follow on FB and Twitter

Claire Matthews

lilniblet@gmail.com

Claire Matthews said...

Susan Isaacs is probably my favorite women's fiction author. Almost Paradise...gah, I bet I've read it 100 times...

My favorite grandparent memory is drinking coffee, with huge amounts of cream and sugar, with my grandmother when I was just 6 or 7 years old.

I'm a member of the blog, I follow on FB and Twitter

Claire Matthews

lilniblet@gmail.com

holdenj said...

A fun memory of my grandmother is all the cookie baking. There would be cooling racks all over the kitchen and dining room as we made what I thought we huge batches of ginger cookies.

I am a blog follower.

Thanks!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Maureen said...

I remember my grandparents visiting for weekends and bringing our favorite cookies.
I follow on GFC
I tweeted
I follow on twitter
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Linda Kish said...

I enjoyed riding in the truck behind the threshing machine when my grandfather harvested the wheat and it rained down on us kids. That was on his small farm back in the 50s.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Erica said...

I think the best memory of my grandmother is that she learned to drive after my grandfather's death. She was 80+ year's old. She totaled the car soon after! But still...

I follow by email, FB, twitter, GFC and read the blog!

wordywon at gmail dot com

Marthalynn said...

My grandmother loved playing Cribbage and my earliest memories with her are of playing this game with her. As she advanced in age, however, we started to notice she would cheat! And she became a sore loser! None of us said anything to her, we just laughed about it privately :)

i follow

marthalynn16 at gmail

pascale said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Susan Isaacs. But, I went onto AMazon to see all of her books and I guess I missed a few. I adored Shining Through and Almost Paradise.

I plan to reread them all and I am thrilled that you are highlighting her. Funny, I have always considered Susan Isaacs as one of the FIRST "chick lit" authors... along with Jane Green and Helen Fielding. That is most likely NOT true, but it's how I feel about her and the other two wonderful authors.

Grandparent memories: so many but my two best:
My grandfather in CA (we lived in NJ) would go TWICE a year, to EVERY amusement park when we came to visit. What a trooper! I know my dad would not do that for my kids!
The other grandparents lived in france and had a cafe/bar. We spend our summers pouring beers and playing rummy with them. SUCH GREAT FUN!!!

I follow your terrific blog!

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Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Hard candies always make me think of my grandmother because she always had them, and she always always always had a huge bag of them in her car! lol

I'm a follower of the blog, on twitter and on FB.

missamberljohnson at gmail dot com

DD said...

My grandmother (who is now struggling with Alzheimer's) taught me how to sew as a young girl. To this day, I absolutely love sewing and creating things for others.

dawndennis66611 at yahoo dot com

Sara said...

coversaralea@yahoo.com

There would many times in my youth that Grandma Patt would talk to herself. I remember thinking she was a little nutty. She'd be doing something and talking aloud to no one in particular. I'd pick on her a bit for it- yet now I do it too! I find myself talking to myself, just like she always did!

Mrs Mommy Booknerd said...

I have so many fond memories my grandparents. But one I will cherish is when my grandfather took me out to eat when I was quite little. He died a short bit later and it really is my only memory. so I hold it dear.

I have so many great memories of both my grandmothers...

I follow here and on Facebook...

Mrsmommybooknerdsbookreviews at gmail dot com

Book Groupie said...

My great-grandmother was the sweetest person ever. She got a special twinkle in her eye whenever she talked about hammering a big whole in the living room wall in order to encourage my great-grandfather to finally tear it down and make one big room!
encgolsen@gmail.com

Bridget O'Neill said...

Whenever we would visit my grandparents, my grandpa would get up early and get us all donuts, and my grandma would make the most delicious coffee cake. And if my great-grandpa was there (he lived to be 101!), he would make the most delicious bacon! Breakfast at my grandparents house was always delicious!

I follow the blog
I'm a member of CLC on Facebook
I follow on twitter

bjoneill@hotmail.com

Kaira Rouda said...

Susan Isaacs remains a favorite author and inspiration to me. So great to see her here!

My grandparents - I miss them all so much. A sense of humor and the ability to carry on, no matter what, is what they all instilled in me.

Thank you for this post - and of course I follow you guys everywhere!

Jeryl M. said...

I remember travelling to Israel and all over Europe with one grandmother and going to baseball games with the other.

I am a subscriber.

I am a Facebook fan.

I am a Twitter follower.

I am a follower on Pinterest.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing all your memories of your grandparents. They made us feel all warm and fuzzy. Cherish them always!

Random.org chose TWO winners from all entries that included contact info.

Congrats to Mary (mryward) and Bridget O'Neill!

Thanks again to Susan for chatting wtih us and Laura Rossi/Tandem Literary for sharing the book with our winners!