Monday, February 7, 2011

Author Spotlight-Susan Wilson

The Crazy Bookworm is thrilled to welcome Susan Wilson, author of ONE GOOD DOG

First off, why don't you tell us a little about yourself

I’ve been writing now for about twenty years, although I was ‘practicing’ long before that. My first book, BEAUTY, was published way back in the last decade of the 20th century. ONE GOOD DOG is my sixth published novel. I live on Martha’s Vineyard with my husband, a high school English teacher and we have two grown daughters and one granddaughter with another grandchild on the way.

Describe yourself in 3 words

Wicked good speller.

What is a day in the life of Susan Wilson like?

I wish I could be one of those writers who spend eight hours a day at the computer, but alas, I have many obligations in a day so my days are very scheduled. An hour of reading, which I believe is part of the job of a writer, two hours of writing; then, dog walking, and off to my day job as development coordinator at our local history museum. After work, barn chores, which doubles as my exercise routine. Weekends are nearly as full, but with more time for enjoying family and being on this lovely island.

What inspired you to write One Good Dog?

I have always appreciated a good redemption story, which is essentially what OGD is all about. How far down can a man go and still rise to regain his humanity? The idea for the dog came about from a conversation I had with my agent who casually remarked about the popularity of dog stories. As a dog lover, this seemed like a natural, but I was as surprised as anyone that Chance was a pit bull.

Did you come across any challenges when writing One Good Dog?

The challenge was to make a man who was at the outset pretty reprehensible, likeable. Maybe not exactly likeable, but someone the reader would eventually want to get behind and see succeed.

The other challenge, although a lesser one, was making Chance as a narrator, believable.

Describe the feeling you had when you found out One Good Dog was going to be published

Grateful. It had been seven years since the last book hit the shelves. St. Martin’s Press not only kick-started a career I was about to abandon, but then fulfilled my wildest dreams in being so enthusiastic about my writing.

Do you have any pets yourself?

I live for my animals. Actually, I work for my animals. The household animals include a dog, a mixed breed terrier who expects a dog park walk every day regardless of weather, schedule, or important life-changing events, and gets it. We also have a cat who mostly inhabits our bedroom, plus a betta fish. Outside, I have the care of an elderly horse (if your daughter gets a horse, remember, you have it forever, long after said child moves out) and, most recently, my very own pony who is the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time. Should I count the barn cats and the lone guinea hen as my charges even though, technically, they don’t belong to me?

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner, dead or alive. Who would you invite?

Will Shakespeare, probably as guest of honor. Barack Obama and Michelle. The late Peter Jennings. John Stewart. I think that the assembled wit and intellect would be amazing.

Do you have any 'Must haves" while writing(i.e a certain food, music?)

Coffee. I stopped listening to music while I write because I found that the emotional content of the story didn’t necessarily come from the actual words on the page, but from the music I was hearing. In other words, the outside stimuli lent a false sense of drama. Try listening to Lorena McKennett while doing some mundane task, suddenly it will be embued with magic.

Do you have a favourite writing place?

I have a writing shed, but since the kids moved into adulthood, I no longer have to use it to find privacy. So now I write primarily at my kitchen counter with a view to the bird feeder (should I mention that I’m responsible for feeding those birds too?). In the old days, before laptops, I was pretty restricted as to where I could write, but the advent of the laptop has given me mobility.

Are you working on anything now? If so, can you share a little about it?

Glad you asked. My next novel, anticipated release early winter 2012, is The Dog Who Danced. This is a story of Justine Meade who has lost her dog, and Alice and Ed Parmalee who find him. But, really, it’s a story of the forms that loss takes, and the power of the truth to find its way into our hearts.

Crazy Quiz

Favourite book as a child?

Lad: A Dog, by Albert Payson Terhune. I read all of his collie books with passion and became a devoted collie fancier owning three in my life.

Favourite movie of all time?

Shakespeare in Love. Absolutely the cleverest presentation of Shakespeare.

One guilty pleasure you have:

Only one? I’d have to say the Sunday nap. After a heavily scheduled week, grabbing twenty minutes-worth of zzz’s is terrific.

If you could travel back into time, where would you go?

Interesting question. I suppose that it would be cool to go back to a certain moment in personal time, e.g. some key point in childhood, and see if it held up as a memory; or, to visit a momentous occasion in history to experience it from a bird’s eye view like . I’ve always been a big fan of time traveler stories (one of my favorite books is the Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger.) Maybe I would take a quick trip into Renaissance England to experience the music scene—lute music anyone?

Susan was born in Providence, Rhode Island. She now lives in Oak Buffs, MA on Martha's Vinyard with her husband and many pets. She has written six books one including a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast entitled 'Beauty'. To lean more about Susan and her books check out her official website and social networks.

Official Website

Susan's Facebook Page

Susan's Twitter

Susan's Facebook Fan Page

To purchase a copy of One Good Dog click HERE
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