Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Five Questions With Susan Wiggs, author of "The Goodbye Quilt"

I'm thrilled today to host bestselling author Susan Wiggs on the release day for her new book, "The Goodbye Quilt."

Susan was gracious enough to answer a few questions about her writing and upcoming projects!

At what age did you know that you wanted to be a writer?

Susan: I declared this decision to the world on January 14, 1962, at the age of three. I bet most writers can’t get that specific but here is the evidence:

I have a really great mom who kept track of her kids’ writings and other accomplishments through the years. The example cited above was written on a dated church collection envelope which is how I know the exact date.

At what point in your career did it finally sink in – "hey, I’m famous," and did it make a difference in your writing?

Susan:  I suppose it struck home when I called the power company one Thanksgiving to let them know my power had been out for five days and I was reeeeally ready for some light and heat. When I said my name, the operator said, "Ooooh, you’re my favorite author!" My lights went on within an hour.

Much to my chagrin, the popularity of my books did not make the actual writing easier. If anything, it’s harder now because there is more to do and more readers to please. Every book is hard in its own special way. THE GOODBYE QUILT was really hard emotionally, because it’s a very personal story. Even though Elizabeth and I don’t have a lot in common with Linda and Molly in the book (on the surface, anyway), the writing really took me through the emotions of loving a child, letting go and trying to balance the two.

Who are some of your favorite authors? Who inspires you?

Susan:  My "favorite authors" tend to change with whatever I happen to be reading. I’ll always buy a book by Elizabeth Berg, Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber, Jodi Picoult, Luanne Rice. Thrillers by Robert Dugoni, Lisa Gardner, Tess Gerritsen and Tami Hoag thrill me. See, you got me started. I need to take a "reading day" and kick back!

I am inspired by my readers. Their notes, cards and letters are so very warm and personal, even the cranky-grams. Each and every one of them balances so much in their lives–family, work, school, aging parents, small children, military life, what have you... When I write a novel, I think of readers as friends to confide in, and it inspires me to tell the story straight from the heart.

What do you have coming up in the future?

Susan:  I’m excited about some upcoming new editions of old favorites, particularly this summer. There’s a gorgeous trade paperback edition of HOME BEFORE DARK coming in June, with bonus content, and a lovely reissue of my RITA-winning LAKESIDE COTTAGE. In the coming year, I will be launching a brand-new novel and of course, mulling over the next Big Adventure in the Lakeshore Chronicles.

What advice would you have for anyone wanting to break into the writing biz today?

Susan:  Read everything, write constantly, finish things, be professional, keep your promises and be your reader’s best friend

My thanks to Susan for taking time out of her busy schedule to share a little bit about her life with us!

About "The Goodbye Quilt":

Linda Davis's local fabric shop is a place where women gather to share their creations: quilts commemorating important events in their lives. Wedding quilts, baby quilts, memorial quilts—each is bound tight with dreams, hopes and yearnings.

Now, as her only child readies for college, Linda is torn between excitement for Molly and heartache for herself. Who will she be when she is no longer needed in her role as mom? What will become of her days? Of her marriage?

Mother and daughter decide to share one last adventure together—a cross-country road trip to move Molly into her dorm. As they wend their way through the heart of the country, Linda stitches together the scraps that make up Molly's young life. And in the quilting of each bit of fabric—the hem of a christening gown, a snippet from a Halloween costume—Linda discovers that the memories of a shared journey can come together in a way that will keep them both warm in the years to come.

My Thoughts:

As the mother of grown children, I could closely relate to this heartwarming, emotional story of letting your fledglings fly. As hard as it is to watch them leave, we as mothers must trust that we have given our kids the knowledge and wisdom to make their own mistakes, hard as it may seem.

Dr. Jonas Salk once said - "Good parents give their children roots and wings. Roots to know where home is, wings to fly away and exercise what's been taught them." Susan Wiggs captures this sentiment so beautifully in this captivating story. I adored the way she incorporated the making of the memory quilt into the story of a journey that would lead to a promising future, but also would remind of a loving and memorable past.

This is a perfect book to share for the upcoming Mother's Day, or with any parent who will soon be pushing their chicks from the nest.

About The Author:

Susan Wiggs has won many awards for her work, including a RITA from Romance Writers of America. She has also published with a number of houses, including Avon, HarperCollins, Warner and MIRA Books.

In addition to being a militant romance writer, a feminist, a guilt-ridden mother and a perfect wife, Susan Wiggs grows mutant tomatoes, speaks French, and plays the cello. Her hobbies are reading, traveling the world and Fair Isle knitting. She lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, her daughter, and the world's most ill-mannered Airedale. Although she has convinced her family that toiling away at a writing career makes her a candidate for martyrdom, she secretly believes it's the second-most fun to be had.

Wiggs, a Harvard graduate, confesses that a book once saved her sanity. Trapped at Barcelona Airport during an airline strike, she vividly remembers savoring every lush, escapist word of a romance novel. Ever since, it has been her quest to write the sort of books people cling to in crowded airports, or whenever life gets too crazy.

For more information on Susan's books, check out her website at http://www.susanwiggs.com/

Check out this beautiful video trailer for "The Goodbye Quilt"

My thanks to Eric Glover at PlannedTVArts.com for his assistance in arranging this interview and review copies of the book. I was not compensated for my opinion.


Beth Hoffman said...

Terrific interview! I'll have to add Susan's latest to my TBR list right away.

Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews said...

This is an amazing book, Beth! I think you would really love it!!

Susan Wiggs said...

Sharon, I appreciate you sharing your beautiful piece of cyberspace with me today. Thank you so much! Something your readers might like - I'm giving away a $500 travel voucher to one of my readers! Enter the drawing before 4/10: http://www.susanwiggs.com/contests.shtml