Today we sit down with author Susan Thatcher to talk about her work, what inspires her and what motivates her.
Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10.
If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:
Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It depends. If there are big, dramatic emotions, it’s draining. On the other hand, when it’s funny and light, I can go for hours.
- Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?
I haven’t written under a pseudonym, but if was going to, it would be because I was writing in a different genre, perhaps, or because I was spilling the beans on what REALLY happens at an quorum signing event (psst: stick around after the wine comes out!)
- Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?
That’s an interesting question. You need to believe in yourself to pursue this craft, but if you begin to believe your own press, that can cause laziness and complacency.
- What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Another good question. The most fun was getting a specially made stuffed version of Beanie the cat from my books. Lots of people come to pet him at events. The best is the money spent on full tables at signing events. I meet potential readers, other authors, and I have plenty of space.
- What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?
I have: one of my dearest friends was having dinner with her sister-in-law (whom I’ve never met) and the sister-in-law told her that her hairdresser had told her all about this great book she’d just read and that Annie, the sister-in-law, should read it. It was MY book. How about that?
- What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?
I have a couple of boxes and a small file cabinet full of research material on books I’m not presently writing! Any excuse to get more books, right? To understand the experience of breast cancer and recovery, I have scholarly books to learn about the disease and treatment and I have books by survivors who are, if you will, at the other end of those scholarly books undergoing the disease and treatment.
- How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?
In “These Foolish Things,” the names Gardner and Hadley are towns in Massachusetts. I did regret using the name of a (now) ex-friend. Luckily, it. Took so damned long to to get the book published, I could change the name before it went to print!
- What is the hardest type of scene to write?
Oh, boy. I can’t answer that without spoilers. Understand: while I may take scenes and incidents from my life, I do not write biographically. Some things bring up very painful memories, and back to your question about whether writing is exhausting or energizing, those scenes will drain me to the point where I want to stay in bed for 3 days.
- If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?
Robin Williams. I wouldn’t ask him so much as tell him what his work and persona meant to me. Also, the man would liven up any dinner party.
Aaron Sorkin. I’d ask him about his research, etc. I have a small group of writers that I rate as F—ing Geniuses (Aaron Sorkin, Tom Stoppard, and Vince Gilligan). Believe me, I’d pick his brains.
Laura Linney because I want to talk her into playing Liz Gardner in the movie version of my first two books.
And Cher because I’ve been a fan since “The Beat Goes On” was on the radio (Yeah, I’m that old) and I’d like her to play Angie in the movie versions. And she’s just cool.
- What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?
Signing events. I need to refine my elevator pitch (or actually remember it!. I get to talk to people, they see that if they buy both books, they get a little stuffed cat with them, and I make them laugh.
Find Susan’s Books and Connect With Her: