Jen: Today we are excited to welcome Susan Wiggs to Romancing the Book. Susan, will you share with us a short bio?
Susan: Susan Wiggs’s life is all about family, friends…and fiction.
She lives at the water’s edge on a Puget Sound island and finds inspiration in the rhythm of the seasons, and in emotional dramas of everyday life. She’s been featured in the national media, including NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and is a popular speaker locally and nationally.
A #1 New York Times bestselling author, she has received three RITA(R) Awards and numerous starred reviews from Publishers Weekly. Her novels have been translated into more than two dozen languages.
The author is a former teacher, a Harvard graduate, and a passionate supporter of libraries and literacy. She loves hiking, biking, yoga and skiing, yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book.
Jen: Tell us about Return to Willow Lake.
Susan: It’s the story of Sonnet Romano, one of my favorite characters. She’s smart, ambitious, but clueless when it comes to matters of the heart. At the wedding reception of her best friend and stepsister, Daisy Bellamy, Sonnet starts something she can’t stop…
Jen: How do you keep such a long running series fresh and new?
Susan: By letting the characters take on a life of their own. People endlessly fascinate me–the things they love, the things they fear, the way they treat one another….These will always be fresh because people behave in such surprising new ways, all the time. A well-rounded character will never let you down, even when she’s misbehaving.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Susan: I create an outline and discuss it with my writers’ group, my agent and editor. Then I put it all away and just dive in and write until the characters seem to take on a life of their own. In RETURN TO WILLOW LAKE, this happened at a very specific moment–when Sonnet goes to meet her dad at a restaurant in New York City. She was so vulnerable at that moment, I could really feel for her.
I fit my writing into my life however I can–not the other way around. I write my first draft in a Clairefontaine grid-ruled notebook with a fountain pen using peacock blue ink. I’m not quirky, just a creature of habit. I tend to drag my manuscript along wherever I go.
Jen: If you could travel in time, where would you go and what 3 things would you take with you?
Susan: I’d go back and give better advice to the teen me. 🙂 I would take some stock tips and winning lottery numbers along, just in case. 🙂
Jen: What’s next for you?
Susan: A nap. A trip to Alaska, a fall conference in Seattle, and many many hours of writing! Thank you so much for having me.