#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…
Thanks so much for inviting me, Kelly. The pleasure is all mine.
Well, me outside my writing career … I’m an Indiana native and have lived here most of my life. I did spend 7 years in the Chicago area way back when. I used to be a dental hygienist (I can hear the groans now. It’s okay, hygienists, just like writers, develop thick skin.) I retired my devices of dental torture several years ago and am now a full time writer (which to the family means I’m available to do all of those things the “working” folks can’t get done during the day).
I’m married and have two grown children, a lovely daughter-in-law, a big black dog and two “grand-pups.” We’re a family of animal lovers and at one time or another, have housed just about every critter known to man. If allowed to do nothing but follow my desires, I’d read books and watch movies until my eyes dried up from overuse. I enjoy working in my yard (can’t claim to be a gardener because then the neighbors might start to “expect” more than I can deliver) and walking (listening to audio books as I do).
I’m the typical extroverted introvert – love being alone, but am still functional in a crowd. I think this is the case for many writers. After all, we’re observers first and foremost.
#2- You are a mother of two and a very accomplished author. How do you balance your writing career with life outside of it?
Now I’m going to reveal the deep dark truth. I thrive on lack of structure, don’t like schedules (may stem from those dental days), love to fly by the seat of my pants. That’s what makes writing perfect for me. I write when the creative juices are flowing, be that in the middle of the afternoon or the middle of the night. Of course, I’m allowed this luxury because my children are grown; it didn’t used to be that way. I still put family needs first, but the demands on my time in that direction aren’t what they’d be with kids at home.
Like everyone with a deadline, I work many more hours per day when the manuscript is nearly due at the publisher!
#3- As you know, I reviewed your title Seeing Red, for Bookpleasures, and loved it. But how do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?
Negative reviews? Me?
Just kidding. There isn’t anything like a glowing review to stoke my fire and make me anxious to crank out that next page. But a negative review … that makes me dig deep, work hard and try to prove them wrong in the future. Criticism is what makes me strive to be better – and we all receive it. It can be a great tool to improve our craft.
When criticism seems to miss the mark completely, then I assure myself that it’s impossible to please all of the people all of the time. (See thick skin comment above in question #1.)
#4- Where do you find your inspiration, and do you ever feel nervous that the reading audience may not like your work-in-progress as much as your previous titles?
Inspiration is everywhere I look and in every conversation I have. My books are about real people with real problems, even my romantic suspense. So I watch. I listen. Like I said, we authors are big on observation.
I’m always convinced that the book I am currently writing is no good, so yeah, I’m very nervous that I’ll disappoint my readers. I’ve written and published eight novels now; I’m beginning to accept the fact that I have no perspective until the project is done. Still, nerves abound even after the first reviews come out.
#5- Assuming you get any time to read, what authors do you like to read, and were there any books that stand out from your childhood as favorites?
Sadly, I don’t get to read nearly as much as I’d like. I love a good storyteller, an author who can deliver great characterization, who can put me in the moment. I don’t limit my reading to any particular genre. And I don’t always like every book from my “favorite” authors. A couple of my favorite books are: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee; Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry; Sharon Kay Penman’s historical trilogy; Lightning and Watchers, Dean Koontz; Outlander, Diana Gabaldon; The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd.
As for childhood favorites, you know, I spent most of my time outside when I was a kid, so, believe it or not, I wasn’t a big pleasure reader. Shame, shame on me. My addiction to books came in adulthood.
#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could you give us your web site so readers can check it out?
I’d love everyone to visit my web site www.susancrandall.net . Each of my books has its own page with reviews, excerpts and snack of the book (each deadline prompts massive snacking, and each book has found its own favorite snack). Also, click on the “Media” button and you can watch video interviews of me as well as of some of my readers.
My next release after SEEING RED is another romantic suspense, as yet untitled. It is scheduled for publication in early 2010.
#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’d just like to thank you for the opportunity to share with others who love books as much as I. The world of readers is a wonderful community. I’d like to invite everyone to visit the message board on my web site. There is a great group of readers who post frequently sharing their favorite books.