Welcome back, Susan. I love your head shot. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I like to write about the depths of human relationships. All of our best and worst intentions seem to come out in our closest human relationships. I have this quote by Cecil Day Lewis on my website that goes like this: “We write not to be understood, but to understand.” I think that’s most of the reason I write about human relationships; to understand how we tick and how we are created in God’ image and how much can be changed when we allow God to make us more like Him.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
This is a hard question to answer! The day I married my husband and each of the four days our children were born are all at the top of that list. I can’t imagine life without these five people.
How has being published changed your life?
Being published certainly has given me the exposure to explore in writing everything I observe from life. It has made my life fuller and busier, and it has tempered me. Getting published is really a small part of the writing life. Publication increases your ability to reach people with what you write but it doesn’t complete your writing life. You do that when you keep writing and keep writing and keep writing.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished Sandra Byrd’s To Die For, a novel centered on the friendship of a young English woman and Anne Boleyn. A tragic story, but interestingly told. Sandra is a fabulous writer.
What is your current work in progress?
I am putting the finishing touches on a book called The Girl in the Glass which will release this time next year. This book is set partially in Southern California and partially in
. My main character heads to Florence, Italy Florence for some complicated reasons and while there she
becomes friends with a woman who claims she is the last Medici and that she can
amazing statues and paintings talking to her. . . Florence
What would be your dream vacation?
I want to go to
and spend two weeks touring
the islands! Greece
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I usually find the setting within the idea for the book. When I come across a premise for a story I consider where it could be told best. Sometimes you can tell the same story in any number of locations but that’s not always the case. With A Sound Among the Trees, with overtones of The Civil War running through it, I knew I needed a southern state to set it in.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I think I would like to spend that evening with
author Kate Morton. She writes such compelling fiction. I am always inspired to
write with more excellence after I’ve read one of her books. I’d like to ask
her where her ideas come from, how she refills her idea well, how she plots her
books, if she outlines or not, where her motivation springs from. I have her
latest book, The Distant Hours, on my
bedside table and I can’t wait to get to it. New Zealand
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love to be outdoors, and I love spending time with my family. Meal times, whether I cook or we go out are also times that are special to me so we choose restaurants for memory value, not just the menu. We like independent restaurants and I guess you could say we are all coffee snobs. I also love to travel. Love it.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
The more I write the more I need a way of refreshing my mind and soul for the next book. Sometimes it feels like I have used up all the good words and there aren’t any left. Reading great books reminds me that there are plenty of ways left to tell a story!
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Keep writing in anonymity. Every day that you write you are becoming a better writer. Surround yourself with good books, books that inspire you and challenge you. Find at least one seasoned writer to mentor you or take a class on creative writing to help you identify bad habits that might hold you back. Writing is re-writing so learn to hold your words with an open hand. And then keep writing.
I love your cover, too. Tell us about the featured book.
For 150 years, Holly Oak has stood the passing of time and wills on a historic
street and it has the Civil
War scars to prove it. Marielle Bishop marries into the family and its
multi-generational ties to the house, leaving behind her independence and her
love of Fredericksburg ’s
deserts to become a wife and stepmother.
But it isn’t long before Marielle is led to believe that the house she just settled into brings trouble and misfortune to the women who live there. Local folklore has it that Susannah Page, a spy for the North who secretly aided Union soldiers, haunts Holly Oak - longing for pardon.
When Susannah’s great-granddaughter Adelaide McClane tells her that the house is “stuck” because of its tumultuous past, Marielle determines to get past the rumors and uncover the secrets that are buried within its walls. With
richly peppered superstitions and deep family roots at stake, Marielle must
carve out her new life carefully as she sorts out the truth and makes peace
with the sacrifices she has made for love.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Here’s the link to the excerpt:
How can readers find you on the Internet?
And on Facebook and Twitter at @SusanMeissner.
Thank you, Susan, for the interesting peek into your life.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.A Sound Among the Trees: A Novel
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.