Welcome, Suzanne, to my blog. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don’t really think I write a character who represents me…though there are some characters I’d like to be more like. It’s funny how a writer can create varied characters…maybe they’re all showing different sides of the writer.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Quirky? Or embarrassing? Just a few months ago, I spoke to a huge group of women and later discovered a Velcro curler was stuck to the back of my blazer. Sheesh!!!! Felt like such a dingbat.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I remember writing a novel when I was eleven years old. It was a terrible, plotless piece of work…but I loved to write.
Yes, I believe writers are born, not made. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love to find an author whose writing is inspiring, then read everything that author wrote, until I have a sense of who the author is. It gets to the point where I start seeing formulas, and similar word phrases, and I have a hunch I could give you a profile of the author’s life and be fairly accurate.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I’ve written Copper Star, the prequel to Copper Fire, which won three literary awards. I’ve also written Grit for the Oyster: 250 Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers. It’s a non-fiction book to encourage writers. In February, 2009, For the Love of Dogs will be published—a novel set in 1969 about a young woman who is losing her sight and ends up with a Guide Dog…and the dog’s instructor. Then, in Fall 2009, Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for Complicated Lives (Revell/Baker) will be released. After that, I have three novels due, like airplanes stacked up, for Revell/Baker.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Dogs! I raise puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and I take my dogs on long walks every single day, rain or shine. It’s my appointment with nature…and helps keep life in perspective. Plus, you can’t take yourself too seriously when you have a puppy in your life, tearing through the house with underwear in its mouth.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I try to find the name that suits the person…and it’s important to settle that early on because the person really does come to life. I keep a notebook for interesting names of people. Places, too.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Personally, I would say that my four children are my greatest accomplishment. They span from 25 to 17 right now, and I’m so pleased with each one. Professionally…Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for Complicated Lives (Fall 09/Revell/Baker) has been a very fascinating, inspiring, thrilling journey for me. I started with a basic understanding of the Amish (maybe more than most people because I have Anabaptist family roots). It seemed as if God opened door after door, contact by contact, and six months later, the manuscript was just turned in. The editor loved it, too! I think it’s one of those “once-in-a-lifetime” book. It’s filled with true stories about Amish people…with “takeaway value” for the reader. You don’t have to “go Amish” to integrate some of their principles of a simpler, gentler life.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Kind of obvious…a dog! Maybe even a guide dog.
What is your favorite food?
I love to cook and try new things…chopped salad is my current rage. Problem is that I don’t use recipes very much so I can never re-create a good meal.
Me neither. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Confidence. There’s a parable in the Bible that I’m sure you remember: A king gave three servants differing amounts of talents and told them to invest them during his absence. When he returned, he asked each one what they had done with the talents. Servant #1 and #2 both invested what they had—though they had different amounts—and the king was thrilled! Servant #3 blew it and didn’t even invest it. What struck me about that parable was that the king showed an equal delight in the efforts of Servant #1 and #2. I’ve always felt like a writer with less talent…very aware that others have more talent. Yet that isn’t God’s perspective. He wants me to use what He’s given me. Period. That parable helped me to let go of feeling inferior and just get to work.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Do not stop writing! Take it seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Copper Fire reads like a stand-alone, which has been commented on in numerous reviews. It makes me so happy…that’s just what I wanted. There’s enough back story woven in that you’re not lost, but you won’t feel lost as you read it. Nor will you be bored!
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Find me on-line at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com/. Drop a comment!
Thank you, Suzanne for spending this time with us.
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