I love readers. I love people who get excited about books. And you already know I love to give presents, so this is a super-fun-great week for me (despite the fact that I have a sick kiddo home today.)
Remember this is like a cumulative giveaway...you can enter every single day (up to five times) and I'm pooling all the comments together to choose ONE winner of a whole box 'o books. That means, you can still comment on yesterday's post too.
For today, I'm excited to chat with one of my favorite others, the wonderful Susan Meissner. I've had the pleasure of meeting Susan several times, and I've loved taking classes from her as well. She is genuine and kind and an absolutely amazing storyteller.
I've read several of Susan's books and I've never been disappointed by a single one. They are wonderful stories that always pull me right in. Today we're talking about her latest release, The Girl in the Glass.
Courtney: Where'd you get the idea for "The Girl in the Glass"?
Susan: For our 25th wedding anniversary a few years ago my husband and I went on an eight-day Mediterranean cruise. One of the ports of call on the Italy side was close enough toFlorence to hop on a bus and spend the day there. When I stepped onto Florentine pavement I fell head over heels in love. No joke. There is something magical about Florence that I didn’t see in Rome, or even Paris if you can believe that. The beauty created by the masters of the Italian Renaissance is jaw-dropping and it meets your eye no matter which direction your turn. Florence was the perfect place to bring a disillusioned present-day character who needs to re-invent her life. That’s what Renaissance means: rebirth. I went back a couple years later with my mom, daughter, sisters and nieces and knew I just had to set a story there and somehow involve the infamous Medici family.
Courtney: Do you have any "rituals" you do when you write?
Susan: I used to have to have a steady supply of Diet Coke with Lime but I gave it up for Lent this year and then just stayed off of it for me. (Thanks for giving me the head start, Jesus!) When I gave up that and realized I could still write, I realized I didn’t need any of my little oddities. I have no rituals now except this one: Derriere in Chair.
Courtney: Favorite writing snack and/or beverage?
Susan: I have to stay away from snacking when I write because the energy that is expended when I write makes me want to do everything else at the same super-charged, frenetic level. I can polish off a whole bag of chips that way. Not a pretty picture. A hot drink is the way to go because if I drink that like a hopping mad woman, it burns my mouth. I am forced to sip.
Courtney: How would you describe your writing style/books?
Susan: I like to say I write book club books. I want to write books that make people think and wonder and ponder and want to talk about it with someone. I don’t usually include a super-overt spiritual thread; I like to keep it subtle so that anyone with any frame of reference can read my books and enter my fictive world and understand my worldview. That can sometimes get me less than fully positive reviews from Christian readers who want a Christian book with a Christian message from me, a Christian writer. But that’s not who I am as a writer. I am a story teller who wants to reach as many listeners as I can with Truth. When I write a story, my Christian world view is all over the pages but in a way that is subtle, just like we see in the Book of Esther. Esther is a wonderfully told story of God’s influence yet you don’t see Him mentioned by name anywhere in the book. I think I am in pretty good company!
Courtney: Something people don't know about life as a writer?
Susan: It doesn’t get easier the more you write. It gets harder. I raise the bar for myself every time I finish a book but I still start at the same place on every new page 1; looking at a big white space with a whole lot of nothin’ on it!
This book will be a part of this week's Book Lover's Giveaway, so leave a comment on this post and you'll be entered to win!
For addition chances to win, Tweet, Blog, Facebook or Pin this giveaway, then come back and leave another comment for each one you do. Easy, right?