"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Sunday Sit-down With Mystery Writer and Freelancer, Susan Sundwall

Can you tell us a little about who you are and your background?

I was born in Minnestota, attended school in California and moved to New York when I married. I have three sons and six grandchildren and I didn’t start writing seriously until the nest was empty. I’m an avid reader and that fuels my desire to write.

Describe your creative process. Owl or lark? Do you write everyday?

Definitely a lark! Can’t write a word after seven o’clock at night. I usually write for my blog first then tackle any urgent projects next. I’m always on the lookout for new markets. I don’t write every day – I know, I know – I’m such a rebel! But my creative juices work best at rest. If I go a day or two without writing, when I do sit down I’m like a buzz saw – get outta my way!

How would you define success as a writer?

Success as a writer means getting your work out there. I’ve done that from the get-go. Write it up, clean it up and send it. And don’t worry about failing. Do your failing in the beginning and get it over with. Learn from it and surge forth.

What has been your most rewarding accomplishment thus far?

The biggest reward of my writing career was having a book publisher say, “We’ve read your book and would like to publish it.” Doesn’t get better than that.

What would it surprise others to know about you?

I’m a very heavy drinker. Ha! Just kidding. But I do like my coffee and wine.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about a writing career?

Never send out the first draft!

Do you think that the economy has had an adverse effect on the bottom line of today‘s writer? Or do you feel that writing is recession proof?

Nothing is recesson proof. We have no idea how even the slightest shift in the economy can affect us. When companies have to worry about constant new legislation, mandates, and regulations they can’t branch out, expand and hire. They circle the wagons and draw our payments out to 90+ days, use staff writers more, shift focus or stop operating altogether. Not good.

Who are some of your favorite authors and/or bloggers?

I love Janet Evanovich, Elizabeth George, Martha Grimes, David Baldacci, John Grisham, James Harriot, and Francine Rivers. For bloggers I like Jennifer Brown Banks, Nathan Bransford, Linda O’Connell.

What‘s your take on social media?

Social media allows me to keep in touch with my West coast family and I love it. It’s also a superb way to get your name out there.

If you had not chosen writing, what other career might you have pursued?

Children love me and I once seriously considered opening a day care center. That was before all the rules and regulations. But I would have enjoyed it very much.

If you could be a literary “super-hero” what would your power be?

To be able to pluck just the right word out of the air every time I get stuck for one.

Susan Sundwall is a mystery writer, freelancer and blogger.
Her work has appeared online in various publications for writers such as Writing for Dollars, WritingWorld.com and Writers Weekly.
Learn more at www.susansundwall.blogspot.com


  1. Hi Jennifer and Susan,
    You never know where your name will pop up! I am pleasantly surprised to be mentioned on Pen
    and Proser, one of my all time favorite writing blogs. This interview proves that Susan and I seem to have a lot in common. Thanks for being YOU! Both of you.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 8, 2012 at 4:01 PM


      ...Seems we're all members of the "mutual admiration society." :-)It's always nice to appreciated...right? Thanks so much for being a constant "cheerleader" and supporter. B/T/W/ I love your new gravatar photo.

    2. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 8, 2012 at 6:58 PM


      B/T/W I enjoyed your article @ Sasee Magazine. I left a comment. Congrats.

    3. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM

      OOPS! I need to type slower today-- above response should say, "It's always nice to be appreciated." In comment to Linda...

  2. Thank you, Jennifer and Susan, for sharing this and helping us to get to know Susan better. I like how you define success as a writer, Susan. Appreciate your thoughts and advice.

    Have a great week! :)

  3. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 8, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Hey Karen,

    It was a pleasure! Thanks so much. It's always great to get your input.

  4. Ladies, Thank you so much for your kind comments. Jennifer is just plain amazing and I'm honored to be a part of her world. Linda you were a rock for me this week - you have no idea. Karen, you have a great blog, too. Let's all keep on truckin'.

  5. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 8, 2012 at 5:49 PM


    What a compliment! Thanks, dearie. I'm glad our paths crossed as well. Certainly by divine design. :-) May you continue to "Prosper"!

  6. Good morning ladies!

    A wonderful Q & A!

    PS -- I'm big on the coffee and wine, too.



  7. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 9, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    Hi Steve,

    Imagine seeing you hear! LOL
    I know you're a fan of Sue's. Thanks so much for adding to the mix. :-)

    1. OOPS! That should have read "Imagine seeing you here!"
      Sorry folks!

  8. Let's all have wine in Heaven some day. You guys are wonderful!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Susan:

    I like your energy, especially your suggestion to be unafraid of failing. All professions require hurdle-jumping, particularly at the beginning, so I can appreciate your realistic approach to the writing profession.


    Thanks for letting us get to know Susan better, and for asking interesting questions. I enjoyed reading this interview.

    Smooches to you both...

  11. Right back at ya' dearie!
    Thanks, as always, for your thoughts.

  12. Janette, I so appreciate your coming by! I always try to be realistic - it's the more productive approach, I find. Smooches back!