I'm so excited to have you join me as I share an interview with my pal and prolific writer, Susan Sundwall.
I hope you'll make her feel welcome with your questions and comments today. So let's get started here.
HI, SUE. CAN YOU TELL READERS A LITTLE ABOUT WHO YOU ARE AND YOUR BACKGROUND?
I’m a writer who came to the game later in life. I was fifty when I finally decided to start chasing my dream of writing for love and profit. I’ve done so without any formal training in the craft. I did have enthusiastic English teachers all through school who encouraged, or demanded, that we read. I’ve read and loved it for most of my life. And what writer, and avid reader hasn’t finished a book, essay or article and thought, I could write something like that? So that’s what I’ve been doing for the last twenty years.
WHAT WRITING/PROFESSIONAL RESOLUTIONS TOP YOUR LIST FOR 2019?
At the very top of my list is targeting more high paying markets for my writing. I’ve had some success with this already in 2019. I look at writing opportunities as one would observe a giant oak tree. Many branches reaching for the sun. Out on the tips of those branches are some interesting opportunities. In January I sold an essay to Woods Reader, a Minnesota magazine I found it through market research. I like to surprise myself by “going out on a limb” every now and then. This time it paid off.
YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF WRITING?
At the top of that list is essay writing – which I never liked in school – but which eventually became a great love. I tend to write short anyway so I frequently gather my random thoughts and fashion them into an essay with a common thread running through. I often throw in a big dose of humor. I get a lot of positive feedback from this type of writing which only encourages the rascal in me.
WHAT CHALLENGES YOU THE MOST ABOUT BEING A SCRIBE?
Like many writers I let myself get distracted way too often. Let’s see what’s going on over on Facebook or Twitter. I think it’s time for a cuppa Joe. Is it my turn to play on Words With Friends? I think I promised to make chocolate chip cookies for somebody today. Let me just run and check the mailbox. Sound familiar?
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WRITING STYLE?
With my novel writing I’m a pants-er. I write by the seat of my pants. Free writing and then go back and edit. For me it doesn’t flow otherwise. For essays, poems and other forms it’s all as inspiration strikes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come dripping out of the shower with just the right word or phrase I need that day. I sit right down wrapped in my towel and put it where it belongs while it’s still burning in my brain.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST WRITING ADVICE FOR THOSE SEEKING TO GO THE DISTANCE?
Learn how to fail with grace and keep feeding the low fire in your belly for getting your work out there. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Never.
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO? CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR LATEST WRITING PROJECT?
The third installment of my Minnie Markwood mystery series, The White Pizza Caper, will be out in November from Speaking Volumes Publishing. I’m very excited about that. This is a new publisher for me that will also feature my first two mysteries as e-books. I’m also putting the finishing touches on a new series, or what I hope will be a series, for a large market that not only buys romance and mystery, but may also turn the story into a television movie. I might have to fail with grace for this one, but that won’t keep me from trying.
WHAT WORDS OF WISDOM CAN YOU PROVIDE FOR WRITERS WHO MAY BE “PLATFORM CHALLENGED” IN LANDING A TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING CONTRACT TODAY?
First, find out what a platform is and begin to build one. Write, submit, fail and succeed, then do it some more. You begin building street cred by putting your name and your work where others can see it. Check out what the big names have done. Everybody was a nobody once. Make an earnest effort to change that for yourself.
WHAT WOULD IT SURPRISE OTHERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I’m older than I look and smarter than I talk.
AS A FAN OF YOUR BLOG, CAN YOU TELL ME IF/WHEN YOU’LL RETURN IN 2019?
I’ve been asking myself the same question. My blog following is very small and I wonder how effective it is. You’ll be one of the first to know if I fire it up again. Thank you for asking, Jennifer and thank you for having me!
It's always a pleasure, Sue!
Learn more about Susan at her blog, Sundwall Says:
Thoughts? Comments here?