Who will be answering your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org? Meet the Ask a New Author team:
Depending on the day, the first thing I’ll tell you is that I’m a writer or a new mom or a teacher or a recent Twitter addict or a voracious reader or a wife to a sweet husband or an aunt to two goofy nieces or a friend to a whole flock of creative, supportive, funny folks here in Eugene OR. I’ve always been the sort who does best with a lot on my plate–day job, writing, family, friends–but since I had my first child nine months ago, my plate overflows even more than usual.
During the daylight hours (and some nighttime ones too), I am either marveling at my son’s latest skills–He crawls! He stands! He sprouts teeth!–or teaching writing and literature at the
I was born and raised in
About my novel, THE LOCAL NEWS:
After fifteen years of writing, including participating in community workshops, graduating from an
THE LOCAL NEWS is the story of Lydia Pasternak, a bookish, socially awkward 15-year-old whose older, more popular brother, Danny, disappears one night.
Publication has been a whirlwind and a thrill, with some memorable high points: THE LOCAL NEWS was nominated for an Oregon Book Award. It was selected as a Breakout Book by Target. It had an Italian edition published, with an Australian edition to come. Visit my website or Facebook page for more news and reviews.
I was born and raised in
Before selling my debut novel, STILTSVILLE, I worked as an adjunct instructor and a project manager for an IT company. I wrote before work, or–for a couple of years there–I didn't write at all. That was a miserable time and I never want to go back to it, so now I sit down at my desk four days a week (on the fifth day I'm with my son), and I try to write. In addition to writing, I'm trying to get my name out there, which is time-consuming and sometimes makes me feel a little icky. My web site and blog live at www.susannadaniel.com. Please visit. It's lonely there.
I don't have a lot of hobbies beyond reading and writing and tie-dyeing baby clothes and watching too much television and running errands with my toddler. I taught writing for seven years, but gave it up to finish my novel—and I miss the exchange of ideas that comes with talking with writers, new and experienced alike.
About my novel, STILTSVILLE:
Depending on where you start the clock, it took me more or less a decade to write my first novel, STILTSVILLE, which is due out from Harper on August 3. The novel follows the three-decade marriage of a woman who visits Miami for the first time at age 26, then impulsively moves there to be with a man she meets on a lark. Over the years they struggle with the mutability of love and
I first wrote a short story about the characters during my first year as an
I’d started in the middle, and many years later filled in the rest of the story. And strangely enough, that original story, “We Are Cartographers,” did not make it into the final version of the novel. Which was just fine with me. It's also nice to know that what you've written since then is better. Much better. It even makes you think that maybe the next thing you write will be better still.
Which is what I'm doing now—writing a second novel, and hoping it's better. Which isn't to say that I don't think STILTSVILLE is good. I think it is, and I think you should read it and decide for yourself!
Some taught me faith in the future. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith was the only bible I ever owned, my personal talisman of hopefulness. Each time I read it, I was struck anew by how this author knew so much and dared to write it.
I now live in
About my novel, THE MURDERER’S DAUGHTER:
Lulu and Merry's childhood was never ideal, but on the day before Lulu's tenth birthday their father drives them into a nightmare. Lulu's mother warned her to never let him in, but when he shows up, he's impossible to ignore. He bullies his way past ten-year-old Lulu, who obeys her father's instructions to open the door, then listens in horror as her father kills her mother.
For thirty years, the sisters try to make sense of what happened. Their imprisoned father shadows every choice they make. Though one spends her life pretending he's dead, while the other feels compelled to help him, both fear that someday their imprisoned father's attempts to win parole may meet success.
This book is almost complete fiction. When my sister was eight, she said, "Remember when I let our father in the house and he tried to kill Mom?" She swears I was there (where else would I be at that age?) but I didn't remember. As my sister fed me more details, the scene rooted and became my memory also. I heard my father sweet-talking his way in. My mother's screams echoed.
Perhaps because of this, I worked with violent men for many years, men ordered by the courts to the Boston-based Batterer Intervention Program where I ran groups. My clients bullied, hit, smacked, punched, and broke bones; some had murdered.
When talking with batterers and speaking with their victims, I thought of my mother and father. I kept asking myself. What if? What if my sister hadn't been brave enough to get the neighbors? What if the neighbors hadn't pounded upstairs? What if the police hadn't come in time?
What if my mother had died?
Writing is like that for me, a series of "what if" after "what if " . . .
Now that you know a little about the three of us, get busy with your questions! Email us anything to do with writing or publishing (no question is too silly) at email@example.com. Or leave your questions in the comments section below. Give us your name or remain anonymous. Ask us one question or ask us ten!