Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Interview with Susan Wingate

Tell us about you.
Just recently, my 2011 novel called DROWNING reached the spot of #1 Amazon Bestseller. DROWNING also won two awards in 2011, the Forward National Literature Award for Drama and the International Book Awards. I supposed I'm best known for my award-winning Bobby's Diner Series. BOBBY'S DINER reached bestseller status nabbing the #5 spot on in 2008. I'm also a public speaker and often present inspirational and motivational talks about the craft of writing, marketing, and how to survive in this extremely volatile Publishing industry.

Tell us about your book.
SPIDER BRAINS: A Love Story is my debut YA Novel and will be available May 15, 2012.

Here's the blurb and a short synopsis...

If one were to bake the story SPIDER BRAINS into a cake, they should sprinkle in Charlotte's Web, toss in one Jellicle Cat, then stir in a little Spiderman, but as a girl and not in that goofy latex outfit! A tale of hope, transformation, transition and inspiration.

After her father's death last year and, now, in the throes of a gnarly teacher's whim as she thinks ahead to college (or really just dreams of getting into college), a small black arachnid bites fifteen-year-old Susie Speider on the finger. The bite sends her nights into fantastical dreams about taking revenge on a teacher who, ultimately, holds her college aspirations in the palm of her cold calloused hand. But, after Susie figures out the dreams are real, she ups the ante by visiting the teacher regularly, as the spider! And, oh, by the way! Who is that boy spider munching on flies, hiding over there in the corner? A story of loss and forgiveness, tolerance and kindness, Susie Speider deals with the death of her father while Matt Ryder, the new neighbor boy, has just lost his mother. Ultimately, SPIDER BRAINS poses some important questions about how to treat Attention-Deficit-Disorder.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
I saw a small black spider crawling across our ceiling one night. For whatever reason, I was captivated by his movement and one thing led to the next and I was writing a story.

What can readers expect when they open your book? Give us something that isn't on the book blurb. 
In SPIDER BRAINS you can expect fun and something a little bit fantastical. It's a story about tolerance, grief and forgiveness. With a dash of eight-legged love thrown in for good measure!

Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere. The resources for stories seems endless to me. A lot of my ideas come from the Bible, some from nature, some from dreams. Some ideas even come from a word spoken with just the right inflection. A couple sitting in a restaurant. A song. And, of course, the voices in my head! They won't shut up. No matter how often I ask them.

Who is your greatest inspiration?
My father. He was a writer of this really weird jungle safari, fantasy. He always threw in a touch of romance. The stories he wrote were extremely funny.

What are you reading right now?
"Stein on Writing" and "How to Grow a Novel" both works by Sol Stein.

Who are your favorite authors?
As for noted authors--Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare, Sir Anthony Conan Doyle, JD Salinger, and Kurt Vonnegut. For living authors, I'd have to say, Jonathan Safran Foer, David Waggoner, Jack Kerouac, Anne Rice and Stephen King.

But the list is long and varied. I don't think you have enough space to include them all.

What is your current project?
ESCHATOS is an Apocalyptic thriller series which I foresee will have seven books in total. The first book in this series is called "The First Witness."

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
The next book. After a book has been written, I'm left with a feeling of vulnerability. You never know if people will like the story, if they will buy your books. So, I always feel like I have to prove I can do it again. After ten novels, one would think they might be capable of pulling it off one more time but I never feel that way. Each new story I start, I'm met with a sense of dread--not that I have to write but that I CAN'T write. Of course, once the story begins to form and you get those first few lines on the page, it all just flows out one word at a time.

What is the best writing advice you've ever received?
Just sit down and get it done.

Are you a panster or a plotter?
A plotter. I'm an avid outliner and although I sometimes stray, I want to know where the story will end, what happens in the middle and how I've gotten to each of these parts from what happens at the beginning based on character development and internal and external conflicts.

Tell us 5 random things about you the person, not the author
1. : I have 28 animals--2 dogs, 14 cats and 14 birds.
2. : My husband makes me a pot of coffee every morning before he leaves for work.
3. : I'm a Christian.
4. : I have trouble dressing myself. My preferred mode of dressing is in sweatpants, a tee-shirt and slippers. And, some days I get really dressed up and put on a pair of jeans!
5. : Two of my best friends are Joshua Graham and Michael Angel. I love those guys.

Where to connect online
Twitter : @susanwingate  and    @drowningbysusan
Facebook :

What format does your book(s) come in?
All my books are available in print and eBook formats 

Where to buy