Now to get to know Susan May Warren a little more (contest information at the end of the post):
AMS: How did the idea for this book come about?
SMW: Oh, being pregnant in Russia, of course. (Twice, actually). The first time I sat in a doctor’s office and they pulled out a wooden stethoscope and asked me to take off all my clothes, I said, this is going into a book! Being pregnant in Russia is an adventure worthy of any great epic!
AMS: I imagine that was quite the experience, and now wonderful book material.
About how long did the first draft take to write? Would you say there were more days where the words flowed well or more days where you wrestled them onto the page?
SMW: Since this was so much my own story, I really just had to go back to my crazy experiences and tell them in Josey’s voice. I did struggle with how much to put into the story…after all, I had so much material, but only some of it would work in Josey’s life. (so, well, I saved it for book 3!) I have to say, since I plot out a book by chapter, and know what, essentially, is going to happen in each chapter, I don’t struggle with writer’s block as much as frustration that I can’t get the story down on the page fast enough!
AMS: Yes! book 3. I’m already looking forward to it. I’m learning to sketch out the chapters more and not be a complete SOTPster.
What would you say was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
SMW: The biggest challenge was Josey’s newlywed relationship with Chase. I wanted Chase to be a realistic hero, but also not lose the reader’s heart. It was a tight rope between Josey’s perception of reality and Chase’s honor in the eyes of the reader.
AMS: I think you pulled it off well. I can relate to Josey’s perception of reality versus true reality. I struggled with that when my hubby and I were first married. The things we tell ourselves sometimes…
What do you do to help you settle into a writing session?
SMW: Music – especially mood music. And a clear plan of where I’m going. I also start by reading a bit of the previous chapter – that helps me find my character’s voice again.
AMS: A clear plan – I’m learning how important that is when it comes to my writing.
Let’s have a little fun with the questions now.
Do you have any weird or funny writing quirks?
SMW: I have to crunch to be creative. Which often means chewing gum, but sometime just a little bowl of dry cereal will do it. And, I have to write in my big blue writing chair…it’s oversized and allows me to just settle back and close my eyes and write.
Finally, I don’t do any editing while I’m writing a book – I go straight through it and then go back and sculpt it after it’s on the page. Finally, I can’t clean my office during the composing portion of a book (we’re talking 4-6 weeks!) because everything is in a pile where I have to access it. As a result, it’s hard to enforce the whole, “room clean” policy for the kids!
AMS: My husband thinks I’m strange for eating cereal dry. It’s nice to have company lol. I love reading your quirks, but there is a great writing tip mixed in. Thanks for reminding us how it’s important to get that first draft down and then go back and add the finer details and clean it up.
If you were a music CD, what style music would you be and why?
SMW: I’d be a soundtrack to a movie, like Pearl Harbor. Something with ebs and flows, great epic heights, and soft moments that flutter out (which is me collapsing on the sofa).
AMS: LOL – great answer!
What are you currently reading and how is it so far?
SMW: Light of Eidon, by Karen Hancock. Finished it in one day – read from 9am to 2am…Fabulous. That woman knows how to write a great book!!
AMS: Sounds like a page turner. I’ll have to look for it.
The spotlight is turned off now, any parting words?
SMW: Just a thank you for reading my books, and letting my stories into you lives. I’m so grateful for readers!!
AMS: Thanks for writing such terrific books for us to read. I enjoyed having you on the blog.
Susan May Warren has a fun contest going on at her blog: Submit your funniest/craziest/most embarrassing PREGNANCY STORY and be entered to win a Super Fabulous, Ultra Deluxe Chill Out, Mom SPA BASKET! Here is the link to the Contest page on Susan’s website: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/contest.html (**note, this contest is exclusively for her blog tour, chances are there will be another contest going on for her general audience…feel free to enter both contests. By submitting your story, Susan will know which contest you are entering!)