And now we hear from Bouncer, Susan Gloss! It's really cool to have Susan as a Bouncer this year because a year ago, SHE was one of the entrants in Blind Speed Dating. And now she has a two book deal for her novel, VINTAGE (formally known as GENTLY USED). She was snatched up by agent, Christina Hogrebe, and pretty much rocks, I've decided. :)
(Photo Credit: Nick Wilkes)
Hi, Susan! Please share a little about yourself:
When I'm not writing fiction, I'm either working part-time as a lawyer, blogging at GlossingOverIt.com, writing food articles for Edible Madison magazine, or playing trucks on the floor with my toddler. Or collapsing on the couch with a glass of Malbec.
Now tell us a little about your book(s) or what you like to write:
I write women's fiction. My debut novel, Vintage, is the story of a vintage clothing store, the women who work and shop there, and the garments that come through the door. It's coming out from William Morrow/HarperCollins in spring of 2014.
What MUST we read? And what's in your TBR pile?
Room by Emma Donague. I could not put it down. In the women's fiction genre, I recently read The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton, which I really enjoyed. The nerdy part of me that went to law school liked the Supreme Court references, and the mystery elements of the story kept me turning the pages. And I'm currently reading and loving The Round House by Louise Erdrich. It's taking some amazing, ghost story-ish turns that I did not expect. Next on my TBR list is Kingsolver's latest, Flight Behavior.
What are those crumbs around your computer? And what is that music I hear?
Those crumbs are buttermilk biscuits that my husband baked last night. He got me the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook for Christmas and he swiped it last night to use up some buttermilk we had in the fridge. I love carbs with abandon. The music is the Stars' latest album, "The North." I live in Wisconsin and it's January, so the album title is fitting. Plus, I love me some Canadian indie bands.
Is it all about the pants or all about the outline?
I want to be an outliner. I'm generally a very organized person and a planner. But for whatever reason, I'm not great at outlining my novels. I always know what the ending will be, and I do some very rough outlining when I'm starting out, but so far I have not been able to master the art of the detailed plot outline. I'm trying to get on that track. I've read all sorts of books about outlining/plotting lately (Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, Write Away by Elizabeth George). My critique partner is a great outliner and for Christmas she got me a super cute little notebook to tuck in my purse and take with me everywhere for that very purpose. But I'm also kind of a "think-as-I-write" type of person, so often many of my best ideas come to me when I'm in the flow of writing. So the short answer is, I'm working on being an outliner.
Any words of wisdom for our brave contest entrants?
Toughen up that skin. Really. For the vast majority of writers, including me, agents and publishing contracts come after a lot of rejections, countless revisions, and maybe even a project or two or five set aside. I have a quote from my favorite poet, Wallace Stevens, letterpressed on a card and framed in my office: "After the final no there comes a yes / And on that yes the future world depends."
Also, contests don't always lead directly to an agent offer, but they can still be helpful. For example, I participated in the BSD contest last year, and though it didn't lead to an offer for me, I got great feedback that helped me tweak my query. Four months later, I signed with my agent (the awesome Christina Hogrebe) through a query. In the process of doing the contest I met a lot of other writers going through the same thing I was, which was invaluable.
Now give up your guilty pleasure!
Teen Mom 2. There, I said it.
Thank you, Susan!!!!!!
Thank you for reading! Comments and questions below.....