Interview with Giveaway ~ No Ordinary Life by Suzanne Redfearn

interview

What do you hope readers will get from your book?

I hope whatever I write leaves them thinking about it after the last page is turned. It is why I always include a letter and discussion questions at the end. I always find it hard to say goodbye to the characters when I finish a book I enjoyed. I hope that by offering insight to how the story came about and perhaps opening a discourse, the story might have a little more resonance when it is done.

Describe your book in 5 words

Mother protects kids from Hollywood.

Where is your favorite spot to write?

I always start in my car. I started writing when my kids were still in school, so I got in the habit of keeping notebooks with me. I would write a chapter while waiting in the pickup line at school or between softball games. The habit has stuck. There is something about the contained isolated space that works for me, and I still find that writing longhand is the best for stream of consciousness. There is no disconnect between my thoughts and the paper.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

I love how I start with an idea, an ember, and it evolves into this amazing world with characters and places and plots. It feels magical at times, almost as if it is coming from some faraway place and I am just a conduit. That’s not to discount the enormous amount of work that goes into writing a novel, but my favorite part is definitely that moment when the story starts to live, when I know who my characters are and I realize the journey they’re on.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Starting. It is always the hardest part, that awful beginning stage when you have no idea what you are doing and the writing sucks and the characters are only names on a page and you are certain you’ve written the last decent thing you are ever going to write and that you are just wasting your time. It never seems to get easier. Every time I start, my first instinct is to quit. I compare it to going to the gym after not having worked out in nine months. That first time back is always the worst.

How did you know you should become an author?

I didn’t. It was a bucket list endeavor. I sat down with an idea for a story and thought, Why not? Everyone says they are going to write a novel at some point in their life, let's give it a go. Seven months later my first manuscript was done and I was hooked. The writing was terrible, but the characters and plot were there. It was like discovering I had this talent I was entirely unaware of. I still needed to learn the craft, but my ability to tell a story was a gift.  

What is your favorite scene in your book?

I love the airport scene. As a mom, it was the scene that affected me the most. I was once in a Bed, Bath, and Beyond when my daughter had a meltdown because I wouldn’t buy her a toy she desperately wanted. For twenty minutes I stood there while she screamed and tantrummed with people walking by with either sympathetic expressions or judgmental frowns. It was the worst feeling, and to imagine something like that happening while dozens of photographers documented it, knowing it was going to be plastered in every tabloid and shown on every celebrity gossip show in the world made my heart split in two with sympathy for Faye. It was the pinnacle moment in the story that illustrated how out of control Faye’s life had become.

What makes your novel standout from the crowd? 

Surprisingly, there is no novel that I could find that has been written about being a young star in Hollywood. It is such an intriguing subject and the world is fascinated with child stars, and yet no one has written a story about it. I hope I did the story justice and that readers walk away not only satisfied with the story I told but perhaps with a little more insight into what it means to be famous, how celebrity affects people, and what it's like to grow up in the spotlight.

Do your characters really talk to you? 

I don’t know if they talk to me so much as they aggravate me. I definitely yell at them a whole lot, though to date I don’t believe any of them have yelled back. I think it’s more like I channel them as I am writing them. I try to put myself in their position and in their head and take myself out of it so I can be true to them.

What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?

I don’t know if this is the best advice anyone has given me, but this morning, an artist friend sent me this quote and I pinned it to my computer:

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

How do you react to a bad review? 

I don’t read them. If you appreciate my work and write something nice, I read it and smile and it fuels my engine. If you only have bad things to say, I don’t care to hear it. My job is to sit my butt in the chair and tell the best stories I can tell, to be true to my characters and put in the work. There are dozens of very smart, forthright people who read my work and help me along the way. To give credence to the negative is an insult not only to me but to them, and I respect them too much to do that.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?

The Giving Tree

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? 

Write, write, write. Then sit down and write some more. It might be the first story you tell that is “the one.” It might be your fifteenth. For me it was my fifth. You never know which story is going to unlock the magic gate, and each story makes you better. So write!

Do you write as you go, or do you have the book all planned out from page 1?

Ha! I don’t even write in chronological order. I am a pantster (fly by the seat of my pants) in the truest sense of the word. I start with an idea and scatter fire words and paragraphs all over the place. One idea leads to another, and I think I write 800 pages to get 400. It’s not a very efficient way to write, but I find it extraordinarily rewarding and it provides for twists and turns and surprises that would never happen if I had planned it out from the beginning.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It varies. Hush Little Baby my first novel I finished in four months. No Ordinary Life took about six. The new one I am working on took three for the first draft and will probably take another month of editing before it’s ready for outside eyes.

 Lori, thank you for the wonderful questions and for including me in your blog. Suzanne

post-divider rightordinaryPublisher: Grand Central Publishing (February 2, 2016)
Genre: Women's Fiction
ISBN-10: 1455533904
ISBN-13: 978-1455533909
ASIN: B014E0E9WQ
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository

no-ordinary-life

Suzanne Redfearn delivers another gripping page-turner in her latest novel, a story about a young mother's fight to protect her children from the dangerous world of Hollywood.

Faye Martin never expected her husband to abandon her and their three children . . . or that she'd have to struggle every day to make ends meet. So when her four-year-old daughter is discovered through a YouTube video and offered a starring role on a television series, it seems like her prayers have been answered. But when the reality of their new life settles in, Faye realizes that fame and fortune don't come without a price. In a world where everyone is an actor and every move is scrutinized by millions, it's impossible to know whom to trust, and Faye finds herself utterly alone in her struggle to save her family.

Emotionally riveting and insightful, NO ORDINARY LIFE is an unforgettable novel about the preciousness of childhood and the difficult choices a mother needs to make in order to protect this fragile time in her children's lives.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

post-divider leftThanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of No Ordinary Life to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US & Canada only.
Giveaway ends on February 18th


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

post-divider right

suzanneBorn and raised on the east coast, Suzanne moved to California when she was fifteen. She currently lives in Laguna Beach with her husband, their two kids, a Cockapoo named Cooper, and a cat named Motley. They own a restaurant in town called Lumberyard (LBLumberyard.com). Prior to becoming an author, Suzanne was an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. When not writing, Suzanne enjoys doing anything and everything with her family—skiing, golf, tennis, surfing, playing board games, and watching reality TV. She is an avid baseball fan. Her team is the Angels. She can also be found in the bleachers watching her kids’’ sports or prowling the streets with her husband checking out the culinary scene of Orange County.

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