Interview with Susan May Warren

We're honored to host Susan May Warren on Mind Chocolate today! Susan is one of our favorite authors, an amazing writing teacher/mentor, and an award-winning author who is the life of the party. (And she wears hats!) Susan has written somewhere around thirty books in various sub-genres of romance. She also founded the amazing writers' organization My Book Therapy.

Susan, we are so glad you stopped in today! Please give your own definition of chick lit.

I’m going to define Chick Lit in relationship to women’s fiction. Women’s Fiction is the journey of a woman and her relationships during a season of life.  Chick lit is a slice of life, with a humorous bent.

Do you have any chick lit-like moments from your own life that you could share?

Oh, I’ll share a recent one…. I was on a plane to the West Coast, which is a fairly long flight from Mpls. I was tired and crabby because I had a late connection and had to virtually run to my gate in Mpls. Thus, when I got on the plane, the overhead compartments were already full. The only room for my carryon was where they stored the blankies for the plane (you know, the ones they say they don’t have?). So, here I am, moving these slippery blankets in their plastic containers to other places on the plane, shoving them inbetween other suitcases, etc. Finally, I get the space opened up and I lift my bag. It’s heavy and of course it doesn’t fit, so I’m wrestling it in. To make matters worse, I’m leaning over the guy seated in the seat below, and I’m pretty sure he’s looking up my shirt. No, he doesn’t offer to help. I finally get the bag in, check my ticket and turn to find my seat when I realize someone is sitting in it. He’s climbed into the window seat on the wrong side, with two elderly ladies next to him. So, instead of making everyone get up, I accept the window seat on the other side of the aisle. Of course, there are two beefy guys between me and the window. And, while the aisle seat fellow gets up, the middle seat fellow stays put so I have to climb over him to get into my seat. Nice.

Yes, I’m fairly crabby by this time, and I’ve been on the road a lot so I really miss my family. When we get at cruising altitude, I open my computer and pull open a slide show of my family and turn on a sappy Michael Buble song (Hold On) and spend some time just gazing at my lovely family and praying for them, missing them. The music seems a bit low and I’m one of those rock and roll girls - I like my music loud – so I turn the volume way up so it just fills my brain. It’s a very perfect, sad moment and I’m sort of lost in it when someone taps me on the shoulder. I look up to see a fellow standing in the aisle, holding his earphones in his hand. He’s mouthing something and I make it out just as I pull my earphone from my ear…

“Ma’am, your music is blasting throughout the entire plane.” 

Yes.  I’d plugged the earphones into the wrong jack.  Which meant Michael Buble was crooning out “Hold On…to me tight…” throughout the entire cabin of the huge plane. 

And you know how quiet those planes are. 

I waited all three hours before I got up to go to the bathroom.

Do you have any writing quirks?

Popcorn makes me write better. (Rachel calls it “Popcrack.”)

I loved the Heirs of Anton series. If you were going to co-author another novel, who would you choose? Why?

I would love to write with Rachel Hauck- we would have a blast! But I so loved writing with Susan Downs, I’d definitely write with her again, too. (I loved that series, too!)

What are one or two of your favorite lit novels from the CBA?

I loved Siri Mitchell's, The Cubicle Next Door 

Where would you go on your dream “research” trip, and would you take anyone with you? Who?

Italy. My husband. J

If you could live in a novel, which one would you choose?

I think it would be interesting to visit the Gilded Age, where my current WIP is set although I don’t think I’d like to live there. As for a novel…could I live in the Mitford Series? J

If you weren’t pursuing writing, is there another dream career you might be chasing?

I love to teach – I’ve always wanted to be a high school or college English teacher. And I’ve always been in love with theater – so I’d love to pursue being a playwright. Oh, that’s writing. I think it would be neat to produce movies, too. J In a different life, perhaps. 

Finally, share two pieces of advice—one writing-related and one not.

They are combined:  Pursue faithfulness and you will find significance. 

Thanks for having me!

Thanks so much for joining us, Susan! To learn more about Susan and her writing, check out her website.


Melissa Tagg said...

So, I've just Susie's airplane story at my desk at work and cracked up laughing. And my coworkers want to know what's so funny...surely not the grant proposal I'm supposed to be working on...:)

Great interview, Jenness, Tracy and Susie. And I love the advice at the end!

Tracey Jane Jackson said...

I'm a huge fan of Suz's! I did book therapy with her and she truly made it fabulous :) Maybe I should give her writing credit (oh, no...did I just type that out loud?)

Love you, Suz!

Pat said...

I can just see that plane scene showing up soon in a book. lol Great interview. Susie is the best!

Beth K. Vogt said...

Susie May Warren is the best . . . funny, personable, real--and a tremendous teacher! I too laughed out loud at her airplane story. May just have to figure out a way to use it in a future story. If I don't name the character Susie do you think she'll notice?

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