Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Susan! Thank you for celebrating my blog's one-year blogoversary with me! When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I usually answer this question by saying that there wasn’t a time when I realized I wanted to be a writer, I just realized I already was one. I itched to write, all the time, from the time I first learned to make letters on paper. God planted the desire in me, I think, and He’s made me restless to be about it.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
When I am brainstorming the plot line for a new book I like to do all the work on a yellow-lined pad with a mechanical pencil. I don’t like white pads or ink pens and I don’t like doing it on a computer. And I need to be NOT sitting in the chair where I will write the book itself. That initial tumbling of ideas has to happen on a yellow pad with a mechanical pencil away from the writing desk!
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I like being a little creator, a little like God in that one, tiny way. As a novelist I create something that wasn’t there before. I invent people who don’t exist but feel as if they do. That’s pretty cool.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
As for my favorite, that changes every year when a new book comes out! Right now, A Sound Among the Trees seems the most personal and dear to me. It’s the newest and the closest to my heart. I suppose that might change in the fall of 2012 when my next one comes out. But I still get the most responses from The Shape of Mercy, which released in 2008. I have written thirteen novels.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to travel and learn about new cultures and time periods. I like long walks, snobby coffee, Italian food, playing the piano, and hanging out with my husband and kids.
Do you read books, if so, what is your favorite genre to read?
I like to write about the depths of human relationships and so those are the kinds of books I like to read. You might call them literary fiction or book club fiction but I call them relationship fiction! All of our best and worst intentions seem to come out in our closest human relationships. I have this quote by Cecil Day Lewis on my website that goes like this: “We write not to be understood, but to understand.” I think that’s most of the reason I write about human relationships; to understand how we tick and how we are created in God’ image and how much can be changed when we allow God to make us more like Him.
Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?
I am very much influenced by artistic expression, of which music and film-making are prime examples, so to pick favorites is terribly difficult! I usually have a favorite of the month when it comes to stuff like this because there is so much out there that is wonderful. Right now, when Jamie Grace’s “Hold Me” comes on the radio, I turn it up real loud. That song just brightens my mood, no matter what kind of day I am having. As for movies, it may sound schmaltzy, but I love “You’ve Got Mail.”
Is there a place you'd like to visit, but haven't yet?
I would love to visit Egypt and see the pyramids and the Valley of the Kings. Not sure that I will ever get there. It’s so far away and so not a safe place to visit right now. I love history, and there is so much of it in that part of the world.
What's your favorite dessert?
Cherry pie with French vanilla ice cream, of course!
Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
I love Psalm 91 and especially its leading line: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” It is the most comforting verse I know.
Are you currently working on any new novels?
I am putting the finishing touches on a book called The Girl in the Glass which will release this time next year. This book is set partially in Southern California and partially in Florence, Italy. My main character heads to Florence for some complicated reasons and while there she becomes friends with a woman who claims she is the last Medici and that she can hear Florence’s amazing statues and paintings talking to her. . .
Where can we find you on the web?
You can find me at www.susanmeissner.com and on Facebook at my Author page, Susan Meissner, and on Twitter at SusanMeissner. I blog at susanmeissner.blogspot.com. I also send out a newsletter via email four times a year. You can sign up for it on my website. I love connecting with readers! You are the reason I write.
Enter for your chance to win a copy of A Sound Among the Trees! You can read my review here.
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Remember to stop by tomorrow for day five!