August 21 – Susie Orman Schnall

Hi friends!

Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month!

While I read romance all year long, August is the month we celebrate romantic fiction! Come back every day to read the fun author Q&As – calendar here –  and each weekday in August, we’ll also have an author guest hosting the Romance of Reading FB page. Today Jeannie Moon is doing both the Q&A and the author takeover.

This year is significantly smaller in scale. If you’re interested, you can read about some of the reasons why here. It’s been a crazy year, and a complicated few months.

Happy August. Isn’t life better with #ATouchofRomance?! xo

2018 RARM Questions:

 

Why do you write books? 

Several reasons.

1) Writing brings me a joy that is hard to explain.

2) To get the most incredible experience of getting to write “The End” at the end of a manuscript.

3) Because I love all of the other aspects of being an author.

 

What do you consider to be the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

Going on an Outward Bound trip when I was in my mid 20s. I was feeling very stuck in my professional life and in some friendships and I felt like I needed to do something to shake things up. That trip made me realize I was much stronger emotionally and physically that I had ever thought I was. Since then I have done endurance and other physical events every once in a while to try and replicate those feelings.

 

Tell us why you write romances or include strong romantic elements in your books?

Who doesn’t love a love story? I love reading them so despite the fact that my books aren’t “romance” books in the true meaning of the genre, they all have aspects of romance. Also, I write about women’s experiences and I think it’s inauthentic to not include that side of their lives. Plus, they’re fun to write.

Tell us about a romantic moment in your life. (Either romantic love, or romantic sensibility.)

My favorite romantic moments are when I watch love stories in movies. I get so caught up in the idea of that idealized type of romance. Just last night, I watched To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix (based upon the novel by Jenny Han) and I swooned all over it. It’s about teenage love but there’s something so sweet and innocent and new about it that it just made me feel all romantic. I’m a sucker for a love story!

 

If you could tell your younger self anything (either as a writer or as a woman) what would it be?

Don’t follow the path that you think has been set for you. It’s okay to veer. To not have everything figured out so young. Be a little impulsive.

 

Tell us something you uncovered in research that fascinated you.

The whole premise of my latest novel The Subway Girls fascinated me. It’s about the Miss Subways contest which was an advertising campaign that took place in the NYC subway system from 1941-1976 and it was based around a beauty contest. The stories of the women who competed are fascinating and I explored that history for my novel. I especially loved hearing about the fun things that happened to some of the women after they won the title. One Miss Subways winner received 278 marriage proposals and an orchid every week for an entire year.

How do you handle the voices in your head competing for their story to be written? (Thanks Eileen!)

I spend a lot of time letting the voices marinate in my head. They don’t like it in there (ha) but the writing part for me is the shortest part of the process. My writing is also very cyclical. I don’t write every day. But when I am in writing mode, I write the first draft very quickly. The characters just bubble over in my brain and land on the page through my fingers. It’s a fascinating experience to step outside myself and watch that happen. I come up with so many characters and stories that never make it out of my head. Luckily, they keep quiet. Most of the time 😉

 

If you could live for a month somewhere (either in the present or past) where (and when, if applicable) would it be? Why?

I know this is a romanticized vision of what that life was like, but I’d love to live a Downton Abbey (upstairs!) kind of life for a month. I do realize there was a lot that wasn’t great about that life especially for ambitious women, but the tea! And the dresses! And the calling cards! And the walks in the moors with handsome suitors!

 

What is (one of) the most remarkable/inspiring things that has happened to you as a reader or writer?

The camaraderie and support I have experienced with other female writers. It has been wonderful getting to know other authors who have helped me in so many ways. Such an incredible group of intelligent, ambitious, kind, and inspiring women.

 

Susie recommends:

I have so many authors to recommend, but… if you make me boil it down to three I’ll go with these authors who all have books coming out soon that I can’t wait to read:

 

Fiona Davis  (The Masterpiece)   –    www.fionadavis.net   –   @Amazon

 

Taylor Jenkins Reid  (Daisy Jones and the Six)   –  taylorjenkinsreid.com  –   @Amazon

 

Lynda Cohen Loigman (The Wartime Sisters)  –   lyndacohenloigman.com   –   @Amazon

 

All three are not only brilliant authors but also really sensational women.

 

 


Susie Orman Schnall is the author of three novels: Her thought-provoking debut, ON GRACE is about turning 40. THE BALANCE PROJECT is about work-life balance and was inspired by The Balance Project interview series she started in 2014. And her latest book, THE SUBWAY GIRLS, which is historical fiction about the fascinating Miss Subways advertising program, has appeared on numerous Best Books of the Summer lists in outlets such as In Style, Parade, Refinery29, BookBub, Working Mother, and more.

Susie’s writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, HuffPost, POPSUGAR, Writer’s Digest, BookTrib, and Glamour. She is also a frequent speaker at women’s groups, corporations, and book clubs about her novels and work-life balance.

 

Susie grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and now lives in New York with her husband and their three teenage sons.

 

Buy Susie’s books:

 

availableon-amazon         availableon-nook      availableon-kobo

 

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to a Read-A-Romance Month affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help & support!

 

Authors on The Romance of Reading page:

 

1   –   Jeannie Moon           💜         2   –   Lenora Bell

3  –    Nancy Herkness       💜         6   –   Kimberli A. Bindschatel

7   –  Cathy Maxwell            💜         8   –   Amelia Grey

9  –  Liz Talley                     💜         10  –  Dylann Crush

13  –  Marilyn Brant             💜         14  –  Sharla Lovelace

15  –  Sally MacKenzie        💜         16  –  Regina Kyle

17  –  Mimi Milan                 💜          20  –  Christine Nolfi

21  –  Susie Orman Schnall  💜       22  –  Caroline Linden

23  –  Shirley Hailstock          💜         24  –   Talia Surova

27  –  Lisa Patton                    💜        28  –  Tracey Livesay

29  –  Danelle Harmon          💜        30  –  Minerva Spencer

*   31   –    Christina Lauren (modified guest host)