Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's Summer. Let's Read with Debut Writer Susan Kaye Quinn


Wow, ladies (and gentleman), I can’t possibly pick between your amazing stories. I will have to let Lady Luck decide for me (my oldest son is in possession of an eight-sided-dice)! Thank you all for sharing and to C. Lee for hosting and asking such a wonderful question!

And the winner is ... Ann Best!

Ann, I will email you shortly to get your physical address. Thanks again!

Susan and I met over at YALitChat and have been sharing some emails and discussions. Her book caught my attention and her debutness qualified her for this series. Check out how to win her book below.

I'm really pleased you agreed to come and let my readers find out about you and your book. So, Susan, tell us about you. 

I grew up in California, where I wrote snippets of stories and passed them to my friends during class. My teachers pretended not to notice and only confiscated my stories a couple times. I left writing behind to pursue a bunch of engineering degrees, but I was drawn back to writing by an irresistible urge to share my stories with my niece, my kids, and all the wonderful friends I've met along the way.
I don't have to sneak my notes anymore, which is too bad. I write from the Chicago suburbs with my three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as a much as I can handle.

I always like to know the answer to this question when I talk to authors. What would you be doing if you didn't write?

If I hadn’t discovered the joy and addiction that is writing in my life, I would probably be looking for a flexible job that would allow me time with my kids. Part-time engineering geek? Small-business woman? Professional cake decorator? Those were all on the list before writing captured my heart. Now that I’ve found writing, I intend to be one of those people who dies with unfinished work, keeling over at their desk as they write into their final years of life. 
I loved your title. What can the readers expect to find inside this great cover?

Life, Liberty, and Pursuit is a teen love story about a college-bound girl who falls in a pool, the Navy recruit who saves her, and their struggles to choose between following their dreams and daring to love. I originally wrote this story for my fourteen-year-old niece, and never intended to publish it. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you planned! I blogged about my adventures in publishing and choosing a small press for this novel.

Okay, readers, isn't this a perfect book for your summer reading? Here are the places you can find it.

Life, Liberty, and Pursuit is available as in e-book, Kindle and print.

Be sure to check out this website for Life, Liberty, and Pursuit  and visit Susan at Ink Spells blog where she talks about writing and reading middle grade books: 

Susan also invites you join her on Twitter: @susankayequinn

Her advice is as sound as it gets:

The best advice I can give to aspiring writers is to simply sit down and write – write as much as you can, and write an entire novel to completion before you decide whether this writing business is for you. Then pair up with other writers to swap critiques and get feedback about your writing. Critiquing other people’s work is a fantastic way for you to improve your own craft. And keep at it! Perseverance is everything.

So would you like win a signed copy of her book? Here's how. 
Post your comment with a real life dilemma . . . just like the one Susan's characters must face . . . Be sure to tell us the choice you made. Susan will pick the winner and send you your prize. 

Be sure to leave your contact info in your comment just in case your Google Bio fails to deliver the info and you WIN.  

Next week Carla Mooney will join us to talk about her book and share her debut experience.


  1. Oh! I've got one. I found out I was pregnant at 16. I had to chose life and put mine on hold, or chose something else and continuing living as a normal teen. I chose life and haven't regretted it since. It was hard, make no mistake, but I've love each moment of the past twelve years with my daughter, no matter how hard it's been.


  2. I'd love to win a copy of the book! So here's my real-life dilemma...

    My younger 59-year-old recovering alcoholic brother was homeless, partly because of the choices he'd made and partly because of our mother's enabling behavior. I'd had a difficult time with him (and was angry at him and our mother), and was a bit scared of him, even though he was now sober. I didn't really want to take him into my duplex (where I took care of my disabled daughter); but I promised our recently deceased mother I'd help him. So I let him move in. He wouldn't do anything. Wouldn't move. But finally I got a "miracle": found a wonderful place for him. It was move there or go back to the homeless shelter. It moved there, and now thanks me for saving his life. It hadn't been easy, but I was glad I'd taken him in.

  3. We all face so many dilemmas every day. One of mine was to choose between staying in special education or returning to the classroom to teach. I love both, and they both have pros and cons. I ended up back in the classroom because I have the opportunity to reach more kids, but one of the best things about teaching is I can change my mind again next year :)

  4. I'm sure glad I don't have to choose which dilemma is the winning one. Aren't we resilent as humans making such difficult choices? Thanks for stopping in and leaving your excellent comments.

  5. I agree, Susan Kaye Quinn's advice is as sound as it gets.

    A dilemma I faced was deciding whether or not to leave the PhD History program to become certified to teach high school. I realized the only thing standing in the way of choosing a profession that would make me happier was my ego (and worrying what other people thought of me).

  6. Wow. I can't possibly pick among these amazing stories. I'll have to come up with some random way to select a winner. Thank you all for sharing your dilmmas and choices!

  7. When I got pregnant with my oldest, I had to drop out of college because I had a lot of medical complications and a job we needed to pay the bills.

    But I'd promised my mom I'd finish. When she died a couple of years later, I went back. It took me a lot of years (I couldn't quit managing the dry cleaners), but I finished my degree.

  8. I have a teenage stepdaughter that gives me plenty of dilemmas to wade through. I constantly have to choose to just love her, despite our differences. And you bet, I'll be writing a story someday based on my experiences - with names changed, of course!

    Susan if I don't win a copy, I plan to buy one!

    berendsen70 at yahoo dot com

  9. My dilemma...I can't believe I'm sharing it with people I don't know-I am a sexual abuse surrivor. I left my family in my twenties and thought, that I would never look back. My dilemmas do I prosecute the attacker( considering he's my own father?)I didn't. My other dilemma was forgiving not what he did, but letting go of the anger. I had to do this for me, so I could heal.
    Diane Baum

  10. Hurricane Rita provided me, along with so many others, one challange after another. But we grow by walking against the wind.

    Great interview, Roland

  11. Thank you for the comment on my blog, much appreciated. Here's hoping we can get to Sundance, it would be an unforgettable experience! I envy your friends and well done to them!


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