Every now and then someone enters your life and you just know you're going to be friends. Fellow author Susan Oloier is one of these people. I met Susan online over a year ago while searching for a beta reader for my memoir. Long story short, we've been exchanging our work ever since and she's pushed and helped me to grow as a writer. (I hope she can say the same!) Susan is not only a talented author, she's led an amazing life. She is courageous and generous and never lets anything bring her down— she'll tackle any mountain. (see the above photo for proof) Read on and you'll soon see why I have complete and utter respect for this inspirational powerhouse. She is a woman who dared. And I'm so happy to have her in my life. One day, I hope to celebrate with her in France. And, Susan, that is an invitation.
7 Questions with Susan Oloier
1) Tell us about your journey. You've recently self-published three books? Why did you decide to self-publish? What has the experience been like for you so far?
The decision to self-publish was the result of life giving me a few, harsh slaps in the face: The realization that there's no promise of tomorrow for any of us. Three things happened over the past six years. My youngest son was born with Trisomy 18, an often fatal diagnosis; my sister-in-law died tragically at 36 in a car accident; and I was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. I've been writing for over 20 years. Those events made me understand that I may not have the time to wait for the approval of an agent or publisher to validate my work. So I took matters into my own hands. It's been quite the journey. A lot of work. But that's okay--I was raised with the Midwest Work Ethic anyway.
2) You're a cross-genre writer, tackling memoir, women's fiction, YA, and even screenplays. Which genre is your favorite to write and why?
I've written some essays that have been published in online journals (one was published at The Daily Beast), and I used to be a magazine columnist. I've also written a spec script for Friends and another for The Office. They're sitting on the shelf behind me right now. I mostly wrote them to see if I could. My favorite genre? Screenplays are a blast, but maybe that's because I've always loved the notion of working in Hollywood! But if getting a book published is hard, having a screenplay produced is even more difficult. I'd say nearly impossible. One of my fellow screenwriters told me that he loved my descriptions in my screenplays so much, he thought I should shift to novels and narrative. So I did.
3) In FRACTURED you tackle a serious subject using your own personal experiences in dealing with miscarriage. Was it hard to write?
My first draft of FRACTURED was cathartic. It was mostly a way to express the pain and anger over my own miscarriages. So I found the first draft to be easy. In subsequent drafts, the book turned into a tale of a broken marriage rather than about miscarriage on its own. That was harder to shape.
For more on Fractured, click HERE.
This book is written from the heart! Believe me.
4) Tell us a little more about your latest young adult release, SUPERSTITIONS. Where did the inspiration come from?
I used to live in Phoenix where I hiked and rock climbed in the Superstition Mountains. The legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine is well-known there, and it has always intrigued me. I secretly dreamed of finding it myself. But since so many people have died looking for it, I thought I'd make my characters do it instead of me.
For more on Superstitions, click HERE.
5) Your little boy, Zane, has Trisomy 18 and needs more hands on care than other children do. How in the world do you balance writing with being a super-mom and super-friend? How do you find the time to write, blog, take care of a family, deal with life, AND support other writers?
I have become an expert at multi-tasking. Truly. I can write, do laundry, hook up the feeding pump, and schedule a medical appointment in the span of twenty minutes. Before Zane was born, I used to teach in a district that promoted brain-based learning. I discovered then that the human brain is not wired to multi-task, which I found absolutely amazing since so many of us are required to do it and since I now do it myself every day. I'd prefer to focus on one or two things, but that's not how things work for me. So I suspect someday I may actually go crazy. We'll see.
For more on Zane, click here: My Life with Zane
6) Were you really a misfit? Or the head of a clique?
I was a total misfit. Braces, acne, flat-chested. Plus, I carried around a whole stack of SE Hinton books in junior high even though I only read one at a time. My brother once told my dad that I was a nerd. My dad answered, "Yeah, but she's a cute nerd."
I still love that!Check out Susan's hilarious memoir: MY LIFE AS A MISFIT.
7) Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Honestly, I have no idea. I hope to be a successful writer by that time, making enough of a living through writing to replace a day job. I also hope to be proclaimed cancer-free five years from now. But since Zane's birth, I've learned to stay in the present. Life has a sneaky way of changing your game plans when you least expect it.(I couldn't have said it better.)
And now for some random.
1) Rock Climbing or a Margarita on the Rocks
Can I rock climb, then have a margarita on the rocks? Blended is even better.
2) Beach or Mountains
Definitely the beach, though I live in the mountains.
3) Crêpes or PancakesI had crepes recently, and they were far better than pancakes.
4) Traditional or Self-PublishingFor me right now, self-publishing. Though I have nothing against traditional publishing.
5) Twitter or FacebookFacebook
6) Striped Tights or Thigh HighsStriped tights.Though black tights would go better with my wardrobe.
7) Oliver Giroud or Camille LacourtI seriously had to Google these two. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed in Google Images. That being said, I'd have to go with Oliver Giroud. Can't have a man who's prettier than I am.
Buy Susan's books here:
Barnes and Noble
Link up with Susan here:
Susan's Author Blog