Author: Susane Colasanti
Author of: When It Happens
Waiting For You
Take Me There
Something Like Fate
So Much Closer
1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
When I was about 16, I wanted to write a children’s book. But I had already decided to be a science teacher when I was 12. I’ve always loved science, especially astronomy and physics. I studied those fields in college. Then I went to grad school to become a physics teacher. But the longing to write was burning inside of me. My first book, When It Happens, was inspired by my own experiences during senior year of high school. The story would not leave me alone. I just had a feeling that people would want to read that book. So I started writing the first draft in grad school. The book was published 10 years later.
2. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to read. Reading has always been my #1 fave thing to do. There’s a park near my place right on the Hudson River. It’s like this strip of green space that runs along the river from midtown all the way down to the tip of Manhattan. I love taking long walks there or around my neighborhood at night. Walks are always best at night. This is New York, so there’s always something new and interesting happening nearby. Like today I’m going to Rainbow City, this large-scale outdoor art installation with 40 interactive balloons. Balloons! And in a few weeks there’s this thing called Shadowplay. A bunch of colorful dots are projected on a huge wall and you have to capture them with your shadow. Random fun things like these come up all the time – this is the most creative city and I love being in the center of it all.
3. Have you ever been noticed as an author while you were out in public?
Only in bookstores, which doesn’t really count as out in public. But one of the best emails I’ve ever received came from someone who thought she saw me on the street. The mother of a reader told me that she and her son were having lunch outside in my neighborhood. Her son has read all of my books and apparently knows what I look like (which is always surprising). When Kiefer Sutherland walked by with someone, her son swore it was me. Of course I wanted to write back and be all, “Yeah, me and Kiefer go way back. We were just chilling. That’s how we do.” But I had to admit that, no, it wasn’t me, I just look a lot like Kiefer’s girlfriend. Which I know because Kiefer and I have a mutual friend who says every time he sees his girlfriend, she reminds him of me.
4. How many times did you get rejected by a publisher with your first book?
The first draft of When It Happens got about seven or eight rejections. It was even rejected by my publisher! The first editor who read it included some feedback in her rejection letter. I applied her suggestions to the revised manuscript and submitted it again. It was rejected again. The same editor read it a second time and provided even more feedback. I refused to give up. Failure was not an option. I revised the manuscript and submitted it again. A different editor read it and wanted to work with me. Why did I keep submitting my manuscript to a publishing house that rejected me twice? I had a Knowing that Penguin was where I belonged. My imprint, Viking Children’s Books, publishes lots of books I adore. When you’re looking for a publisher, it’s a good idea to focus on houses that publish books similar to yours. I’m thrilled that house became my home.
5. What’s your ritual while writing, like do you listen to music or do something else?
It’s so weird about music. I used to have to listen to music while I wrote. My first three books could not have been written without music playing constantly. But then something changed. I started turning the music off now and then. At this point, I mostly write without music, just the sounds of the city swirling in the distance. Music used to take me where I needed to go for every scene I wrote, but now it distracts me too much. I’m not sure why that change happened. The important thing is to go with the flow.
6. If you could switch lives with any author who would it be and why?
As fun as it would be to switch with Meg Cabot and wear cute dresses and have 8,637 emails in my inbox, I don’t think I would. Being me has finally gotten pretty good. I’m working on being in the Now more and appreciating everything I have. There are lots of things I still want (and I can be very impatient!), but that’s where my drives comes from. Which is a good thing.
7. How many hours a week do you write?
My schedule while writing a new book is to write five pages a day, five days a week. Since I’ve always been a night person (which was a problem when I could hardly drag my teenage butt out of bed for school in the morning because I stayed up mad late reading), I write in the afternoons. As with any job, I have my good days and bad days. Sometimes I can write those five pages in two hours. Sometimes it takes six hours. I spend about 25 hours a week writing when I’m working on a new book. But when I’m on deadline with a revision, I usually work 12- to 16-hour days.
8. What was your childhood like?
You may have heard of my hometown. Middle of Nowhere, New Jersey? It’s a small town deep in the woods with a population of under 2,000. It’s one thing to be older and go back and appreciate nature and all, but growing up in the country was beyond boring. I couldn’t wait to move to a big city with lots of things to do. That’s why I love living in New York City. All of the bookstores and coffeeshops and museums and concerts and green spaces…it’s an amazing place. And somehow I always knew it was my true home. This part of my life actually inspired the plot of my latest book, So Much Closer. Brooke leaves everything behind in New Jersey at the beginning of senior year and moves to New York City. She moves for a boy who she believes is her soul mate. Later, she realizes that he was just a catalyst. She needs the adventure of moving here to discover who she is.
9. Coffee or tea?
Green tea. When it’s coffee, it has to be decaf. Caffeine makes me feel sick.
10. What’s the weirdest thing you encountered as an author (e.g. What’s the weirdest thing someone asked you to sign, etc.)?
Other than signing jeans, nothing too weird has happened yet. Even the jeans were way more cool than weird. However, I adore the Weird and look forward to weird encounters. Bring it, readers!
Susane has been gracious enough to let me give away a copy of her newest book, So Much Closer!
Rules to win:
follow my blog via GFC (suscribing by email is optional)
and leave a comment with your email address down below.
The Giveaway ends on June 27 at midnight
my review of So Much Closer here
check out her website here
click here to go to Susane's blog
go here to go to her facebook
follower her on twitter
and check out her youtube page here
Buy her new book"So Much Closer" right here on Amazon
Thanks for checking out the interview, enjoy!