New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs’ has just released the much-anticipated ninth novel in her Lakeshore Chronicles series, Return to Willow Lake. Susan chats with SheKnows about her vices (squirt cheese!), what she adores most about her fans and why she loves being “a mess.”
SheKnows: You’re active on Twitter (@SusanWiggs): Tweet us a blurb about your latest novel, Return to Wilow Lake (in 140 characters or fewer, of course!)
Susan Wiggs: A family crisis brings Sonnet Romano back to Willow Lake where she comes face-to-face with her sweetest mistake… a guy she can’t seem to get out of her head.
SheKnows: You’ve written more books than we can count, you have a family and you even find time for hobbies like kickboxing! We always ask authors about balance — what does it mean to you and how do you achieve it?
Susan Wiggs: I don’t have balance. I’m a mess, but I love it. I love juggling family, friends, fitness, food, work, play, travel… I’m not into self-deprivation, so I try to do it all. I’ve let go of even pretending to have balance. My excuse is that if you don’t have a life, you don’t have anything to write about. I play hard and work hard and hope for the best. I’ve substituted vinyasa yoga for kickboxing, but I stay active, biking, walking the dogs, watching “Smash” on the elliptical… Writing is so sedentary, it’s important to get up and move around.
SheKnows: You also blog regularly and include a lot of photos. Why do you feel it’s important to share a personal side of yourself with your readers?
Susan Wiggs: I just love sharing and the Internet makes it easy. My readers are so open and funny, sending me emails and letters, giving me a glimpse into their lives. I’m blessed to live in a beautiful spot with an active family, and I love to travel, so the blog is an outlet for all that.
SheKnows: What are five things in your writing space that would give us some insight about you?
- A wind-up Nunzilla that trundles along, shooting sparks from her mouth
- A Nancy Pearl librarian action figure
- A glass dome paperweight with the saying “When you’re going through hell… keep going”
- A Clairefontaine grid-ruled notebook
- A fountain pen with extra cartridges of peacock blue ink
SheKnows: What are you reading right now?
Susan Wiggs: Once Upon a Time There Was You by Elizabeth Berg (a personal favorite), a Brunetti mystery by Donna Leon (going to Venice, so I’ve been working my way through the series) and Imagine by Jonah Lehrer, about creativity. Queued up on my iPad: LOTS OF CANDLES, PLENTY OF CAKE, by Anna Quindlen. The Food Lover’s Guide to Sonoma, Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips… to name a few.
SheKnows: You live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and enjoy your time outside, you garden, you read, you visit art exhibits. But c’mon, sometimes you just sit inside and watch bad reality TV, right? Tell us you have some vices…
Susan Wiggs: Vices… Lagavulin Scotch, squirt cheese on Ritz crackers and strawberry Newtons. Playing loud music. And I just saw The Avengers in 3D at the Cinerama. That was fun. The only TV series I watch is Smash on the iPad and the only reality show — The Bachelorette. I never miss it because it is howlingly funny.
SheKnows: Are you working on your next book? If so, can you give us any hints?
Susan Wiggs: I think it’s going to be called The Apple Orchard and I’m obsessed with it. Two sisters who were born on the same day, but who’ve never met, a sun-drenched estate in Sonoma and a closet full of family secrets.