A contributing editor to Christian Parenting Today magazine, Suzanne has been published in numerous magazines, including Worldwide Challenge, Parent Life, Marriage Partnership, among others, and has contributed to five non-fiction books. She lives with her husband, four kids and a steady stream of puppies that she raises for Guide Dogs for the Blind in the San Francisco Bay Area. Find Suzanne on-line at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.
Suzanne was kind enough to answer a few questions about her writing:
Q: Tell us about your journey to publication. How long had you been writing before you got the call you had a contract, how you heard and what went through your head. (be as specific as possible)
A: I felt at home with non-fiction after years of magazine writing: interviews, citing sources, adding takeaway value. I never thought I would or even could venture into fiction. One day, it dawned on me that I was the only one stopping me. So I started Copper Star, and found that my non-fiction writing skills actually parlayed into creating a story with historical accuracy and plenty of takeaway value. I didn’t tell my family that I was writing a novel. After the first draft was written, I finally revealed to them why, for the last four or five months, we had no food in the fridge, why I seemed rather preoccupied and had spent so much time in the cramped laundry room with the antediluvian computer. They were shocked! Not about the lack of food—that they had noticed.
Next came rewriting, tinkering, fixing, submitting queries, proposals, synopsis, full manuscripts and…(the worst part) waiting. I received many rejections and even a few offers that didn’t feel quite right. This process was a steep but essential learning curve. Nearly a year after finishing the first draft, I received a contract from Vintage Romance Publishing–a small but traditional press that seemed like just the right fit for this novel. (By the way, I found VRPublishing in Sally Stuart’s Christian Writer’s Market Guide.) I’ve loved the experience with Vintage, too. Authors are treated well and I’ve been able to continue learning about publication, promotion and marketing. Writers can’t educate themselves enough about this process.
Q: Can you give us a view into a typical day of your writing life?
A: I don’t think I’ve ever had a typical day! Not with four kids and a corporate-guy husband, a steady stream of puppies we raise for Guide Dogs for the Blind, added into that mix is my parents. They just moved in across the street (yep! You read that right. As in wave-hello-as-you-pick-up-your-newspaper-off-the-driveway kind of proximity! Seriously! Check out my blog.) because my father is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. But…let’s imagine what a typical day would be like. My goal is to try and get three to four hours of concentrated work in, nearly every day. I can’t get much more than that in, yet I think that’s reasonable. I don’t want a spine that ends up resembling a question mark.
Q: What’s the best thing about writing?
A: All of life is material. It’s all grit for the oyster.
Q: What’s the worst thing about writing?
A: I still only make a dime an hour.
Copper Star is a World War II love story set in 1943, as theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer smuggles a young resistance worker, Louisa, out of Nazi Germany. Louisa waits out the war in a dusty copper mining town in Arizona but can’t leave her resistance skills behind. Soon, she turns the town upside down, uncovering a mystery that leads her back to the Nazis and her war-torn country.
Released on June 30, the film rights of Copper Star are under consideration by a major motion picture studio. A contract for the sequel was offered to Fisher before Copper Star released. Pre-release orders have driven the book on Amazon’s sales rankings down into low digits.
Copper Star is already garnering rave reviews: Round Table Reviews writes, “The action in the story is moving quickly, and the character of Louisa is a lovable, somewhat feisty young woman who does not mind the taste of shoe leather… A wonderful book that is highly recommended for all readers.” Historical Novels Review notes, “Copper Star’s plot builds in conflict and excitement, and its tender romance warms the heart.”
A thorough researcher, Fisher’s can’t-put-it-down tale is woven with historical accuracy. A refreshing element of cultural deafness is portrayed through a deaf child, who learns to lip-read and speak through correspondence classes from the John Tracy Clinic, founded in 1942 by Louise and Spencer Tracy. “We are thrilled that our history coincides so beautifully with your story,” says Barbara Hecht, President of John Tracy Clinic, Los Angeles, California in her endorsement of Copper Star
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