Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Susan Says...

Today I talked with Susan Kaye Quinn, author of Life, Liberty and Pursuit about the book and writing

Tell us about Life, Liberty and Pursuit. What's it about and when will it be released?
Life, Liberty, and Pursuit is a teen love story about a college-bound girl who falls in a pool, the navy recruit who rescues her, and their struggle to choose between following their dreams and daring to love. It was released June 22nd and is available now in paperback and e-book! See the book website ( for ways to buy, as well as the book trailer, lost love letters, playlists, and other cool stuff.

Who or what is your greatest inspiration in writing?
My kids, and their perpetual love of stories, is a tremendous inspiration for me. But I truly write stories that resonate with me: powerful love stories, tales about individuals overcoming tremendous obstacles. I’ve always loved storytelling, but just recently started writing them down in earnest.

Do you specifically write YA or are you open to other genres as well? Why or why not?
I write both young adult and middle grade, and I love how those genres are wide open – you can write everything from a love story to science fiction. And I do! My background in engineering tempts me to throw military and technology elements into almost all my stories. While Life, Liberty, and Pursuit is a love story, it also takes David through boot camp and training to be a linguist in the Navy. I’m also writing a young adult paranormal story that occurs in the future, and a middle grade science fiction tale that occurs in the far, far future!

Do you have any suggestions for unpublished writers trying to get published?
Publishing is a tough business. The most important thing is to know is why you are in the writing game – is it simply because you love to write? Do you want to be a bestselling author? Do you just want to hold your book in your hands? Knowing what motivates you is important. I’ve mentioned on my blog that I wrote a Mission Statement for my writing early on, and that’s been a great help in keeping me on the right path. Once you know why you’re writing, then work hard at it. Take it seriously. Write a lot. Write some more. Get feedback. And keep trying. Perseverance is the one key ingredient you must have.

Are there any specific resources you found especially helpful as you made your way through the query process?
I blogged about my path to publication in a series called Adventures in Publishing, but basically my publisher asked me to submit to them. I did, and one thing led to another. I never actually queried, although I will start to querying for an agent soon, for my middle grade book (my publisher, Omnific Publishing, only publishes YA and adult). For writers wanting to learn more about the publishing world, I highly recommend visiting Nathan Bransford’s blog and J.A. Konrath’s blog.

If you were forced to evacuate your home with only two possessions what would you take?
Not counting my husband and kids (because they’re not possessions), I would take my mini-laptop and my two baby kittens. Possibly the cross-stitch my husband used to propose to me, if I had time. Everything else is replaceable.

Remember you can win hush, hush or a $20 gift card.


  1. Thanks for the chance to interview, Beth! :)

  2. Isn't Susan the best! I won an editor critique over at her blog! Plus I ended up with a new writing buddy. :)

    Great interview, Beth!

  3. Great to learn more about Susan. Thanks for the interview, Beth.