Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs's life is all about family, friends...and fiction. She lives at the water's edge on an island in Puget Sound, and she commutes to her writers' group in a 17-foot motorboat. She's been featured in the national media, including NPR's "Talk of the Nation," and is a popular speaker locally and nationally.

When her recent novel, FIRESIDE, hit #1 on the New York Times, the author reportedly reacted to the news by "putting on my lipstick and sweeping the patio." Why? Because she knew that within a matter of minutes, her girlfriends would show up to pop the bubbly and help her celebrate. [Update: FIRESIDE has been chosen of one of Amazon.com's Top Ten Romances of 2009.]

According to Publishers Weekly, Wiggs writes with "refreshingly honest emotion," and the Salem Statesman Journal adds that she is "one of our best observers of stories of the heart [who] knows how to capture emotion on virtually every page of every book." Booklist characterizes her books as "real and true and unforgettable." She is the recipient of three RITA (sm) awards and four starred reviews from Publishers Weekly for her books. Her books make frequent appearances on Amazon's "best of" lists. Several of her novels have been listed as Indie Next picks and optioned as feature films. Her novels have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have made national bestseller lists, including the USA Today, Washington Post and New York Times lists.

The author is a former teacher, a Harvard graduate, an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier and terrible golfer, yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book.


Linda Davis's local fabric shop is a place where women gather to share their creations: quilts commemorating important events in their lives. Wedding quilts, baby quilts, memorial quilts—each is bound tight with dreams, hopes and yearnings.Now, as her only child readies for college, Linda is torn between excitement for Molly and heartache for herself. Who will she be when she is no longer needed in her role as mom? What will become of her days? Of her marriage?
Mother and daughter decide to share one last adventure together—a cross-country road trip to move Molly into her dorm. As they wend their way through the heart of the country, Linda stitches together the scraps that make up Molly's young life. And in the quilting of each bit of fabric—the hem of a christening gown, a snippet from a Halloween costume—Linda discovers that the memories of a shared journey can come together in a way that will keep them both warm in the years to come….

I'm delighted to welcome Susan Wiggs to Get Lost In A Story. I hope you enjoy the interview.

CAT: How often do you get lost in a story?

SUSAN: Every time I sit down and start writing. I don't even notice the passage of time, or what's going on around me, unless the writing is going badly. When I start thinking about cleaning the can opener or whether or not I've left my car windows down, it's time to stop.

CAT: What’s the first book you remember reading?

SUSAN: All by myself? THE CARROT SEED by Ruth Krauss, borrowed from the Olean Public Library. I still remember the smell of it. I was an early reader, five years old at the time.

CAT: What’s your favorite "love" word?

SUSAN: Pecksniffian. "Hypocritically benevolent; sanctimonious."

CAT: What’s your favorite fairy tale?

SUSAN: Cinderella. Beauty and the Beast. Are there any others? I recall a German one about a boy who couldn't stop sucking his thumb, so a gardener came and lopped off poor little Suck-a-Thumb's thumbs. That just didn't resonate with me.

CAT: What’s your favorite cartoon character?

SUSAN: Ignatz the Mouse in Felix the Cat.

Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
SUSAN: Of course! I make a playlist for every release:

You Oughta Know Alanis Morissette
Magical Mystery Tour The Beatles
Paperback Writer The Beatles
Come On Ben Jelen
The Tide Is High Blondie
Total Eclipse of the Heart Bonnie Tyler
Born to Run Bruce Springsteen
Girls In Their Summer Clothes Bruce Springsteen
Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season) The Byrds
Make Your Own Kind of Music Cass Elliot
Father And Son Cat Stevens

Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 2: IV. Bergamasca (Bernardo Gianoncelli) Academy of St. Martin in the Fields & Sir Neville Marriner
C'était salement romantique Coeur de pirate
Fix You Coldplay
Dreams The Cranberries
Bad Day Daniel Powter
Better Days Eddie Vedder
Storms In Africa Enya
Peaches en Regalia Frank Zappa/Zappa
Praan Garry Schyman
Falling Slowly Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
Walk Away Goldfinger
Breakable Ingrid Michaelson
143 (Kelly's Song) [2011] Jake Shimabukuro
Life Is Wonderful Jason Mraz
White Rabbit Jefferson Airplane
Don't Stop Believin' Journey
I'm Alright (Theme from Caddyshack) Kenny Loggins
International Rhumba Louis Mhlanga
Free Bird Lynyrd Skynyrd
This Year The Mountain Goats
Only Love Can Break Your Heart Neil Young
A Good Day (Morning Song) Priscilla Ahn
500 Miles The Proclaimers
Stand R.E.M.
Ruby Tuesday Rolling Stones
The Rainbow Connection Willie Nelson

CAT: What was the first story you remember writing?

SUSAN: You can see my early work online here: Child Prodigy

CAT: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

SUSAN: THE WIZARD OF OZ. I could watch it endlessly.

CAT: Who’s your favorite villain?

SUSAN: The Wicked Witch of the West (aka Elvira Gulch).

CAT: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?

SUSAN: Passing a kidney stone is easier. Honestly, I don't find anything about writing easy and when someone tells me it is, I suspect them of lying.

CAT: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?

SUSAN: That writing is easy, it's like taking dictation from God.

CAT: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?

SUSAN: Delete about a third of it and start over. I'm never satisfied.

CAT: If you could interview one person (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be?

SUSAN: Both my grandmothers. They were so wonderful and wise, and I miss them so much. And there's so much I forgot to ask them!

If you want to learn more about Susan and her wonderful books, you can find her at:


  1. Great interview! I was lucky enough to hear SUsan speak in Australia just recently and she was WONDERFUL. As are her books. Big FANGIRL moment here :)

  2. Welcome to GLIAS, Susan.

    I'm now singing FELIX THE CAT's theme song. LOL What a terrific interview, thanks for sharing so much. I've been intending to have quilts made from my children's old T-shirts and special things for many years. It's deifinitely time. Not sure I'm ready to read this book, letting go of the "baby" is hard work.

    Thank you for your wonderful stories.

  3. Hi Susan!
    I love the Wizard of Oz. It is a classic. Hope you have caught Wicked, it is a great play/story that makes you look at the Wizard of Oz from a different light.

  4. I am such a huge Susan Wiggs fan! Welcome Susan. I am always in awe at the wide range of your work - contemporary, Tudor historical, early 20th century historical... amazing.


  5. Great interview! I have heard so many good things about your books. I can't wait to read this one. I do some quilting myself.

  6. Susan, thanks for joining us here today. Wow, that's quite a playlist, and thank you so much for telling us you delete some of your story and start over. We hold authors in your ilk on this pedestal and wonder just how you do it. Love your quote, Writing is like taking dictation from God. Enough gushing except. Love your work!

  7. Susan, Thanks for joining us today. I'm a huge Wizard Of Oz fan, too. Something about being transported to a strange and wonderful land has always resonated with me.

  8. Thanks, Donnell, for posting a link to this great site. And what a wonderful interview with one of my favorite, fellow-Washingtonian authors. I love your work, Susan, and the nobility of spirit your books always portray. I'm looking forward to checking this one out.

  9. Hi Susan,

    Love a good road story! And I'm absolutely sure THE GOOD-BYE QUILT is both adventurous and heartwarming

  10. Susan, you are one of my favourite authors. You create such heart warming stories. I enjoy your Lakeshore Chronicle books but also your standalone. Table for Five was especially touching and I hope you have another standalone novel in the works.