An interview with author Susan G Mathis. Enjoy!
How do your previous careers influence how you write today?
Before I jumped into the fiction world, I served as the Founding Editor of Thriving Family magazine and the former Editor/Editorial Director of 12 Focus on the Family publications.
My first two published books were nonfiction, co-authored with my husband, Dale--Countdown for Couples: Preparing for the Adventure of Marriagewith an Indonesian and Spanish version, and TheReMarriage Adventure: Preparing for a Life of Love and Happiness. I’m also the author of two picture books, Lexie’s Adventure in Kenya and Princess Madison’s Rainbow Adventureand am published in various book compilations including five Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Ready to Wed, Supporting Families Through Meaningful Ministry, The Christian Leadership Experience, andSpiritual Mentoring of Teens.
I’ve also written hundreds of magazine and newsletter articles. Because of these many and varied experiences—overseeing 123 pages of new content every month, editing, creating thousands of stories—all these have helped my fiction-writing career a lot. I’ve learned to be efficient, scheduled, productive, and creative in ways I wouldn’t have had without the careers I’ve had.
After a career in writing nonfiction, I hear you’ve settled into writing only historical fiction. What is your most difficult writing obstacle?
Transitioning from writing nonfiction to historical fiction was a huge leap but a wonderful discovery in finding my sweet spot. I studied fiction writing for about two years before launching out in this wonderful journey. I read books about the craft, went to writing conferences, and learned from mentors, crit groups, and more, and I’m thrilled to dedicate the rest of my writing career to this genre. Now I’ll have four published historical fiction books on the market by the end of the year.
Tell us about your first two fiction books.
My debut novel released on St. Patrick’s Day last year. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacyis the story of a 1850s Irish immigrant and a 21st-century single mom who are connected by faith, family, and a quilt.
Christmas Charitycame out in November. It’s the story of Susan Hawkins and Patrick O’Neill who find that an arranged marriage is much harder than they think, especially when they immigrate from Wolfe Island, Canada, to Cape Vincent, New York, in 1864, just a week after they marry—with Patrick’s nine-year-old daughter, Lizzy, in tow. Can twenty-three-year-old Susan Hawkins learn to love her forty-nine-year-old husband and find charity for her angry stepdaughter? She hopes so, before Christmas comes.
What’s your newest novel?
Katelyn’s Choiceis book one of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age with Lighthouse Publishing. It’s the story of nineteen-year-old Katelyn Kavanagh who leaves her family’s struggling farm to work on Pullman Island for the famous George Pullman. There she finds herself serving powerful men such as President Ulysses S. Grant, and General Sheridan—and falling in love with her best friend’s brother, Thomas, the handsome boatsman. Katelyn gains popularity with her friends by spilling the sensitive high society gossip she’s privy to. But when she overhears possibly damaging presidential conversations, she knows she can’t tell anyone. She could lose her job—and endanger her president’s 1872 reelection—and jeopardize her relationship with the man of her dreams.
And what projects are you working on now?
I just finished the manuscript for Devyn’s Dilemma, book two of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, which is already contracted.
It’s the story of twenty-year-old Devyn McKenna who is nervous about working on Dark Island in the imposing Castle called the Towers, a 28-room castle complete with dungeons, underground passageways, and castle secrets. Devyn struggles to find the self-confidence she needs to carry out her duties as a housemaid in the summer home of the wealthy president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, Frederick Bourne. As she serves the likes of Brig. Gen. Cornelius Vanderbuilt III and others, her curiosity for learning grows. But when she is accused of stealing his plans for expanding the NYC subway and learns the man she loves, Brice, and her brother ‘borrowed’ the plans, her faith is tested like never before. Sign up for my newsletter to stay up with the latest news.
Sara’s Surprise is my current work in progress. It releases November, 2019. Sara McNully and Sean Graham must navigate the challenging waters of working together at the magnificent Thousand Islands Crossmon Hotel in Alexandria Bay, NY. When Sean's precocious, six-year-old Madison befriends her and a colleague endangers their work and relationship, can Sara learn to trust Sean with her heart and become Mama to this little one?
Susan G Mathis is a multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Katelyn’s Choice, the first in The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, releases March 15, 2019. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacyand her Christmas Charitynovella are available now. Susan is also a published author of two premarital books with her husband, Dale, two children's picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs, enjoys traveling globally with her wonderful husband, Dale, and relishes each time she gets to see or Skype with her four granddaughters. Find out more at www.SusanGMathis.com.
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Susan G Mathis
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