Interview with Author, Susan Elia MacNeal

        interviews, author quotes   Do other writers find themselves  at 4 in the afternoon, still in their pajamas, lost in their writing ?   Hopefully it only happens at home and not at the corner coffee shop…

My readers are enjoying hearing about other authors writing processes.  I created a Question & Answer-type Interview and then began contacting some of my favorite authors to ask them to participate.  It turns out that not only do these other writers want to share their writing life with us, but they are equally interested in the stories from other authors.

                              In this three-part post, my interview is with Susan Elia MacNeal.   I am especially honored as Susan and her publicist have asked me to review her next book, “His Majesty’s Hope”, to be released in May of His_Majesty's[1]this year.  Please sit back and enjoy a chat with Susan……..


Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?

A. I work in my beautiful library, with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, overstuffed velvet sofas, a fireplace, two cats, and a handsome young manservant to fetch me tea and coffee.  Okay, that’s not true. But I do have two cats.  I live in New York, and space is definitely at a premium. Before our son was born, my husband and I used our guest bedroom as an office. After it became a kid’s room, I started working at the kitchen table, or sometimes cross-legged on the living room sofa.

I joined the New York Writers Room in the West Village for a while and had many happy days there with a view of the Empire State building, but I’m not currently working there. (My son has asthma, and I like being closer to his school in case of emergencies.)  I also love a little café near us—best coffee in the world, plus big tables full of other writers. I also like to work at our local public library, which is one of the old Carnegie libraries.

I’ve also written at a lot of friends’ homes, while they’ve been on vacation – some of them famous. So, parts of my books have been written at actor/writer John Hodgman’s apartment (I also looked after their cat), composer Kristin Andersen Lopez and Robert Lopez’s apartment (yes, of course I picked up his Tony award for Avenue Q and pretended to make an acceptance speech), and Ron Lieber and Jodi Kantor’s apartment. (They’re both journalists for the New York Times, and Jodi’s the author of The Obamas.)

I’ve also written with Josh Axelrad, the author of Repeat Until Rich, which was fun, because we’d break for bourbon at six p.m. But he was always saying, “I’m afraid you’re listening to me not typing and thinking I’m lazy!” I tried to tell him I have too many of my own issues to even thinking about listening to his typing or not typing!

Susan_Elia_(c)_Lesley_Semmelhack              The most amazing place I’ve ever written was just recently at Arisaig House, which is a former manor house, now a bed and breakfast, on the west coast of Scotland. It was also used as an SOE spy training camp during World War II. I was talking to a lot of people alive and living in the area during that period of time, and doing research, but I also wrote in a beautiful room with oriental rugs, a crackling fire, a view of the grounds and shoreline, and three big napping golden labs. Heaven!

But I’ve also written on trains planes and waiting rooms. Basically, I’ve learned to write anywhere and everywhere.


Join us to read part two of this wonderful interview (March 7th.) with best-seller author Susan Elia MacNeal .

Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. A NEW SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner” INTERVIEWS with other  best-selling AUTHORS!

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and plan on featuring an interview once a month .  I have invited such luminaries as: Anne Purser, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Robert McCammon, Susan Elia MacNeal, Mark Childress, Sue Grafton, Jeffrey Deaver, Rhys Bowen, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!
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