AMY SUE NATHAN lives and writes near Chicago where she hosts the popular blog, Women’s Fiction Writers. She has published articles in Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune and New York Times Online among many others. Amy is the proud mom of a son and a daughter in college, and a willing servant to two rambunctious rescued dogs.
Evie and Nicole Glass share a last name. They also shared a husband.
When a tragic car accident ends the life of Richard Glass, it also upends the lives of Evie and Nicole, and their children. There’s no love lost between the widow and the ex. In fact, Evie sees a silver lining in all this heartache—the chance to rid herself of Nicole once and for all. But Evie wasn’t counting on her children’s bond with their baby half-brother, and she wasn’t counting on Nicole’s desperate need to hang on to the threads of family, no matter how frayed. Strapped for cash, Evie cautiously agrees to share living expenses—and her home—with Nicole and the baby. But when Evie suspects that Nicole is determined to rearrange more than her kitchen, Evie must decide who she can trust. More than that, she must ask: what makes a family?
I met Amy almost a year ago, when we both became members of THE DEBUTANTE BALL’s Class of 2013. I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of THE GLASS WIVES, and am thrilled to host an interview with Amy on this exciting day before her release!
And so, with no further ado, on with the questions:
Where did you grow up? Will you share a favorite story from your childhood?
I grew up in Philadelphia, in a city neighborhood where I knew everyone on my street and many of the surrounding streets. If you picture one-way streets with tightly packed rowhouses, that’s it. I was a great place to grow up because we were outside playing with kids of all ages, sitting on the steps late at night in the summer waiting for the ice cream truck. I didn’t know anything else, and the fact that I’ve lived in suburbs for the last twenty-three years, is something I never would have expected. I think a favorite memory of mine isn’t really of my childhood, but of going back to visit, when at some point I realized everything was much smaller than I remembered—and I lived there until I was twenty-six!
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always been a writer, but this time around I started writing because I realized I wasn’t doing anything creative at all. I actually went on a date and the man said he thought the voice in my emails was very well suited to blogging. I looking into blogging, and started doing that in 2006.
If you could go back in time and share one writing lesson with “new writer you” before starting your first manuscript … what would that be?
Don’t wait for the approval of anyone. Just write. Some people will never “get it” and you shouldn’t waste writing energy on anything but writing.
Your debut novel, THE GLASS WIVES, tells the story of Evie, a widow who ends up sharing her home—and her life—with her ex-husband’s second wife (and former mistress) after his unexpected death. What inspired you to tell such a unique story about loss, family, and hope?
My ex-husband passed away about nine years ago, and although this isn’t his story, or mine, the events in my life served as the novel’s springboard. I took that event and then created another set of characters and scenarios to build a novel. I didn’t want to write about what happened in my life, I’d lived it. That was more than enough. But I did use my experiences to inform my writing and understand some of the choices and actions of others.
Do you have a favorite author or book? If so, who (or what) is it, and why?
I know it sounds like a copout, but I don’t have a favorite book or a favorite author. I compartmentalize books and authors and love many, each for different reasons.
What did you find most challenging about writing THE GLASS WIVES? How did you push yourself to get past difficult moments in writing and editing?
Definitely the conflict, since I avoid conflict whenever possible, but it must be part of fiction or readers have no reason to turn the page. While writing realistic fiction I had to learn the balance of blowing up a situation and still keeping it believable. I really enjoy revising and editing my work, so that’s never a struggle for me to hunker down and get it done no matter how long it takes. When I’m writing I tend to walk away when I’m stuck, and when I do something else, or more likely when I can’t write down ideas (like in the shower or while driving) is when I have a break-through.
What is the last book you read, and why did you choose it?
THE LIFE LIST by Lori Nelson Spielman, which will be published by Bantam on July 9th. I chose it because the premise grabbed me—it’s about a woman who must fulfill her childhood life list at age thirty-four or she won’t get her inheritance. And I chose it because I was lucky enough to get an early copy!
Do you have a favorite scene in THE GLASS WIVES? If so, what makes it stand out for you?
I’m not going to say too much, but I love a scene where Evie reprimands other people’s children. Who of us with kids hasn’t wanted to that a dozen times (or more)?
Do you have any upcoming signings or readings?
I have local readings scheduled in the Chicago area:May 30, 2013, 7pm, The Book Store Book Talk and Signing 475 N. Main Street #100 Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 June 4, 2013 – The Glass Wives Launch Event: 7pm, Flossmoor Public Library Reading, Signing & Refreshments Copies of The Glass Wives will be for sale by The Book Cellar, Chicago Open to the public Accessible from Chicago via Metra Electric Line, University Park Train June 9, 2013 Printer’s Row Lit Fest Chicago (Time and Panel TBA) June 11, 2013, 7pm: Homewood Public Library Reading & Signing June 14, 2013, 7pm, Lake Forest Book Store Reading & Signing June 15th, 2013, 1pm, Homewood Public Library Homewood Writers Group June 19, 2013, 7pm, The Book Cellar Local Author Night (Beer, Wine & Books!) 4736 N Lincoln Ave #1, Chicago, IL
For more information and a full event list, visit Amy’s website.
And now, the speed round:
Plotter or pantser?
Coffee, tea, or bourbon?
Socks or no socks?
Oh my God, I hate socks! How did you know! When I do wear them I have to wear them inside out.
Cats, dogs, or reptiles?
For dinner: Italian, Mexican, Burgers or Thai?
Thank you again, Amy, for joining me today! I really enjoyed THE GLASS WIVES and wish you a fantastic and successful launch tomorrow!
THE GLASS WIVES releases May 14 in hardcover, trade paperback, ebook and audio editions and can be found online, in bookstores, at Target, and just about everywhere else that books are sold!