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Susan Kiernan-Lewis is a USA Today bestselling author with multiple mystery series set in France and a dystopian futurist series set in Ireland.
Hi there, I’m your host Jenny Wheeler, and today on The Joys of Binge Reading Susan talks about her passion for all things French, her fascination with the idea of a post-apocalyptic world, and the challenges of living with face blindness – a condition which makes it difficult to recognize other people’s faces.
And don’t forget, you can also get exclusive bonus content associated with the show, like hearing Susan’s answers on the Getting-to-Know-You Five Quickfire Questions, by becoming a Binge Reading on Patreon supporter. It costs no more than a cup of coffee a month, and you get a lot of exclusive bonus content. Details at www.patreon.com/thejoysofbingereading
Where to find links to things discussed in this episode
An American in Paris Mysteries: https://susankiernanlewis.com/exclusive-content/mysteries/an-american-in-paris-mysteries/
Maggie Newberry Mysteries: https://susankiernanlewis.com/exclusive-content/mysteries/the-maggie-newberry-mystery-series/
Cozy French Village Mysteries: https://susankiernanlewis.com/exclusive-content/mysteries/a-cozy-french-village-mystery/
Mia Kazmaroff Mysteries: https://susankiernanlewis.com/exclusive-content/mysteries/burton-kazmaroff-mysteries/
Irish End Game Mysteries: https://susankiernanlewis.com/exclusive-content/irish-end-games/
Peter Heller: The Dog Stars:
Charlie Fletcher: A Boy and His Dog At The End of the World:
Where to find Susan Kiernan-Lewis:
Susan Kiernan-Lewis – USA TODAY Bestselling Author
Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Group: Maggie on Facebook!
What follows is a “near as” transcript of our conversation, not word for word but pretty close to it, with links to the show notes in The Joys of Binge Reading.com for important mentions.
Introducing mystery author Susan Kiernan-Lewis
But now, here’s Susan.
Jenny Wheeler: Hello there Susan, and welcome to the show. It’s great to have you with us.
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: Hi, Jenny. Thank you for having me on the podcast.
Jenny Wheeler: You are a USA Today bestselling author with multiple mystery series, including contemporary mysteries set in France and a dystopian futurist series set in Ireland. What got you started on this big adventure of writing fiction?
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: I have always written stories. I think a lot of writers have written stories since they were kids, and I’m no exception to that. At this particular time, I had written the first three books in the Maggie Newberry mystery series, which is probably my most popular series. I wasn’t finding a publisher, mostly because I tend to twist the genre. It’s not purely cozy. It doesn’t adhere strictly to the tropes that are expected in certain cozies. As a result, I was having trouble getting them published.
This literally happened about 10 years ago. I had just gotten laid off from a soul-sucking healthcare corporation where I was living in Atlanta. My son, who was 13 at the time, happened to mention that he had put a book of mine I had on a floppy disc up on Amazon. He found it one day when he was bored. He said, did you notice that it’s selling?
I looked at him and said, show me what you did, and I’d made about $2,000 off this book in a month. I made him sit down and show me exactly how he published it and, since I had three other books in the series, I quickly put those up and I have been at it ever since.
Hitting the ground running with her first book
Jenny Wheeler: That’s fantastic. Without any marketing at all?
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: Yeah, none. None at all.
Jenny Wheeler: You make this specialty of being a little bit cross genre. You mix up mystery with other elements. Tell us a bit more about that.
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: Three of my big series are set in France and they’re set in France because I was a military brat and lived in France when I was a kid. That was a strongly indelible experience for me, so I keep reverting back to France and French people and the French language. When I put a setting out for my mysteries, I chose France, and I chose my protagonist to be an expatriate, an American – since that’s what I know best – living in France in a fish out of water approach.
Something that always attracts me is the idea of being a foreigner in a foreign land and how you deal with certain common everyday situations that are much more interesting when it’s not your native culture. This one series that I did, it’s called Stranded in Provence, crossed the genres.
A cozy mystery is something that either has your protagonists or your amateur sleuth baking cupcakes and finding out who killed the village librarian. There’s no cussing and there’s no sex, which I find extremely unfortunate but I play by the rules because the readers don’t like it. I do not know how some of the bigger authors get away with it, but my readers don’t like cussing and they don’t like sex, so fine. But the genres I tend toward are not specifically cozy because they’re a little rougher. They’re not that sweet.
A fascination with the idea of living in a post apocalyptic world
I tend to read a lot of dystopian, and I’m personally fascinated with the whole post-apocalyptic idea of, what would you do if the world ended? Would you be one of the ones who could survive and adapt?
In this particular case I took the whole fish out of water idea, the feeling of an expatriate coming to France where she doesn’t speak the language, she doesn’t know what the typical traditions and habits are of the village, and then she’s going to do something that you would do in a murder mystery, solve a mystery, and she’s going to do it with all those barriers to jump over.
With all of my books, every one of them, except for the one that happens in Atlanta – and I wrote that purely because I thought maybe it would sell and I did enjoy writing it – my preference is always to put an American ex-pat in a foreign country and throw all the things at her that it is going to make an interesting read and keep readers turning the pages.
I can trace back the inclination on my part to do that to the two years I lived in New Zealand. I worked in an ad agency at the time. It was called Ilotts Advertising and it was later bought out by Ted Bates. I was a copywriter there. In those two years we didn’t have the internet, we didn’t have email, so I did the whole immersion thing. And even though, yes, we all spoke English, I cannot tell you what a shock to my system it was to be there.
Susan Kiernan-Lewis’ two years in New Zealand
Everything was different. The clothes were different. Of course, the accent was different, and the attitude of coming to a small country which had a very strong feeling about itself as opposed to America, which is a big country, very divided and everybody’s got an opinion and it’s mostly not the same opinion. It was a shock, and when I left, I continued to write stories about a fish out of water, a foreigner who lands in a place and has to make her way. That’s what fascinates me.
Jenny Wheeler: The series of yours that I have particularly enjoyed is An American in Paris where you have the central character, Claire. She is a little bit older, she’s nudging 60, and her life implodes at that point. She is suddenly widowed, and then she finds that the man she’s married to had hidden secrets she had no clue about.
They are on holiday in Paris when it happens, so for all of these reasons she almost gets stuck in Paris because she doesn’t feel like she wants to go home and face the mess he has left behind there. She is very much a fish out of water, not only as an American, but also as a woman who is suddenly solo after she’s been married for years, and living in quite a hostile environment, because the investigation of her husband’s death becomes quite unsympathetic towards her.
There is a lot of stuff going on there at the beginning, and you have turned that into a series. I think book eight is coming out soon, isn’t it?
An American in Paris – reinventing yourself after tragedy
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: Yes. Book eight is coming out soon. I totally love that series. I love writing it because you’ve got a sleuth or detective unlike a lot of the other detectives you might see on television or read about. She’s got certain barriers she has to overcome, like for one thing, physical barriers.
She can’t run as fast from the bad guy, or if she’s flung down an alley she is going to be bruised and aching and limping for the next two weeks. I think these are all things that make her more real but also show the things she’s got to overcome in order to do the same things that a younger detective might.
The other thing I love about this is something that is probably unique to France and that is that at her age, she’s still considered attractive. Whether that’s a myth or the real deal, that’s the way I write it. In America, at her age, at 60, there is no way she’s going to get a second look from a male. There’s no way. But in France that’s still possible, so that allows me to give another tint or shade to her life there, the romantic thing, which is believable. Less so in the U S.
Jenny Wheeler: It’s interesting you should say that because the first episode of The Joys of Binge Reading we are going to be publishing in February is actually the first nonfiction book we’ve done. It’s an Australian radio host, Kate Langbroek, who took her whole family to Italy for 18 months.
Making over your life possible ‘at any age’
One of the interesting things she observed is that the attitude to age in Italy is totally different from what it is in Australia. You’re considered interesting and valuable, and you’re not sort of put on a shelf – you’re an old person, just shut up – which is a bit what it’s like in New Zealand as well. Maybe it’s something about Europe. Would you say that it’s factual that women are appreciated at a slightly older age in France, or was that totally your fantasy, because it sounds like it might be a European thing.
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: I would prefer to think it’s not a fantasy. I have read a couple of articles about that. There have been a couple where French women have said, no, our men are just as bad as Americans or Australians or New Zealand men. But the fact is even when I travel there, I swear I will get a smile or a nod or some kind of reaction that I don’t get here in the States. In Italy, for sure.
Jenny Wheeler: Are you spending a bit of time in France yourself, or were you able to do that before the pandemic? I’m not quite sure how the pandemic might have affected things, but reading the books, you get the feeling that you do spend quite a bit of time there or have in the past.
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: Yes, before the pandemic, I went once a year for a month or more, as much time as I could. I’m going back this year, and it will be the first time in two years.
Travel was an essential part of Susan’s research – pre-pandemic
My husband asks me all the time, do we really need to go back? Can’t you, with all those other visits combined with internet research, write the books without it? I do think you could, but every single time I go there I see something, or I realize something, that is a little nugget to drop in the books that makes it feel more authentic, that I wouldn’t have had that if I had just gone on the internet.
Jenny Wheeler: Claire has got a condition I had never heard of before, that also makes it extra difficult for her. Tell us about that.
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: She’s got face blindness which I also have, which is why I decided to write about it because it is interesting. I was reading a preface to one of Jane Goodall’s books – this was maybe 15 years ago – and she said in the preface, I’m an introvert. It is really hard for me to meet people, but it’s made particularly difficult by the fact that I’ve got a brain defect called prosopagnosia.
When she started to explain how it was that she could see someone’s face and then turn away and not recognize them again, I realized that this is what I have. I thought everybody was like that. I thought every time you would watch a movie and somebody would come on, a man, the antagonist or whatever, and then he would leave, I was constantly asking my husband, have we seen him before? He was, yes, he just came there. I said, okay, great, got it. Unless they are wearing a big bowtie or something outlandish to indicate who they are, it’s very difficult for people with face blindness.
Living with face blindness – quite a disability for a detective
There are varying degrees. Some people don’t recognize their own faces in the mirror. It’s a brain defect. The ability to remember or to recognize a face, they say, is absolutely one of our most basic skills or habits. We’re born with it. Mine was genetic. Most people who have it, it’s been a hit on the head or something traumatic physically happens to damage that part of the brain.
I did think it was good giving this disability to a detective, because first I wanted to see if it could be done, if you could do this job while not being able to remember faces, and I thought it gave a little bit of extra interest to her, to have her struggle with that.
Jenny Wheeler: Absolutely. I have never heard of that before. Yours must be fairly mild or you would have perhaps realized earlier. Would that be right?
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: No, mine is pretty bad. I remember going on dates. and I would meet someone at a bar. We would exchange phone numbers and the next day he would come to the door and I would open the door and go, huh? I have never seen this person before, ever. But usually if he was good looking in the bar, he was still good looking, so I could tell if someone was to my taste or not.
I can be with friends for weeks and weeks before I’m able to recognize them in a crowd or someplace else. Blonde haired women especially. It’s just impossible. They all look alike to me.
Multi-genre books much easier to publish as an indie author
I can’t differentiate one from another, which is one of the reasons in high school, all my friends were the ones with terrible acne or big, huge noses.
These were things that set them apart and instantly told me, oh, that’s Elizabeth with the big nose. But attractive people, no way. I would never in a million years be able to recognize them a second time. I even had trouble recognizing my son and my husband.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s remarkable, Susan. No wonder Claire in An American in Paris does have such a ring of truth about it. We can fully understand why.
The book that’s coming out in February is called Toujours Dead. You had one last year as well, Murder Flambé. That was book seven, so book eight is coming out in that series. You’ve got Stranded in Provence, which is the one you mentioned – the post-apocalyptic series that is combined with cozy mysteries.
It is very much something that has been made possible because of indie publishing, isn’t it? Trad publishers don’t like authors that cross genres too much because they don’t know quite where to put them in the bookshops, do they?
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: Exactly. You see all these funny cartoons, you know, about someone introducing the editor who turned down the Harry Potter series. Not necessarily editors, but producers of showrunners, or publishers, often don’t recognize something amazing unless it is very much like the last thing that was amazing. It is hard to have something unique or different breakout because these people need a forerunner so that they know how successful it can be.
A career in advertising copy writing helped Susan get started
Traditional publishing also is not a good place to make money or to make a living. Indie publishing you absolutely can make a good living. But it’s giving up the control of being able to write what you want if I were to go with a publisher. Aside from giving up the money, I would have to pay attention to what they wanted me to write as opposed to what I want to write. I really do think that if you write the thing you love, that comes through.
You can be told what to write. Again, I had a career as a advertising copywriter. I was told what to write my whole career, so it can be done, but I think the passion and the thing that makes it special comes from deep inside the author, not from a promotion or a promoter or a publicity person saying, you know what would be great – if you could have a protagonist with round glasses and a wand.
Jenny Wheeler: Do you think also at this time when the world is in such disruption, that books that are a little bit outside the square also have a better chance of attracting readers? Claire in An American in Paris is having to rebuild her life from ground level later in life. Quite a few people are probably faced with that kind of situation in the world we are now living in. Have you had that kind of feedback from readers in the last couple of years?
Irish End Games – a dystopian mystery set in the Green Isles
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: Not specifically for that, although now you mention it, I think that is absolutely something that is happening. I’ve had a lot of people say they were going through health issues or whatever and the books, especially The Irish End Games, were something that they could go from book to book, and it took them to a different world.
I thought and I worried, or mostly my husband worried, that during the pandemic people would see anything like that – moving to a different country and trying to start over – as being too close to reality, and it would be uncomfortable for them. But it has been the exact opposite. If anything, people are more interested in redoing their lives, whether it’s a pandemic that forces it or whatever in their life.
Jenny Wheeler: You have mentioned Irish End Games. That is where an American family get stuck in Ireland after a dystopian event. That has had a great reception. I was curious as to whether you had a personal relationship with Ireland. Why did you choose Ireland as the setting for that series instead of some other country, like New Zealand for example?
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: I do want to set something in New Zealand, but I chose Ireland for two reasons. You will laugh when you hear this, so let me explain why. When I left New Zealand, I met my best friend. I kept saying to her, you have got to come visit me down here. You’ll love it. It’s great. It’s wonderful.
The draw of Ireland as a setting for the End Games steries
I was looking for a job in an ad agency in London at the time instead of coming right back to the U S, and she said, no, that’s so much further away than New Zealand, you need to be closer. I said, you have no idea where New Zealand is, do you? Now, after The Lord of the Rings, everybody knows where New Zealand is. In fact, even now, most of my friends, no one’s ever visited there. They know about it. They know it’s amazing. They have not gone.
The thing about Ireland. First of all, Kiernan is my last name. My family is Irish, Irish American. My father was first generation. But the thing about Ireland is that it is a make-believe country, even though it’s a real country. It has so much Brigadoon to it, it’s got so much magic and leprechauns and mysticism to it that even if you’ve never been there, everybody has got a strong sense of what it is. They all talk really interesting, it’s kind of romanticized, it’s a romanticized island.
I used to write this all the time and people would say, but the real Ireland… I said, I know. Real Ireland is great, but that’s not what people want to hear about. That is not where they want the story set. They don’t want it set in a country that’s got all of these computer hot shots and all of these startup companies. They want a beautiful green island with lots of horses and they want a mysticism that they can’t find any place else in the world. That is why I chose it.
Setting about planning a mystery series
I chose it because when I could drop the bomb on Ireland in this fantasized world of mine, they did not have to take too big a step backward to get where I needed them to get. Cars are gone, so now we’re back to horses. Well, Ireland is full of horses. Everybody rides there, so that wasn’t too big of a jump. Technology has gone. Well, people are living out in these villages and most of them didn’t have computers anyway, so that wasn’t a very big jump.
I could have done the same thing in France or Germany or Italy, any place in Europe, probably Portugal for sure. But Ireland, maybe it’s the Irish American thing. There are so many famous Irish Americans that I felt I had a built-in audience.
Jenny Wheeler: That has been an extremely popular series, hasn’t it?
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: It has, yes. I loved writing it and I’m glad people were able to connect with it like that.
Jenny Wheeler: How do you set about planning a series?
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: Let’s see, how do I do that? I’ve got three French series. In each one of them the protagonist is a different age. For Stranded in Provence I had just finished Irish End Games. I had written the last book, and I was really sad that was over because I love dystopian fiction.
Ditching DNA and computers and going back to Agatha Christie
I sat down and decided I’m going to keep her in France because that’s what you want. Make her a millennial, so you can make her very snarky and funny and witty. Add the bomb going off so that the EMP or whatever explodes over the Mediterranean, and all the lights go out which forces her to solve the crimes in the Agatha Christie mode, as opposed to computers and DNA and forensic analysis and all that advanced technology which makes it so easy.
I had this great memory of my mother sitting watching Criminal Minds. She said, you know, this one actress, all she’s done is sit at her computer through the whole show. I thought, how boring is that? She’s not knocking on doors, she’s not getting accosted in alleyways. She’s sitting at her computer, and she is solving the crime, but how dull that is. Taking the technology out enabled me to go back in time to that golden age of detective-ship. That was deliberate, to do those things.
The others – Maggie and also An American in Paris – were my desire to be in France and to live an idealized life there. This helped me do it. You have to give her something to do, so I made her a detective. Honestly, mysteries sell better than a lot of other genres, so I chose mysteries. Romance sells the best and you always want to throw romance in. I think every book is made better if there is a romantic element to it, but I stick with the thriller, or the mystery genre is the one I’m most comfortable with.
Jenny Wheeler: When you start, do you have an idea what you going to be putting into the first three or five books, or do you start and more or less rely on your inspiration to keep yourself going?
Learning a lesson from Lost when it comes to planning series
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: The first three or four, I’m winging it all the way. I am just getting momentum and going, wow, what if this happens and, you know what, I’ll take her here. About the fourth or the fifth book is when I realize, okay, you need to have some idea of where this is all going.
I don’t know if you ever saw the television show Lost. I think it went on for five seasons. It was fascinating and everyone was analyzing how they were doing, why they were doing it, until it became very clear that the writers had no idea what they were doing. It was much more interesting thinking that there was an end game we all were headed toward, as opposed to they were just pulling it out of their hat every week, and there was no rhyme or reason to it.
So, the first three books I let myself see where I’m going. After that, I start looking ahead and plotting some things. I talk about series arc, because obviously what happens in each book is whatever the mystery is. Somebody dies, a bunch of clues, some suspects, find out who did it. That starts and ends within one book.
But when I’ve got a series like this, for example, if you know anything about Claire and her situation, she’s got this malevolent father off in Dubai who is trying to complicate her life. That has to be something that’s done over several books, so it’s building, getting bigger and bigger and worse and worse, until something happens that nobody would have ever imagined. I have to get to the point where, once I imagine it, I’ll write it.
Maggie Newberry – maturing through a series of 20 books
Jenny Wheeler: He is getting involved in her daughter’s life now too, isn’t he, throwing his weight around? And her relationship with the detective who started out being very hostile to her because she was an American, that’s been a wonderful slow burn evolution as well. You have got those threads that keep evolving and developing as you go along.
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: In many ways some of the harder ones are the Maggie Newberry mysteries. Book 20 is coming out in a couple of weeks. When I started the first book she met the Frenchman she would end up marrying, and in book 20 she is struggling with empty nest syndrome. She has had kids, and they’re all gone. She has grown, book by book. She’s aged. She started at 25 and now I think she is 48 or something like that. I’m not saying that it’s tricky because I felt like in order to tell her story, living in the village, I had to have her evolve and age.
I know a lot of people can write their series where their detective never ages, but especially if the detective has kids, you can’t keep them at seven years old forever. You just can’t. Maybe that was my mistake. I should never have given her children. Anyway, that is an interesting thing for me because I know that I have to constantly complicate her life, living in France with a Frenchman.
Favorite books: What Susan Kiernan-Lewis is reading now
Again, I come back to the fact that when I was in New Zealand, I was with someone who was not an American, and even though he spoke the King’s/Queen’s English, I cannot tell you how many times we misunderstood each other. Putting her with a Frenchman, because they literally don’t speak each other’s language – they do by now, but they didn’t at first – was just delicious. All the different misunderstandings and confusions and conflict. Of course, the gas that makes every book and story go forward is conflict, everywhere.
Jenny Wheeler: I would love to keep talking to you all day, but we are starting to run out of time, so turning to Susan as reader. Because this is The Joys of Binge Reading, we like to make some recommendations of what you’re reading and what you’d recommend for listeners. You mentioned that you like to read dystopian fiction. What would you recommend on your own bedside table at the moment that you’re reading?
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: There is one book I would recommend. I am going to recommend a couple, but one of them is by an author named Peter Heller. It’s called The Dog Stars and it’s dystopian. It is beautifully written, and it’s written by a guy who is the main writer for, I think it’s hunting and tracking, so he writes about sports. He has written a dystopian book where there’s no more electricity and he’s out in the woods living. It’s a beautiful book, and it’s also a hair-raising book, which is great fun. I would suggest The Dog Stars by Peter Heller.
A Boy and His Dog At the End of the World
Also, a book called A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that before. It’s by an author named Charlie Fletcher. Honestly, I have recommended this to so many people, and I do it on my Facebook page and on Instagram, and all my readers will jump back and say, I’m not going to read it if the dog dies, so you have to promise me the dog doesn’t die. If you’re interested, it’s a great book and no, the dog doesn’t die.
Jenny Wheeler: Is that another dystopian?
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: Yes, absolutely.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s great. Tell me, when you started out with your career as a writer of fiction, did you have any particular vision or image of a goal you wanted to achieve, and where are you up to with that now? Have you far exceeded your ambitions or have you still got places you want to go?
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: It’s interesting you would say that because I would have assumed all my life, when I was working in ad agencies, that what I really wanted to do would be make a decent living writing fiction. I’m doing that, and now that I’m doing it, I realize that I want my fiction to be turned into a televised series. I would like a broader audience. The way I write is, I like to write for television and script. I am very happy with writing for script, and I would like to do more of that.
One of my series, which we didn’t talk about today, has been optioned, so we’ll see if it turns into anything. It’s the Mia Kazmaroff series, and the executive producer also said that I would be welcome to write an episode if I was interested. I would love that.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s the one set in a private investigation agency in Atlanta where they take lost causes and cold cases. How far along is that one with getting onto the screen?
One thing Susan Kiernan-Lewis could change – what would it be?
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: It is in the process of being pitched to Netflix and various other places. It’s still with the producer,
Jenny Wheeler: Looking back down the tunnel of time, if there is one thing in your writing career that you would change if you could, what would it be?
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: Honestly, I loved my experience working in ad agencies, but what I would have changed is I would have gone to LA when I was younger, and I would have tried to write for television. At least try to break in. I would have at least given it a shot.
Jenny Wheeler: Sure. Have you done any actual script writing tuition, or have you tried your hand at it yourself?
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: Oh yes, absolutely. I’ve got several scripts, and through the years I’ve done projects. I wrote a couple of musicals years ago. I did radio program stories, like radio plays, in Atlanta. I have got a stack of plays.
Playwriting a passionate pursuit
In many ways my first love is either screenwriting or playwriting, but with both of those you can’t make any money. I’m not going to say you can’t make any money. I suppose someone can make some money, but at this point I’m still interested in making a living. Although I would dearly love to see a production of mine onstage, it’s not on the cards. I can’t stop writing books long enough to do something like that.
Jenny Wheeler: In the world we’re moving into, theater sadly is becoming more and more marginalized because the digital world is taking over so much.
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: You’re right. I love live performance, just love it. But you’re right.
Jenny Wheeler: What is next for Susan the fictional author, looking over the next 12 months. What are you going to be busy with?
What is in the future for Susan Kiernan-Lewis’s writing
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: I’ve got two more Maggie books and two more Claire books, and then I’ve allowed myself enough time to do another project, whatever that is. I’m going to be wide open to something, whether it’s a short story or whether I start a new series. I always love starting a brand-new series. It’s so much fun to meet the people and see where I’m going to be, so I want to give myself that time.
It takes me six weeks to write a book. The rest of the time is given to editors and proofers, but my work is pretty much done in six weeks. If I take six weeks and set it aside and say, this is what I’m going to do, whatever I want, and see where I am at that time of the year and what hits me.
Jenny Wheeler: Being an indie author, I’m sure you are close to your audience, but how do you enjoy interacting with your readers and where can they find you online?
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: I love hearing from my readers. I’ve got Facebook groups for each of the book series, so if they go to the search function on Facebook. Certainly, you can type in my name because I’m there as an author as well, but each of the series – Irish End Games, the Maggie Newberry mysteries, the An American in Paris mysteries, even Stranded in Provence and I think the Mia Kazmaroff mysteries – they are all there. They all have private groups.
Finding Susan Kiernan-Lewis online
I also have a website and there are several different places to contact me through the website, or you can direct message me through Facebook or Instagram.
Jenny Wheeler: We will put all of those links into the show notes for this episode as well so that they will be there for evermore. It has been fantastic talking to you today, Susan, it really has. I am quite bowled over by the amount you get done and the success you’ve had with it.
Susan Kiernan-Lewis: Thank you so much for letting me speak on your podcast, Jenny. I really enjoyed it.
Jenny Wheeler: Thank you, Susan. Bye now.
Next week on The Joys of binge reading we have international bestselling novelist Christian White, a Melbourne screen writer, producer and novelist whose latest psychological thriller Wild Place sets up the age old question: Why do good people do bad things?
That’s it for today. Join us again next week. Don’t forget to subscribe to Binge Reading on Patreon for exclusive bonus content and happy reading!
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