Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Author Interview: Amy Sue Nathan and Her Debut Novel--The Glass Wives

I met Amy Sue Nathan in the blogsphere when someone who knows I write women’s fiction suggested I check out Amy’s blog—Women’s FictionWriters. The blog is a wonderful celebration of women’s fiction authors, and a discussion of various writing topics, and updates on Amy’s journey to the publication with The Glass Wives, published (May 14, 2013). Also check out her website Amy Sue Nathan.

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?

ZM: The Glass Wives is a sensitive and truthful story of ex-wives, widows, and single mothers—and the children who share their lives. Amy Sue Nathan has a voice that will sweep you into its embrace.
It’s been said that all debut novels have autobiographical elements. Do you think that’s true?

Amy:  I can’t speak for anyone but me, but there is part of me in The Glass Wives. My ex-husband died suddenly after we divorced, so that was the springboard for the novel. What does that mean? It’s not based on a true story, but I got the idea from that tragic event. I promise, I do not have a young widow living in my basement (I just checked).

ZM: Tell us about The Glass Wives’ journey from first idea to publication.

Amy:  Okay, sit a spell! I started writing in 2007, queried 116 agents in 2010 and signed with Jason Yarn in October 2010, sold to St. Martin’s in October 2011. Now it’s May 2013 and my book is on shelves in stores and ereaders!

ZM: 116! Wow, you've got patience!
Amy, you’ve done so much to promote women’s fiction writers on your blog. One of your standard interview questions s, “What’s your definition of women’s fiction?” I thought I’d turn the tables on you. What’s your definition? ; )

Amy: I’m smiling, Zan Marie. Ha, you got me! To me, women’s fiction is simply an encompassing label for books that probably appeal most to women and are not about romance. I also like the term book club fiction because books that are character driven and laden with issues give book clubs some meaty pages to talk about.  I can’t believe I’m quoting myself, but here goes: Women’s fiction is a book where the main character saves herself.
ZM:  I know you’ve been on the ground floor of the new Women’s Fiction Writers Association. What’s the latest news about WFWA?

Amy: I know that the founding team is getting closer to having the legalities worked out so the site can be launched. I can’t wait!
ZM: What’s next? Do you have a new book in the works?

Amy:  I do! Right now the title is FALLING INTO PLACE and it’s about a single mom blogger who lies about having a boyfriend, she achieves internet fame based on these lies, and then is offered a job on a popular website as a relationship expert even though in real life she doesn’t date at all—and she takes it. It’s a book about the big and small lies people tell, and what has to happen for someone to come clean and face the consequences. It’s also about how our lives online can sometimes overshadow our real lives.

ZM: Many craft books stress that writers must read and read a lot. Who is your favorite author, or what is your favorite genre? What draws you to a book you read for enjoyment?

Amy: I don’t have a favorite author, but I do gravitate to women’s fiction and literary fiction, that is something I know. I dabble in reading chick lit, the occasional thriller, some memoir. But mostly I read what I like to write.

ZM: Finally, what question do you wish interviewers would ask, but they never do?

Amy: Oh wow. I guess it would be fun to talk about how exhausting launch week is so that authors who come after me can rest up now!!

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.