We’re gonna play a game of 20 questions and get to know you better! Ready? Let’s Start! This round has the wonderful Susan Ricci to chat about herself and her upcoming labor of love.
Susan is a fellow IWUer and a wonderful friend! I hope you’ll sit down and join us in our little chat!
1.) Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been writing, in one form or another, since I discovered crayons weren’t part of a food group, so that would make me pretty young. Now, I’m just pretty, well, middle aged 😉 But, I’m happy!
2.) How long have you been writing?
So many years, it’s almost embarrassing to say!
3.) Do you have a preferred genre that you read? Is it the same as what you write?
I love reading ALL kinds of genres; the only stories that don’t tweak my interest are slasher-types, porny-erotica, and prose that wanders about with no purpose. I’m currently reading a YA novel by an author in our IWU group, called The Emerald City, by JA Beard.
4.) What is the title of your book and where can it be found?
The book I’m currently devoting my time to is called Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems, and I anticipate the revisions/editing will be complete by mid-summer. After that, I have 4 other WIP’s to keep my busy.
5.) Describe your novel in 15 words or less.
A humorous tale of a recovered divorcee who lands in an unexpected, sometimes turbulent, midlife relationship…
6.) Where did the inspiration for your story come from?
Actually, this one came as a surprise to me, because I usually write from imagination and not steal ideas from my personal life. In fact, Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems started out as something like a diary.
7.) How long did it take you to complete this novel from concept to published?
Hopefully, by the summer. I’m thinking D+CS will have taken 2 years from concept to publishing, and that’s IF I’m not interrupted by any chaos!
8.) When you sit down to write, how does that process go? Do you outline or just let it evolve?
I hate outlining, I like to sit and my ideas for dialogue or action stream from my brain to my fingertips.
9.) Are there any aspects of writing you struggle with?
Yeah, I have the tendency to be totally distracted during my writing sessions, but I can’t seem to break myself of that. There’s the dog to walk, household chores, and I’m also the guardian of my handicapped brother, which requires a lot of care and time. Do YOU have any suggestions? If so, please let me know!
10.) Are there any aspects that you simply glide through?
There is no gliding in writing, as far as I can tell. If there was, all my WIP’s would be published by now!
11.) What sets your book apart from others in the same genre?
There aren’t a lot of stories heralding hope for making relationships work that are geared towards people my age in the relationship department. Oh, there’s plenty of How-To-Find-A-Mate, or self-helps out there, but not many about how to keep histories/baggage our of your relationship equation in the present.
12.) Your main characters, tell me about them. What is their back story? How did they find themselves where they are now?
I guess I’d have to say Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems is a fictionalized nonfiction book, but the story is based on two people, my husband and I. Since we have no notoriety because we’re just average folks, I’ve embellished a few key points of the story. Because the book begins after my second divorce, there is very little backstory because it is irrelevant to what I’m trying to convey now, via the story.
13.) I’d like to know more about your book. Tell me all about it.
I’m hoping the book comes off as humorous, because there IS humor is life’s tragedies, if you are able to set back and view it as such. Sometimes it takes a while to peel away the hurt to discover the humor, but it can be found, just the same.
14.) What do you want readers to take from your writings?
I’d like to think readers will believe me when I say there’s hope out there, when you’re alone and possibly bitter, to discover and maintain a loving, respectful relationship, even at an advanced age, lol.
15.) Are more books to follow or is this a stand alone?
Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems will be a stand alone, but I have another WIP, featuring mothers and their sons called, It Starts With a Brownie. Then there’s my fiction tales…
16.) Where can readers find you?
17.) What are 3 random things about yourself that readers might like to know.
I like to read, play Wii games, dance, and beat the snot out of my husband at skee-ball when we go to the boardwalk!
18.) What do you do in your down time? For fun.
All of the above. And I love traveling!
19.) How about letting me have a sneak peak at chapter one?
DINOSAURS AND CHERRY STEMS
Intense emotion, leading to prose or poetry, cannot be described in any other fashion…
Chapter One: Moral Ineptitude
That bastard. I’m sitting in the theater where my grandson’s rehearsing a band concert, and my husband texts we should separate?
“Oh, Glen, that’s so you,” I whisper. In the twenty years I’ve known him, Glen always finds a way to sneak out the back door.
His motive isn’t really the shocker. Glen and I’ve been communicating via sarcasm since our first anniversary three years back. Arguments evolved how we spend our down time, his and my adult kids’ snafus, even our new bedspread, for Christ sake.
He had his picture taken without me the last time we traveled (using the word vacationed implies an enjoyable event), and I later found his photo posted on a social network he joined. In the relationship section, he’d written it’s complicated. Uh huh.
I kept my mouth shut until a well-meaning Ella phoned one night and cleared up those rumors about hubby’s slick trespassing, making what’s complicated a confirmation.
What transpired after Ella’s call is muzzy, but what remains with me is the sudden crash at the window during Glen’s lively denials. Diverted from our shouting match, we’d hurried over and saw a bird, lying in the garden below. Even as we watched, it soon gathered its wits and flew away.
As we withdrew to our separate regions in the house, my self-esteem questioned: How many slams into the window of surprises do I need before I fly this marital coop?
I’d once heard about some celebrity who sent his wife a fax saying he wanted to divorce, but texting such a message is un-fucking-believable, even for Glen. My hands flex with the urge to choke him as I recall how he kept checking his cell during my mother’s wake last spring.
Take deep breaths, I tell myself. Focus on the stage and Robert’s drum solo.
The pounding drums mimic my heartbeat, but I know until this rehearsal is over and Robert’s safely home, staying calm is key. There’s forty miles of driving on a freeway loaded with wild weekenders to cope with, and it’s a definite my grandson’s going to want to stop and eat since it’s past lunchtime, and we always do that anyway.
I pinch my fingers between my eyes to keep the angry tears at bay. I want to text him back, continue the battle, but the situation will only escalate if I do, because Glen never loses his wars.
Instead of retreating, I text him anyway, and ask if we can talk about this when I get home.
He responds he’s busy for the rest of the weekend and won’t be there.
Christ, today’s only Saturday. What’s supposed to happen on Monday, when we have to go to work in the same office?
Where he’s my boss?
SR: Thank you so much, Melissa, for taking the time to explore me!
MS: You are more than welcome! I enjoyed it just as much as you did!