Reviews Published

Monday, September 29, 2008

Susan Wingate’s Interview with Yvonne Walus

Today we're hosting Susan Wingate, whose e-book "Bobby's Diner" was published on 1 September 2008. Tell us about your publisher, Susan, why you chose them and whether it was a good decision (e.g., do you enjoy working with them, do they stick to deadlines, did they consult you on the cover, etc.)

Hello, Yvonne. This is a great opening question. It’s one that hasn’t been asked yet. The publisher is It’s a subsidiary of Write Words, Inc. and, yes, the publisher has consulted with me at every level of publication from cover art (which I absolutely love) to the editing decisions they’ve made. They kept to their anticipated release date of September 1, 2008 and the book was available as promised on their website And, to answer your question if I’ve enjoyed working with them, yes, they are considerate, honest, reliable and professional and I respect them very much. The publisher is Arline Chase. Shelley Chase-Rodgerson handles the ebook line and the cover art (hooray Shelley!). Arline handles the print line but I’ve worked with them both. It’s been a very positive experience.

That's great to hear! Most of our readers are already e-book converts, but for those who are not, can you do a quick plug about why e-books are so popular?

The obvious reason: they’re easy to get. You don’t have to leave the house to run to the bookstore. But, I also believe they make carrying books around with you very light. I travel quite a bit and it’s nice to be able to flip open an iPod and read a novel. It’s much easier than toting pounds of bulky books around with you. It’s a wonderful solution for readers who commute or travel extensively but that’s only one reason. I could write tomes of reasons why ebooks are so popular!

I agree. Now, "Bobby's Diner" has been compared to Fanny Flagg's fabulous "Fried Green Tomatoes". Why?

I think because it “feels” similar to Flagg’s wonderful novel. And, by the way, it’s quite a compliment for my story to be compared to hers. But, the primary reason, the one reason we can actually bite into (forgive the pun) is that the women characters – who have reasons to hate one another – are faced with dire problems and then made to figure out how to resolve each problem. Plus, it’s set at a diner and so the setting is of course like Flagg’s café.

Quoting from your press release, the themes discussed in "Bobby's Diner" include "Adultery, divorce, love, love lost, love reborn in others, family, murder, deceit and crime." Would you say it's a murder mystery or a crime fiction book, or is it more correctly classified as women's fiction?

It’s correctly classified as women’s fiction but it has an element of crime and mystery woven into the story. My first novel, Of the Law, was a mystery – no haggling about the genre with it – but with BOBBY’S DINER the plot gave way to women involved in some pretty sticky circumstances and the crime and mystery elements floated up to the surface. It was great fun to write and seemed to segue well from the mystery I’d written the year before. But, my writing these days has gone the way of women’s fiction and family drama.

Sounds scarily like my own writing. And I see you also use settings the way I do. Tell us about Arizona, the setting of your book. What are the people like? The weather? What would you say to a tourist who wanted to visit the state for a week?

Oh, there’s so much to tell about Arizona. Well, I don’t like to speak of people in generalities but, well, they’re all cowboys! Not really. Arizona is one of the 4-corner states in the US and has several different climates. The north is very cool in the summers and cold in the winters where it snows and has pine trees and all that glorious green we think of when we think of northern settings.

As you travel south and approach the mid-section of the state it starts to become desert-like – it’s the upper desert of the state and the ground turns dryer and browner with less pine and more mesquite, creosote and scrubby-looking shrubs. By the time you reach Phoenix, it’s all about the desert – it’s hot, dry, brown, gritty and has a huge sky.

Phoenix sits in a bowl of surrounding distant mountains and is flat until you reach those mountains so all you see for miles and miles (except for a few distant hills) is the vast sky. And, that sky puts on these amazing shows in the early morning and around sunset. Spectacular colors of indigo turning to crystal blue and smattered with baby pinks that reflect off any available horsetail clouds. In the evenings the show reverses but with dazzling golds and iodine colors that will knock your socks off. It’s a painters dream come true, those skies. The weather is hot. What can I say? We have spring in the winter and summer for about 9 months there -

LOL, here in New Zealand we have spring in the summer and winter in the winter. But I interupted you...

Arizona has cowboy-loving-charm. If you’ve ever done any research, Arizona is home to Tombstone – where Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday made history. The people are like people anywhere else in the world. If you were visiting Arizona for a week in the summer, take a bunch of shorts and t-shirts and sun block, lots of antiperspirant and drink plenty of water. If you’re visiting during the late fall to early spring – take a light sweater for the evenings and shorts and warm weather clothes. If you play tennis or ride bikes, go to Arizona in the cooler months, from November to February. Also, you should get a rental car and take day trips to places other than Phoenix. Remember, the Grand Canyon is in Arizona and that’s some gorgeous country up there.

Wow. Is that why this book is so close to your heart?

BOBBY’S DINER is my second novel and the writing of it really went off without a hitch. It seemed to flow out of me. But, also, it’s a poignant piece of writing mixed with tolerance and struggle and isn’t that what life is all about. I can see how it will be a meaningful read at any point in time but especially now with all the warring in the world. I love this book because it came from something in me that I cared deeply about. The women are charming and the title character, Bobby, is fashioned in part after my own husband, Bob. Note the similarity in names? Ha! My husband has been appearing in more and more of my work lately. He’s quite a character himself. He’s in my heart and, so, he’s in my books.

And now, who would enjoy reading "Bobby's Diner" and where we can buy it.

I think most people who enjoy a good story with juicy conflict and a little bit of tears will enjoy BOBBY’S DINER. Also, there are hefty male characters and, actually, my ex-husband loved it so, there you go. I think a lot of men would enjoy this story and definitely women will enjoy this book.

And, thank you, Yvonne for having me here on your blog today it’s been a pleasure.

Susan Wingate’s website -
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1 comment:

Susan Wingate said...

Thank you, Yvonne for hosting me today. This is such a fun and valuable blog.
Much appreciated! -Susan Wingate