Q & A with Susan Wiggs, author of Return to Willow Lake

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Publish Date: August 28, 2012

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: Sonnet Romano's life is almost perfect. She has the ideal career, the ideal boyfriend, and has just been offered a prestigious fellowship. There's nothing more a woman wants - except maybe a baby.sister? When Sonnet finds out her mother is unexpectedly expecting, and that the pregnancy is high-risk, she puts everything on hold - the job, the fellowship, the boyfriend - and heads home to Avalon. Once her mom is out of danger, Sonnet intends to pick up her life where she left off. But when her mother receives a devastating diagnosis, Sonnet must decide what really matters in life, even of that means staying in Avalon and taking a job that forces her to work alongside her biggest, and maybe her sweetest, mistake - award-winning filmmaker Zach Alger. So Sonnet embarks on a summer of laughter and tears, of old dreams and new possibilities, and of finding the home of her heart. At once heartbreaking and uplifting, Return to Willow Lake plumbs the deepest corners of the human heart, exploring the bonds of family, the perils and rewards of love, and the true meaning of home.

Lakeshore Chronicles Series: Summer At Willow Lake (1), The Winter Lodge (2), Dockside (3), Snowfall At Willow Lake (4), Fireside (5), Lakeshore Christmas (6), The Summer Hidaway (7), Marrying Daisy Bellamy (8), Return to Willow Lake (9)

Author Bio: Susan Wiggs's life is all about family, friends...and fiction. She lives at the water's edge on an island in Puget Sound, and she commutes to her writers' group in a 17-foot motorboat. She serves as author liaison for Field's End, a literary community on Bainbridge Island, Washington, bringing inspiration and instruction from the world's top authors to her seaside community. (See www.fieldsend.org) She's been featured in the national media, including NPR's "Talk of the Nation," and is a popular speaker locally and nationally.

According to Publishers Weekly, Wiggs writes with "refreshingly honest emotion," and the Salem Statesman Journal adds that she is "one of our best observers of stories of the heart [who] knows how to capture emotion on virtually every page of every book." Booklist characterizes her books as "real and true and unforgettable." She is the recipient of three RITA (sm) awards and four starred reviews from Publishers Weekly for her books. The Winter Lodge and Passing Through Paradise have appeared on PW’s annual "Best Of" lists. Several of her books have been listed as top Booksense picks and optioned as feature films. Her novels have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have made national bestseller lists, including the USA Today, Washington Post and New York Times lists.

The author is a former teacher, a Harvard graduate, an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier and terrible golfer, yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book.

 Q & A with Susan Wiggs:

Q. What influenced your return to the Lakeshore Chronicles with your new book, Return to Willow Lake?

SW: My readers, primarily. They have been wondering about Sonnet Romano based on her appearances in past books. We’ve had glimpses of her, but in RETURN TO WILLOW LAKE she really comes into her own.

Q. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in this series?

SW: Yes. I would keep better records of people’s names and dates of birth. It’s crazy trying to keep track of everything. One perk for readers who “like” my Facebook page is that they’ll be seeing a Bellamy family tree.

Q. What was the hardest part of writing your books?

SW: The business side of the writing. An author is a self-employed individual, and it’s a real balancing act to make it all work. I am deeply grateful to readers who preorder books, buy them new, or borrow them from the library. The only way an author survives is through such sales, so the reader is incredibly important.

Q. Did you have a musical playlist you listened to when writing Return to Willow Lake? If so, what kind of music?

SW: Yes, there’s always a playlist. Here are some key numbers from the writing of RETURN TO WILLOW LAKE. It might be fun to figure out which ones belong to which scenes:
Thank You by Chris Cornell
Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Feeling Good by Nina Simone
Zou Bisou Bisou by Jessica Pare

Q. Please tell us your latest news.

SW: I’m hard at work on THE APPLE ORCHARD, which launches a whole new series that revolves around a cooking school in the town of Archangel, in Sonoma, California. Thank you so much for having me! 


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