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An Interview with Susan Goodwill

For readers who have yet to discover BrigaDOOM, or the Kate London Mystery Series, what would you tell them ? BrigaDOOM, the first book in the Kate London Mystery Series, combines a retired B-grade starlet, a run-away port-o-potty, a not-quite-right theatre group, and the Naked Bandit. Throw in a hefty dose of murder and some deep-discount Jimmy Choo's, and wrap it all in an old theatre on the shores of Lake Michigan, and you get the idea. The series is my admittedly peculiar take on small town living, murder, amateur theatre, and romance gone awry.
Kate London, your main character, loves shoes. Are you a shoe freak?How many pair do you have? What are the main differences between Kate London and you?I had a sales career for a couple of decades. When I was out in the business world every day, I probably owned sixty pair of shoes—some really cool ones. Hair and shoes are a few of the joys and responsibilities of being female, you know? Now that I work at a computer most days, I'm partial to a couple pair of yummy-but-ugly clogs. Out in public, I'm a bit like Kate, good boots, a sweater, and a nice pair of jeans, and I'm happy. As far as differences, Kate's younger, a little more impetuous, more into the shoes these days, but we both have the same curly auburn hair and snarky sense of humor.
This is your first book. What's been the biggest surprise in getting published? With all the competition out there, I'm just thrilled to get published at all. I know a ton of great writers that, by some whim of the market, can't sell their stories. You always hope it will happen to you, but you never really count on it. You write the story for you, and if it sells, well, that's the huge, huge bonus.
Who are your favorite authors?I love Janet Evanovich, Jenny Crusie, Sarah Stohmeyer, Lori Avocato, Annie Lamott, Stephen King, Carl Hiaasen, and lots more. We talked about the surprises in getting published already, but another surprise is how little time I have left to read these days!
Did you always want to write? Yes, I guess I did. I always wrote or thought about writing. I've always loved reading and words. My mom wrote. She was published in nonfiction, so I guess I came by it naturally. It's buried in my DNA or something. As a kid, I wrote horror stories, poetry, and I published a children's column from age nine to about twelve or thirteen. I had an in with the magazine's editor, though, she happened to be my mom. Another part of story-telling, I performed plays and did puppet shows. I had this toy showboat, and I would perform Heidi, the Wizard of Oz, and plays or stories I made up for anyone who would hold still long enough. It was obnoxious.
What's the best part about being a writer?And then the inverse, what's the biggest downside? The best part is having folks read what I've written, and then tell me that they enjoyed it. The worst is that writing is such a solitary pursuit. I mean, you do it because, on some level, you really want to connect with people, yet in order to practice the craft, to actually write, you find yourself with your face stuck in a computer screen.
What else would you like to tell us about you? I'm the poster child for late bloomers. Okay, child would be an understatement. My point is, it's never too late. If there is something you've always wanted to do, something that you've always dreamed about, don't let that little voice inside talk you out of it, make you put it off. Or tell you you're too old. Or too young. Or too whatever. For years I had a million reasons why I couldn't write that mystery novel. I didn't have an English degree. I didn't have the time. I didn't know where to start. One day I figured out that this thing we call life is a timed experience, and if I wanted to do what I came here to do, I'd better get on the stick. I ignored all the voices in my head and just started writing.

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