Saturday, October 31, 2020

Musings from a Writer's Brain ~ by Tina Susedik


Exploding fireplaces. Fear of parking. Bottles of steak sauce with loose caps. Fainting goats. What do these have to do with writing you ask. Well . . .

Authors get asked many questions about what we do. Where do we get ideas? How long does it take to write a book? Are you rich? How many books have you sold? (One that my brother-in-law always asks.) And my favorite – do you use any of your own experiences in your books? The answer – oh, my yes.

 

On my first date with my now husband, it was our college homecoming. We both came from poor farms, so going out to dinner was a real treat for us. I was eighteen, away from home, an adult. I had borrowed a dress, did my hair and makeup. We went to a place called the Big Steer, which is equivalent to Perkins. I ordered steak. (I was an adult after all.) Sitting on the table was a bottle of Heinz 57 Steak Sauce. (There’s more to the story as to why this was important to me, but I don’t have enough space to write it here.) Anyway, I picked up the bottle and slapped the bottom against the palm of my hand, just like my dad always did. But . . . what I didn’t do was check to make sure the cap was on tight. Slap. Slap. Cap flies off. Steak sauce all over the wall, the table, my borrowed dress, my face, my hair. I could have died. I really liked this guy. It was our first date. I was so embarrassed. After doing back to the dorm and showering and changing clothes, we continued the date. I really like this guy, and to my surprise, asked me out again. We’ve been married 47 years!

Exploding fireplace? My attempt at creating a romantic night for hubby. Kids were gone at friends. I set up an air mattress in front of the fireplace. Lit candles. Set out wine, cheese and crackers. The whole nine yards. Cozy. Romantic. Until . . . the fireplace exploded. We didn’t get hurt but listening to the air hissing from the air mattress and stomping out burning glass on the carpet, rather ruined the mood.

Fear of parking? Let’s simply say we drove around a lot and ended up at the end of our driveway. Try climbing into the backseat while covering the dome light so the kids, who were home, didn’t see us was an experience we still laugh about. (The kids were teenagers.)

Fainting goats? Well, you had to be there.

There have been so many things in my life that I’ve used in my books. All of them embarrassing to me, funny to my husband, and scenes for my books. One reader said whenever she reads one of my books, she tries to figure out if a scene really happened to me or not. Except for those mentioned above, it’s a secret.

Will I keep using events from my life in my books? Absolutely. In fact, this past week my husband and I went camping. We were on a lake. Our boat was parked by the dock. The water was rather murky and mucky along the dock and shoreline. The dock was narrow. The night was dark. I’d had two glasses of wine when . . .

 

Bio: Tina is an award-winning, multi-published author who has been researching and writing books since 1997. She is published in non-fiction with military and local history books. She is also has published children’s books and romantic mysteries. She loves to add humor in her books, putting her characters in situations and finding a humorous way to get them out of them.

Besides writing, Tina gives talks to schools and organizations, judges writing contests, and helps in the business she and her husband own. She also hosts her own radio show, Cover to Cover With Tina, where she interviews authors of all genres. She lives in northwestern Wisconsin with her husband and adores her five grandchildren. In the spare time she has, Tina loves to camp, hike, bike, scrapbook and, of course, read, read, read.

Blurb for “The Balcony Girl”

When Julia Lindstrom and her sister, Suzanna, made the decision to move to Deadwood, South Dakota in 1879, Julia never suspected that she would meet her future husband, secretly befriend the madam of a brothel, or jump in to assist when disaster strikes the turbulent mining town. Can she survive all three?

Daniel Iverson followed the gold rush to Deadwood back when it was in its heyday, only to discover gold prospecting wasn’t the life for him. Now working as a lawyer, a case falls into his lap regarding a rash of recent illnesses affecting the men visiting the town’s saloons and brothels. Is it a disease or something more sinister?

Will a secret tear them apart or bring them together?

“The Balcony Girl” is a finalist in the prestigious RONE awards with Ind’tale magazine and has garnered several five-star reviews.  Get it on Amazon.

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Listen to Tina Susedik's podcast episode here.

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