AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Historical Fiction Author Suzanne Woods Fisher

I am pleased to interview Suzanne Woods Fisher, author of the historical fiction novel, COPPER FIRE! Suzanne is on a virtual book tour with us at Pump Up Your Book Promotion so it's a special honor to have her here. If you would like to visit her website to find out more about her and her book, COPPER FIRE, visit www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

Leave a comment and you could win a free virtual book tour for yourself or a $50 Amazon gift certificate!

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Suzanne! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

Thank you for letting me pop in today! My name is Suzanne Woods Fisher, I’m 49, happily married (most of the time) for 26 years, with four kids (two boys and two girls), ages 16-25, and now, a son-in-law! I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. My first novel, Copper Star, received three literary awards. Its sequel, Copper Fire, just released. I’m a former contributing editor to Christian Parenting Today magazine, and work has appeared in Today’s Christian Woman, Worldwide Challenge, ParentLife, and Marriage Partnership. I have contributed to eleven non-fiction books, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: Children with Special Needs. The best thing about being a writer, I think, is that all of life becomes material for writing. It’s all grit for the oyster.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

Copper Fire is the sequel to Copper Star, picking right up at the very end of World War II. On a summer day in 1945, my main character, Louisa, receives a telegram from the International Red Cross Tracing Service. She discovers that her cousin, Elisabeth, has just been released from Dachau. Louisa is determined to go to Germany to get Elisabeth…and that’s where the story begins.

What kind of research was involved in writing “Copper Fire”?

I researched that post-war time period as thoroughly as possible, even down to the weather in the summer of 1945. I have traveled to Dachau and to Germany. I seek out the input of experts and knowledgeable people; I want my books to be credible. The fun of historical fiction is that you’re learning as you read, painlessly.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

It is a sequel, though it is also a stand-alone novel. However, the cover needed to “shake hands” with the first book. They look similar, but not identical.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

There was one point when I decided to give book writing one whole-hearted year’s effort, and see where it took me. Now, there were definitely some battle scars along the way, but it was pretty smooth sailing.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

About a year.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

My agent is Joyce Hart of The Hartline Literary Agency. She has opened doors for me that were locked tight to a new author! I strongly recommend pursuing an agent to represent your work. They’re the gatekeepers to the publishers.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Yes! Six are under contract as we speak!

In late August, Grit from the Oyster: 250 Pearls of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers, will be released from Vintage Spirit. I wrote Grit with three other very talented authors. In February 2009, For the Love of Dogs, a fun novel set in 1969, will release (Vintage). And I am working on three novels for Revell/Baker, as well as a non-fiction book called Amish Peace in an English Life (also with Revell/Baker).

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

Oh morning, definitely. I wish I had two mornings every day and could skip the afternoons.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

How about buying my way onto being a pick in Oprah’s Book Club? Ah, guaranteed success!

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

I can’t stress the importance of knowing how to promote your books. For me, starting with a small publisher was just the right step to take. The learning curve is steep in this industry. Writing well is one skill, marketing and promotion is an entirely different skill set. I’ve been grateful to learn all that I can about successfully launching books. I’ve created a website, blog tours, sent out press releases, developed relationships with local retailers, attended book clubs, and spoken to writing groups.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

This is my motto: “Everybody is talented, original and has something important to say.” Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write (published in 1938), Graywolf Press

Thank you for coming, Suzanne! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Thank you for hosting me today! Stop by and visit me at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

My books can be found at: Amazon, BN.com, can be ordered from your favorite bookstore, and are also available at my website: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

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