Susan Pepper Robbins has been a name brand to Unsolicited Press since our early beginnings, long before we began asking authors to submit to our Q+A questions. We published her book Nothing But the Weather in 2014 -- in our bootstrapping days (although, sometimes we are still pulling up our straps). The collection, a gem, and we knew from that experience, we'd want to with with Susan again.
Luckily, she produced another book, this time, a novel, Local Speed. Her novel follows a young girl, Crystal Ball as she works to protect her sister from a sexual predator.
Today, we have the honor of sharing bit of Robbins' life with you -- hope you love her as much as we do!
If you could cook dinner for any author, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you make?
Mark Twain would appreciate my homemade bread, beef stew, and apple cake, I hope.
What scares you the most about the writing process? How do you combat your fears?
The blank screen is frightening,but the first sentence or even a phrase can be a cannon shot that gives courage.
Who is your biggest literary crush, author or character?
Jane Austen’s Anne Elliot in Persuasion waits eight years to be rescued by going to sea just after the Napoleonic wars. Anne’s coping with failure is an inspiration by venturing away from home--the traditional place of safety.
What books are on your nightstand?
Ones by Elena Ferrante, Eudora Welty, Penelope Fitgerald and Elizabeth Harrower.
Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?
Listening to conversations, seeing how a person walks, talks, dresses, cooks, what books she or he is reading. Reading Chekhov’s stories.
Favorite punctuation mark? Why?
The dash breaks into a sentence in a friendly and helpful way, giving it a resonance.
What book were you supposed to read in high school, but never did?
What inanimate object would you thank in your acknowledgements?
Why do you write? The first 5 words that come to mind. Go.
I write to notice things, people, events, “unremembered acts of kindness”--if I have Wordsworth right, that should not go unremembered.
If you could write an inspirational quote on the mirrors of aspiring writers, what would you write?
The ordinary is extraordinary. Anton Chekhov says that moonlight on the rock is important, more than the big events.