I am excited to introduce our guest author for this week, Suzanne Nugent!
Suzanne Nugent is a writer committed to exploring women’s lives and relationships through poignant comedy and drama. She holds a dual degree in journalism and film from UMass Amherst and studied screenwriting at UCLA. She was shortlisted for the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting and has received accolades from the Denver Film Festival and the San Francisco Writers Conference. Suzanne lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son. Brunch and Other Obligations is her first novel.
Read on to find out more about Suzanne and for a chance to win Brunch and Other Obligations!
Tell us about your debut, Brunch and Other Obligations.
Filled with heart wrenching scenes and witty prose, Brunch and Other Obligations explores the intricate dynamics of girlhood acquaintances who are forced to reconnect as women. This upbeat novel reminds readers that there’s hope for getting through the hard times in life—with a lot of patience, humor, and a standing brunch date.
Do you have a regular first reader? If so, who and why?
I love getting notes from editors and fellow writers. But the very first time someone sees something I’m working on, I’ll admit it, I just need encouragement. My husband is usually my first reader (and my 5th reader, and my 100th reader, and… Poor guy. Good thing he likes to read.) He works in finance and doesn’t really critique writing, aside from his very strong feelings about the overuse of exclamation points in emails: “You get one, if any at all.” For me, the first bit of feedback I really need is: “keep going.”
If you could tell your younger writer self anything, what would it be?
There’s plenty of time for all your ideas. Fully commit to one and stick with it through the hard parts when the romance is over. Don’t be seduced by the next shiny new idea. If that new idea is meant for you, it will still be waiting when you complete your current project. Finish.
What’s the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I wrote the first draft of Brunch and Other Obligations when my son was a toddler. As a new mom, it felt impossible to meet self-imposed deadlines, but it felt even more impossible to simply not write. Writing is what makes me feel most like myself. I needed accountability, but I didn’t have the bandwidth to do “buddy reads” with fellow writers at that point in my life. But I couldn’t stand to put off my book any longer. So, I just went for it and hired a coach to push me through the first draft. It was the best investment I’ve made in my whole career.
What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?
My summer job during college: I was a lifeguard at a pool in a nursing home that was run by nuns. I’ll leave it at that. There’s plenty to unpack in that one sentence!
Thank you for joining us Suzanne. Bonus question: In what fictional place would you most like to spend a day exploring?
I would like to spend the day in Neverland and fly!
About Brunch and Other Obligations:
The only thing reclusive bookworm Nora, high-powered attorney Christina, and supermom-in-training Leanne ever had in common was their best friend, Molly. When Molly dies, she leaves mysterious gifts and cryptic notes for each of her grieving best friends, along with one final request: that these three mismatched frenemies have brunch together every month for a year.