Please welcome Suzanne Redfearn, author of No Ordinary Life, to A Literary Vacation today! Her new book sounds delicious and I am so pleased she agreed to stop by today and answer some of my questions. Please enjoy and continue after for more information about No Ordinary Life and Suzanne herself.
Thank you so much, Suzanne, for taking the time to stop by A Literary Vacation! One of my favorite aspects of interacting with authors is finding out what inspires them to write the novels that they do. Every author seems to have their own unique approach to their craft and learning that process really helps me, as a reader, get a better appreciation for the end result. So I can’t wait to learn more about your process!
Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your amazing blog.
Like a lot of people I can’t help but be drawn to the drama and scandal that seems to surround celebrities in Hollywood, even as, in many cases, I don’t particularly like what I see. In my own life I can’t stand drama, so I think I’m just fascinated by the wild ups and downs that seem to follow them wherever they go. Your novel, No Ordinary Life, centers around a mother that soon finds herself amidst this strange community when her daughter is discovered on a YouTube video and is offered a role on a television show. Where did you come up with this idea?
I completely agree. The world is fascinating and appears so full of intrigue. The idea came to me when I was in line at the grocery store. There was a tabloid with the headline, “Zac Efron Enters Rehab Again.” My daughter was a High School Musical fan when she was little, so I felt like I had watched Zac Efron grow up, and to know he was suffering and that his suffering was being made public made me feel horrible for him and his parents. The idea Child Star popped in my head. At that point I wasn’t certain what the story was going to be, but I liked the idea of exploring what goes on behind the glitz and glamour that causes so many young actors to suffer such tragic setbacks and downfalls.
When dealing with child celebrities you often find the proverbial “stage mom” not far behind, pushing their child into the spotlight. Would Faye fit into this category, or is her experience different?
She really doesn’t fit that stereotype at all. I wanted her to be sympathetic to readers, and a mother who is exploiting her children is not someone people would root for. She was inspired in part by Pattie Mallette, Justin Bieber’s mom, a young single mom who was struggling financially and whose child was discovered through YouTube. It is only after Faye and her kids are caught up in the world that Faye realizes how dangerous it is.
Being a contemporary novel, did you have to do any sort of research as part of the writing process? If so, what research did you conduct?
I always do a lot of research before I start writing, especially when I am writing about a world that is unfamiliar to me. I think I have read every autobiography ever written by former child stars. I also did a lot of research into television production, the psychological effects of celebrity, and on selective mutism.
What does a typical day in your life look like? When do you fit in time to write?
When I am working on a story, I write every day. It is as if I am worried I will lose the idea if I don't get it out. It’s a bit of a compulsion. But I am also only able to write for about two hours before my brain goes numb. So I write in spurts. I will usually wake up and write for a couple of hours, go workout or go for a hike, write in my car (strange but effective) for another couple of hours, take a lunch break, run errands, return home and input the writing I did in my car into the computer. And usually at night, I catch up on research or reading.
A lot of authors have become huge on social media, not only promoting their work but interacting with their readers and offering up giveaways, book recommendations, etc. Are you a big proponent of using social media in this way? How do you prefer to interact with your fans?
You have to be active on social media. It’s how you connect with readers. Especially as a new author, it is a way to get your name out there and for readers to discover you. My favorite part of being an author is interacting with the readers and hearing their opinions and reactions to my stories.
I’ve noticed that a lot of authors are also big readers. When you have time for leisure reading what sorts of books do you gravitate towards? Have you read anything good lately?
I am a reader, though when I’m writing, my time and brain energy is limited for recreational reading. I am currently reading Chris Bohjalian’s THE GUEST ROOM, and I am enjoying it very much. It’s the first book I’ve read of his, and it’s great to discover a new author.
Are you working on any future books at this time? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
I am writing a story that I am very excited about. It’s about two moms on the run from the police and their husbands. It’s a road trip story, which I have always wanted to write, and so far I am having a lot of fun with it.
Thank you so much, Suzanne! Your upcoming book sounds very exciting...I keep thinking of Thelma and Louise! Everyone, find out more about No Ordinary Life below.
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016
Suzanne Redfearn delivers another gripping page-turner in her latest novel, a story about a young mother's fight to protect her children from the dangerous world of Hollywood.
Faye Martin never expected her husband to abandon her and her three children . . . or that she'd have to struggle every day to make ends meet. So when her four-year-old daughter is discovered through a YouTube video and offered a starring role on a television series, it seems like her prayers have been answered. But when the reality of their new life settles in, Faye realizes that fame and fortune don't come without a price. And in a world where everyone is an actor and every move is scrutinized by millions, it's impossible to know whom to trust, and Faye finds herself utterly alone in her struggle to save her family.
Emotionally riveting and insightful, No Ordinary Life is an unforgettable novel about the preciousness of childhood and the difficult choices a mother needs to make in order to protect this fragile time in her children's lives.
Praise for No Ordinary Life
“Once again, Suzanne Redfearn delivers a fast-paced, compelling story of family, frustration, and the unexpected consequences of a mother's choice. NO ORDINARY LIFE provides a dazzling look inside the entertainment industry, illustrating both the lure and lunacy of child stardom.” Lori Nelson Spielman, #1 international bestselling author of The Life List
Buy the Book
About the Author
Suzanne Redfearn is the author of Hush Little Baby, which was chosen as a Target Recommends selection and Target’s Emerging Authors program. She graduated summa cum laude from California Polytechnic University and, prior to becoming an author, was an architect. She is an avid surfer, golfer, skier, and Angels fan. She lives with her husband and children in Southern California. No Ordinary Life is her second novel.