One of the best parts of being a bookseller is meeting authors, especially local authors. So when I heard that writer Amy Sue Nathan, a Philadelphia native living in Chicago, was moving back to the area, I was excited to meet her and introduce her to our bookstore, and to introduce our customers to her work. Amy has just had her third novel published on November 21st, and we are excited to celebrate with her at a wine & chocolate book launch party at Elkins Central on December 1st — and you’re all invited!
Here’s a Q&A I did with Amy this week that will tell you more about her, her work, and her new book.
LR: What led you to become a novelist?
ASN: Crazy as it sounds, I wanted to write a memoir, or so I thought. I quickly realized I didn’t want to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I’d never written fiction before but decide to use nuggets from real life and make up the rest.
LR: Can you describe your work, overall?
ASN: It’s been described as humorous women’s fiction that explores deeper themes. I use humor through dark times, so it only makes sense that my characters would do the same, right?
LR: Tell us about the new novel…
What inspired it?
ASN: Left to Chance was my first story that was triggered and came to me intact, complete with character names! When my lifelong best friend had a health scare and I got the call that she was fine, right there in that moment, with the phone to my ear, I knew Teddi’s story and that she was not as fortunate as me, that her best friend Celia died. The glue that holds this story together is the friendship between Teddi and Celia and what it meant to Teddi. I don’t believe I could have written a story like this without having the same best friend since I was 16.
What about the experience of writing it – how long did it take?
ASN: It takes me about a year to write a novel, but that’s before it goes to my editor where the spit-shining takes place!
Where were you living when you wrote it?
ASN: I was still living in Chicago when I wrote the novel, strangely planning my return to Philadelphia just as my main character, Teddi, was going back to her hometown.
How was the experience of writing it?
ASN: I’ve found that every novel is totally different, and this one was no exception. It’s a story with layers and a lot going on, and it all happens over the course of about one week. Making that work was probably the hardest part. The “easiest” part (though nothing is really easy) was connecting with Teddi. I felt like she was part of me, while in reality, she is less like me than any of my other main characters.
Give us a plot teaser…
Teddi and Celia have been best friends since they were two years old. When Celia dies in her thirties, Teddi bolts from the funeral and doesn’t come back to their hometown for six years, at the request of Celia’s twelve-year-old daughter, Shayna, who begs Teddi, a wedding photographer, to take the pictures at her father’s second wedding.
LR: What do you think draws readers to your work?
ASN: Readers say they want to be friends with the characters I write. I can’t think of a nicer compliment.
LR: You’re originally local to Philadelphia and recently moved back, right? How does it feel to be back?
ASN: You know what they say…there’s no place like home.
Click HERE for party info!