Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Interview - Susan Breen, author of The Fiction Class

Today's 5 Q&A is with Susan Breen, author of The Fiction Class

1.) Who are you?
I teach creative writing for Gotham Writers' Workshop in Manhattan. THE FICTION CLASS is my first published novel (but there are two other ones under my bed). I started off as a short story writer and a number of my stories have been published by literary magazines, among them and The Chattahoochee Review. My husband and I have been married twenty-five years and we live with our children in Irvington, which is a suburb of Manhattan.

2.) What is your all time favorite story about one of your students?
My favorite students are those who commit one hundred per cent. (If you want to get me crazy, tell me you're writing as a hobby.) So my favorite student story involves a young man who took his first class with me six years ago. He was working sixteen hours as a manager of a store and he did not have much money or formal education, though he was always reading. I used to cringe whenever his work would come up for critique, because the reviews would be so harsh. But he didn't give up, and now, his stories are very well-received and I think he will be published very soon. Best of all, he has a unique voice and a great story to tell.

3.) What is your writing space like (office, kitchen table, nook) ?
I have a small office with a computer and a desk that I assembled myself one insane day along time ago. I've stacked my favorite books on top of the desk and I've papered the walls with every encouraging note I've ever received from anyone.

4.) What is your favorite book?
This changes from day to day, but at the moment it's The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens. I feel like that book has everything in it--tragedy, joy, laughter, tears.

5.) What's next?
I just gave my agent a synopsis for my new novel. It is tentatively titled The Dickens Affair and it is the story of a woman and her teenaged son and a traveling troupe of actors.

Thank you, Susan!

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