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Susan Branch Interview (Page 5)

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…write a book by hand like that. And I think even writing a book that quickly is near impossible. So the second one was hard because they set the deadline so tightly, and I let them set the deadline because I didn’t know any better yet. But it was much too soon. I had signed the agreement and I am very responsible about keeping my agreements. So it didn’t even occur to me to say, “Oh, give me more time.” And I had just met Joe [her current husband], so it was a lot.

Sarah: Where do you get your inspiration now? I know your fan letters help, when people tell you what they want…

Susan: Yes, that’s a huge help. We all take our own talents for granted so I’m still learning what it is that I do that people like. Most of the time I honestly don’t know. I’m just doing what I like. A lot of the time I’m thinking, “Are they going to like this?”

And when I’m writing a book, I keep a little card in front of me with only words of inspiration on it.  And those words are what I want to give people through what I do. The card usually has words like “inspiration” and just words that remind me of what I want to give. And I’m always thinking, “Oh, this is what they’re going to like.” “They’ll really like this.” I try to think of my fans as the “girlfriends,” not as the fans.

So what inspires me?  Well, I am and have been, a sponge.  So anything I see or think of I’m realizing I’m not the only person on the planet who’s had that thought. So I just want to relate with other people who’ve thought the same thing. The things that I love are what I’m putting in the book, and I’m just hoping that other people love it too.

But honestly, every day I think, “Does anyone even care about this?” And I have no idea, but I love it, so I hope they love it too. But I do think that if anyone of us does what we love, people are going to respond. You’re never alone in what you’re doing. Other people are going through the same thing, we’re all much more alike than not.

Sarah: How important is your husband’s support through all of this?  I know that you started the books a little bit before you met him, but what role does he play for you now?

Susan: He loves what I do. He’s hugely supportive. Joe is a chef. He ran The Black Dog on the island for years, and I wrote the cookbook, so together we have a lot in common. When we had dinner parties we would always cook together and we really had that in common.  We would even go to restaurants and we’d tear apart what we ate to figure out what was in it, and then go home and make it ourselves.  So we’ve always had this food thing, which is a common denominator, which has really helped.

Every morning I go in and read to him the things that I’ve written earlier that morning [Susan likes to get up at 4:30am to start her writing] and get him to tell me how to change it, how to make it better, what am I missing, so he’s kind of my editor too. He’s a great support.

Sarah: Susan, did you start an LLC?

Susan: Yes, anything that requires licensing, that’s part of a corporation. When I license art for calendars, that’s through the corporation. But when I write that’s just me as an author.

Sarah: Is there any advice you would give to women who want to start a business?

Susan: You know women are very entrepreneurial. I don’t know what percentage of small businesses are owned by women, but it makes up a big piece I’m sure. I had a store for three years, and it was so much fun. Probably a third of it was antiques that I had collected. I put the pictures up on my website and people came from all over to come and see it. It was really really fun to have, but it was a  lot of work, but what a work of joy.

If I didn’t have all the other stuff I have to do, I would love to just concentrate on just having a store. I was cutting flowers out of my garden every day to bring in, you get to put your own mark on it. I can’t say enough good about people who have stores. And I would be very encouraging to anyone who has an urge, a real urge, to open a store. I say go for it. It’s another world that people don’t think they can go into. It doesn’t cost as much money as people think. Get yourself a place, and find out how to do it, and it’s a very easy thing to do. It’s a wonderful thing and you can support your family on it.

Sarah: Susan this has been so much fun! Thank you so much.

Susan: I’ve had fun too! Thank you!

Susan's Baby Love Fabric

Susan has written 13 books, 6 big books and 7 small books. She has stayed with Little Brown and Company the entire time, and says they have a great partnership. I would like to thank the gentleman who first suggested her books to the publishing company, because her books have given me hours of joy.

To the left, you can see Susan’s Baby Love fabric, adorable for a new baby! Click here to see all of her fabrics.

To sign up for Susan’s newsletter – Willard (take the time to read the story behind Willard! It’s very funny!) – click here.

In addition, she has just started her fan page on Facebook, click here to follow Susan on Facebook.

Interview by Sarah

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