Author spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Susane Colasanti - author of Now and Forever

What if your boyfriend was the world’s biggest rock star?
Sterling is crazy in love with Ethan. Not only is he the sweetest boy she’s ever met, but he’s an incredibly talented guitarist, singer, and songwriter. And since forever, he’s believed he has what it takes to be a star. When Ethan becomes an overnight sensation, he’s thrown head-first into the glam world of celebrity—and so is Sterling. Before she knows it, she’s attending red-carpet premieres, getting free designer clothes, and flying around the country to attend Ethan’s monumental sold-out concerts.It’s a dream come true…but whose dream is Sterling living? And what do you do when forever comes to an end?

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Susane Colasanti is the bestselling author of When It Happens, Take Me There, Waiting for You, Something Like Fate, So Much Closer, Keep Holding On, All I Need, and Now and Forever. Susane has a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from New York University. Before becoming a full-time author in 2007, Susane was a high school science teacher for ten years. As a teenage Jersey girl, Susane felt like her true home was across the water in New York City. She lives in downtown Manhattan.

FMM: When you published your very first novel, how long did it take to edit and polish until you thought it was "publishing worthy"?
SC: Writing and revising When It Happens took a really long time! I started writing the first draft in grad school in 1996. The book was published in 2006. So it took 10 years for several revisions on my part before submitting it to publishers, plus nine revisions over three years once I had an editor. A first novel usually takes the longest to write and revise. I’ve learned so much about both the writing process and the editing process since my first book. Now my books don’t need as much time to edit and polish. They usually only require two revisions before going to copyediting.

FMM: In your writing career, who or what do you owe the most to your success?
SC: Positive energy. Receiving rejection letters on my first manuscript was a painful process. But underneath the sadness and fear, I had a Knowing that When It Happens would be published. Keeping hope alive was my life raft. Believing that my biggest dreams would come true was essential to keep going, especially on the darkest days. Being an eternal optimist gave me the strength and determination to never give up. Failure was not an option for me. I still have that same drive to succeed. Putting positive energy out into the Universe has opened doors for me in amazing ways. This phenomenon in which opportunities unexpectedly present themselves holds true for everyone who radiates positive energy and takes steps every day to turn their dreams into reality.

FMM: When you write your novels, do you outline the story from beginning to end or do you create the ending as you progress into the writing process?  If you outline the plot, how often does the story turn out completely different then your plan? Or does it come out exactly the same?
SC: Each of my novels is outlined before I start writing. I actually have an extensive outlining process that takes about one month to complete. I also have notebooks corresponding to each book I’ve written with notes about the setting, timelines, and characters. Before I begin a new book, it’s very important to get to know my characters like they are my best friends. My goal is for readers to relate to my characters as much as possible. I always like to know where I’m starting, where I’m going, and at least one climactic event before I begin a first draft. SL: Knowing where I’m going allows me to develop an outline in greater detail. That said, my outlines do evolve and change as I’m writing. My outlines are never static. When I’m in the writing zone, characters sometimes take over the story. It’s almost as if they take on a life of their own. They start doing and saying things I totally didn’t intend! Those are the best writing days. Even with inevitable alternations to the outline, my stories tend to end up the way I’d originally planned.

FMM: Have you ever hated something that you wrote?
SC: I used to read my novels after they were published. I’m an organization freak and obsessive about typos. Whenever I find typos in other authors’ books, I usually email the author or publisher to let them know. So I wanted to make sure my books didn’t have typos in them. But! Reading my own books is excruciating. I find things on almost every page that I want to change. Not to the extent that I hate what I’ve written, but it’s definitely frustrating that I’m never completely satisfied with my work.

FMM: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 
SC: First drafts are the hardest step in the writing process for me. The blank page can be very intimidating. The key is to write about what makes you feel alive. When you are passionate about what you’re writing, the words will always come. Some days are better than others. On a day with good writing flow, I can write five pages in two hours. Other days it might take me six hours to write the same amount of pages. Until I have a first draft done that I can begin revising, every day is a challenge. Where will the story lead today? Where will the characters take me? Will I be able to express what I’m feeling in a way that will resonate strongly with my readers? These are the kinds of questions I face every day I’m working on a first draft. Fortunately I love my job, so the challenge of a first draft is one I look forward to!

FMM: What are you currently reading?
SC: Last night I finished This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. She’s one of my fave authors. I love her books so much! I also recently read The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson, who’s been a fave author of mine since college. I strongly recommend everything he’s written. Tonight I will be starting To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. My summer reading will continue with Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, and Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. I have been a major Jodi Picoult fan for many years and am so proud of her accomplishments!

Prizes up for grabs:

One signed copy of Now and Forever {US ONLY}

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These promotions are not sponsored by any company or or organization.
Winner(s) will be contacted shortly after the giveaway ends. The winner(s) will then have 4 days most to respond and claim their prize.
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