A Day in the Life of Susan Sloate -- Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors are giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and their Virtual Book Tour (check back Monday to read a guest blog by the authors). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on today's Book Blast.

A Day in the Life of an Author
By Susan Sloate

As everyone knows, a writer’s life is only marginally less glamorous than, say, the life of your average Hollywood star. Tons of excitement, too many great choices (Brad Pitt? George Clooney? Nah, Hugh Jackman), dozens of people dying to do your bidding all the time, thousands (okay, millions) more dying to buy your books and/or hear you speak as an oracle on the glory of writing while at the same time begging you to individually sign the stack of 100 new copies (hardback) that they just bought for their family and friends.

If you believe ANY of the above, I urge you to seek the help of a good therapist without delay. That’s not what a writer’s life is like—well, not what MY life is like. (Maybe J.K. Rowling has a different experience; would love to meet her so we can compare notes.)

Consider a recent day in my working life. I had recently finished the final production work on my novel, STEALING FIRE, which was published in July. I was now hard at work on the final edits for FORWARD TO CAMELOT: 50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION (co-authored by Kevin Finn), which was going in production immediately. Because it’s a novel about the JFK assassination, and because it’s a revised version of a novel we published in 2003, we were sure it would be a snap to get ready for our new publisher, Drake Valley Press. Here’s what that Thursday looked like:

7:30 am – Persuade my teenage son to get ready for school. Once he hits the bathroom, I hit the computer, wake it up from hyper-sleep and promise to be gentle today. By the time he leaves at 7:50, I’m already hammering the keys, remembering exactly how I planned to cut down that ten-page scene Kevin promised he’d let me keep, if I brought it down to three.

9 am – I look up from the computer after more than an hour of alternately cutting sentences and paragraphs and taking short breaks for online banking (account is low), looking at the Amazon page for STEALING FIRE (still in the Amazon top 100 but no new customer reviews) and checking Facebook in case the world has ended and nobody told me. (If so, I’m stopping the editing, pronto.) I realize I should really brush my teeth and exercise. It’s a beautiful day and I live right near a great track; a nice walk/run would help. Oh, wait, I know how to fix that last sentence now.

10:30 – Look up again. Teeth still unbrushed. Exercise not done. But I’ve done ten pages of edits! And Kevin will be so happy I got that scene down to 3 pages without sacrificing anything important.

11:00 am – Okay, I’m stopping here, brushing teeth and exercising. It’s good to get away from my desk; I need the break. But by now it’s a little warm; should have gone out sooner. Blast it.

12 noon – My publisher checks in by email, wants to know if I have a testimonial for the CAMELOT back cover. I think about my older son’s comment when he read the original: “Gee, Mom, it doesn’t suck.” Don’t think that would look great on the back cover. Tell her sweetly that I’ll get back to her.

1 pm – Lunch break. No lunch meeting out today; it’s just me and my Boar’s Head cheese. That’s okay; I can go over email while I eat, and also revise my website; need to add an excerpt on the STEALING FIRE page. Also look over the latest emails from Kevin about the book cover, which he’s in charge of.

2:30 – Kevin phones, with an idea for the ending. Let’s cut the Hoover scene! Too long and really unnecessary. My heart sinks; I love that scene. I tell him I’ll think about it.

4 pm – My son is home, and I leave the computer to spend time with him. Talk about school, talk about sports. Dinner out; I hate cooking but tell my son I’m too busy to cook. He pretends to believe it.

9 – 12:00 pm – Back to work. When I check at the end, realize I’ve revised and copy-edited more than 50 pages; a great day’s work, and the book is so much better. Hate every one of Kevin’s suggestions, and they’ve all turned out to be right. Make a note to thank him someday. No need to turn his head now.

Last thought before sleep: check into prostitution or other dignified ways to make a living. Then realize I can’t; writing these books keeps me alive.

About the Authors:
SUSAN SLOATE is the author of 20 previous books, including the recent bestseller Stealing Fire and Realizing You (with Ron Doades), for which she invented a new genre: the self-help novel. The original 2003 edition of Forward to Camelot became a #6 Amazon bestseller, took honors in three literary competitions and was optioned by a Hollywood company for film production.

Susan has also written young-adult fiction and non-fiction, including the children’s biography Ray Charles: Find Another Way!, which won the silver medal in the 2007 Children’s Moonbeam Awards. Mysteries Unwrapped: The Secrets of Alcatraz led to her 2009 appearance on the TV series MysteryQuest on The History Channel. Amelia Earhart: Challenging the Skies is a perennial young-adult Amazon bestseller. She has also been a sportswriter and a screenwriter, managed two recent political campaigns and founded an author’s festival in her hometown outside Charleston, SC.

After beginning his career as a television news and sports writer-producer, KEVIN FINN moved on to screenwriting and has authored more than a dozen screenplays. He is a freelance script analyst and has worked for the prestigious American Film Institute Writer’s Workshop Program. He now produces promotional trailers, independent film projects including the 2012 documentary SETTING THE STAGE: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, and local content for Princeton Community Television.

His next novel, Banners Over Brooklyn, will be released in 2014.

For updates and more information about Forward to Camelot: 50th Anniversary Edition, please visit http://susansloate.com/CAMELOT.html.


On the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination comes a new edition of the extraordinary time-travel thriller first published in 2003 with a new Afterword from the authors.

On November 22, 1963, just hours after President Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President aboard Air Force One using JFK’s own Bible. Immediately afterward, the Bible disappeared. It has never been recovered. Today, its value would be beyond price.

In the year 2000, actress Cady Cuyler is recruited to return to 1963 for this Bible—while also discovering why her father disappeared in the same city, on the same tragic day. Finding frightening links between them will lead Cady to a far more perilous mission: to somehow prevent the President’s murder, with one unlikely ally: an ex-Marine named Lee Harvey Oswald.

Forward to Camelot: 50th Anniversary Edition brings together an unlikely trio: a gallant president, the young patriot who risks his own life to save him, and the woman who knows their future, who is desperate to save them both.

History CAN be altered …


Anonymous said…
Thanks for hosting us today, Judy - it's great to be here!
Anonymous said…
Thanks for hosting us, today, Judy - it's great to be here!
Thank you for hosting
Eva Millien said…
Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing it and the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot com
Emelle Gamble said…
Nice post.
Anonymous said…
Eva & Emelle - Glad you enjoyed the post; hope you'll try the whole book!
Natasha D said…
Sounds like a great read!!
Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com
Anonymous said…
Thank you, Natasha - hope you win!
Andra Lyn said…
oh god, teenage sons! I'm dreading the teen years already!

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com