Tell Me Something True: A Visit With Suzanne Rindell

Update: We’re delighted to announce that the winner of this giveaway is NANCY TERRY. She has been notified via email. Thanks to all who entered and don’t forget to come back soon. We have a number of giveaways lined up for the future.  

Today’s post by debut author Suzanne Rindell  

We have a copy of Suzanne’s novel, THE OTHER TYPIST, up for grabs today. Just leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win.

Suzanne Rindell

People seem to find it interesting that I worked at a literary agency while writing my first novel.   My fellow writers in particular seem surprised.   “Didn’t you have to read some pretty bad stuff sometimes? ” they ask.   Or, an alternative version of the same thing: “Didn’t that interfere with your own creative process? ”   And then, there is the question that actually weighed most heavily on my heart: “Do you find your passion was divided between your writing and other people’s projects? ”

I thought about that last question a lot, and not just in retrospect, but also during the time I worked there.   Working in publishing is more or less a round-the-clock endeavor.   You need to be kind of obsessive in a way, because your job is to constantly think about what makes a good manuscript good, and what makes a book work — and by “work, ” I mean appeal to a lot of readers.   These are necessary questions for an editor or an agent to constantly ask, and they are certainly not bad questions for a writer to ask herself, as they are questions concerned with connecting to one’s audience.

I was lucky; I worked at a well-reputed agency.   Our “slush pile ” (i.e. unsolicited submissions) was of a higher caliber, and while working there I encountered a number of great manuscripts that way.   But one month, we had a particularly dry spell.   I came home from the agency one day, frustrated that I wasn’t finding my “dream manuscript ” in the slush, and decided: I’ll write the manuscript I want to find myself!  That day, I decided to run with it and started the first chapter of my novel.

After that, I spent little tiny periods of time — usually very late at night or very early in the morning — adding a little more to my novel.   I found this daily act didn’t take away my passion for agency work — instead, it enhanced it!   I still wanted to find great manuscripts, and I felt the act of writing everyday helped hone my instinct for giving sharper editorial advice and spotting talent in others.   I was as obsessed with their projects as I was with my own.   The experience wasn’t competitive, either.   Instead, I felt a larger sense of community. I wanted (and still want) my fellow writers to succeed, and raise the bar for other writers.   In my opinion, writing is like real estate: you don’t want to be the nicest house on a crummy block.   You want to live in a dazzling neighborhood that inspires you to make bold renovations.

Realistically, I am forced to admit I don’t have the time to work full-time at an agency anymore.   Book tours and related obligations have shown me there are sometimes spells where I simply don’t have the hours to work for other writers as their primary agent in the manner they deserve.   Nonetheless, I still hope to find some sort of middle ground; some way to continue discovering, helping, and supporting my fellow authors within the publishing community.   Because if you ask me, writing while cheering on and mentoring other writers is truly a win-win situation.

For fans of  The Talented Mr. Ripley  and  The Great Gatsby  comes one of the most memorable unreliable narrators in years.
 
Rose Baker seals men’s fates. With a few strokes of the keys that sit before her, she can send a person away for life in prison. A typist in a New York City Police Department precinct, Rose is like a high priestess. Confessions are her job. It is 1923, and while she may hear every detail about shootings, knifings, and murders, as soon as she leaves the interrogation room she is once again the weaker sex, best suited for filing and making coffee.

This is a new era for women, and New York is a confusing place for Rose. Gone are the Victorian standards of what is acceptable. All around her women bob their hair, they smoke, they go to speakeasies. Yet prudish Rose is stuck in the fading light of yesteryear, searching for the nurturing companionship that eluded her childhood. When glamorous Odalie, a new girl, joins the typing pool, despite her best intentions Rose falls under Odalie’s spell. As the two women navigate between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night and their work at the station by day, Rose is drawn fully into Odalie’s high-stakes world. And soon her fascination with Odalie turns into an obsession from which she may never recover.

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is the author of THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS (2014), FLIGHT OF DREAMS (2016), and I WAS ANASTASIA (2018). Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, and Book of the Month Club selections. She is the co-founder of SheReads.org and lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.

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36 Responses to Tell Me Something True: A Visit With Suzanne Rindell

  1. Michael May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Been sneaking a few looks at the book at the bookstore…

  2. Becky Doughty May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    This book sounds fantastic! And Suzanne, I’ve always thought if I couldn’t write, I’d be an awesome agent, because I KNOW what I love to read! So it makes PERFECT sense to me to be writing while you’re agenting! Great post – thanks for sharing.

  3. Danielle Barba May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I think that Ms. Rindell knows better than most writers, what works and what doesn’t, because of her job. I would love to read “The Other Typist.” It looks like a great read!

  4. Laura Kay May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I really enjoyed reading this post! I struggle with writing my own novel, but I’m so busy reviewing other books. As I’m reading I’m thinking I like how this author does this or I would have done that. I need to make some changes to my day and give my story a chance to breathe, too. Great post!!

  5. Kerri May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    The book sounds wonderful-would love to read it!

  6. Elisabeth May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Amy Einhorn always picks winners, so I know this is going to be a great read!

  7. Rosie Amber May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    An intriguing sounding story line, I’ll keep an eye out for this book.

  8. Rachel May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    This sounds super interesting!

  9. josey bozzo May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Looking forward to reading this. Any fiction with a historical aspect to it, is my favorite. I read Gatsby again, because of the movie. It was definitely an interesting time in history.

  10. Myra May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    It sounds great! Would love a chance to read it…

  11. Brooke Hughes May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I like reading about the authors…will add this to my reading list! Thank you!

  12. Heather May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I’ve heard such great things about this novel already, and I agree that Amy Einhorn is an excellent imprint. So excited for this one!

  13. Rhonda May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Been reading raves about this book.

  14. Janet Kemper May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    This book looks great!

  15. Mary Lou May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    This book sounds more than great. Sounds …love historical fiction. Thanks for sharing. email dlowran1(at)comcast(dot)net

  16. Sarah May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Sound great! The 20s are quickly becoming my favorite era!

  17. Nancy Pate May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I just started a digital galley of this. Fascinating!
    Also, back when I was working for a print daily, I used to write fiction early in the morning before work. It was a great stress buster!

  18. Heather May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    This sounds like a fascinating story!

  19. Gwyn May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Another great book to add to my summer list!!!

  20. Katherine Jones May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Oh, this sounds so good, and I really appreciate Rindell’s perspective: “I wanted (and still want) my fellow writers to succeed, and raise the bar for other writers. In my opinion, writing is like real estate: you don’t want to be the nicest house on a crummy block. You want to live in a dazzling neighborhood that inspires you to make bold renovations.”

  21. Tamara May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Seeing too many good comments from people about this to NOT add to my TBR pile.

    Great post!

  22. Marie May 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I’m looking forward to this one! I must say, I love the cover design.

  23. Gabrielle Carolina May 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    Was excited for this one before this post, but now I’m just desperate to read The Other Typist! : )

  24. shannon brown May 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    OOOOOO!!! Sounds so good!!!

  25. Anita May 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I’ve just started reading this book today, and I’m totally hooked!!

  26. Jennifer S. May 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I’ve added this to my TBR pile!

  27. Melissa Crytzer Fry May 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I was fascinated by this book when I saw it on Goodreads, but then especially so when Suzanne’s editor sung its praises for her use of an unreliable narrator.

    You guys are doing just TOO GOOD of a job introducing us to new books and authors. Thank you!

  28. karenk May 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    thanks for the chance to read this novel 🙂

  29. Susan G. May 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I didn’t get enough with this little ‘teaser’…quite the mysterious book I’m thinking…
    Thanks for the opportunity to win it!
    Thank you for She Reads!

  30. Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories May 8, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Glad to have found SheReads and thanks for the chance to win a great book. I look forward to reading your bloggers’ recommendations!

  31. Judie McDonald May 8, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    An interesting article, and an intreging book.

  32. sharongracepjs May 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    Love Gatsby so I’m sure this book is perfect for my summer reading.

  33. Ariel May 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I really want to read this.

  34. Elizabeth Bevins May 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I am so intrigued by this story! I can’t wait to read it. Please enter my name for a chance to win.

    Thanks!

  35. Nancy Terry May 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    How wonderful that you not only have one job to love, but Two! You are doing what you love…a luxury?
    Your book sounds very interesting! I love the Roaring Twenties, Gatsby, the styles, the Charleston,…
    I hope to read your book and find more to love about that era!

  36. Becky emhoff May 13, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I love the way she writes! Can’t wait to read this…we were in High School English classes together!

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