Author Interview Susan Furlong-Bolliger

Susan Furlong-Bolliger

Name of book: (short story) “Dead Giveaway”
Book Genre: Mystery
Date Published: May 9, 2011
Publisher: Untreed Reads

What is your day job?

I’m a mom. (Actually, that’s an all day and night job!) Plus, for many years I’ve worked part-time as an academic writer. The job allows me the flexibility of working from home and setting my own hours. About five years ago, I started writing fiction in addition to my other work.

What is your book about (in a few sentences)?

Here’s the “jacket” description:
Upon returning for her father’s funeral, Julie finds that not much has changed in her hometown-including her evil stepmother, Rose. Suspicious of the circumstances surrounding her father’s death, Julie embarks on her own investigation. She soon finds herself entangled in a mystery with a million dollars at stake and a cast of characters befitting of her hometown’s name-Lake Loon.

What motivates you to write?

Money. No wait … that can’t be right—I’m not making much. Well then, it must be the creative process. For that, I blame my mother. She wasn’t big into television, so I spent my days reading and making up my own stories. She’s a huge mystery fan and introduced me to Nancy Drew, Rex Stout … all the greats.
Most challenging part of the writing process: My biggest challenge is managing time between family and work.

Did you experience writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?

Working as an academic writer has cured my writer’s block. Most of the work I do has deadlines. Once, I signed a one-year contract that required me to research and write three hundred short bios for a middle school literary encyclopedia. I quickly learned how to stay “time on task!” Plus, with four children, I really don’t have time for writer’s block. I do, however, experience plot issues when writing fiction. When that happens, I take a step back from my story and let the characters rest for a while.

How long did it take you to write this book?

The short story that you’re featuring, “Dead Giveaway,” took a day to write and a week to edit and rewrite. I have also written two cozy novels which are on submission with publishers. The first novel took a year of writing in two hour stints during “naptimes”. The second took six months.

Why did you decide to self-publish this book?

So far, I have not ventured into self-publishing, but it seems to work great for many authors. I may consider it for future works.

What is the biggest misconception about writing a book?

That it will be published. I have a few early novels that will never make it out of the drawer.

What was your favorite aspect of the writing process for this book?

This is probably the opposite of most writers, but what I like most about any writing project is editing and rewriting. When I’m writing fiction, I feel nervous during the plotting phase—I’m never quite sure if it will really come together. However, once I have the initial rough draft down, I love to go back and rework dialog, description, character traits … that’s the fun part for me!

What tools/methods have you employed to promote your book?

I use social networks and guest blogging to promote my work. I’m working on a website.

What advice would you give to writers regarding promotion?

Geez … I’m probably not the one to ask. I feel like I’m muddling through the whole process of self-promotion. However, I do think it’s important to carve out time everyday for promotion. Work it into your routine just as you would any other aspect of writing.

I’m a writer-if I stop writing, I am nothing. (Wilbur Smith) Is this true?

Heck no! I can’t imagine not writing, but nothing? No way! I’m a wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, friend….

Inspiration is the act of drawing up a chair to the writing desk. (Anon) How do you feel about this statement?

Absolutely! If you don’t get to the desk, nothing’s going to happen. Just sit down and do it!

“Dead Giveaway” is available direct from the publisher at or on Amazon at