June 5, 2015

Interview around the Globe with Susan Pashman

Interviews Around the Globe with Susan Pashman at Nighttime Reading Center
Today we have a new Author. Susan Pashman is an author that is working though a book Tour that I have now been a tour host for. Let welcome this new author to Interviews around the Globe.

I would love if you all took a look at our author Bio.. We have some good questions and answer for her to answer. I also had the opportunity to read her latest book called "Upper West Side Story". I have a review on it here at NRC and I also got a giveaway as for all of you as well. Upper West Side Story by Susan Pashman & Giveaway, Here is the author bio for before we enter the interview. We welcome Teresa to our community. #Interviews, #Interviewsaroundtheglobe, #NRC, #Giveaways, #Racial, #Issues, #RacialIssues, #Black, #White, #Multicultural, #BookTour, #bookreview, @SusanPashman, @iReadBookTours, +Laura Fabiani

Susan Pashman book tour photo at Nighttime Reading Center
Susan Pashman is a philosophy professor and former attorney. While in law school, she served a year in the New York City Council President’s office; some of what she learned there has found its way into this story. But most of this book derives from her experience of raising two boys on her own in Brooklyn. Many of her sons’ childhood exploits, and the hopes and fears she had for them, became the heart of this novel.
She now resides in Sag Harbor, New York, with her husband, Jack Weinstein.

Connect with Susan: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

Describe your book in 20 words or less.

Both a tender family tale and a story of what happens when racial resentments and distrust threaten innocent lives.

Where or how did you come up with the idea for your story?

The idea started when someone at a Thanksgiving dinner said how pleased he was that a handful of black children were being placed in his son's all-white class in an all-white neighborhood. He thought it would be a "great experience" for his son. I could only think about how those kids were being used as teaching devices and I started wondering about all the things that could go wrong and burst this Thanksgiving guest's liberal bubble.

How important are names to you in your book(s)? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you use any resources in assisting you to choose the names?

I love this question because names do so much to portray a character, the sounds of the names most especially. I based the two kids in my books central family on two kids I knew. It broke my heart when I had to change their names after the book was finished, to protect the privacy of the children I'd used as my models.

Which of your characters (in this book) is your favorite and w​hy?

My favorite is Zach. He is based on a friend's young child but many of his characteristics are based on my own older son and his adventures are based on things that happened to my younger son. What he incorporates of my two sons is the source of my love for him.

Was there a certain scene in this book that was harder for you to write than others?

As always, it's the sex scene. In this book, there is an almost-sex scene that was difficult because it was hard to know just how far to let the people go. It had to be infuriating and also embarrassingly comical.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Kate Winslett would probably play the mother and Viola Davis should definitely play her best friend.

I'm not sure about the kids--two who are white, one who is black, and many other less significant roles for children--because I really don't know child actors. I haven't tried to picture the father but Russell Crowe or another middle-aged actor who can play a shrewd but highly intelligent guy would be right.

What was your favorite part to write and why? (Alternate Q: What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?)

My favorite part to write was the series of dialogs between the white liberal mother and the black mothers who each give her a piece of their minds and lead her to see that things aren't as simple as she believed and that the special enrichment program she has set up for bright children in her son's school is not necessarily the welcome gift she thought it was. I had a great time letting those black mothers rip, pouring out their resentments and anger. The scene pretty much wrote itself.

Just as your book(s) inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write? (Alternate Q: If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?

James Salter inspired me to write my first book because I felt challenged to write as beautifully as he. I love his metaphors, so surprising and yet so right on. I love the poetry--the sound and rhythms --of his sentences.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Be prepared to re-write almost endlessly and understand that writing is the fun part. Marketing is the killer, the price you pay for having had all that fun writing.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I've probably been very lucky with reviews. Reviewers say very nice things about my writing. But literary agents and small press editors say terrible things and when they are really bad, I just realize that they are crazy, or angry or have had a bad hair day.

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I am a philosopher by training and calling and my next book is a philosophical meditation on Sabbath-keeping. I show how the major philosophers through the ages have each got something to contribute to an understanding of Sabbath-keeping that makes it a meaningful practice in today's world.

Bonus Question: Characters often find themselves in situations they aren't sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

The worst situation I ever got into was of my own making. i was divorced as I wanted to be and had two very small sons and a large Labrador retriever. Everyone had to be fed and tended and loved and I had to make a good living to keep them as I wanted to. At times I thought I would break i half or shatter. I got through it by putting one foot in front of the other until the days and months and years passed. And then I missed them all terribly.

Thank you for stopping by Susan Pashman. I have enjoyed your book. I learn a lot about our issues in our culture. I happy for you have stop by Nighttime Reading Center. I hope you come back.

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