Friday, October 25, 2013

#1 NYT & USA TODAY author interview Susan Wiggs- Review of Candlelight Christmas

I'm so happy to bring you not only the multiple award winning, bestselling author but one of my all time favorite storytellers who is releasing a Christmas Lakeshore Chronicles novel-Candlelight Christmas. For those who are rabid fans like me this is the story of Logan O'Donnell, Charlie's dad and Daisy Bellamy's ex.
Here's what she says about her latest novel––"It’s a book I couldn’t wait to write–my modern, take on the “Pride and Prejudice.” It’s everything I love about the holidays–snow, romance, kids, dogs, food...and did I mention romance? It’s definitely one of my most romantic stories ever."
Enjoy the rest of our chat below

A single father who yearns to be a family man, Logan O'Donnell is determined to create the perfect Christmas for his son, Charlie. The entire O'Donnell clan arrives to spend the holidays in Avalon, a postcard-pretty town on the shores of Willow Lake, a place for the family to reconnect and rediscover the special gifts of the season.

Reviews of Susan’s novels:
"Wiggs tells a layered, powerful story of love, loss, hope and redemption." -Kirkus, Starred Review on The Apple Orchard
"This brilliant and epic family drama...fills the senses...courtesy of Wiggs' amazing narrative and supreme skill as a writer." -RT Book Reviews, Top Pick! On The Apple Orchard
Wiggs hits all the right notes in this delightful, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant Christmas treat, which will please Lakeshore Chronicles fans as well as garner new ones."
-Library Journal, starred review on Lakeshore Christmas
"Wiggs, a consummate storyteller, has few equals when it comes to evoking deep emotion in readers. Richly detailed and textured, the characters are superb. But it's her observations about our modern lives and times that really stand out."-RT Book Reviews on Lakeside Cottage
"With the ease of a master, Wiggs introduces complicated, flesh-and-blood characters into her idyllic but identifiable small-town setting."-Publishers Weekly, starred review on The Winter Lodge
"Rich with life lessons, nod-along moments and characters with whom readers can easily relate. Delightful and wise, Wiggs's latest shines."-Publishers Weekly on Dockside


Please welcome #1 NYT and USA Today bestselling author and one of my all time personal 
favorites Susan Wiggs to The Reading Frenzy.

Susan I’m so excited to have you here!
SW: Love your site. I get lost exploring it every time I visit. So thanks for having me.

Tell us about your latest Lakeshore Chronicle novel Candlelight Christmas.
SW: It’s a book I couldn’t wait to write–my modern, take on the “Pride and Prejudice.” It’s everything I love about the holidays–snow, romance, kids, dogs, food...and did I mention romance? It’s definitely one of my most romantic stories ever.  

You mentioned in an earlier interview that there is not a set number for Lakeshore Chronicles.
What keeps the series interesting to you?
SW: My readers. They keep me so invested in bringing the town and these characters to life. In the mind of a reader, a character takes on a life of her own, and suddenly we have this living, breathing thing. It’s hard to stop thinking about them. It’s a very organic process, like a real community that grows and changes.

Susan, according to your bio on your website you wrote your first novel when you were 8.
When you think back are you amazed at what you’ve accomplished in your career? 
SW: I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve been able to make writing my career. I owe it all to my publishing team and to readers. I’m always amazed that it’s all unfolded in such a rewarding way.

What was your reaction to your first #1 bestseller?
SW: February 2009. It was a cold, rainy day and I had to go out on the pool diving board to get a cell phone signal. When my agent gave me the news, I went bananas, and as soon as I hung up, I jumped into the ice cold pool. Big mistake–I was wearing a heavy sweater, jeans and wool socks, and I sank like a stone. But I survived and had that unforgettable moment!

Tell us how different these release days are from the first few?
SW: It’s always exciting. Nowadays, more people are paying attention–my publisher and agent, readers and colleagues. It’s nerve-wracking and a bit surreal when the sales reports start rolling in.

I have read most of what you’ve written and reviewed you both as a reader and for 
LibraryJournal and RT magazine. The AppleOrchard RT review is mine.
Do you read your reviews?
SW: Yes. If a reviewer is willing to read and comment on my work, I am interested in what they have to say. I have a lot of respect for reviewers. A good one is an expert at pointing readers to books they’re likely to enjoy.

Which type of review is more important to you?
SW: The raves, of course! Seriously, the ones that mean a lot to me are the ones that give their honest thoughts about a story, and give enough detail to tell readers something about the book. 

I love all your novels. You have such a unique voice and way of storytelling that just makes 
me feel warm and fuzzy. But like most people, I have a favorite, one that speaks especially to 
my heart and as I mentioned in our previous interview that would be Just Breathe. Not only 
did I read it in one sitting but I re-read it at least once a year.
SW: Oh my gosh, thank you. Just Breathe was republished in August in a special book group edition. 

Do you have a favorite?
SW: The NEXT book, the one I haven’t spoiled for myself by writing it. But I do love JUST BREATHE because Sarah, the main character, has such a cool job (comic strip artist) and the setting–Point Reyes, CA–is such a magical place.

Susan, one of the other things I love about your novels is that even in stand alones I may see 
a friend or two. Like in Just Breathe we actually met your protagonist and her husband in one of your Lakeshore novels.
SW: That’s very cool that you noticed. I like to imagine characters as having a life outside the book. I think about where they are and what they’re doing when they’re not “on the page.”

At what point did you realize that her story wasn’t finished?
SW: Sarah seemed out of sync with her husband. I always knew there was something more to her.

Susan, what part of being an author do you find the most frustrating?
SW: The juggling act of trying to promote a new book when you’re also trying to write the next one. I love getting out and getting online to visit with readers, but at the same time, I have to hole up and write. I need more hours in the day!

Susan, what is your opinion of social media as a whole and how should authors utilize it?
SW: I love that I can connect with readers instantly and hear what’s on their minds. I think it’s great to be able to alert people to upcoming books and events.

Thank you so much for answering my questions. Good luck with the newest release!
SW: Thank you. I hope you like CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS. You’re so terrific to take time to review them.

Will there be any Susan sightings or fan meets?
SW: Yes! Check my web site: and join my Facebook page at for up-to-the-minute info, and to connect with me and other readers. We do lots of flash giveaways on the page, so join in!

Connect with Susan Website- Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads

My Review of Candlelight Christmas
Courtesy RT Reviews

RT Rating
Wiggs’ latest romance is a heartwarming tale, showcasing her iconic Avalon, N.Y., all decked out for Christmas. Her narrative demonstrates her unique, piquant humor and innate ability to connect relationship dots. Her couple is perfect, the little boy precociously charming and her co-stars rock! This one can be read as a stand-alone.
Logan O’Donnell loves being a dad — it’s the being a single dad part he hates, along with the fact that his son Charlie lives so far away. Divorce hasn’t made him bitter, only more determined than ever to find his own happy ending. And a friend of his sister’s might fit the bill. Darcy Fitzgerald’s dreams of family were shattered with her husband’s betrayal and his children’s defection. She’s happy being single and doesn’t need the complications of a relationship — even if her BFF’s brother is yummy. But Christmas is for miracles, maybe even the forever kind. (MIRA, Nov., 336 pp.,$16.95)
Reviewed By: Debbie Haupt


  1. I love holiday themed books, in fact I am kind of a junkie, and Wiggs always delights, Wonderful interview and this sounds delightful!

    1. Kim, thanks for the comment. Susan is a favorite of mine too.

  2. LOL that is quite the memory from your first #1 seller!! I'm getting ready to start my first book from Susan and am so excited about it :) I just love these christmas books!