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Member Spotlight: Susan Wands

author Susan Wands and an image of her book Magician and Fool

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing is the key to understanding. When I read a subject I’m ignorant of, I become curious and can gain some understanding of things outside my experience. The lost history of women that is being restored through current writing especially interests me. There are so many stories that until now have languished in silence. I have learned so much reading historical fiction especially, as the passion that drives the authors to write these books usually involves one person’s story that has not been told. That drives me to research who that person was, what that family did, or what was the political upheaval then. Inspiring curiosity is one of the greatest rewards of writing.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Viewing art usually restores my ability to get back into writing mode. Some examples are: viewing photographs of the era I’m writing in, seeing paintings of the people who might feature in my stories, or researching illustrations from periodicals. These all restore my ability to get back into the mindset to write.

What is your favorite time to write? After coffee and emails are seen to, and all household distractions are kept to a dull roar, then I can concentrate on writing. In a perfect world, I start after breakfast and end before supper. This is in an ideal world. There are times when I am writing until 2 am with a cat tapping my leg telling me it is way past bedtime.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? “You’re not done.” Rewriting and editing are the hardest parts of writing for me. I can get bogged down in precious historical backstories and not want to give them up. So, for me, fresh eyes and perspectives are necessary to help streamline the story and get the right flow of the arc, especially when writing a series of books.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? I am thrilled that people are getting to know Pamela Colman Smith, the real-life protagonist of my series. Pamela created the iconic tarot deck, the Smith Waite deck, and was a virtuoso artist. I love that people are contacting me and telling me that they are now discovering not only her and her artwork, but also discovering Henry Irving, William Terriss, and Ellen Terry, all stars in their day. I hope that this leads to a Heritage Plaque being awarded to Pamela’s birthplace in London. There has been an application submitted and I hope to hear by the end of the year that one has been chosen for her.

Susan Wands’s Magician and Fool is out now with SparkPress.