Susan Gloss is the author of the debut novel VINTAGE (William Morrow/HarperCollins), a charming story about friendship set in a vintage clothes store. Every merchandise of clothing has a story behind it and so do the women who find themselves drawn collectively in this emotionally complicated and lovely novel. Gloss let us into the world she created for VINTAGE and all the “what ifs” she discovered alongside the best way.
Tell us the story behind the story. How did VINTAGE come to be?
The thought for the novel grew from many hours spent in thrift shops, antique outlets, and flea markets. At first, I was buying a whole lot of items from those locations, just because they fascinated me — a field of baby clothes from the 1950s, a pair of Ferragamo shoes in a dimension I could never wear. At some point, my storage space and my money circulate couldn’t take this “fascination” anymore. So as a substitute of compiling objects, I started compiling the stories I imagined they contained. My husband and i joke that, if I hadn’t written VINTAGE, I might have ended up on the Television present Hoarders.
What was probably the most difficult facet of writing VINTAGE?
Writing from multiple points of view. Each shift in viewpoint can also be a shift in generation and background. There’s Violet, a divorced store proprietor in her late thirties, April, a pregnant teenager, and Amithi, an Indian-American woman going through an empty nest. Getting each of those characters’ voices proper, with out letting one story drown out the others, was a balancing act.
What’s the message you want readers to remove out of your guide?
At its heart, Vintage is a narrative about second possibilities. In our shopper culture, there’s an emphasis on no matter is new and flashy and unblemished. We use issues up and throw them away. The identical “use and toss” attitude finally ends up getting applied to people, too. With this novel, I needed to explore the concept that a person’s history and imperfections make her lovely, just like with a vintage gown.
Describe your writing schedule. Do you define? Any habits?
My only true writing behavior is espresso, and many it. I write each time I can, wherever I can — early mornings, late nights and weekends. I’ve a toddler at house, so I often must get out of the house to make any actual progress on a manuscript. I spend quite a lot of time at coffee shops and know what time all those in my neighborhood shut.
What books are in your nightstand? What are you at the moment reading?
Proper now I’m reading Bread & Butter by Michelle Wildgen, a novel about three brothers, two restaurants, and all the again of the house drama that unfolds when customers are out of earshot. I have to ensure I don’t decide it up on an empty stomach, though. The food descriptions are incredibly vivid.
Subsequent up is Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck, a historical novel about the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. I’m a sucker for tales in regards to the lives of writers.
Which authors inspire you?
Emma Donoghue for her incomparable means to keep readers turning the pages, Jhumpa Lahiri for her heartbreakingly lovely prose, Isabel Allende for the magical worlds she creates, and Helen Fielding for snicker-out-loud humor.
What have you discovered from this expertise?
Writing a novel is a solitary expertise, however the process of launching it out into the world should not be. I have been lucky to be part of a group weblog for first-time authors called The Debutante Ball. The weblog is in its seventh 12 months, and past members embrace bestselling authors Sarah Jio, Eleanor Brown, and Sarah Pekkanen. Each September the torch gets handed to a new batch of 5 debut authors. The group has been a lifeline for me while riding the ups and downs of publishing a first guide. Every of the five “debs” posts once a week on the blog, however the true worth takes place behind the scenes, the place we now have day by day sanity checks through e mail.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
My advice for writers comes from a Wallace Stevens quote I have framed subsequent to my desk: “After the final no there comes a yes/And on that sure the future world relies upon.”
What’s the best piece of recommendation you’ve gotten ever been given?
My grandfather informed me that the most important talent is studying find out how to pay attention. He was proper. And I am still learning.
What are you working on now?
I’m engaged on a second novel, a standalone title set within the wine country of Spain. It is slated to come out in summer time of 2015.
Joan Didion famously explained that she writes “solely to find out what I am thinking, what I am looking at, what I see and what it means. What I would like and what I worry.” Why do you write?
I write because I’ve a very busy mind. I am constantly asking “what if?” On the page, I can explore the “what ifs” in a productive approach, quite than merely letting them spin round, gerbil-wheel type, in my head.
Susan may be found at her online vintage shop Cleverly Curated, or on her private weblog, GlossingOverIt. She also blogs each Wednesday at the Debutante Ball for debut authors.