Friday, April 28, 2017

Suzanne Nelson

Suzanne Nelson has written several children's books, including Cake Pop Crush, You're Bacon Me Crazy!, Macarons at Midnight, Dead in the Water, The Sound of Munich, and Heart and Salsa.

Her new novel is Donut Go Breaking My Heart.

Recently I asked Nelson about what she was reading. Her reply:
I wish I could show you a photo of my nightstand here, because it's stacked to overflowing with dozens of books in my to-read and currently-reading piles. My reading tastes are eclectic and numerous.

I've loved reading To Capture What We Cannot Keep, by Beatrice Colin. The book's title and beautiful cover were what first drew me to it, but the historical premise and setting (late 1880s Paris, France, during the time in which the Eiffel Tower was under construction) appealed to me, too. I relish historical fiction, and this book, especially, with its glimpses into the lives of the now-famous artists, architects, and engineers of the period, was a pleasure to read. Caitriona Wallace is a strong, intelligent heroine struggling against the confines of her social position and role as a widowed woman in her thirties, and I rooted for her with every page I read. I also loved the descriptions and background the book gave into the construction of the Eiffel Tower and the people who had a hand in designing and building it.

Because I was a children's book editor for nearly a decade and now I write for children and teens, I love children's and young adult books. Much of my research for writing comes from reading; I read other authors' children's literature to gain insight into narrative voice, character development, and plotting. I just began reading Blood Rose Rebellion, by Rosalyn Eves, and am already enthralled with the story and writing. I love novels that draw on folklore and history that include a touch of magic. It's also hard for me to resist a book with a cover as lovely as this one! I can't wait to read more in this gripping novel!

For my daughter's bedtime reading right now, I'm reading aloud to her Princess Cora and the Crocodile, written by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Brian Floca. This is an utterly charming and often hilarious tale about a reluctant princess and her pet crocodile. It also offers up a subtle cautionary message about what happens when children (including princesses) are overextended and overscheduled. I'm giggling my way through this book right alongside my daughter. It's a book that begs to be read out loud, and the accompanying illustrations are as adoringly comical as the text.

I reserve audiobooks for when I take my dog on her daily three-mile walk, and a few days ago I finished listening to The Nest, by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney. I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining and insightful look at how one family's nest-egg gone wrong impacts all of the grown children who'd been relying on it. The contemporary characters are relatable and realistic, the conflicts and dialogue true-to-life. I thought the portrayals of the sibling dynamics were especially interesting.

Sometimes after writing for hours, I'm simply too tired or word-logged to read even a few pages of fiction at day's end, but I still crave a book to unwind. This is when I pick up one of the poetry books at my bedside. Right now, I'm reading The Essential Rumi, by Jalal Al-Din Rumi and Felicity, by Mary Oliver. Rumi's poetry is thought-provoking and beautiful; Oliver's is refreshing and poignant, like a walk in the woods at twilight. Reading one or two poems before I sleep is a wonderful way to end my day and prepare my mind and spirit for the next one.
Visit Suzanne Nelson's website.

The Page 69 Test: Donut Go Breaking My Heart.

--Marshal Zeringue