Susie: To begin, let me take a moment to thank you not only for the opportunity of having my very first author interview. My name is Susie Rosso Wolf and I live in Three Forks, Montana. I’m married to Kurt Wolf. We live in the country with our two yellow labs, Beany & Cecil.
DLC: It's truly my pleasure to get the opportunity to have authors share on my blog, so thank you. Just for the record I'm a dog person also. =) Now your book sounds really interesting. As a musician myself you caught my attention right away. Tell us about your book.
Susie: My e-book, Wherever The Wind Will Blow It, is a unique memoir because all of the names in the book, including mine, were changed to fictitious names due to the necessity of keeping some of the principal characters anonymous. This was a difficult decision I faced while writing the book, but feel I made the right choice given the era in which the story takes place and much of the hard content. The story begins in 1980 when I first set out from Culver City, California and travel with my father to a small town in Oregon to visit my brother and his family. At the time, I was in my early twenties and escaping a terrible divorce. Once there in Oregon, I began to fall in love with country living, the incredible forest and the friendly people of Corvallis and Blodgett, so I decide to stay on for a while. It wasn’t long after that I moved into an unfinished hunting cabin up in the woods surrounded by a dense rain forest. It was a life changing experience for me and much drama ensues from that one major move in my life. I began working in a local saloon to make ends meet and it is there that I met my husband Kurt, who was a sound engineer for a local band. We married in 1982 and embarked on a wild ride in the world of the now infamous Pacific Northwest bar club scene. Coming from a strict Roman Catholic Italian family and a background in classical music as an opera singer and as an actress in the theater, the new life I take on opens me up to a world that I barely make it out of. The story depicts the love, loss, laughter, agony and survival of a person who made very poor choices but never loses site of her faith.
DLC: The music business is hard to break into with success. Much like being a writer...LOL Sorry, I couldn't help myself. So at what point did you know you want to be a writer?
Susie: My seventh grade teacher in Catholic school, Sister Mary Frances, assigned a poetry project that I scored an A+ on. When she returned my paper she wrote the words, “Susanna, you have a gift!” From that moment on, I knew I wanted to write.
DLC: I had a similar situation with one of my teachers. That kind of encouragement sticks with you. So you've gone from the music business to now the writing business. =) Like I said it's difficult to get into this field with any success. What kind of advice would you give to new or aspiring authors?
Susie: Listen to your internal voice. Know who you are as a person, so that you can know who you are as a writer. Let your own voice shine, emerge, on the page so that the reader can hear you, not a carbon copy of some other writer. Be yourself. Remain true to yourself and your readers will hear you.
DLC: What source or sources do you draw from when writing? Your personal life, faith, the world around you...?
DLC: There are an infinite amount of stories surrounding us if we only have eyes to see. =) I agree completely. If I asked you to pick one of your characters as your favorite who would it be and why?
Susie: That would have to be my father whom I call Rocco Iossa in the book. He was a wonderful man, very colorful! He was from a different generation so it was interesting trying to capture his essence in the story.
DLC: I can relate. My father was a greaser. To try and capture the attitudes and mentality of the 50's and early 60's is hard to translate. Picture a white haired middle aged man with a Chesterfield King in his mouth standing at the kitchen sink wearing a white T-shirt wetting his hair with a black comb from his back pocket so that he can slick his hair back with an Elvis forehead dangle. That's was my dad. LOL Anyways... enough about me... What was your greatest challenge personally when writing your current story?
Susie: Well, that would have to be revisiting some very painful moments in my young life. There were many days during the process that I didn’t think I could carry on because it hurt so deeply to refresh the emotion.
DLC: As authors we write what we know. Even if it's fiction we relate to what our characters are going through and more often than one may think the process is very cathartic. This is a good thing. =) What factors do you use to determine that your manuscript is done?
DLC: I like the outlining and knowing where you're going. I am the same way when I write. What led you to write your memoir?
Susie: Ah! Well, luckily for my readers, that question is answered at the end of the book! Originally, I set out solely as a poet and short story teller. However, an important event in my life, that I describe toward the end of WIND, was the inspiration to write this memoir. But, in addition to that, I truly wanted to use this opportunity to help influence young women to make better choices in their young lives and to hopefully, by sharing my experiences as a roadie’s wife, expose them to the realities of following the “guys in the band.” It isn’t a glamorous life at all, and I was willing to put my neck on the line to get that point across to any young girl who thinks it’s “cool” to be married in that life. It’s a very difficult life and I wanted to make that important point.
DLC: I love your heart. The desire to help others to learn from your mistakes is a great goal and reason to write your life story. I find that most writers are readers, do you have any favorite authors?
Susie: Yes! I adore John Irving for his wit, uniqueness and timing. I really enjoy reading Phillipa Gregory’s historical novels, and I love Amy Tan for her character driven plots, twists and turns.
DLC: Oh you have a sense of humor like me. The World According to Garp was one of my favorites of John Irving's stories. Are you working on a book now and if so tell us a little bit about it?
Susie: Yes, I’m knee deep into my second memoir, New Prairie Woman. This story chronicles our journey as Kurt and I relocate from Los Angeles to Montana in 2006. The book begins in prologue with a memory of a school project that involves a book report on the state of Montana that I was assigned in grade school. From there, I depict a personal journey of pain that can only be described as heart wrenching. Eventually, the reader travels with Kurt and I in our caravan of vehicles as we cross the Rocky Mountains and West Yellowstone to begin our new life in the historical town of Three Forks.
DLC: Three Forks has some truly deep American history that arose there. I believe Sacajawea was captured near there and ended up married to a French-Canadian man. That's how she met Louis and Clark to guide them through the western part of our yet to be discovered country. (I want to take a moment to thank Google for making me seem like I know what I'm talking about.) =)
Susie: First choice would be my all-time favorite book, A prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. This book resonates humanity on so many levels it just jumps out and grabs hold of me. The incredible way Irving describes Meany and the challenges he faces, it is so beautifully written I have to refer to it from time to time to remind myself of what brilliant writing is all about! I can think of a million second choices but if you’re going to pin me down I guess I’d like to reread Amy Tan’s Saving Fish from Drowning. It’s an unusual story, very original and creative and I just love how her words flow like water from a waterfall onto the page. Her use of prose is so elegant, and I really relate to many of the characters she creates.
DLC: After hearing some of the things you've gone through in your life I know I want to know more about your books. Where can people go to get more information about you and your book?
Susie: People can find my author biography by clicking the words, Susie Rosso Wolf on the ad info for Wherever The Wind Will Blow It at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004SBOUI0/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_alp_uGAGnb02D236E
Also, folks can find me and follow along on my New Prairie Woman Blog as I post excerpts and snippets of chapters of the book, as well as my poetry and photography, while I write the first draft at:
Additionally, you can view the artwork I created, PHOETRY, where I fuse my poetry with my original photography at:
I’m also on Facebook and Twitter as Susie Rosso Wolf.
DLC: Susie, I want to thank you so very much for allowing me to be the first to interview you. You have been a pleasure and inspiring. I pray your book has great success.
Susie: Thank you Daniel, for this opportunity and for a great interview!