I’m delighted to welcome fellow Tirgearr author, Susan Clayton-Goldner to my blog today. She’s here to share her new release, Redemption Lake.
Tucson, Arizona – Eighteen-year-old Matt Garrison is harboring two terrible secrets: his involvement in the drowning death of his 12-year-old cousin, and a night of drunken sex with his best friend’s mother, Crystal, whom he finds dead in a bathtub of blood. Guilt forces Matt to act on impulse and hide his involvement with Crystal.
Detective Winston Radhauser knows Matt is hiding something. But as the investigation progresses, Radhauser’s attention is focused on Matt’s father. Matt’s world closes in when his dad is arrested for Crystal’s murder and Travis breaks off their friendship. Despite his father’s guilty plea, Matt knows his dad is innocent and only trying to protect his son. Devastated and bent on self-destruction, Matt heads for the lake where his cousin died—the only place he believes can truly free him. Are some secrets better left buried?
Redemption Lake is a novel of love and betrayal. It’s about truth and lies, friendship and redemption, about assuming responsibility, and the risks a father and son will take to protect each other.
Buy Redemption Lake here:
Interview with Susan:
What inspired you to write Redemption Lake? Where did the idea come from?
The first thing that came to me was the character, 18-year-old Matthew Garrison. He has a terrible secret. He holds himself responsible for the accident that killed his cousin when they were both 12 years old—a drowning at Lake Powell. It haunts him. Once I had the character, I kept asking myself “what if” questions. What if he was so upset over his mother’s remarriage that he got drunk and slept with his best friend’s mom? What if she made him sleep off the beer before driving? What if he woke up and found her dead?
What is your favourite book of the series?
I haven’t finished it yet, but I think my favourite in the series will be the last book, called River of Silence, because it focuses more on the detective, his wounds and his joys. It’s hard not to become attached to a character when you write 3 books about him.
If you could be best friends with one of your characters who would it be and why?
I’d be best friends with Catherine, the protagonist in my novel, A Bend In The Willow. Because I really understand her, what she did and why she did it, I think I could be a good friend to her.
If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’d like to spend some time in the Greek Islands sailing.
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I wrote poems and short stories as a child. My father won a portable typewriter in a poker game and he gave it to me. I taught myself to type and started writing a little newspaper that I distributed to our neighbors. I’m sure they were very interested in a 10-year-old view of life.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?
I like to quilt and make stained glass windows. These two crafts are a bit similar to writing in that you tell stories with fabric and pieces of glass.
What are you writing now?
I’m working on the 3rd novel in a series of mysteries featuring Winston Radhauser as my detective. Redemption Lake is the first in the series.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
The best advice I can offer aspiring writers is to be tenacious. Write the very best book you can possibly write. Get input from a critique group and hire a professional editor. Then send it out relentlessly. If someone rejects you (and they will) send it out again. And again. And again.
What’s the hardest part about being an author? And the easiest?
The hardest part for me is balancing my family life—finding time to spend with my husband and children—while still completing my writing goals. The easiest part is living in the fictive dream. Nothing makes me happier than to be so caught up in what I’m writing that I’m unaware of what is going on the “real” life.
How do you handle writers’ block?
I’ve not had a lot of problem with writers’ block. For the most part, if I’m near my computer, I can find something to write about.
Have you learned anything from your readers? Or had a response that especially touched you?
My novel, A Bend In The Willow, came out in January and I was touched by the reviews people wrote. It made me very happy to know people were reading and enjoying my book. That it brought them to tears. Many of them said they couldn’t put it down. That’s something all we writers love to hear. One reviewer said her power went out and she actually finished the book by candlelight.
Susan Clayton-Goldner was born in New Castle, Delaware and grew up with four brothers along the banks of the Delaware River. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Creative Writing Program and has been writing most of her life. Her novels have been finalists for The Hemingway Award, the Heeken Foundation Fellowship, the Writers Foundation and the Publishing On-line Contest. Susan won the National Writers’ Association Novel Award twice for her novels and her poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies including Animals as Teachers and Healers, published by Ballantine Books, Our Mothers/Ourselves, by the Greenwood Publishing Group, The Hawaii Pacific Review-Best of a Decade, and New Millennium Writings. A collection of her poems, A Question of Mortality was released in 2014 by Wellstone Press. Her novel, A Bend In The Willow, was published in January 2017. Prior to writing full time, Susan worked as the Director of Corporate Relations for University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona.
Susan shares a life in Grants Pass, Oregon with her husband, Andreas, her fictional characters, and more books than one person could count. In her spare time, Susan likes to make quilts and stained glass windows.