Amy Sue Nathan is the host of popular blog Women’s Fiction Writers, and a novelist. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times online, The Washington Post online, and The Huffington Post. Amy’s debut novel, THE GLASS WIVES, published on May 7th. She was kind enough to answer my interview questions and give us some insights on her new novel. I’m thrilled for her, and can’t wait to read THE GLASS WIVES.
1. What inspired you to write your novel?
I think the inspiration was more me compelled to tell a certain story. A few years after my divorce, my ex-husband died. My life had changed tremendously over the ten years before that. We moved around the country, settled in, moved again, then divorced and then he passed away unexpectedly. I didn’t want so much to tell the story of what happened to my family, but of what happens to anyone when their life doesn’t turn out as they planned. I also felt strongly about giving a voice to single moms who are often (at least in my experience) looked at as though they’re missing something and their families are looked at as broken. I wanted to help change the perception I experienced.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I love writing but I’d say my favorite part of the process is editing and polishing, taking basic and sometimes raw ideas and making them do and say exactly what I intend them to do. It took me two days to rewrite the first page of The Glass Wives based on one suggestion from my editor. It was exhausting, but the act of moving things around on the page, adding words for clarity and cadence (and removing words for the same reasons) is what I’d consider a perfect way to spend many hours.
What part of the process is not your favorite?
Starting. It seems silly but starting is hard for me. I know it’s just a matter of “butt in chair” and “open the doc” but it’s daunting to begin anything new. There’s an excitement as well and I have to let that take over.
If you could go back in time, what would you have told your unagented/unpublishered writing self?
I would tell myself all the time, rejections, uncertainty, doubt, and dismissals would all add up to something fabulous!
What is your favorite novel of all time? You’re asking me to pick a favorite?
Okay. If I have to pick one I’d say, THE BORROWERS. I just love the idea that there is a reason things are missing around the house.
What is your first memory of writing?
Writing a big binder full of poems with a friend in sixth grade. I think I wrote stories before that too, but that was a big project for us. One poem was about an amusement park and it was called Wonderland. The binder was red. That’s all I remember.
What do you most want readers to take away from your novel?
I hope that THE GLASS WIVES imparts the idea that there are many ways to be a family. Qualifiers, subsets, and labels bother me, when all are valid, equal, and worthy of that uncomplicated yet significant term: family.
To learn more about Amy and her novel, visit her website: