Q&A with Amy Sue Nathan, Author of The Glass Wives

“Evie had not cornered the market on loss, and she knew it. There were many ways for a life to be rerouted.”  ~ From The Glass Wives

We make plans. We have routines. We know exactly how life is supposed to unfold. But, in an instant, those plans crumble or shift under some unpredictable force.

Glass Wives_final coverSuch is the case for Evie Glass in Amy Sue Nathan’s debut novel, The Glass Wives. When Evie’s ex-husband dies suddenly, she sets out to do whatever it takes to walk her kids through grief and get their lives back to some sort of normal.

But, normal is relative, and every opportunity Evie sees as a chance to settle back into life is interrupted by the sudden arrival of Nicole, her ex-husband’s young wife and the reason Evie’s marriage fell apart in the first place. Nicole and her young baby show up at Evie’s doorstep, sending Evie on a journey through her own grief and shaking up every idea she had of family.

I’m honored to host Amy Sue Nathan today for an author Q&A. At the end of the interview, leave your name in the comments for a chance to win a copy of The Glass Wives. Random.org will choose the winner on Tuesday, September 17th.

Welcome, Amy!

CC: In the Glass Wives, no one expects Nicole, the widow of Evie’s ex-husband, and her baby to show up on Evie’s door step looking for help. But when she does, Evie is forced to confront her prescribed ideas of “normal” and “family.” We, as humans, are so resistant to change. Was it difficult to buck any set notions of family you might have had as you began writing this story? Or, did you find, as the characters’ lives unfolded, that the story itself helped soften those perceptions?

ASN: I struggled with my own perception of family when I divorced. No matter what anyone said, actions spoke louder than words and I was treated differently by friends. So in a way, I wrote The Glass Wives as a reminder to myself, and perhaps a P.S. to others, that there are many ways to be a family and one way is not better than any other. And that single moms like being included.

CC: In the essay at the end of your book, “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger (and Will Certainly Make Its Way into Your Novel),” you admit that the seed for The Glass Wives has roots in real life experience. Did you worry about backlash from friends or family or question loss of privacy as you got closer to publication?

ASN: A little bit. Then my daughter read the novel and was so aware of how it was fiction, that I stopped caring what anyone else thought.  She obviously realized where the idea sparked, and she playfully called me on a few things I snagged from real life.  Obviously she knew there was no one living in our basement, so the whole “this is your life” was kind of off the table.

CC: Your penned work ranges from blogs, like Writer Unboxed and Beyond the Margins, to short stories to your column on parenting, The View from Here. How did this myriad of literary direction ultimately guide you towards the publication of your debut novel?

ASN: I always wrote non-fiction until I started writing The Glass Wives. I think that everything before the novel just bolstered my confidence in my ability to get it done, no matter the outcome. I started writing again in 2006 after a long hiatus, so the fact that I was able to freelance and get published in non-fiction paved the way for the moxie it took to believe I could write a novel, find an agent, and get published. Had it not happened, my plan was to write another novel and start again. I wanted the traditional route.

CC: What are you reading these days? 

ASN: Right now I’m reading The Widow Waltz by Sally Koslow.

CC: What advice would you offer for other writers on the road to publication?

ASN: Have confidence. Seek guidance. Be humble. Have confidence. Also, give yourself a break if (and when) you need it. Of course, don’t give up. Did I mention, have confidence?

AmyNathanMediumFileAmy Sue Nathan lives and writes near Chicago, where she hosts the popular blog Women’s Fiction Writers. She has published articles in The Huffington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and The New York Times Online, among many others. Amy is the proud mom of a son and a daughter in college, and a willing servant to two rambunctious rescued dogs. Visit her website, follow her on Twitter, or subscribe to her author page on Facebook

Don’t forget to drop your name in the comments for a chance to win your own copy of The Glass Wives. Random.org will choose the winner on Tuesday, September 17th.

Christi

About Christi

Christi Craig is a native Texan living in Wisconsin, working by day as a sign language interpreter and moonlighting as a writer, teacher, and editor. Her stories and essays have appeared online and in print, and she received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train's Family Matters Contest, 2010. You can send comments or questions via her contact page.
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21 Responses to Q&A with Amy Sue Nathan, Author of The Glass Wives

  1. I’ve heard lovely things about this book–first because a writer-friend mentioned the effectiveness of a short title–and need to go put it on my to-read list. Christi, I always adore your interviews!
    Laura Stanfill recently posted..Becoming a Gatekeeper–and eBook News!My Profile

  2. Kris Mehigan says:

    The Glass Wives has such an interesting premise. Navigating extended families, particularly through an emotionally driven event such as death, is something we all may have to deal with at some point. Looks like an engaging read!
    Kris Mehigan recently posted..Always remember. Never forget.My Profile

  3. The Glass Wives is a wonderful story, Amy. And I love your advice for other writers, especially take a break when you need it. So often we push ourselves without stopping to refill the well. Congrats on your success. Well deserved.

  4. I read The Glass Wives a few months ago and loved it. Certainly a unique premise. I wish you the best on this book and all your future ones, Amy.

    Thank you for the interview, Christi.
    Linda Cassidy Lewis recently posted..Getting back to work with a GIVEAWAY!My Profile

  5. Enjoyed the interview very much and yes, The Glass Wives is a book I’d love to win!
    Christa

  6. Sonny Neal says:

    Have confidence. I’ve heard this over and over yet self-confidence is hard won. Thanks for pushing this. Thanks for your compelling story. I know Glass is the last name of these woman, but the title reflects the fragility of the two wives. Waiting for your next novel, Amy!

  7. Margaret Dunlap says:

    I too have a son and a daughter plus an ex-husband with a new wife and a baby. What do you do when your daughter falls in love with the baby and her twin brother watches his father bend over backwards for his new son but could never spare a few minutes for him? I have contented myself with calculating how old my ex will be when his new child hits certain benchmarks that my son struggled through with no help from his father. I would love to read how your premise plays out because any help I can get in dealing with my real life would be welcome. I would love to win your book, but if I don’t, I’ll have to find it. Are you on Amazon?

    • Yes, Margaret, the book is on Amazon. And your kids are in a tough spot. Portions of TGW are snipped from my life. I don’t write about the real situation of how my kids dealt with their new family, but it was tough because as the dad my ex was with his new girlfriend/wife’s kids more than his own. That was really hard on them and didn’t go unnoticed. Also, as people get older they realign their priorities. My ex lost a lot of time with our kids and I think he was trying to make up for it. Unfortunately it was my kids who got the short end, when he was alive, and then he died. I think had he lived, it would have all evened out with time though. I like believing that.
      Amy Sue Nathan recently posted..A New Year, A New Post, And A New Look For Women’s Fiction WritersMy Profile

  8. Ana says:

    I loved both the questions and the answers, thank you so much for this post. Many of my friends have read “The Glass Wives” and say it’s an excellent read. I can’t wait to read it! Thank you so much for this giveaway, would be over the moon to win it.
    Ana recently posted..Book review: Three Way by Daniel GrantMy Profile

  9. Bill Wolfe says:

    I’ve always been interested in the fluid nature of families, and there are many good novels addressing the topic (I always think of The Bean Trees in particular). The Glass Wives sounds like a serious book that is well worth reading.

  10. Debbie Carney says:

    I have so many great things about this book. I really want to read it and really hope I win it lol

  11. Christi Christi says:

    Thank you to everyone for your comments and discussion. And, a special thanks to Amy for offering her experience and wisdom here!

    Now, for the giveaway…. Congrats goes out to Bill Wolfe! You should receive an email from me soon. To all the other readers, even if you didn’t win here, I hope you get a chance to pick up a copy of The Glass Wives elsewhere. As many of you said here, it’s a great read!

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