“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.
Such 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.
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?
Amy 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.