We had the good fortune of connecting with Suzanne Redfearn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suzanne, how do you think about risk?
One of my favorite sayings is “You can’t win if you don’t try.” I have thrown a lot of mud on the wall. Most of it didn’t stick, but without the failure, I never would have found success. Risk comes in lots of forms: financial, personal, emotional. I put a lot on the line to pursue my dream of becoming an author. I paused my career as an architect and sacrificed time with my family and friends. I made myself vulnerable and exposed myself to criticism and rejection. But the way I see it is you can’t only look at the risk, you also have to look at the regret you’ll have if you don’t take that leap of faith. You never want to look back and wonder, “What if?” Deciding to become an author in my thirties, with no background in writing, was an audacious, perhaps even ludicrous idea. But deep inside I felt it was what I was meant to do. Having an incredibly supportive spouse helped, but ultimately I was the one who needed to believe and have faith, to bet on myself and take a chance on the extraordinary.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Every author is unique. I think what sets me apart is the way I approach my stories. Unlike a lot of authors, I don’t start with a plot but instead an abstract concept that I am interested in exploring. My first novel was inspired by the idea of good and evil existing in each of us and what circumstances would bring out the best and worst in us. Another novel was based on the question of how much we should trust others to look after our children. I start with these abstract themes, then take ordinary people and test them with extraordinary circumstances, hopefully leaving the reader to ask what they would do if put in the same situation.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite vacations are based around food. My husband and I own three restaurants in Laguna Beach: Lumberyard, Slice Pizza and Beer, and YardBar. If someone were coming to our neck of the woods, my husband and I would take them on a culinary excursion from Los Angeles to San Diego, starting with Bestia in the LA Arts District and ending with Campfire in Carlsbad.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My editor, Alicia Clancy at Lake Union Publishing. She was the one who saw the potential of my bestselling novel IN AN INSTANT and championed it to make it the success it became. I call her my “extra star.” On top of being an amazing advocate for the books she believes in, she is a stellar editor, and she definitely elevates my work to another level.