With the success of “The Pocket Wife” and the recently released “The Other Widow,” Atlanta-based psychological suspense writer Susan Crawford showed she really knows her way around writing a riveting suspense novel with strong female characters. She spent some time with The Open Mic recently talking about those books, her path to success and the fine art of not writing women as victims.
Open Mic: The main character in your first book, The Pocket Wife, is bipolar. You write it from her point of view. How did you go about writing a character like that? Was it difficult for you?
Crawford: Sadly, it wasn’t. I’ve been really close to people who are bipolar, so I’ve had a very close perspective on what it does to people. If I wrote a scene that I wasn’t sure about, I was able to go to them and ask, ‘does this sound real to you? Could this really happen?’ Otherwise, it wasn’t that difficult to write. I felt like I was in her head. That was difficult at times – it wasn’t always a comfortable place to be.
Open Mic: Does that happen to you a lot, where you get so involved in a character that it affects you away from the writing?
Crawford: Yes, that happens to me a lot!
Open Mic: Is that a struggle for you?
Crawford: No. It’s just what I do. I can turn it off. It’s not like I’m at a party and suddenly hallucinating or something. But I dream about the characters and I am always constructing the story on some level even when I’m not actually writing. For me, a book is about the characters. In any book I read I care about that more than even the plot. So I think it is a good thing to think about the characters even when you’re not writing about them. It’s a good thing to sort of absorb them so you can present them more fully.
To read the entire interview