Losing February is the debut offering of Susanna Freymark, I have heard wonderful things about the book and I can feel it watching me from my To Be Read pile. I am itching to get it out as much as it’s itching to be read I think. In the lead up to my time with Losing February I was able to ask Susanna some questions about the book and her career, they have left me wanting to read this book ever more.
Hi Susanna, welcome to Beauty and Lace. Thanks for talking to us.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Since I was young, reading every book I could get my hands on and making up stories in my head. Then I became a teacher of literacy and loved helping kids write their own stories. I retrained as a journalist and now make my living out of words. To be an author is like the very best icing on the cake.
Can you tell us a little about your debut novel Losing February?
It is a story about love and sex. Bernie is a journalist, divorced mother making the best of life. While writing her first novel, she contacts a young man from her university days. Her reunion with Jack is stunning and intense and doomed to fail. Jack is married and married men are wrong. Bernie escapes into the world of online sex and treads a dangerous path of anonymous sex and heartless liaisons. This is a story about a woman who loved and lost too much and risked everything.
What was the inspiration behind the book?
It is a raw story, drawing on my own experiences. It explores love without sex and sex without love.
Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?
I had four short stories published and just finished my Masters of Creative Writing at UTS last year. All that helped me write.
Then I sent the first chapter of Losing February to Pan Macmillan. They wanted more . . . and the ride began.
Have you got an exciting launch planned that you can tell us about?
I’ve had two launches and both were thrilling. One at Gleebooks in Sydney and in Byron Bay, where I used to live. My next event is an author talk at Ryde library on March 20.
Being a debut novelist yourself, what is the most important piece of advice you would give an aspiring novelist?
Never give up. Keep writing no matter what. And that voice inside your head telling you it’s all rubbish, ignore it or turn the music up so loud you can’t hear it. Follow your heart and dream big.
Are you working on anything new you can tell us about?
I am working on the manuscript I refer to in Losing February, it is called Drowning on the Way Home. It is a story about belonging and finding your way home. It is set in Central Australia.
You are working full time and juggling a family, is there a favourite time you have to write?
Early in the morning while the world is still sleeping. I am alone with my imagination and there is something extra special about dawn. Outside my study, white cockatoos squawk as I write. I drink a strong coffee and then head off to work.
Have you got a quiet, inspiring place you love to write?
I’m lucky because I can write anywhere and I like noisy places like cafes. The ‘white noise’ of other people’s lives helps me go into my own head. It’s strange but it works for me. At home in my study I have music playing loudly while I work.
What does being a woman mean to you?
It means I get to do the most amazing thing in the world – give birth – 4 times. I love being a woman, albeit I don’t know what it is like to be a man. I like our complex emotional landscape, the way we give and share our warmth. I love too how women can be talking about something trivial and switch to a heavy discussion at the click of a finger. We’re all over the place but it is an awesome ride.