Welcome to BookEnds, Susan Cunningham!

  • By: BookEnds | Date: Apr 18 2017

I’ve been waiting to announce this client for a long time 🙂

Susan actually landed in my inbox courtesy of Jessica Faust. Jessica had originally requested her manuscript and (correctly) guessed that it would be a better fit for me. So it fell into my lap. And I devoured it. Susan’s story has everything I love in contemporary YAs. Complex, not always likable characters, rich relationships, girls in STEM, a phenomenal hook, and plot arcs that intertwine and keep me flipping pages.

It’s no surprise that I offered, and I’m so pleased I did! Susan signed with me towards the end of last year (hence my glee at being able to announce her as my client today) and she has been an absolute pleasure to work with since!

So, welcome Susan, officially, to BookEnds! Learn about Susan in her interview below, and check out her author website when you’re done!


Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?

I write most days, early mornings or any time I can find an hour or two. I still have a “day job,” so sometimes the writing gets put off for a bit, but when I come back to it, it’s always my favorite part of the day.


Do you have any writing rituals? (e.g. Tracy Marchini used to burn a candle if she was having trouble getting started at the computer.)

I keep a journal – something inexpensive, like a spiral bound notebook – and write a few pages longhand most days. It’s a great way to get my to-do lists and worries and other stuff out, and invariably ends up being the place where I brainstorm for the books I’m working on. When I’m writing a book, I usually sit on my bed with my laptop, the blinds wide open so I can see outside. A hot drink (tea or cocoa) always helps, as does chocolate.


What do you love about writing young adult literature?

I think young adults are at an interesting place in life – so many big decisions, like what to do for work and where to live and whether to get married or have kids, etc, are still to be made. There’s a lot that’s unknown. I think that can make us open to thinking about who we are, who we want to be, what really matters in life – and that’s what stories are all about.


What is the hardest part about writing?

Getting started. And then sticking with it. For me, it’s important to keep it all low pressure and make it easy to start. I’m not sitting down to write an entire book, but just to play around with one scene or one character or one idea. And I try hard not to talk about a book once I’m working on it. I heard an author say that talking about a work in progress is like popping the cork on a bottle of champagne – it lets out the excitement and energy. I find that to be true.


What book do you wish you had written, and why?

Anything by Rainbow Rowell. I love her characters, and would’ve enjoyed spending days (or years) with all of them. The same goes for John Green’s books. And I have a deep love for everything by Barbara Kingsolver. My background is in biology and I appreciate how she weaves in science and the natural world.


If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?

Anything outdoors – mountain biking, Nordic skiing, hiking, backpacking. I’m always looking for a way to feel the sun and breathe fresh air and take in the views. Luckily, I live in a small mountain town in the Rockies, so it’s easy to get outside. My husband and I have two children, who keep us quite busy, and I also enjoy playing the tin whistle, collaging, and Netflixing.

2 responses to “Welcome to BookEnds, Susan Cunningham!”

  1. Avatar Hannah Jack says:

    Yaaay!! Welcome! Always excited to read about Beth’s clients!

  2. Avatar AJ Blythe says:

    SN, I don’t think I’ve ever come across anyone who lists playing a tin whistle as a hobby. How cool. Congratulations on joining the BookEnds team.