Susan May – Nick’s New Heart

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Nicks New Heart. It’s about my youngest son’s heart transplant. Nick was one year old when he received the life saving gift of a transplant. Today, he is twenty one and attending college. Nick’s New Heart is not only about Nick’s experience but about how a family survived and thrived despite having a chronically ill child as a member.

Tell us something about yourself.

I live in north Georgia with my husband of 28 years. We have three sons and one married daughter. I’m a graduate of Auburn University with a BS in political science. I’ve been a substitute teacher for fifteen years. Six years ago I became serious about my writing and have completed nine books. Currently, I have a nonfiction book proposal being reviewed by an editor and I’m working on revisions of my romance book. I’m an avid reader, love to travel and collect apples.

What inspired you to write this book?

Congenital Heart Disease is the number one killer of newborns and very few people are aware of that statistic. There was nothing in the bookstores about children who had received heart transplants when Nick was born, and still nothing until Nick’s New Heart was released. I wanted other parents as well as the public to learn more about heart disease and transplantation. Nick’s New Heart is also a great way to encourage organ donation.

How did you choose the title?

Nick’s New Heart describes the book subject matter perfectly.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

I received hundreds of rejection letters, many of which stated that it was a wonderful story but not for them. I kept submitting until I found the right publisher.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I started with the love of reading. When my son was born I knew I had to tell his story as a way of helping others. It just took me awhile (years) to become serious about writing but when I did it became an all consuming thing.

Do you have any writing rituals?

None. I just make myself sit down and write.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

I substitute teach so I get many of my character’s names off classroom rolls.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I learned that writing is hard work. Having a book published requires time, dedication and the willingness to learn. It is important to not be so married to your work that you can’t take direction and criticism.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

I wished I’d taken writing more seriously at a younger age. I messed around with writing a book in my early twenties, if I’d stayed with it, no telling how many books I would have already had published by now.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I read romance mainly. I particularly enjoy Linda Howard. I also read Harlequin’s Presents and Medical lines.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I am currently working on two books. One a nonfiction about a flight surgeon during World War II and a romantic fiction that involves a mother, son, doctor and a transplant.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Read, read , read and write, write, write. And don’t give up.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

Parents of children with heart problems.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?