Susan Wigg's 5 Firsts and Lasts

APPLEORCHARD_CoverOur guest today: Susan Wiggs Why we love her: Her books are a great escape! (And how cute is she?!)

Her latest: The Apple Orchard

The scoop: Tess Delaney makes a living restoring stolen treasures to their rightful owners. People like Annelise Winther, who refuses to sell her long-gone mother's beloved necklace—despite Tess's advice. To Annelise, the jewel's value is in its memories.

But Tess's own history is filled with gaps: a father she never met, a mother who spent more time traveling than with her daughter. So Tess is shocked when she discovers the grandfather she never knew is in a coma. And that she has been named in his will to inherit half of Bella Vista, a hundred-acre apple orchard in the magical Sonoma town called Archangel.

The rest is willed to Isabel Johansen. A half sister she's never heard of.

Against the rich landscape of Bella Vista, Tess begins to discover a world filled with the simple pleasures of food and family, of the warm earth beneath her bare feet. A world where family comes first and the roots of history run deep. A place where falling in love is not only possible, but inevitable.

And in a season filled with new experiences, Tess begins to see the truth in something Annelise once told her: if you don't believe memories are worth more than money, then perhaps you've not made the right kind of memories.

Our thoughts: Dive into this one at the beach this summer!

Giveaway:  TWO copies! (US only) Leave a comment to be entered.  We'll choose the winners after 3pm PST on May 12th.

Fun Fact: Check out the cool pics of Susan's "Hell Ya" moment Honk Kong adventure!

Where to read more about Susan: Her website, Facebook and Twitter!



Susan WiggsFirst: Ah, the magic happened at a school dance, with "Stairway to Heaven" (what else?) playing and the lights low and swirling with color. I was wearing a purple and amber jersey minidress (I always remember what I wore). He was shorter than me and he had a boner. Of course he did. We were thirteen and we were slow dancing.

Last: My amazing husband, who loves kissing as much as I do. We’re really good at it. And we do slow dance. It was not exactly like the first, but he did have a boner. (tmi, but you asked!)


First: THE CARROT SEED by Ruth Krauss. The simplest, most hopeful story ever. I was really little, age 4, I think, an early and voracious reader.

Last: PARIS: A LOVE STORY by Kati Marton. It’s a memoir. She was married to Peter Jennings and then to Richard Holbrooke, a diplomat whose untimely death made headlines. And she’s fascinating in her own right. I loved her short, heartfelt book about my favorite city.


First: Gosh, I don’t recall the first. Being the middle child of three, every day was filled with risk. I had a big brother who dared me to do stupid things and a little sister who would tell on me. I recall making cardboard wings and jumping off a barn roof into a pile of hay. That didn’t work out so well. And skiing down a run marked “Experts Only” was fun but disastrous.  Another early risk had to do with writing. I read part of a story I’d written to a friend, and she begged to hear more. It was an amazing moment.

Last: It sounds cheesy, but every time I sit down to write, it feels risky. In writing a novel, you show so much of your heart, and you just have to trust that putting it out in the world like that is the right thing to do. This morning I wrote a scene involving a verbal fight between two characters, and it made me completely uncomfortable, which means it was hitting close to home. I only hope I can redeem these two.


First: Being raised by “hell yeah” parents, I can’t recall the actual first time. I do remember that feeling at my very first rock concert. I was scandalously young and I followed my big brother to a Rolling Stones concert at Foret Nationale in Brussels, Belgium, where we were living at the time. There was a riot outside the venue, mounted police were being jostled on their horses, and someone drove a Fiat through the doors. The Stones started to play “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” and the world seemed to change color before my eyes.

Last: Doing shots of Jaegermeister and getting a tattoo in a divey parlor in Hong Kong. Really. Check out my right ankle next time you see me. Photos HERE!   (The symbol means "yes" so it definitely was a hell yeah moment)


First: Wow, so many of my “moments” have to do with writing. This one–grade three, Mrs. Green’s class. I was way ahead in reading, so she let me read “Harriet the Spy.” PLEASE have your kids read this novel by Louise Fitzhugh, and never let them see the truly bad movie adaptation. It’s about a girl whose life is changed by writing. I wrote my first story then (photo here) I remember finally “getting” the shape of a story, which is so simple–beginning, middle, end–but so tricky to nail.

Last: Watching my dad’s struggles with Parkinson’s. He and my mom live in my town, not far from me. It’s a devastating illness, yet he greets every day with a smile, and lives his life. He sends emails to his grandkids, has people over, works on little projects, sits quietly with my mom. They’ve been married 59 years and the “aha” for me is this–life can always be wonderful, no matter what’s happening to you or around you. But sometimes you have to dig deep inside to find the joy.

The dedication page of THE APPLE ORCHARD is a little surprise for my parents. Think they’ll like it?

Thanks, Susan!