Archive | August 2014

August 28, 2014



Plus this


(Those are dolphins. They were surfing. Honest)

is part of the reason I don’t want to live anywhere else. The top picture is a blue whale. The biggest EVER animal on Earth (Suck it, T Rex) and it summers off the Southern California coast.  As for the dolphins, I had a Flipper lunchbox when I was 6 (because I destroyed my soft-sided Mary Poppins one) and the first time I saw one in person (Lemon Bay on the Florida Gulf Coast in 1978), I was hooked.

This is what I do to think. I get a cup of coffee, get to the beach, listen and breathe (and drink the coffee).

I’ve been solving some story problems this way.  I don’t think about them while on the beach. I just sit and stay in the moment. When I get back to the notebook, I find the problem is solved.

Ive been using this method on crossword puzzles for years. Put it down, walk away and do something else. Return and finish the puzzle in short order, even Sunday New York Times.

I don’t know if going to the beach had anything to do with it, but a couple of BIG problems that have been stressing me (and aging me. I don’t like that woman in the mirror. No amount of makeup and teasing her hair makes her look better) have been pushed back. Not permanently resolved, but I have more time to get them solved. That always helps.

I suggest, to the small handful of people who actually read this, that you find yourself such a place. Somewhere to sit and be still, to be in the moment and not think about what lies beyond your little circle of peace.

Tell me about your happy place.

Oh, and I agree with Douglas Adams:

“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”


What’s a Girl Got To Do?

This past weekend, “These Foolish Things” and “At a Last” chalked up more positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads (they should be on the home page for this site. ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHER ONES).

It warms my heart. I wanted to create fun, realistic characters that, if they were real, the readers would want them as friends. That’s the feedback I’m getting. I succeeded.



What’s going to take to get more people reading and buy these good books? There are 5 days until the Smashwords Discounts expire (Wow! Where has August gone?):


(c’mon, people, use the damns codes)

i ve ve sent copies to Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O’Donnell, Oprah (do I have to say her last name?) and to Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden:

See?white house thanks

(The iPad and I just had a tussle over inserting that. We compromised)

Okay, the “fashion” in romance novels right now is still some supernatural (“Twilight” inspired), BDSM ( “50 Shades” inspired, which is actually “Twilight” derived), and essentially fan fiction inspired by rock bands, NASCAR, and TV shows.

I went a different way. I wrote about realistic people with recognizable issues finding a way to work through them to make a relationship work. No fangs, no kidnappings, no damsels in distress (although it can be argued that Ty Hadley, my lead guy, needs rescuing from his demons).

I write about people who had tough childhoods, but find a “soul family” in the DiNardos. Again, no fangs, but there’s a lot of Italian cooking (vampirism doesn’t go with garlic), head smacking, affection, and warmth.I didn’t “draw the curtain” after Liz and Ty got together (“These Foolish Things” and “At Last” were originally one book. I divided because …well, I’m an idiot). I wanted people to see (as they do in real life, if they think about it) that a realistic Happily Ever After is possible. It’s a lot of work, too. Life isn’t on cruise control.

So, what’s it going to take to get more people to read these books? I’ve offered them for free through Kindle and Smashwords. I’ve given away signed copies. I’ve swapped with other authors at signings….

I’ve been told to engage my audience.  I’ve posted questions on Goodreads and on my Amazon author page:

Susan Thatcher Amazon Author Central

Or should I just write smut under a pen name?

Tooting My Own Horn

I may be thinking like the six year old version of me, but it believe I have written a story (and continue to write, I swear) that is a potential international best seller, even if I did publish it myself (Although the odds are long, it could happen. I have taken the first big step: publication).

I mean, I’m getting reviews like this:

“I am not one for staying up all night reading a book, but I did for this one.”


“The ups and downs that Liz and Ty go through are so real life for so many mature couples these days. “


“enjoyed every moment of this novel not once but twice! Thanks for a well thought out, well written story!”


I even made a video!

Promo video!

And until August 31, use the coupon code for 50% off at Smashwords.


Death and the Comedian

For anyone out there who sees this and says, “Oh Christ, not another self indulgent blog about Robin Williams dying,” fuck you and go read something else. This is MY space and I can use my little piece of the internet any way I want.

On the off chance that any member of Robin’s family should read this, you have my deepest and most heartfelt sympathies. I never met your father, husband, friend, but I wanted to. I wanted to connect with the warmth and sweetness that lay within him, to find a non-cliched and meaningful way to tell him how much he and his work meant to me, just like millions of other people sitting around this morning staring at a TV or their computer and just blinking because they’ve been dealt an emotional gut punch.


We loved him, too.

The nature of Mr. Williams’ passing has naturally stoked the social media engine. It seems obscene to see “trending” next to stories and comments about him on the Facebook news feed, but then, algorithms are soulless creations. It’s as if they’re encouraging us to be thanatopsical voyeurs, to soak up all the morbid and sordid content we can hold. The Grim Reaper’s Hometown Buffett, as it were.

Part of the the feast are the comments (including some being aired on news programs) about how suicides are “selfish” and “cowards” for taking their own lives and leaving behind people to deal with their grief.

Really? Allow me to rebut from personal experience.

2014 has been the toughest year of my life. In January, I had no job, no money, a hostile roommate who was threatening to throw me out (but keep my bed because she saw some value in it), and no prospects for improvement. My mother had died in September. My immediate family didn’t tell me what was going in (she had liver cancer), didn’t tell me when she died (one of my cousins did that), didn’t tell me when and where the memorial was, didn’t even ask me if I wanted the goddamn pictures of me from the house when they sold it (I did. Still do). I know better than to express interest in anything valuable where this group is concerned. For whatever reason I was completely, deliberately excluded from one of the milestone events of anyone’s life. And the fact that I’m talking about it now tells you how much it still gnaws at me.

I wanted to die. I wanted an end to my considerable pain.

Selfish? Wanting to end pain so bad (whether physical or emotional) so intense it makes life unbearable isn’t selfish. If the sufferer was in the end stages of cancer and took steps to end things, the same people condemning Mr. Williams would be saying things like “He’s out of his pain now.” You can’t always see the effects of emotional pain, but I assure you, they are no less serious than physical agony. I think that there’s an argument to be made for “everybody who has to deal with their grief” crowd being selfish. You want a suffering human being to remain in that state of acute misery so that YOU don’t have to confront pain and loss? Who the fuck are you? News flash: you are not the Center of the Universe and nobody is obliged to arrange his life to suit you and your opinions. However, the thought of giving ammunition to the hostile roommate and various others who would be more than happy to have yet something else on me to bitch about and add to their legend of martyrdom because they’re connected to Susan Thatcher gave me a reason to stay my hand. I have been an emotional trash can for years. Lotta shit got blamed on me, deserved or not.

As for cowardly, I completely disagree (Shep Smith over on Fox News said it). I could, in those pitch black hours, pray for God to take me (and I fucking did), but I lacked the nerve to actually take a proactive step. (I also lacked the means. I don’t believe in prescription meds, don’t own a gun, wasn’t about to open a vein and give the hostile roommate something to bitch about how I had messed up her house, etc.) As much as I love the friends who stepped up and talked me down from the ledge (almost literally),  my hand was stayed in a large part because I could not bring myself to do it.  This ties back to the “live life to please someone else.”  You want to keep another being in intense pain and misery because you think it’s bad form to end it? See previous “who the fuck are you”?

Of all the things said in the last 24 hours, the one that is killing me (and making me cry. I’ll have to take out my contacts now) is the picture I’m using to close. Before I go: Look,  you can talk to me if you want to talk. You can call 1-800-273-8255. That’s the Suicide Prevention Hotline. Whatever you do, I won’t judge. And neither should anyone else.