Inspire Member Spotlight: Susan Basham

How long have you been a member of Inspire Christian Writers?

I officially joined in August 2011.

What prompted you to join Inspire?

It was the admirable Beth Thompson. Our children attend the same school, and we have known each other for four years. The timing wasn’t right for me to commit to writing until now, although I knew I would return to it.

My two older kids are now away at college. It’s me, my husband, our twelve year old daughter, three dogs and a guinea pig, who might make the Guinness for the longest living gp.

It’s still a bit crazy, but our house has always been the “gathering place”, so it seems quiet without a posse of teenage boys hanging out begging me to make chocolate chip cookies and smoothies. I miss them—but the quiet is nice!

When did you first know you were a writer?

My third grade teacher read three-quarters of a story and asked that we construct an ending. I was in my element, because as an only child it was often just me and my imagination. And since I could draw, I created my own little illustrated version and won.  Good times.

Describe your writing career high point and low point.

The most recent high point occurred at Mt. Hermon this year when Karen Ball, one of the top agents in the country with The Steve Laube Agency, read my manuscript and said “Baby, you can write!” I’m considering having that etched on a plaque for my office—maybe imprinted on a tote bag or mug. I mentioned a t-shirt line, but my family tells me that’s going too far.

Growing up, I lived for the Book Mobile to come to my little town in Ohio. That lumbering bus with the wheezy air cooler still conjures up the best memories for me. Metal drop-down stairs, old book smell. If I missed it, I would sulk for a week. I still have “Missed the Book Mobile Again” days, and they are low points.

Which of your stories is closest to your heart?

My current WIP novel, Collide. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, and my characters lead me. I’m attached to them and actually look forward to days in the writing chair.

Describe receiving your first book contract.

I’ll be sure to let you know when that happens. But church bells may peal.

What project of yours is gathering dust?

Articles, articles. I love reading about and researching medicine, and many article ideas have begun around medical topics. My husband says I’m the only person he knows who asked for a subscription to The New England Journal of Medicine because I actually wanted to read it. So of course I had to give one of my characters in Collide a disease.

What’s next for you?

I have a sequel in mind for Collide …and many other book ideas.

What does it mean to you to be a writer?

It’s my calling and I’ve always known that. The weight of our words have the power to make or break everything, everyone in our lives. We must be responsible with the gift we’ve been given. My tag line is “writing life-changing stories for women.” I hope to weave truths into my writing that bring faith and hope to readers.

Was there a book that changed your life?

Every book I read teaches me, changes me in some way. But I am a selective reader.

Describe your writing environment.

I have an office in our home upstairs. My husband bought some special items for me: a gorgeous floral arrangement, cool chair, a big monitor. I love it!

What is the best writing advice you ever received?

Join a critique group. Entertain original thoughts. Pay attention to intuition.

Remain teachable. Pray.

Connect with Susan on her website or Facebook page.