gorgeous genius: susannah conway

Dare I say I’ve got a major creative girl-crush on Susannah Conway?

If you don’t want to hear me blather on, just hit play and listen to what she has to say about her writing process. I wanted details! She revealed!


We did an audio interview, which looked all boring when I posted it on the page.

She’s a photographer and her book is gorgeous. Visuals, please!

I got a last-minute wild hair to make a little movie of our talk so you could look at her pretty pictures.


I’d been lurking about on her blog since the early days, and when she announced her memoir finally being published, I got over my “I’m-too-shy-and-awkward-to-write-to-authors” nonsense and immediately sent her an email asking if I could interview her.

She said yes! When the day came around, we talked for more than two hours, even though I messed up the time zone thing (I’m really dyslexic about time, backward instead of forward and vice versa).

It was like spending the afternoon with an old friend. Only she was in England and I was calling her from Mexico and we had never met. How cool is that?!

We talk about the magic powers of writing for ourselves.

Of daring to publish your writing with blogging (that’s how we both got our start and attracted book publishers to our work).

Of the beautiful alchemy that happens when we start connecting with others who are writing online and blogging.

There’s a very juicy tidbit right near the end of our talk. Something she did that helped her write her book. Something you’ll want to try if you’re trying to write something and are stuck.

Susannah’s new book is called: this I know: notes on unraveling the heart

It’s about healing from loss. It’s about using creativity to heal your life. It’s about becoming more of who you really are.

I couldn’t put it down and read it in one big gulp. But it’s the kind of book you want to pick up and look at and savor slowly. There are lots of creative prompts to try. I share about my experience with that in the interview.

Will you join in our conversation?

Your assignment:

Share in the comments what stood out to you in the interview. Something you learned. Something that inspired you. Something that made you remember your own gorgeous genius. For example.

For extra credit: Go ahead and write that fan letter to an author. Don’t be shy!

Susannah’s website is here.


11 Responses to gorgeous genius: susannah conway

  1. Jan June 8, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    Thank you for your thoughtfulness by sharing with us. It really, really inspired me! Now I want her book!

  2. Mary June 7, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    EXCELLENT! I loved the flow of the interview, it was very inspirational especially the parts about structure and process. I always love to hear how other people work.

    Susannah is right, you have a wonderful voice and made her words come alive.

    Thank you for stepping out and contacting her for the interview. Way to go, Lisa!

  3. Marie June 7, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    This is so beautiful, I don’t even know where to begin. I love all Susannah said about blogging especially, and about how blogging is way to find kindred people. That is genius. That was why I started book blogging – none of my ‘real life’ friends like to read, and I needed to share my love of books, and have other people who ‘got it’. That’s also why I started a ‘personal’ blog more recently – looking for people who wanted to share a piece of their lives, the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly. It’s helping me open up so much.

    I love all you said at the end about your love of books and libraries. I feel the exact same way. The library is like my safe space – the place I go when I need peace and quiet and to be surrounded by word and worlds.

    Really, really enjoyed this, thanks so much for sharing.

    • Lisa Sonora June 8, 2012 at 1:57 am #

      Glad I didn’t cut the library part out! Was worried about how long the video was getting.

  4. Pat Grady June 7, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing this interview! It was amazing and I am definitely going to read Susannah’s book- it sounds wonderful.

    I love her “unraveling” term, it is very powerful. It is inspirational to me since I have just started teaching my own Visual Journaling Experiences in the past two weeks. Already I understand what a powerful tool this can be in my and other people’s lives. I am anxious to learn more from other people who use journals to navigate their life.

    • Lisa Sonora June 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

      @Pat: Hiya! I’ve been meaning to write to you and catch up!

      • Pat Grady June 7, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

        Yes, I would love to chat, let me know when is a good time.

  5. Michelle Kroll June 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    The whole paragraph that starts “I do want my body to last an entire lifetime..” Fabulous! “People in a hurry are dead.” “Collecting the dislodge fragments of myself.” All, wonderful! I am absolutely treasuring the book (and the class).

    • Lisa Sonora June 7, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

      @Michelle: great pull quotes from the book! there is stuff like that on every page!

  6. Square-Peg Karen June 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    What a dear interview, the “beautiful alchemy” really came across! I’m glad you got a “last-minute wild hair’, because the “little movie” really added to the interview.

    I loved hearing about Susannah’s process as she wrote her book, particularly the organizational thing, like when she described breaking “down into more manageable chunks”. And the pinboard – ohhhh!

    And, ohmyword, hearing how she described the differences between blogging and writing a book – things I never even thought of (like “what I’m writing can’t be changed” – can’t believe I never thought of that!).

    Also, Lisa – your question about introversion – fantastic!!

    • Lisa Sonora June 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

      @Square-Peg Karen: so happy to hear you enjoyed it all — and thanks for sharing your takeaways – it helps all of us extract even more goodness when we can “book group” about it here! ooh…virtual book group!

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