Literary Birthday – 2 January – Susan Wittig Albert

Happy Birthday, Susan Wittig Albert, born 2 January 1940.


  1. Create a character you’d be happy to live with  for the rest of your life. You might just have to!
  2. I believe passionately that we must witness and give voice to what is happening to our fragile planet. We can’t do that unless we can describe the places we live and give voice to our relationships to those places.
  3. One person’s weed is another person’s wildflower.
  4. I always start with an idea—usually fairly general—and a situation, which is usually fairly concrete. I put the characters into the situation, present them with difficulties, and let them find their way through (with the idea still in the back of my head). So the characters more or less invent the plot as we go along, within the parameters of the idea and the original situation. Often, I’m surprised at what they come up with.
  5. When I’m writing (about 8-9 months a year), I’m at the computer by 9, into the book by 10, and done for the day by 5, when the dogs insist on taking me for a walk. I aim for 1500 words a day.
  6. Sharing our stories can also be a means of healing. Grief and loss may isolate us, and anger may alienate us. Shared with others, these emotions can be powerfully uniting, as we see that we are not alone, and realise that others weep with us.
  7. We are the only ones who can tell our stories because we are the only ones who have lived them.

Susan Wittig Albert is an American author of mystery novels. She has written many books, including the China Bayles series, which began with Thyme of Death, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and the Darling Dahlias series. She penned the memoirs, Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place and An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days. She was also one of the collective authors who  wrote under the pen name Carolyn Keene (for Nancy Drew books).

Source for Image: Author’s website

by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 2nd January 2014