Q&A with Suzanne Park

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Q&A With Suzanne Park

Publicist Mary Interdonati connected me with author Suzanne Park to do a Q&A with and she was kind enough to send me an early copy of her new novel One Last Word will be available on April 16th! It was one of the best books I read to start off the month of April. Suzanne’s other novels are The Do Over, The Christmas Clash, Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous, and The Perfect Escape, So We Meet Again & Loath At First Sight. In a past life, she was a standup comedian who appeared on BET and & was the winner of the Sierra Mist Comedy Competition & was a semi-finalist on NBC’s Stand Up For Diversity Showcase. Suzanne’s books have been featured in the “best of lists” for NPR, Elle, Popsugar, Real Simple, Country Living, Bustle, Buzzfeed, Marie Claire, Parade, Shondaland & The Today Show.

Q: For those who haven’t read the novel One Last Word, would you like to give a brief description about the book?

A: Sara Chae created an app that lets you send your last words to people after you pass. But after a night of drunk drafting, the messages she writes to her parents, her ex-BFF, and unrequited crush are sent out, and she must deal with this messy aftermath while securing funding for her business venture. Fun fact: the book is loosely inspired by TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE.

 Q: What lessons do you hope readers learn after reading One Last Word?


A: This book has running themes of the challenges of adulting, specifically conflict avoidance and resolution. If anything, I’d love for people to walk away knowing they’re not alone and that there are ways to have difficult conversations with promising outcomes.


Q: Where do your ideas for your stories & characters come from?


A: My story ideas always come first, usually from something I’ve observed in the real world, with an added “this would be really funny i —” brainstorm. My characters (especially antagonists!) used to be inspired by people I knew or had worked with, but now I think about all of my stories as a collection and ask myself “Who else needs a story told?” and go from there.


Q: Have you ever had to deal with self-doubt whenever you were writing? If you had, what is a healthy way you deal with it, so that future authors will do it too?


A: Every author I know has dealt with self-doubt whether they’re writing, editing, or taking a hiatus. Whether it is seeing other authors get an opportunity you’re not given, or waiting on news that doesn’t go the way someone expects, it can be hard for an author, even ones with tons of sales and bestseller acclaim. I’ve stepped away from social media periodically and that’s helped with mental health. I also don’t look at reviews anymore, which has also been good for my well-being.


Q: Your work has been featured in NPR, Elle, Popsugar, Real Simple, Country Living, Bustle, Buzzfeed, Marie Claire, Parade, Shondaland and The Today Show. How does it feel getting praise from these famous publications?


A: I’ve held jobs in advertising and marketing before becoming a novelist, so I have a special place in my heart for endorsements and testimonials. Seeing new media outlets cover my books is a thrill and an honor.


Q: When Hollywood gets the rights to your work if they haven’t already, who would be your dream cast to play the characters you created?


A: I’d love to see strong women like Arden Cho and Ashley Park in the main roles. As for the leading men, I need suggestions!


Q: How long does it typically take you to write a book? Are you currently writing your next novel now?


A: Typically, it takes me 9-12 months to go from 0 words to a polished manuscript. I do have two projects in the works: one is more in line with what I currently write, and the other is totally different. Both are with my agent for feedback— fingers crossed!