Suzanne Redfearn delivers another gripping page-turner in her latest novel, a story about a young mother’s fight to protect her children from the dangerous world of Hollywood.
Faye Martin never expected her husband to abandon her and their three children . . . or that she’d have to struggle every day to make ends meet. So when her four-year-old daughter is discovered through a YouTube video and offered a starring role on a television series, it seems like her prayers have been answered. But when the reality of their new life settles in, Faye realizes that fame and fortune don’t come without a price. In a world where everyone is an actor and every move is scrutinized by millions, it’s impossible to know whom to trust, and Faye finds herself utterly alone in her struggle to save her family.
Emotionally riveting and insightful, NO ORDINARY LIFE is an unforgettable novel about the preciousness of childhood and the difficult choices a mother needs to make in order to protect this fragile time in her children’s lives.
Who in your personal life was the biggest supporter of your writing?
My husband. He has been amazing. He knew when he married me that I was a creative person, but I’ve gone off in so many whacky directions, it would have made sense for him to poopoo the idea of me becoming an author, but he didn’t. He just smiled and nodded, and on I went, and now here I am.
Do you prefer quiet or background noise when writing? If background noise, what?
I prefer it to be quiet, but when I’m in the zone, I can pretty much block out anything except conversation. If people are talking in the next room or on the television, I get distracted and find myself listening in.
If your characters could come to life and be a real human, which one do you think you would get along with best and which one would drive you crazy first?
I love Bo, Helen, Griff, and Faye’s mom. They are the kind of people I would love to hang out with, all of them straightforward, quirky, and funny. Faye would drive me crazy. I know she is young, and I get why she makes the decisions she makes, but man there were times I wanted to shake her and tell her to wake up and stop being stupid.
When did you start writing and what was your inspiration?
It was a bucket list endeavor. I had an idea that I thought would make a great story, and I thought, “Why not? Everyone always says they’re going to write a novel, so I’m going to give it a try.” Seven months later I was done with my first story and I was hooked. The writing was terrible, but the plot and the characters were amazing. It was like discovering a talent I didn’t know I had. I still needed to learn the craft of writing, but the storytelling part, that was a gift.
Is there a genre or type of book that you love to read but could never write and if so why?
Historical fiction. I love books like Loving Frank, The Paris Wife, and The Nightingale, but writing beyond the contemporary is daunting. I would be terrified of not portraying the times correctly. It’s hard enough for me to get the facts right when I write about the world I’m in.
What is the most intense scene you have ever written? Did you find it difficult writing that scene?
The rape scene in my first novel was very difficult. Any scene where my characters suffer is hard. In order to write them you have to feel them, and I care about my characters, so it definitely affects me. I am often like Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give when she is crying hysterically as she is typing on her keyboard.
How much if any of your story line comes from real life people or events
A lot of inspiration comes from life. I always tell people to be careful what they say to me. If it’s entertaining, it will end up in a book. The idea for Hush Little Baby came from a couple I knew who were going through a horrible divorce, with a lot of he said, she said going on. The story isn’t their story, but the inspiration came from them. And No Ordinary Life was an idea that came to me when I was standing in the grocery line and saw a headline that read, “Zac Efron Enters Rehab Again!” Again, it’s not his story, but his troubles gave me the idea of writing about a child swept up in the world of Hollywood and what goes on behind the glitz and glamour that causes so many young actors to struggle.
How many times do you read what you wrote and think “where the hell did that come from?!”
All the time. I swear I am just a conduit for some other consciousness that I do not control. There are characters in my books and storylines that seemed to conjure themselves from nowhere and that I do not remember thinking up or inventing. I compare it sometimes to dreams, how they are extraordinarily vivid when you are having them, but when you are awake you can’t remember them. There is a creative part of my brain that works in hyper-drive in my subconscious and I am grateful for it every day.
Do you have to look at the keys when you type?
No. Thank you, Mrs. Grumbacher, my very strict seventh-grade typing teacher.
Why are man-hole covers round?
So you can twirl around with your umbrella as you’re going down.
Thank you for this interview. The questions were amazing.
Suzanne Redfearn is the author of Hush Little Baby. She graduated summa cum laude from California Polytechnic University and, prior to becoming an author, was an architect. She is an avid surfer, golfer, skier, and Angels fan. She lives with her husband and children in Southern California. No Ordinary Life is her second novel.