Meet Amy Sue Nathan, author of Left to Chance
Written by
Stephanie Elliot
November 2017
Written by
Stephanie Elliot
November 2017

Amy Sue Nathan shares her newest book and tells us the most surprising thing about publishing!


Today we’re spending time with Amy Sue Nathan, the author of The Glass Wives, The Good Neighbor, and her most recent (as in published today!), Left to Chance. Amy’s books are filled with flawed and likable characters with real issues set in charming small towns. You feel like you’re visiting a good friend when you sit down with one of her books. Amy’s also the founder of Women’s Fiction Writers, which is a Writer’s Digest Best Website for writers and an invaluable source for women who write fiction. Let’s find out more about Amy and her writing!

First off, here’s the blurb for Left to Chance:

No one knows why Teddi Lerner left her hometown, but everyone knows why she’s back.

Twelve-year-old Shayna―talented, persistent, and adorable―persuaded "Aunt Tee" to return to Chance, Ohio, to photograph her father’s wedding. Even though it's been six years since Shay's mother, Celia, died, Teddi can hardly bear the thought of her best friend's husband marrying someone else. But Teddi’s bond with Shay is stronger than the hurt.

Teddi knows it’s time to face the consequences of her hasty retreat from family, friends, and, her old flame, but when she looks through her viewfinder, nothing in her small town looks the same. That’s when she truly sees the hurt she's caused and―maybe―how to fix it. 

After the man she once loved accuses Teddi of forgetting Celia, Teddi finally admits why she ran away, and the guilt she’s carried with her. As Teddi relinquishes the distance that kept her safe, she’ll discover surprising truths about the people she left behind, and herself. And she'll finally see what she overlooked all along in Left to Chance.

SW: What was your first published piece? And when was it?
I guess it depends what you mean by published. I started having essays published when e-zines had their heyday, back in 2006 but my first nationally published piece was in the Chicago Tribune in December 2006. The first of many columns I had published there was about holiday cookies and how diverse they are, yet we eat them all! True, right? 

SW: What books are you reading now? How does your reading throughout the year change? Can you read while writing/drafting? 
I’m always reading and I do read while I’m writing, but I only read one novel at a time. I read writing books and research books all the time as well. The novel I’m devouring now is The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor. My reading doesn’t really change except if it’s very rainy or cold or stormy I like to hunker down and give myself an entire reading day complete with blankets and hot chocolate! I wish we’d have that horrible weather more often (not really). 

SW: Which author would you freak out over meeting? (Alive and dead) And what would you ask him or her? 
I kind of freak out whenever I meet an author I admire, and usually ask nothing because I’m tongue-tied. If I met a dead author I’d freak out for other reasons. 

SW: What was the most surprising thing you discovered from publishing your book(s). 
You care about your book more than anyone else, including your mother and your publisher.  

SW: When did you feel like a ‘real' author?
As soon as someone else published my work I considered myself a real writer. I think I believed I was a real novelist when my debut novel sold to St. Martin’s.

SW: What’s the coolest thing a reader has done for you? 
Bought a case of books to give as gifts. Another drove two hours to meet me. 

SW: Best advice you have received as an author? 
Ignore the critics. 

SW: If not an author, you’d want to be what?
Princess. LOL. Really? I think I’d have enjoyed being a teacher. 

SW: What is something unique/quirky, annoying or endearing about you that most people don’t know? 
I’d say that a quirky thing about me is that I usually start things on the hour or half hour. Planning ahead is my jam. 

SW: What non-electronic item do you need to have with you every day and why? 
Post-it notes and a fine tip pen because if I don’t write it down I forget it. 

SW: What is your go-to or favorite writing snack/drink? 
I like finger food – so that can be anything from popcorn to grapes to Cheerios to M&Ms. I like M&Ms the most.

SW: How many books are in your #TBR pile? What book or books are you looking forward to reading? 
I collect books and they’re all part of my TBR pile, old books, new books, already-read books. All of them.



Amy Sue Nathan is the author of The Glass Wives, The Good Neighbor, and Left to Chance all published by St. Martin’s Griffin. She is the founder of the award-winning Women’s Fiction Writers Blog, an editor, book coach, and speaker. You can find her online @AmySueNathan. 

Stephanie Elliot is an editor and author. Her young adult novel, Sad Perfect, is based on her daughter’s experience with ARFID/Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. 



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