Susan Wingate

Women and Adversity:

Susan Wingate, Author, Part I

Susan Wingate’s creativity spans a multitude of genres, so fans of mystery, thriller, memoir, fantasy, young adult, inspirational, family drama and a sprinkling of romance have nearly two dozen titles from which to choose. Add her blog, webinar series and other writing endeavors, and a picture of a very dedicated writer emerges. Wingate’s wry humor and easy-going style are evident in her answers to my questions.

JAM: What was the biggest obstacle you faced when you decided to become a published writer?

SW: I had always wanted to write and started writing songs and poems in my teens. As I got older, I realized I would need to pay for my own rent, gas and groceries, so I looked to other careers. I was a bookkeeper before getting an accounting degree and starting my own business.

Transitioning from accounting to writing was a major and difficult step. I enjoyed the money I could make as an accountant, yet I loathed accounting and loved writing. After my father died in 1996―who, by the way, was a writer himself―I remained in Phoenix for the next twenty-two months until heading off to Washington State in an RV which housed several pet birds, my dog, my cat, a rabbit and a fish. Unfortunately, my fish didn’t handle the trip well and ended up dying in transit. I guess you might say that writing killed him and yes, I call him a him but one never truly knows the sex of a fish, does one, unless one spots said fish spewing out eggs.

Anyway, the road trip took two-and-a-half days over 2,000 miles so not only did my desire to write involve a major move, but it also involved a major transitioning of a mindset from one of science-based in law and math to one of arts involving storytelling and language. I had to bend my brain in the opposite direction, flip it on its head and turn it inside-out. And it wasn’t easy.

I felt a natural compulsion to quantify everything I did with writing―track sales, of which there were none so that didn’t take long, to setting up a website and trying to attract traffic. Mind you, websites were just coming onto the “scene” by the mid-1990s. In fact, I once tried to put out my tax accountant’s shingle on the internet. It was 1995 and I got a response back who, to this day I believe, was Bill Gates slapping my virtual wrists and telling me that the internet wasn’t for marketing business ventures. Well, I guess he had a change of heart because now look at what we have in the way of the internet. You can’t burp without seeing an ad somewhere touting someone’s new website. But I digress…

So, I had this overwhelming desire to put numbers to everything even when numbers were unwarranted. Thank God for chapter numbers, right? What I really needed to do was to simply sit my butt down and write. How I got through my transitional hump was to write with a pen and paper because I always felt a computer was for work―tax work. I would avoid the computer until I had a goodly amount of handwritten work done then I would plunk that work into a Word document, save it and close the file.

Since those early days of writing, I only handwrite stories if I can’t locate my laptop which never happens because I eat, drink and sleep with the thing. My whole life of writing is in my laptop. If it were ever to be stolen, I honestly don’t know what I’d do. But then, I forget…I have every file saved in Dropbox. I could just buy another darn laptop, is what I’d do.

More information:

July 9 – Susan Wingate, Part II

Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I published three ebooks in 2020: Women and Adversity, Honoring 23 Black Women; Women and Adversity, Recognizing 23 Notable Mothers; and Women and Adversity, Saluting 23 Faithful Suffragists to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. These books are meant to be study guides for all students from grade school through college to help in choosing topics for assignments and to learn more about these noteworthy women. Go to, and to learn more.

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