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Sonny and Barkis will NOT take no for an answer.

“Wanted: A needle swift enough to sew this poem into a blanket.” –Charles Simic, Serbian-American Poet

I love the little detail on the title lettering.

I wrote The Goodbye Quilt because it was cheaper than therapy. Honestly, I did not expect my daughter’s departure from home to hit me as hard as it did.
The first draft of this novel came out fast, in a matter of weeks, fueled by emotion and a sense of urgency to get the feelings out. 

Several years ago, I talked to my agent and great friend Meg Ruley about the book, but the story, like me, was a work in progress. I needed the perspective of time and my cold writer’s eye to transform the story from a self indulgent rumination into a novel readers could truly embrace and relate to.

I also needed to find a way to conclude the story that felt true and satisfying. This is something I struggled with for a long time and when I finally hit on the right ending, it was glad day chez Wiggs. At last, I got it right. I proudly submitted the piece to my publisher, only to hear the dreaded words, “This ending doesn’t work. You have to change it.” After much gnashing of teeth and ritual smearing of ashes, I realized that this was true. Back to the drawing board. The perfect solution came from the perfect source, my own daughter, the ever fabulous Elizabeth Wiggs Maas, now grown and married and an author in her own right.

She didn’t give me the answer, but she reminded me of the true meaning of the goodbye quilt in the story. It is a record of one woman’s days as a mom, and as such, it was an unfinished story.

Whether readers of the novel will agree or not remains to be seen, but for me, it’s the grace note at the end if a long and beautiful piece.

IMPORTANT: You can enter to win a $500 travel voucher to bring your college kid home–or to take you anywhere you want to go. All you need is to find your favorite quote in THE GOODBYE QUILT and you’re good to go. Details to follow so stay tuned!

I’m so excited for people to read this book! I’ve put up a slide show of images here: and a video with a beautiful song here: 

At the end of the novel, you’ll fine a spectacular pattern for the original Goodbye Quilt, created by the ever-talented Joan of Cards.

Spring has sprung. Like my sweet mobile? It was made by my friend Joan, and they’re for sale with any happy message you can imagine.

2 things I love:
1. writers’ conferences
2. Australia
Registration is open for the RWAustralia’s 20th annual conference, August 11-14. The conference page gives you the whole scoop:
You can check out their Twitter feed here:!/RWAusConf2011
Or Facebook here:
Getting to Australia is easier than you think. It’s like flying to Hawaii but just a few bar drinks and a couple of in-flight movies longer. There are easy nonstops from LA on Virgin Australia (which makes you feel like a rock star) and Qantas. C’mon down under! What conferences are YOU attending this summer?

THE GOODBYE QUILT is the perfect gift for Mother’s Day or Graduation. Make it special by adding ::Letterpressed Bookplates:: 



Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to me and I’ll mail you 

a signed bookplate, beautifully hand letterpressed by Atlas&Campbell:

Susan Wiggs, 321 High School Road NE STE D3 PMB 348,

Bainbridge Island WA 98110-2648 :: I will sign it with my lucky

pen and peacock blue ink ::

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seen from my hot tub. biggest moon since 1993:,2817,2382247,00.asp

This is my friend’s dog, Emma. I think it’s time for another caption contest. Winner gets a free book!

Something old is new again. Authors love reissues, because it gives us a chance to offer our books to an expanding readership. I suspect some readers might have other opinions. Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about The You I Never Knew, a March release from Grand Central. It’s got a fresh new look and comes with a bonus reading group guide, and a $7.99 cover price, so what’s not to like?

Here is something else I like about the new edition–the nice cover art that reminds me of Just Breathe:

And also, I think the cover model has good taste in sundresses:

See what I mean?

I bought mine at anthropologie from whence all good things come:

For book geeks only:
Here is a false start of a cover for the original edition of this book. It was never used. Simply not the right look.


…and the first edition:

Cover Image

For a little backstory on this particular book, check out my blog here and here

What are your feelings about reissued books? Do they make you bitter with rage because you got hoodwinked into buying a book you’ve already read, or are they an opportunity for new readers to catch up on an author’s work?

Join me on Facebook. You won’t be sorry.

I tend to spontaneously give stuff away to readers and libraries. Join the fun here. Really.

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March 2011