Behind the scenes with Susie Orman Schnall

Tell us about your new book.

We Came Here to Shine is uplifting historical fiction set at the 1939 NY World’s Fair. It follows two bold and ambitious women – one the lead swimmer of the aquacade and one a journalist at the fair’s daily paper – as they pursue their personal and professional dreams and try to overcome the obstacles preventing them from achieving their goals. It’s a story of friendship and ambition with a fascinating and informative behind-the-scenes look at the iconic world’s fair of 1939. And the best thing I can say is that it’s light and fun which we could all use more of these days.

What places or what other authors do you get inspiration from?

I’m mostly inspired by women who are stepping outside their comfort zones, using their voices, celebrating their ambition and their boldness. Authors like Glennon Doyle and Michelle Obama own their wisdom and I admire how they’re able to be vulnerable and display their evolution for all to see while at the same time they don’t apologize for being strong women who take names and break rules.

Tell us a bit about your workspace.

Readers ask me all the time where I work, what my office is like, etc. So…. here’s a photo of my desk a few hours ago, unposed and exactly as it was when I stood up and laughed at how messy it is.

On the left of the photo are the props I hold up in interviews and a stack of research books I used. My morning smoothie and enormous Yeti filled with black tea. Copies of my books to hold up in the interviews. Papers with my scripts and research notes. One of my TBR stacks. The pillow on my chair to help support my injured tail bone (healing after about 3 years, finally!). My printable monthly calendars on the wall to show my events all in one place.

What are some of your favorite books?

Some favorites: Untamed by Glennon Doyle, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Becoming by Michelle Obama, She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.

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