The Mark Blog

Bookmark This: Susan Straight On Writing

Author Susan Straight, recent recipient of the 2013 Robert Kirsch Award, presented by The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, offers an honest portrayal of her own creative process for the Los Angeles Times. The author of eight novels and a professor of creative writing at UC Riverside, Straight details the many different places she’s written her novels, including motels, car interiors, and her own front porch.
“I joked all the time about writing in my car, about never having been to a writers colony but having finished my third and fourth novels in cheap motels where I stayed awake all night because in the first, someone was trying to kill his wife and she beat him up and he lay in the hallway moaning; in the second, two men were making drug deals all night long in the hallway; and finishing my fifth novel at Riverside's elegant Mission Inn, in 1995, because I felt the weight of Erle Stanley Gardner and the other writers who'd inhabited the lovely room where I wrote — by hand — feeling like a fraud.” – Susan Straight