the person attached to the legs

April 30, 2018 | 1 Comment

Publishers are keen on author branding, because it helps readers identify the person with the prose. A certain look, font, layout, logo–all can associate the writer with feel-good fiction, spooky stuff, drama, darkness.

So I’m told one element of good branding is to have a professional, clear author photo like the ones on my Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter feeds. Alas, I didn’t do so well branding my Pinterest and Instagram feeds, so I’m updating those pictures. Now you’ll know who you’re looking at all across the Internet. Lucky you!

There’s a story behind the Instagram photo (below). Back when I was single (newly and blissfully divorced), my well-intentioned but meddlesome daughter put my info on a dating site. I was a bit freaked out so I didn’t let her put up any closeups of my face. We used this one instead.

shoes from

Good for getting attention, not so good for branding. In time, Prince Charming came along, and the rest is history.

[Side note: When in doubt, buy the shoes.]

I’ve been known to say that my author photo is my greatest work of fiction. Writers by nature (well, this writer, anyway), tend to be ridiculously uncomfortable about getting their picture taken. All the fuss and attention. The holding-still while wondering if your smile really IS that dorky.  The worry about extra poundage and crows’ feet and oh-my-god that outfit.

But ultimately, you’re persuaded that the artifice has a point. It tells the reader what to expect when they open a book by Stephen King. Nora Roberts. Debbie Macomber. Sandra Brown. Danielle Steel. I bet when you see those names, you can picture the writer in your mind.

What I tell the stylist and photographer at a photo shoot is that I want to look like someone with an interesting story to tell.

So there you have it. The person attached to the legs.

PS: Let’s meet in person to read, eat, drink, knit, and sightsee! This July. Info here.

Meet me in Seattle, July 19-22


the perfect mother’s day gift = the perfect summer weekend

April 27, 2018 | 1 Comment

In this issue: Mother’s Day and writer Susan Wiggs, MMA crocheter and the price of sheep to shawl, Vogue Knitting LIVE San Francisco, Destinations and more, Stitch Away Stress, Free patterns from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas
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We are heading to Bainbridge Island and SeattleJuly 19-22, for an amazing weekend of knitting fun with author Susan Wiggs(see Q&A below!) Our Mother’s Day gift to you? Register before May 15th to save on pricing and get an autographed copy of Susan’s Map of the Heart!



The cost of that knit, from sheep to shawl. (Washingtonian)

Fashion is sitting up and taking craft more seriously. (Dezeen)

Nothing gets knitters talking like Daniel Day-Lewis in a hand-knit gansey. (Fringe Association)

This Minnesota MMA fighter has a soft side. (Fox 9)


Editor Trisha Malcolm chatted with best-selling author Susan Wiggs ahead of this summer’s knitting trip to Wiggs’ hometown of Bainbridge Island.

TM: When did you learn to knit?

SW: I have no memory of learning to knit, the same way I have no memory of learning to make up stories. I had that grandmother who just had the knitting magic. We all remember “that basket” from our childhoods, and I just remember delving into it, trying to emulate her gestures. And I can’t even recall when I really started knitting, but I remember looking down at a little stockinette square and saying, “Look what I did!”

TM: Is there knitting in your novels?

SW: You know, it’s so much a part of everyday life for me I barely even think about it, but yes, people knit in my novels. If the characters are sitting somewhere having a conversation in a certain setting, of course somebody’s going to be knitting! I can’t think of a book where it actually takes center stage, but it’s something that people do just to relax and create. My novels are about drama and deep conflict, and for me knitting is the opposite of that. It would be hard for me to write a dramatic, struggling scene where somebody’s knitting. Now I’m thinking that I should challenge myself to do a knitting scene in the aftermath of a big drama…or after a big love scene! Maybe instead of lighting up a cigarette, they should get out their knitting.

TM: Tell us a little bit about Churchmouse on Bainbridge Island.

SW: What a lovely shop, isn’t it? You know, when it started about fifteen years ago, I thought, really? Just a knitting shop? In a town as small as Bainbridge? But they’ve really turned it into a destination and I love it. I’m so proud of that shop, I love taking people there, seeing their faces when they walk through the door. It’s going to be so much fun this summer when we take people there and they get to take it all in.

TM: Any knitting wisdom?

SW: You know….no. I have the opposite. Knitting imparts the wisdom to you. It makes you be patient. It makes you trust, when you’re casting on stitches and thinking this is never going to be right. If you’re looking for more patience and trust in your life, try knitting.

I am so excited about this trip. It’s my favorite place, my favorite time of year. It will be perfect weather, in the 70s during the day, low 50s at night, water everywhere and blue skies as far as you can see. July is always a good bet in the northwest, and the itineraries for both Bainbridge and Seattle are perfect. Everything you need for a weekend is there. It’s pretty much everything I would say to do.

signed book scavenger hunt

April 19, 2018 | Leave a comment

How do those special “signed edition” books happen? It starts with the bindery shipping thousands of pages to the author for her signature. Then she binge-watches The Last Post (which I heartily recommend) while signing her name, over and over again.

You can pre-order a signed copy of Between You & Me from my local indie bookseller, Eagle Harbor Books, or from Barnes & Noble.

To add some fun to the project, I marked some of the pages with my feather logo stamp. If you order a signed book and you get one with the feather, you are in for a huge treat! It means you’ve won a gift basket of all my favorite things (think chocolate, coffee, candles, lotion, books, writing and art supplies…).

a few of my favorite things

Just send a pic of the autographed page to susanmwiggs (at) and we will shower you with goodies!