more of the tell-all interview

Deborah Bouziden: What is the most difficult thing about being a writer? What is the most rewarding?
SW: The most difficult? The competitiveness of some writers and no, I’m not naming names. You learn, sometimes, that not everybody is your friend. Not everybody wishes you well. I try to avoid people who are negative, especially those who are constantly critiquing other writers’ careers and declaring themselves superior. The negative energy stresses me out, so I tend to hang with people who are positive, supportive and kind. When I was a teacher, I used to tell my students, “You don’t have to blow out somebody else’s candle to make yours burn brighter.” Some writers need to learn that, too.
By the same token, the most rewarding thing is hanging out with writer friends, dealing with people in the business, and readers. I’ve met some of the most delightful, unforgettable people life has to offer–readers who have become close friends. My agent and editor are like girlfriends. And my writers’ groups–lifelong friendships have