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Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Writer Finds Her Voice and Story by Susan G. Weidener

I am so pleased to have author Susan G. Weidener on my blog today! Her post is part of her blog tour with WOW! Women On Writing which began on July 20th and runs through August 14. You can read her initial interview on The Muffin along with a list of places she has and will be visiting! I was excited she chose to talk about  finding her voice as a writer and a widow. I started writing after my husband died seven years ago and wanted to learn more about her journey and the life she has created for herself. Check it out below!

Wedding Photo

A Writer Finds Her Voice and Story

My trilogy inspired by and dedicated to my late husband, John M. Cavalieri, is finished. As I reflect over the five-year journey of writing our story – his and mine – many things come to mind, but mostly a sense of peace. For years, I dreamed of John’s memoir reaching the reading public. His memoir is enfolded in a fictionalized love story in A Portrait of Love and Honor, a Novel Based on a True Story. My husband called writing his memoir “scriptotherapy.”
As for me, not only did I find my voice as a writer and a widow coming to terms with grief and loss when I wrote my books, but I discovered answers along the way as to who Susan was. It had been 13 years since my husband’s death when I wrote Again in a Heartbeat, a memoir of love, loss and dating again . . . but John had never really left my side. He was my dream come true. Could I write our story? 

When I started the project, my thought was to write about being widowed and dating again as a 40-something woman with two young sons. As the memoir progressed and I began to write about the narcissistic man I began dating a year after my husband’s death, the people who critiqued my memoir said, “We want more about John.” I realized they were right. The real story was meeting John, falling in love and our ordeal with cancer less than 10 years into our marriage. 
In writing that memoir and its sequel, Morning at Wellington Square, about reinvention and moving on after loss (and more dating!), I answered many questions. What happens when Prince Charming makes a dramatic and tragic exit? Does true love only come once? . . . and, if so, is that enough? Can loss offer renewal and unexpected gifts?
I also made peace with my own unique quirks and flaws, and the acceptance that there are no fairy tale endings or happily-ever-afters. You find the strength within yourself to go on. I like to think I found a little wisdom and a lot of healing through my writing. 
One of my hopes with my trilogy of stories is that others take away their own life lessons. The love story comes to a shining conclusion with the publication of A Portrait of Love and Honor . . . two people meet and find in each other their dreams come true – even if time is running out.
About The Book

Newly-divorced and on her own, 40-something Ava Stuart forges a new life. One day, at a signing in the local library for her novel, a tall, dark-haired man walks in and stands in the back of the room. Jay Scioli is a wanderer – a man who has said good-bye to innocence, the U. S. Army, and corporate America. His outlook on life having changed, his health shattered by illness, he writes a memoir. In his isolation, he searches for an editor to help him pick up the loose ends. Time may be running out. He is drawn to the striking and successful Ava. Facing one setback after another, their love embraces friendship, crisis, dignity, disillusionment. Their love story reflects a reason for living in the face of life’s unexpected events.Based on a true story, A Portrait of Love and Honor takes the reader from the halls of the United States Military Academy at West Point during the Vietnam War to a moving love story between two people destined to meet.
About The Author

 Susan G. Weidener
Susan G. Weidener is a former journalist with The Philadelphia Inquirer. She has interviewed a host of interesting people from all walks of life, including Guy Lombardo, Bob Hope, Leonard Nimoy, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and Mary Pipher.  She left journalism in 2007 and after attending a women’s writing retreat, wrote and published her memoir, Again in a Heartbeat, a memoir of love, loss and dating again, about being widowed at a young age. Two years later, she wrote and published its sequel, Morning at Wellington Square, a woman’s search for passion and renewal in middle age. Her novel, A Portrait of Love and Honor, completes the trilogy, inspired by and dedicated to her late husband, John M. Cavalieri, on whose memoir the novel is based.  Susan earned a BA in Literature from American University and a master’s in education from the University of Pennsylvania. An editor, writing coach and teacher of writing workshops, she founded the Women’s Writing Circle, a support and critique group for writers in suburban Philadelphia. She lives in Chester Springs, PA

Links: Website      Facebook          Twitter @Sweideheart               

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