Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Susan J. Laidlaw: An Infidel in Paradise

Yesterday was the release day for AN INFIDEL IN PARADISE, a YA novel from Tundra Books, written by MiG Writer, Susan J. Laidlaw! Yay, Susan!

Here's the Amazon blurb:

Set in Pakistan, this is the story of a teen girl living with her mother and siblings in a diplomatic compound. As if getting used to another new country and set of customs and friends isn't enough, she must cope with an increasingly tense political situation that becomes dangerous with alarming speed. Her life and those of her sister and brother depend on her resourcefulness and the unexpected help of an enigmatic Muslim classmate.


To celebrate the release of her book, I interviewed Susan about her writing and the challenges of writing her book. I'm posting a few exerpts from the interview here to pique your interest. The complete interview is posted over at MiG Writers:

Share a little about how you ended up as a writer.

"I've wanted to be a writer since I was a child. I actually studied journalism for a year but switched to English when I realized I wanted to write fiction."

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
"The hardest thing about writing this book was to make Emma, a rotational kid, comprehensible to people who haven't had her experience of moving around. Emma's an angry, alienated and depressed kid, in the throes of culture shock. But just like the hundreds of kids I've worked with, she's going to confront people who don't have the ability to empathize with her situation."
"I don't think a reader needs to have experienced Emma's life to identify with her pain. They only need to be capable of empathy and most teens have plenty of that."  
 Each book I write teaches me something about the world, myself or the process of writing. What did you learn through writing your book?
"...when a kid comes into my office, angry or depressed because her parents have moved her yet again, I feel an immediate connection that transcends my usual empathetic response to an unhappy kid. As much as I love moving around, and despite the fact that I willfully subjected my own children to this lifestyle, I feel that child's pain with every fibre of my being. But can I communicate that to a reader in a meaningful way? There's the challenge."
For the full interview, check out my post over at MiG Writers: An Interview With Susan J. Laidlaw author of AN INFIDEL IN PARADISE.


  1. Sounds like an interesting book. And timely. Thanks for sharing part of the interview here.

  2. The story sounds great. I moved a lot as a kid, which includes moving to different countries. But as hard as that was, it was nothing like what your characters experience, Susan.

  3. Thanks for the interview, Andrea and thanks to those who read it as well! :-)


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