The winner from the last Author Spotlight giveaway is MELINDA TOLLIE! Please email info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com with your mailing address to claim your prize.

Welcome Hillary Manton Lodge, author of Reservations for Two, to Author Spotlight! Leave a comment below for the chance to win a copy of her book. 

IMG_4972What is the smartest writing advice you ever got?

Avoid passive verbs.

What was your biggest break?

I got to do morning television last month! It was so much fun, and totally different from other kinds of promotion I’ve done in the past.

I’m inspired by…

Going to the grocery store and seeing unusual ingredients, and watching high-concept movies that get me thinking. Honestly, my brain doesn’t much limit itself. I can get ideas anywhere!

My great adventure has been…

Publishing! I’m working on my fifth contracted novel and finally feeling like I might maybe be getting the hang of it. I’m sure the next book will change my mind. It usually does.

The one thing I hope to discover is…

The best recipe for chocolate cake.

If I could go anywhere, it would be…

Paris! I’d love a full year in Paris, so I’d have plenty of time to explore.

If you have only…an hour…

I’d take a walk or read a book.

Describe yourself in one word:


If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save?

As long as my husband and my dog are fine, I’d go for my computer. All my work is there!

What has been your most surreal, “pinch-me-I’m-dreaming” moment so far?

Definitely the experience of doing the food demo for AM Northwest. About halfway through I realized it wasn’t terrible, and that I might actually be able to pull it off without completely embarrassing myself!

What drives you to succeed?

A desire to avoid failure. I know that sounds glib, but it’s true. I work hard and make a lot of sacrifices in order to write the best book I can write, every time. Just like everyone else, I want to see my work resonate with an audience.

Best surprise:

My husband and I met online. We wrote for a while, back and forth, before he left for a trip to California to visit a cousin. He warned me ahead of time he’d be away from email, but after a week without a reply…I had my doubts. I mean – California! California has the internet! So I figured he’d moved on, and I used my family’s patchy internet to cancel my dating account.

Well, wouldn’t you know, he emailed the next day (that part of the Californian mountains really didn’t have internet). And the internet was patchy enough that I hadn’t actually cancelled my account, and was able to receive the email. We’ve been married nearly eight years, so it’s a surprised that worked out pretty well!

Best Saturday afternoon read:

Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Favorite book, any day of the week.

Best forgotten custom:Lodg_9780307731777_cvr_ALL_r1.indd

Afternoon tea!

Best way to break a sweat:

A good, long walk – but ballroom dance is a lot of fun, too.

Best style icon:

That’s such a hard question for me – I love Tracy Reese, I love Diane Von Furstenberg. Love Jackie O’s classic lines.

Best time-waster:

Cavalier King Charles videos on YouTube – especially the ones with puppies. Also, looking at fashion lines during fashion week!

Best indulgence:

Steve’s makes a Mexican Chili Chocolate ice cream that’s super yummy. Most ice creams I can’t eat in quantity, but I have to watch myself with that one!

Best advice:

Be brave.

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