The Sweet Spot – and Interview with Joan Livingston

Elisabeth Schaffalitzky

We recently caught up with Joan Livingston, the author of The Sweet Spot, and asked her a few questions about herself and her writing.


The Sweet Spot by [Livingston, Joan]Tell us something unexpected about yourself!


When I was a newspaper reporter, I only had to use my press pass twice: interviewing President Bill Clinton’s National Security Adviser Tony Lake inside the White House; and at the local agricultural fair.


What novels affected you the most growing up?


I was moved by novels that had strong female characters such as those in To Kill a Mockingbird, The Secret Garden, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.


Where did the idea for your current book come from?


Frankly, like all of my other novels, the idea for this one popped into my head and then I had my way with it. I often get my best ideas for characters and plot while I work in my garden, hike, drive, or just when I am about to fall asleep.


Do you think there’s any way you could ever run out of ideas for books?

Never. My only problem would be running out of time to write them.


What is your routine for writing and has this method changed over the span of your career?


When I worked full time as a newspaper editor, I got up at 5 a.m. to write before I headed to the newsroom. Since leaving that post, I still write early and then any time during the day that the spirit moves me.


How important is marketing and social media for you?


Marketing via social media has the potential to give writers, especially those who are self-published, the largest possible audience.


What advice would you have for other writers?


Write, rewrite, and read what others write.


What are you reading now?


I write a biweekly book review column called The Write Stuff for The Taos News in Taos, New Mexico, so I read a new book or more every week. I just finished Estelle Laure’s new YA novel But Then I Came Back.


What’s your next step?


The Sweet Spot is the first of my hilltown novels to be published. Currently, I am working on the next, a mystery. After losing her job as a newspaper editor, Isabel Long decides to solve a cold case involving a woman who went missing in her town 28 years ago. Her “Watson” is her 92-year-old mother. Yes, it is set in Conwell. I am on my second draft and expect to have it completed before the summer.


The Sweet Spot is available here



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