Susan Isaacs on Why She Chose to Write Mysteries
The Author of Takes One to Know One on the
Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan
In this episode of The Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan, Susan Isaacs joins Mitchell to discuss her latest book, Takes One to Know One, out now from Atlantic Monthly Press, and how she became a writer.
From the episode:
Susan Isaacs: I didn’t know writing was in my future until I had to look for a job … I landed a job at Seventeen magazine, writing advice to the lovelorn under the name of Abigail Wood. It was a great first job. … There were three of us who was Abigail. The managing editor was a fabulous woman.
In those days, if you wanted a maternity leave you had three weeks and had to go back. I had my first child, and I couldn’t leave him. I couldn’t think about it. I stayed home. I did some freelance magazine articles and freelance political speech writing. Then I started reading mysteries, and at some pints I was reading three to four a week. All different kinds. The reason that I chose that genre is because, besides all the usual reasons that it’s ultimately about justice and crime & punishment, the writing is excellent. I just chose good writers. I did the requisite Agatha Christie, but she wasn’t a great writer. There were so many that were, and delivered a good story.
Susan Isaacs is the author of thirteen novels, including As Husbands Go, Long Time No See, Any Place I Hang My Hat, and Compromising Positions. A recipient of the Writers for Writers Award and the John Steinbeck Award, Isaacs serves as chairman of the board of Poets & Writers, and is a past president of Mystery Writers of America. Her fiction has been translated into 30 languages. She lives on Long Island with her husband.