Mundanity By Jonathan Carreau        
Meet the author
Jonathan Carreau

Susan Wiggs

Dear Reader,

I wrote THE GOODBYE QUILT because it was cheaper than therapy.

Honestly, I did not expect my daughter's departure from home to hit me as hard as it did. When I went off to college lo those many years ago, it didn't occur to me that my parents would have any trouble with the transition. That's a kid for you.

The first draft of this novel came out fast, in a matter of weeks, fueled by a sense of urgency to get all these feelings out. Years before, I'd talked to my agent and great friend Meg Ruley about the book, but the story, like me, was a work in progress. I needed the perspective of time and my cold writer's eye to transform it from a self-indulgent rumination into a novel readers could relate to.

I also needed to find a way to conclude the story that felt true and satisfying. I struggled with this for a long time, but when I finally got it right, I proudly submitted the piece to my publisher...only to hear those most dreaded of words: this ending doesn't work.

After much gnashing of teeth and a ritual smearing of ashes, I realized that this was true. Back to the drawing board. The perfect solution came from the perfect source, my own daughter, the ever fabulous Elizabeth Wiggs Mass, now grown and married and an author in her own right. She didn't give me the answer, but she reminded me of the true meaning of the goodbye quilt in the story. It is a record of Linda's days as a mom, and as such, it was an unfinished story. Whether readers of the novel will agree or not remains to be seen, but for me, it's the grace note at the end if a long and beautiful piece.

Susan Wiggs