Susan DeFreitas


Whenever I help a client zero in on a workable blueprint for their book, I feel like a superhero – which is to say, a book coach


What is your favorite part of the coaching process?

My favorite part of the process is that "aha!" moment when a challenge that seemed big and overwhelming gets cut down to size – and loses its power to paralyze.

What's your coaching style like?

I believe in my clients, and I believe in the process!

What genres do you love to edit?

Literary fiction, speculative fiction, and memoir

What do you love most about editing?

Helping writers launch their voices and visions into the world

Who's your ideal writer match? What are you looking for in a coaching client?

Someone who has worked hard and dedicated themselves to the craft but has not yet broken through with publication.

What was the moment when you felt like a real book coach?

Whenever I help a client zero in on a workable blueprint for their book, I feel like a superhero – which is to say, a book coach. 😀

What do you believe the most prominent difference between an editor and a coach is?

An editor really only cares about the book (which is exactly what you want when you have a book headed into production). A book coach cares both about you, the author, and about the writing process itself – she's not just thinking about this book, she's thinking about your next.

What's been your greatest achievement in coaching so far?

Helping a successful self-published MG author untangle an unnecessarily complex plot – and helping him get that highly anticipated sequel to his young fans!

How did you hear about Author Accelerator?

At the Willamette Writers Conference and through Lisa Cron


What's your favorite word?


What genres do you love to read?

Literary fiction and speculative fiction

What are five of your favorite books?

  • Possession by A.S. Byatt
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins
  • Powers by Ursula K Le Guin
  • The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

Who are five of your favorite authors?

  • Ursula K Le Guin
  • Toni Morrison
  • Kelly Link
  • George Saunders
  • Nnedi Okorafor

If you could meet any author, who would it be and why?

Virginia Woolf! She changed English Lit forever, was the true originator of the stream-of-consciousness style, and was responsible for so many other things that James Joyce got credit for.

What are you most excited about right now?

I'm excited about digging into revisions on my next novel.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer!

What does a typical day look like for you?

I eat poetry for breakfast, and a short story (or essay) for lunch – I highly recommend this practice for all writers! Beyond that, I do my best to work on my own writing in the morning and on my clients' work in the afternoon.

If you could fast-forward a year from now, what would your writing life look like?

I would have a dreamy publishing deal for my next novel. 😀

What about 5 years from now?

I would have broken through to a national audience with a book that's sparking conversation on important topics.