SUSAN AZIM BOYER 

About Me

After obtaining a Certificate in Screenwriting from UCLA in the early aughts, I was accepted to the Sundance Producers Conference and  went on to write and direct the independent feature, All You Need, starring two-time Academy Award nominee, Shirley Knight, which played on the festival circuit. After several “it’s my breakthrough!/oh no, it’s not my breakthrough” moments, I began writing young adult fiction featuring Iranian American heroines (whom I *never* encountered growing up), who make messy, complicated choices that rapidly snowball into avalanches. Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win is my young adult fiction debut. I live in the Palm Springs/Palm Desert area with my husband, Wayne, and my Pug mix, Teddy. Our son, Alec, lives in New York.

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My Story

Look at me. Did my mother cut my hair with a machete? My grandmother began my obsession with reading when I was four, and I won an essay contest in fourth grade that included a trip to Knott’s Berry Farm (I got duped–it was only to see the Fake Liberty Bell). I’ve been writing ever since! Here’s how:

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As you soon as you type "The End," dive into your next WIP.

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Become part of a community of readers and writers who will buoy you when you need it.

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Avoid people who are negative or discourage your dream.

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Save your pennies to pay for at least one professional, editorial consult.

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Have a writing toolkit that includes resources such as Lisa Cron's Story Genius.

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Unapologetically carve out time and space for your writing.

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Consider shifting your definition of success to the joy of expressing yourself creatively.

About

my 20-year journey to publication

I started working on Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win twenty-plus years ago, when I snail mail queried St. Martin’s Press the coming-of-age novel Spin the Bottle, which was, mercifully, rejected. However, one story thread survived: the ethical quandary Jasmine finds herself in when she discovers her best friend’s boyfriend is cheating on her.

Several years later, I inserted that thread into an evolving feature film script about a high school election in which the cheating boyfriend is also Jasmine’s campaign manager.

But something was missing – until I decided to anchor the book in 1979, as the Iran Hostage Crisis explodes across the news, forcing Jasmine to reckon with her identity in a way she never has before when her opponent stirs up anti-Iranian hysteria.

And then, some twenty-plus years after the initial snail mail query, I landed a two-book deal with Wednesday Books, a division of — you guessed it! — St. Martin’s Press.

 

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