Thursday, March 12, 2009

7 Minutes in Heaven with Susan Isaacs

You're going to get to spend a lot more than seven minutes in heaven with Susan Isaacs soon. After all, her new book Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir comes out today, and it's unlikely you'll be able to put it down once you start reading it.

This comic memoir tells the story of what happens when Susan feels her relationship with God isn't what it should be and takes God to couples therapy. Feeling like a neglected spouse, she begins nagging God about her struggling career as an actress and lack of a husband.

Susan, who works with me at Burnside Writers Collective, was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to give Asphalt Eden an exclusive interview.

Asphalt Eden: What inspires you?
Susan Isaacs: Vulnerability, honesty, irreverent humor, intelligence, a willingness to look stupid or be unpopular. I love big stories with big issues at stake, like The Lord of the Rings. Or smaller stories with big things at stake for the character: like in the movie "Millions." It's no wonder "Slumdog Millionaire" just swept the Golden Globes. It's a big story! Yes it's a love story and a fantasy, but it's set in a very dark and dreary universe. Still the love and innocence of it triumph. I can't imagine a film like that being set in America. We live comfortable lives, we've insulated ourselves from Big Issues because we live lives that only get a little better or a little worse. Maybe if America does experience another Great Depression, we'll get back in touch with what's really important in life.

Asphalt Eden: Who would you want to be stranded on a deserted island with?
Susan Isaacs: Eddie Izzard, Jesus, N. T. Wright, Saint Peter, Monty Python. And of course my husband. I can't go anywhere without him.

Asphalt Eden: If you had to have a portrait of yourself made, what artist would commission?
Susan Isaacs: Rats, I don't know my visual artists enough to answer that. I would say Mako [Fujimura] but the painting would be a splash of gold paint and some film strips. And a clown head. OK Mako, go to it!

Asphalt Eden: What is your favorite time of day?
Susan Isaacs: For inspiration: Late afternoon before twilight. For work: late night at 1am when all the world is asleep and my "To Do" list has been done or can't be done until tomorrow. That's when my creative energy kicks in and I think about the things I've pushed below the surface. (you'll see I wrote this at 12:45am)

Asphalt Eden: Where in New York is the closest place to your own personal Garden of Eden?
Susan Isaacs: The Hudson River Boat basin on a late afternoon in October.

Asphalt Eden: What's on repeat on your iPod?
Susan Isaacs: "Something Changed" by Sara Groves, "I Want To Be A Clone" by Steve Taylor; "Fantasy on a Theme by Thomas Tallis," by Ralph Vaughn Williams; the theme from "Jupiter" by Gustav Holst. Get Back from the Beatles "LOVE" show. "Visions of Johanna" by Bob Dylan, "Phantom Limb" by the Shins, "Where the Streets Have No Name" by U2.

Asphalt Eden: If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
Susan Isaacs: "What took you so long?" Or maybe, "What took ME so long?"


Anonymous said...

this looks funny

Anonymous said...

The comment about America and the Great Depression reminds me of a line from "Fight Club."

Anonymous said...

I can not wait to read it!!!!

Aicia said...

Sounds like a great book, thanks for the recommendation! She sounds like an awesome person to meet!