“Hush Little Baby” is quietly taking the thriller novel world by storm and putting local author Suzanne Redfearn on the literary map—and she’s bringing Laguna Beach with her.
By Karlee Prazak
In Laguna, the surname Redfearn is synonymous with local family-owned establishment the Lumberyard, where husband-and-wife team Suzanne and Cary Redfearn are co-owners. Recently, however, Suzanne has added another title to her name: author. The restaurateur-turned-accidental-novelist, a 20-year resident of Laguna Beach, is responsible for the latest success in psychological thrillers, “Hush Little Baby.”
Focused on the interplay of good and evil paired with marital tribulations, the novel is likened to recent best-sellers “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn and “The Silent Wife” by A. S. A. Harrison. But for Lagunans, Suzanne’s 352-page tome provides much more than just a page-turner weekend read; it also features landmarks, shops and destinations that are recognizable to, and most likely frequented by, many local readers.
Laguna Beach Magazine sat down with Suzanne at the Lumberyard one afternoon to get the scoop on her road to becoming an internationally published author.
Laguna Beach Magazine: When did you begin to conceptualize writing your own book?
Suzanne Redfearn: I didn’t go to school to be a writer; I had no intention of being a writer. One day [about seven years ago] I sat down with the idea for a story … and I just kept writing and writing and writing. … I discovered, I don’t know if you call it a gift or a passion, but I really like to tell stories.
LBM: Did you reach out to a lot of publishing companies throughout the process of going to press, or did you approach the undertaking from another angle?
SR: No, I definitely was going the traditional route of getting an agent. … I had the Mick Jagger of the publishing industry [Nick Ellison of Greenburger Associates] working for me, so I was jazzed, and [I thought,] ‘I’m not letting this slip through.’ So in an absolute panic, I was like, ‘I need to write another novel.’ At the time, unfortunately, one of my very good friends was going through this horrible divorce … and I say she inspired this story—but the story isn’t about her, it inspired me to write it.
LBM: You mention how various aspects of your life inspire you. How did Laguna start to play into your novel?
SR: Laguna Beach is a very special place, and what’s strange about Laguna Beach is we’re a city and yet we’re so small. … I think it’s the perfect venue for writing about something like this, where it’s still a big enough town, where you get a lot of diversity, but it’s also a small enough town that if you do something—like Jillian [the protagonist] is very concerned about her reputation—[people know] and they judge you on it, and it’s hard to fix it once it’s happened.
LBM: One of your well-known quirks is that you write in your car. When did that habit start?
SR: I think that just being a mom—and any mom can relate to this—you have these 15-minute little spurts between errands throughout the day … and it’s amazing, in 15 minutes you can write two pages. … I still do it. Right now, I have my Mead notebook in my car.
LBM: What advice would you give to someone who might be entertaining the idea of a potential career change or just considering pursuing a passion?
SR: All you’ve got is time in this world. If you have a passion, go for it—what do you have to lose? Seriously, time is going to pass anyway, so you might as well pursue it. You can’t win if you don’t try. I know its cliche, but it’s really true; I say it to my kids all the time. LBM