Pleased to welcome author Susan Schoenberger to the Spotlight today to discuss her latest, The Liability of Love

Author Name: Susan Schoenberger

Book Title: The Liability of Love 

Book Genre: Women’s Fiction 

Release Date: July 20, 2021

Publisher: She Writes Press 

Welcome! How would you describe The Liability of Love ? 

First, thank you for having me on your blog! Here’s my one-sentence summary:

In 1980s Hartford, CT, four young people all fall in love with the wrong person and must deal with the complicated consequences.

What sparked the idea for this book?

After my first two novels focused on women, I challenged myself to write some male characters who were multi-dimensional. My original idea was to retell a fairy tale with a male protagonist, but that evolved into an entirely different kind of story once the characters seemed like real people and convinced me that the fairy tale idea was terrible (my agent agreed).

How long did it take for you to write it? Did you have to do any research?

I started this book in 2015, so it took about five years to write many different versions and about a year to get it ready for publication. This one didn’t require much research, except to make sure that the details were consistent with the 1980s setting.

What drew you to the women’s fiction (and/or literary) genre?

I don’t think of myself as a “women’s fiction” writer because men don’t get called “men’s fiction” writers, but that’s how the industry usually categorizes me. I’m drawn to write what I like to read, which means that I care deeply about the words – the parallels, the metaphors, the sentence structure – and about the arc of the characters. My work is less of a roller coaster and more of a flume ride. It all comes together at the end.

If you were speaking to someone who hasn’t read your writing before, why should they want to read The Liability of Love?

Early readers have told me that they connect with the four main characters right away, especially with the character Fitz, a rare male character with an eating disorder. I like to think that readers will come away feeling like they’ve been on an emotional journey with characters they enjoy getting to know and writing that brings a made-up world to life.

Are you working on a new project? Please tell us about it.

I’ve started a new book about a hyperpolyglot, which is a person who speaks an extraordinary number of languages, but it’s very early going. It might end up being about something completely different!

Where can readers find you (website, blog, social media, etc.)? Feel free to include any upcoming, live/online events, workshops, too!

Readers, please do find me! You can connect with me on my website and sign up for my newsletter, where I’ll be posting events that will happen after my release date on July 20.


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Thank you, Sarahlyn!

Thank you, Susan! The Liability of Love is OUT NOW.

Margaret Carlyle is searching for an epic love as she heads to college in 1979 after the loss of her beloved mother to cancer. When a charismatic boy named Anders rapes her on their first date, she wants nothing more than to forget it ever happened. But as the years pass, each life decision she makes seems driven by what happened that night.

When Anders becomes famous as an actor, Margaret can no longer ignore her past―and she must make choices that will affect everyone around her, most notably her husband, Douglas, and Fitz, the man who has loved her patiently since college.
This deeply moving novel is a window into class and privilege, the mysteries of marriage, and the destructive power of secrets―and an examination of what happens when we try to bury the past, as well as the consequences of confronting it.

“In matter-of-fact prose studded with pithy observational gems. . . the various players can only get what they deserve by speaking their own truths. A keenly observed, compassionate, and absorbing work.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A poignant tale of love, loss, and secrets, The Liability of Love is a heart-wrenching, compassionate portrayal of survival―of what happens when old wounds are left untended, when quiet pain refuses to stay silent any longer, and when we allow ourselves a second chance. Gorgeously written; Susan Schoenberger has crafted a story that will remain with you long after you turned the last page.”
―Amber Smith, New York Times best-selling author of The Way I Used to Be

“With the growing #MeToo movement, it feels like American culture has made progress talking about sexual assault, but Susan Schoenberger has dropped a novel that underscores how far we still have to go. In The Liability of Love, she explores the ways people navigate damaged aspects of ourselves. Many of the characters in this well-crafted, elegantly written book hide things, deny things, and simply try to put their head down and hope something like a rape will just recede. But, of course, it never does, and Schoenberger expertly explores the consequences.”
―Mary Collins, author of At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces


Susan Schoenberger is the award-winning author of A Watershed Year and The Virtues of Oxygen. With a linotypist as a grandfather, she has ink in her blood and worked as a journalist and copyeditor for many years, including for The Hartford Courant and The Baltimore Sun. She currently serves as Director of Communications at Hartford Seminary, a graduate school with a focus on interfaith dialogue. She lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, with her husband Kevin. They have three grown children and a small dog named Leo. Learn more at