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The Wicked Truth by Suzanne T. Ross: Book Cover






The Wicked Truth about Love by Suzanne Ross: Book Cover








The Wicked Truth by Suzanne T. Ross: Book Cover





The Wicked Truth about Love by Suzanne Ross: Book Cover






The Wicked Truth by Suzanne T. Ross: Book Cover




The Wicked Truth about Love by Suzanne Ross: Book Cover




The Wicked Truth by Suzanne T. Ross: Book Cover




The Wicked Truth about Love by Suzanne Ross: Book Cover

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Suzanne Ross


I grew up in New Jersey, got my BA in sociology from Bucknell University inSuzanne Ross Pennsylvania, and have either been writing or involved in education for most of my adult life. 

Since college, I have taken a variety of writing workshops and studied the art of fiction and editing.  When my children were young and in Montessori classrooms, I became certified as a Montessori pre-school directress and thoroughly enjoyed my years as a teacher. 

Three to six year olds are my favorite age group! More lucrative, but not half as fun, was the time I spent as a training consultant for business, writing manuals covering everything from personnel policy to how to change a tire.  During all these years, I was always the kind of person who questions things. 

I read a lot and study on my own, mostly theologians, because I have a lot of spiritual questions like:  What does it mean to be human and what is the meaning and purpose of life? I am troubled by violence and hatred and wonder if these things are fixed human traits or if there is hope that the suffering of war and cruelty can end. When I came across the work of Rene Girard in 1997, I realized that I had found a way of understanding the world that not only explained the origin of conflict, but offered clues as to how to move away from a culture of violence.  And then I saw Wicked!

http://www.thewickedtruth.com & http://www.thewickedtruthaboutlove.com



ďAuthor finds "Wicked" inspiration The story of the two witches of Oz has been passed along for more than a century. Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West now have two stories, one where good and evil are clearly defined while the other blurs those boundaries. Suzanne Ross, a Glenview author and director of Christian education at the First Congregational Church of Wilmette, has written a book that addresses the concepts of good and evil as presented in the musical "Wicked."    Heather Leszczewicz   Staff Writer, Pioneer Press, Glenview online


ďIt is a rare privilege as an artist to have oneís work explored in such a profound way. The Wicked Truth is a fascinating and valuable study of the ways we all wrestle with the wickedness within and without us and how we can combat it. Ē   Stephen Schwartz   Composer / Lyricist, Wicked



PageOneLit.com: Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life? Who were your earliest influences and why?
Suzanne Ross:  I grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, the oldest of five children. I read and wrote constantly! I was very fond of book series in grade school. I remember fondly books about a girl named Betsy and a series about the Bobsey Twins, and I was consumed by the Nancy Drew mysteries! My siblings and I created a family newspaper to report on our vacation trips, and we wrote and staged our own plays. I kept a diary on and off from an early age and in high school enjoyed writing short stories.

PageOneLit.com: Why do you write?


Suzanne Ross: I canít imagine not writing. Itís the way I process the events of my life and the ideas that influence me. And itís the way I reach out to others, hoping to share my discoveries. Itís as if I have this drive to learn and grow, but it doesnít seem enough that itís for my sake only. It seems to matter somehow that my efforts at making meaning are only truly meaningful if they are shared.




PageOneLit.com:  The Wicked Truth was inspired by the musical Wicked - Explain. 

Suzanne Ross: Wicked is a blockbuster musical that challenges us to think carefully when we make accusations of evil. There are lots of accusations flying around these days from issues of war to the economic meltdown. Wickedís message is to tread very carefully when we feel certain that we have caught the devil dead to rights, because thereís a good chance we might actually have an innocent victim by the throat. In writing The Wicked Truth, I wanted to both highlight and deepen these lessons regarding good and evil.



PageOneLit.com: Briefly discuss The Wicked Truth About Love -- What is Mimetic theory?

Suzanne Ross: The mimetic theory is about human relations. It says first that the human self is not a separate entity but needs otherness to exist. Itís like the poet said, no man (or woman) is an island. We are more like a pot of overcooked elbow macaronis all stuck together in a glutinous wad. Once we realize this, it revolutionizes everything we thought we knew about human relations. Two critical facets of our relationships are desire and conflict. Hereís where mimetic desire reveals the wicked truth about love.




The most fundamental revolution is in our understanding of desire. Itís no secret that from the moment of birth humans learn everything from language to social norms from others Ė parents, teachers, friends. This learning takes place through a process of imitation, which is what the word mimetic means. The odd thing is that we even have to learn what to desire by imitating the desires of others.


Think about it this way. You and a cow both get hungry and you both have to find something to satisfy that hunger. Cows have no choice about what eat. Itís grass, grass, grass. They donít suddenly wake up one morning craving the breakfast burrito they saw advertised on the side of a bus. But you can go to the trendy new restaurant you heard about from a friend because your desire for what to eat is unattached to any object. Itís learned. Put simply, we desire according to the desires of another.



If I am learning to desire the things that you desire, maybe the thing we both want is something we canít share very well, like a promotion or a piece of property or a lover or the last breakfast burrito. We could come to blows over it, not because we are so very different, but because we share the same desires. Shared desire is at the root of the quarrels, rivalries, conflicts and wars that have plagued desiring humanity since we began walking on two legs.




PageOneLit.com: You say "Perfection is a dangerous thing to wish for." Explain.

Suzanne Ross: Perfection is a dangerous thing to wish for. We all do it though Ė we keep this list in our heads of the qualities of our one true love but there are two problems with that. The first weíve been talking about Ė that list came from outside influences so it may not be a great guide for us to be using. And there is absolutely no way that you are going to find a perfect match. Either you will be passing over really good possibilities because they fail in one or two categories, or you will ďsettleĒ and try to change the real person to fit your ideal. Thatís not love, itís a remodeling project.



PageOneLit.com: What are the  6 Tangles of Desire?


Suzanne Ross: BFFs often fall in love with someone their friend is already in love with Ė thatís taking sharing to a dangerous level.

Celebrity Chefs work overtime to get their friendsí approval of their lover and then when they get it, they can become jealous and suspicious.

The Super Hero tends to fall in love with unattainable people Ė the greater the chances for rejection, the greater their desire.

Rock Stars fall in love with people who do wonders for their image. But if they find a flaw, itís out the window Ė they wonít be caught dead with anything less than perfection.

Sidekicks equate suffering with love, so the more it hurts, the more they think theyíve found the real thing.

Custodians know the wicked truth about love. They donít fall into the other tangles because they donít confuse their desires with the desires of others. They know love is a mystery and a Gift and that anything that good is worth working for.




PageOneLit.com: What do you hope readers will say after reading The Wicked Truth About Love ?


Suzanne Ross: I hope that theyíll begin to enjoy living with a sense of mystery in their lives. If we can free ourselves from our need to know the answers, or to be right, we can be open to receive what life may be offering us in the shape of another human being who loves us. Rather than ďitís better to give than to receive,Ē I hope people will begin to say, ďIím going to practice receiving love today and see what happens!Ē




PageOneLit.com: What are a few things that get in the way of TRUE LOVE?


Suzanne Ross: A lot of people have these ideas in their head about what love is, what their perfect someone looks like and acts like and dresses like, and they have no idea that all these ideas didnít come from the depths of their lonely hearts and have next to nothing to do with what love really is or who might be right for them.


PageOneLit.com: What do you hope to achieve with your books!?

Suzanne Ross: I hope to get the conversation about love and what it means to be a human being moving in a different direction. I think we have been locked into a lot of misconceptions about love, good and evil, desire and conflict that have gotten us into a theoretical and practical rut. We want to be good, yet so often our efforts backfire. We are desperate for love, for peace, for community but instead we find ourselves locked into rivalries and patterns of gossip, betrayal and resentment. Itís time for a new way to think about how to be good and how to find love that delivers on its promises. I hope that my books offer a fresh approach to these problems.


PageOneLit.com: What was the last book you read?

Suzanne Ross: The last fiction I read was ďA Fine and Private PlaceĒ by Peter S. Beagle. Itís a wonderful meditation on how, without love in our lives, we are not truly alive. And I am rereading ďThe Joy of Being WrongĒ by James Alison, my favorite theologian. In it he talks about the shape of forgiveness and how we can become a new creation formed in the self-giving love of God.


PageOneLit.com: What's next?

Suzanne Ross: Iím actually working with James Alison to make a DVD series of him teaching classes based on his theology. It requires me to do some script writing for the production, which Iím nervous about because Iíve never done this sort of thing before. But Alison teaches us how to live a life of love, and I will do anything I can to share that discovery with others.



PageOneLit.com: Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?

Suzanne Ross: Well, my hobbies rest my mind, give me a break from thinking so that I can come back to my work ready to see things in a new way. I like to cook for my family, to play golf, practice yoga, watch movies, and read classic novels.



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