Feature...Friday? Interview - Susanne Leist
I know, I know, it's not Friday. It's Sunday. I did mean to get this up for Feature Friday. So, since I'm late I won't stall at all and I'll introduce to you my featured author. Today's feature is Paranormal writer Susanne Leist! Susanne is the author of the Dead Game and has graciously answered some questions I had for her. Take a look!
Welcome, Susanne, why don't you tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Do you have pets or family?
I was born in Brooklyn, New York. Now I live in Long Island, New York. I have the house in the suburbs with the white picket fence, two children, one husband, and a dog. Our new addition is a baby Holland Lops bunny rabbit.
Not going to lie, the moment you said baby bunny, I got a little excited for a moment. But, anyways, as I introduced you're the author the the Dead Game. Could you tell us a little about your writing? When did you start, and why?
I’ve been reading murder mysteries and thrillers since I was a teenager. I’ve read all types of mysteries, from Agatha Christie to Sherlock Holmes. In recent years, I’ve begun to read paranormal books. These books bring fantasy and surreal to the simple murder mystery.
It’s hard to find books that combine paranormal with mystery. That’s why I decided to write a paranormal, murder mystery of my own. It’s the type of book that I search for and love to read.
My book, The Dead Game, has dead bodies and suspects like a traditional murder mystery. However, it also has humans, vampires, and vampire derivatives. And don’t forget the haunted house—we must have one of these.
It’s said the are two types of authors planners and “pantsers” (those who plan out their books meticulously and those who write by the seat of their pants). What are you?
This is the first book that I’ve written. I began with a basic idea in mind. I wanted a murder to take place in a small town. This murder would involve a house that was rigged with supernatural or mechanical traps and moving rooms. But I had no idea how the story would evolve or end. The end turned out to be a surprise to even me.
Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading?
I just finished reading Linda Fairstein’s latest book, “Terminal City.” It’s a murder mystery that is centered upon Grand Central Terminal. In her books, Linda Fairstein provides insights and history about New York City. I learned a lot about the terminal, above and below ground.
Can you name your favorite traditionally published author?
My favorite author is Brad Meltzer. His book, “Zero Game,” inspired me to write. In this book, I found suspense, mystery, and intrigue and likeable characters. I found an author who wrote books exactly how I wanted them to be written. I then read all his books. I haven’t been disappointed by him yet.
How about your favorite indie/self-published author?
I have two favorite self-published authors. One is Elle Klass. Her book, “As Snow Falls” was so enjoyable and different to read. It brought me feelings of peace and serenity. The second author is March Fox. Her book, “Beyond the Hidden Sky,” is a fast-placed supernatural adventure. It was a lot of fun to read.
Let's talk about your book real quick. Do you have a favorite character? Why?
I don’t know if I have a favorite character. Linda is the main character and she thinks with my voice. But she’s a little helpless. Todd, on the other hand, is strong and charismatic. I would say that Todd is my best character.
What formats are your book(s) available in (E-book, print, large print, audio)? Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason?
The Dead Game is my first book. It’s available in paperback and on Kindle and Nook. It’s the first book of two books. The first book resolves the murder mystery, but at the same time, opens a Pandora box of new mysteries. Its surprise ending will lead to more surprises.
I’ve just begun to work on the sequel. It will be released, hopefully, next year in paperback and e-book. I have my outline and notes ready and waiting. My writing often leads me in unknown directions, so I won’t know how the book will end until it does.
Alright, we've come to the end of the interview but before you go, is there any advice you would pass on to those authors who are still just starting out? Do's and don'ts?
I published my book with Outskirts Press. The self-publishing company had informed me that my book was published. I had thought that this meant it was ready for print. I was waiting for them to send out a Press Release and a Wholesaler’s Summary of my book. Little did I know that my poor book was sitting alone on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It didn’t have a description or a bio.
That same day, I wrote up my bio and summaries of the book. I opened online accounts and blogs. I didn't know what a blog was but soon I had three of them. I joined Facebook, Twitter, and Google. That same week, I joined reading groups and whatever else came up on my computer screen.
Now, almost a year later, I can sit back and breathe a little. I never want to go through those first few months again. If I had connections, or knew about the publishing business, I would have published the traditional way. It would have been harder at the beginning. However, afterward, I wouldn’t have had to navigate through cyberspace on my own.
My advice to a new author is to make sure that you’re prepared before you launch your book. If you are prepared, then you can take the traditional path or the newer route of self-publishing.
Thanks for the great interview Susanne! I’m sending luck your way with all your planned releases. If anyone is interested in checking out more on Susanne, I’ve provided a tad bit more info about her and her book with links below.
The Dead Game (click on the image to go to the book's amazon product page)
The small town of Oasis offers tourists a promising glimpse of paradise with its sparkling white-sand beaches, majestic coastline, and legendary sunsets. But are its waters truly harmless? Or is evil lurking beneath its soothing waves, ready to ensnare unsuspecting victims into its dark and murky depths?
Life changes in the remote town…people begin to disappear, and some even turn up dead on the beach. As darkness falls on the picturesque streets, the ominous sounds of chanting linger on the whispering winds as menacing shadows stalk the innocent tourists and residents. Overnight, the town turns from a dream vacation spot to an unsafe haven harboring dark secrets and murder.
It all begins with the mysterious invitation to a party at End House. It is a night that neither Linda nor her friends will ever forget. From this night forward, they find themselves unwillingly trapped as pawns in a deadly game…caught in a deepening quagmire of deceit and horror…in a power play between good and evil. Being strangled by fear, they don’t know where to turn or whom to trust. As clouds of suspicion and distrust swirl around them, slowly picking up momentum, they are led to suspect everyone around them—even each other.
Will Linda and her friends be drawn into the dark currents surrounding Oasis, or will they break free, and bring a new light into their spellbound town?
Follow their treacherous journey through the descending realms of the supernatural. Pursued by unnatural creatures, they must fight off deadly illusions and traps. To save themselves and their town, they must reveal the true face of evil—the one controlling the game and its elusive players.