For the next two weeks, I’ll be interviewing some pretty awesome authors and showcasing various talents while I’m getting ready for the Poems, Lyrics, Psalmos: Wooing Muse Book Launch and Giveaway. I’m really excited about this because not only are there some pretty talented independent authors on the list – there are also other independent artists in the line up for a feature/interview on the site!
First up on the list is Author Suzanne Dome who was gracious enough to agree to an interview ^.^ Make sure you click through her links and some of her works after you check out the interview below ^.^
When did you first decide you wanted to write?
I remember my first “story” for school was a short story in the 3rd grade. It was about a unicorn named Shelly. I would say the serious writing bug hit in about the 7th grade, and I wrote a 3-notebook story about a future war in Russia, that will NEVER see the light of day. After that came a multitude of attempts at what eventually became The Scrounger Trilogy. I first decided I wanted to write when I was really young, actually. I was writing short stories for class, and journals, and I have written down my dreams for a long time. I wrote pieces my teachers enjoyed reading, and they encouraged me to not only keep writing, but wanted me to enter contests. I didn’t want to stick with short stories and essays, though. I always preferred reading novels, so I wanted to write novels. Those dreams I write down? Many of them run through my head just like a movie, and show me the whole story. They’re super convoluted and in color, with sounds and sometimes sensation upon waking. Professors, teachers, community members, friends, and even my parents would have all kinds of ideas for me about what I should write. I tried out some of those things…I hated journalism. I can’t interview someone when they’re crying. I got really sick of short story writing in college. Poetry is fun, but it’s not terribly natural for me, and even the free-verse forms are difficult unless it strikes me like lightening. When it comes down to it, I like to write long stories, with layers, and lots of characters. Writing novels lets me spend lots of time with my imaginary friends.
Do you have a favorite author?
I’ve had several, and my tastes vary. I loved Clive Cussler when I was in high school, and I credit his writing about ships for my being able to write about space craft. I went through a Zechariah Sitchen stage about 2 years ago, as I was researching some alternative archaeological ideas. I enjoy books more than specific authors, really. I loved re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird for the day job. Charles Scheffield, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Kathy Reichs, and many others contribute to my reading stack. I’m currently reading other authors local to myself, and enjoying that we all get to hash things over together. I toss in an Arthur C. Clarke or a metaphysical book every now and then. Really, for me, I’m not picky or devoted to an author, as much as I find stories I enjoy.
What was it like writing The Scrounger Trilogy?
Writing The Scrounger Trilogy was 12 years of blood and despair and joy and rage, and publishing was a roller-coaster of anxiety, self-loathing, and pride. The specific idea came when I was 16, and I slowly compiled everything that became the story over that period. For years before that, I was playing around with some space-themed stories, but none really satisfied me. I was also writing on other projects off and on during that time. My goal was to publish at least the 1st book before I was 30, and I succeeded. With a lot of support from family and friends, I pushed through, and then continued to nit-pick my writing until the most recent iteration. There was lots of coffee, ramen noodles, nacho chips, scrubbed carrots, and apples involved. The short stories from college were an oppressive force, and I feel like it was one level of my personal writing hell. The way it was handled in college was stifling—I put myself through that for experience though, even when I was denied the opportunity to workshop the first little bit of TST. The parts of working on the Trilogy I enjoyed were: when I re-read something and giggled with giddiness, editing (yes, I like the hack/slash/marking!and I edit viciously) and envisioning covers. More than anything, I like having an excuse to daydream, all the time. Despite the trials, I really am in love. And, yes, reader response is fun—it gives me anxiety, but it’s fun hearing from my fans. Did I say I love to just daydream? It feels like I have a constant stream of stuff in my head…forget a number of tabs, I have conduits…I also love drawing in the middle of a passage. I spent lots of time, when I was 16 and scribbling the original 1st eight chapters of Empty Space into a notebook(I’ve since abridged the story and taken the original manuscript out, and it felt AWESOME, like cutting a watermelon with a broadsword), I would stop sometimes and sketch in the margins.
Is there something you want to write about, that you haven’t yet?
There are many topics I want to write about, but I don’t feel like the ideas are developed enough, or that I have enough information. Some topics concern my day job, which is Special Ed para in a high school, and I’m not comfortable writing about those observations while I still work there. I would also like to write a metaphysical book on stone usage someday, and again, I feel like I need more information. I will write them someday. There are lots of science topics I would like to explore philosophically, and again, I feel like I need to absorb more information first.
What is one silly fact about you?
Just one? There’s so many…I’m really a big, nerdy dork. I learned to belly dance for the main character of The Scrounger Trilogy, and I used to pass the dance lessons on to my college dorm mates. I grew up eating Star Wars and drawing dinosaurs and playing with clay and Legos. I prefer documentaries about space and nature and science to anything else. I like metal music.
Do you have a favorite character you have written so far?
I fall in love with side characters easily. From TST, I really like Eleksi, Grem, and Irena. From my various WsIP, I really like an older gal named Aunt Frieda…I kindof see myself as her in 10 years.
Is your writing influenced by people in your life?
Not specific people, necessarily, but when I’ve run into similar people, sometimes an amalgamation of those similar personalities makes its way into my writing. I don’t actually like to put specific people into my work—I prefer when the characters develop on their own, and take over their word-lives. I like it even better when they come to me in dreams first, because observing their behavior gives me clues. I’m a people-watcher too, so when I go to events, part of my fun is meeting/watching/talking with everyone, whether they’re interested in my books or not. I watch gestures and facial expressions, and how lips curl, and the edges of someone’s eyes go red when a touchy subject comes up. Occasionally I might base a character’s specific tic on someone I know.
Thanks for agreeing to do this! Anything you want to say to the readers of my blog?
dolphin squeaking noises< …Because I love dolphins.
Creativity and Imagination are the best tools humanity has, so I hope that no matter how it’s expressed, from science to McGuyver-style fix-its, to the next best-seller or most fantastic painting, that Creativity is never boxed, contained, constrained, and that if it is, that we are all able to break those restraints. I feel that Imagination isn’t meant to be controlled…learning the rules for something ethereal means they can be broken. No matter what, it starts as an idea, which starts with a vague sense of a dream, and a realization that something could be different…so be different, don’t conform.