Hey, good to see you back!
As we relax into the rest of our Labor Day, I've got another debut novelist to introduce you to.
Suzanne is a huge nerd, a writer, a bookseller and a games journalist from Oslo, Norway. She has written around 4500 bits and bobs about video games, but only around a hundred of them are any good. These bits and bobs have been published in 13 countries. When she's not procrastinating in front of a laptop you can find her sewing pockets into all her skirts and dresses, or stumbling around on a pair of newly acquired roller skates. She is married to her best friend and has 0 kids. She would like to get a dog someday and call him Peanut, but alas, her husband is allergic to both dogs and peanuts.
Two of her short stories have been published in the Norwegian literary magazines Bøygen and Kamilla.
Let Slip the Beasts is her first novel.
Social media links:
DCU or MCU?
- Well, my book is heavily influenced by X-men and Black Widow, so I gotta go with MCU. Although DCU is doing some interesting things with the rebooted The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker (John Cena is great!).
Firefly – gone too soon or overrated?
- Gone too soon! Although it lives on in comic books, it’s not quite the same.
A book you’re looking forward to release (by someone else)?
- A Crown of Starlight by Cait Corran! Also, Sølvstrupen by Siri Pettersen and Alecto the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
- I get my ideas from video games, movies, comic books and books, usually filtered through a half-forgotten dream or nightmare. And sometimes I’ll just be on my way to work, listening to some bomb-ass music and daydream a sequence that is so epic that I just have to turn it into a story. The information I need to write these stories I get from intensive googling sessions, encyclopedias, scientific journals and talking to people who know cool stuff.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
- I have actually written three. The first one is garbage and belongs in the garbage. The second, Let Slip the Beasts, is currently the only one that’s published so that makes it my favorite. It’s also really cool and fun. And then there’s an untitled horror novel I wrote while waiting for edits and stuff for my published novel. It’s in Norwegian and currently a hot mess aka a first draft.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
- Occasionally, yes. Would love to hear a lot more! People send me messages saying “Wtf did I just read?” and “Who hurt you?” and “ASFDGFDGFDGHJK!”
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
- Aw man, I wanted to be a lawyer because I wanted to help people. I was quite naïve and had an optimistic view of the justice system. Then I had some Introduction to Law or something like that in highschool and was like “No thank you, I’m out!” I ended up studying English translation and technical language and wound up in offshore documentation. Got bored of that and found my way into bookstores and video games journalism. And eventually I got into writing!
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
- I went to Shakespeare and Company in Paris, does that count? But the line was so long I skipped going in and went to the café next door instead, haha. Oh, and Ive been on a bus tour to different Game of Thrones filming locations, which was fun. I kinda want to go to Whitby because Dracula is one of my favorite novels.
What is the first book that made you cry?
- I think maybe the first one was Elidor by Alan Gardner. Or maybe Elfquest.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
- Thinking that you have to listen to all the feedback your given and change your book based on everyone’s taste. Same with editor feedback. Ultimately, it’s your story and it’s up to you to decide what it is going to look like. Also, thinking your first draft has to be perfect and that you have to have all the details in place before you even write the first word. You don’t. The first draft’s only job is to exist.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
- I’m easily distracted, so basically everything? But the worst culprit is probably social media and trash TV. But the irony here is that I have to be on SoMe to promote my book.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you building a body of work with connections between each book?
- Let Slip the Beasts can stand on its own, but eventually it will be part of a trilogy, maybe a quartet. The horror novel I’m working on will be a standalone.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
- Write faster, you idiot! Stop doubting yourself so much, stop wasting time not believing in yourself and just write! You’re a good writer, trust me.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
- It made me stop writing, haha. My debut came out in June and since then I’ve been focused on promotion, promotion, promotion and there hasn’t really been any time left over to write. Also, I’ve been wallowing in self-pity for a little while due to few ratings on Goodreads and Amazon – the metric by which I measure my worth (stupid, I know) – and haven’t seen the point in continuing to write, because who is going to read it, right? But I’ve been slowly getting my spark back because I genuinely love to write and as they say: The best self promotion is your next book.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
- The Bees by Laline Paull! It’s about a bee who is at odds with the law in her beehive and it’s so good! The best, actually. And Firebreak by Nicole Kornher-Stace – it’s got everything: MMORPGs, experimental super-soldiers, evil corporations, swords, you name it!
Are you traditionally or self published? Or both? Do you feel there are advantages to one over the other?
- I’m traditionally published by a small press publisher, so I get the advantage of having a proper editor, copy editor and proofreader and someone who deals with getting my book into the proper stores and takes care of the printing and such, but the disadvantage of having to do most of the marketing and promotion myself. Which is my least favorite part because I’m not very good at it, haha.
What do you have coming next?
- Let Slip the Beasts is out as an ebook now, but I’m impatiently awaiting the physical release, which is going to make the whole thing more “real”, if you know what I mean? And hopefully, in a not-too-distant future, the sequel to Let Slip the Beasts, which promises to be bigger, better and brutaler!
Beneath the streets of East Resplendent, monsters are mounting a war against their masters.
Kaliope Dearborne, a customer service nobody for a pharmaceutical mega-conglomerate, wants only to escape her cubicle and find true meaning for her life. But after accidentally killing her little sister’s bully, she’s taken captive by The Warren, a ragtag group of runaway medical test subjects.
Kaliope learns that she and her captors are experiments owned by the VyroGen corporation. Locked away and evolving, pieces of her slough off as she grows stronger, faster, and hungrier. Only Thresher—not quite man, not quite animal—keeps her from losing her grip on reality.
When Kaliope discovers the hidden truth of her genetic code, she joins The Warren in the war against VyroGen. With chemistry-altering pheromones and brain-tampering, she’s converted into a sleeper agent. But deep inside the dark heart of the corporation, Kaliope finds something that drastically changes her role in the war. She might win back her memories, her body, and her life, but will Kaliope lose her humanity in the process?