Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?
SS. It’s weird but I think right now, time is my muse. The older I get, the farther away I feel from accomplishing my goals, I feel as though I’m fighting with time. And knowing that time moves so quickly, it inspires me to keep writing and creating and working.
Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.
SS. Black Market. It’s the second book in the Wizard Hall Series. Annie Pearce, is a wizard guard, a magical police officer. She is called by her contact at the FBI who warns her of a John Doe in the forest. He’s dressed oddly for a hike in the forest and Annie, learning of his location is worried because the body was discovered just outside the portal to the black market, the magical shopping area selling illegal objects, potions and animals.
Q. When did you begin to write seriously?
SS. At my 20th class reunion, I caught up with a former classmate who I discovered was a published author. I was so jealous because it had been my life’s dream to be an author. That emotional awakening, forced me to face the reality that I hadn’t even tried to accomplish my goal. It took two years before I finally was able to write the book, but since then, I haven’t looked back.
Q. How long after that were you published?
SS. I self-published the book in 2010, two years after I started writing.
Q. What makes a writer great?
SS. A great writer is someone who watches, listens, understands people and the world around them. They’re intuitive, empathic and when they write, the story and the characters come off the page.
Q. and the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?
SS. I start with an object, an idea for a murder, a location or a snippet of a scene; one thing that starts the story. I can come from watching television or reading a book on mythology or folk tales. When something sparks, I do more in depth research learning about the history of the object, person, story until the idea grows. I’m a pantser, I write by the seat of my pants. I let the story unfold for me once I get the basic idea drawn out. My first draft is usually short and incomplete. After finishing the draft, I wait about four weeks before I touch the story again. The next several drafts add color. I change or adjust the story lines, I add characters, or make tweaks to existing characters. Sometimes this could take up to 10 drafts or more until the story unfolds in a fabulous way. My second book took 10 drafts before it was ready to go to an editor. When I originally wrote the story, the middle and the end were completely different than how the final draft came out because I saw things differently in the later drafts; I rewrote the ending, I changed the bad guys, I changed the murderer, I gave different magical skills to the creatures until the story felt complete and whole.
SS. I write about death because of the death of my daughter. It helps me understand the grief and in the stories, my main character Annie Pearce also tries to figure out how her father’s death affects how she lives her life.
Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?
SS. Every once and a while I see something or read something that I think would make a great book idea, something that’s not part of the Fantasy Genre. I just wish I had the time to write it.
Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
SS. I’m a mom of two. I love being creative and enjoy interior design. I’m an avid reader, love driving my ’66 Mustang convertible, I’ve been a Cubs fan since I was born and love to travel and immerse myself into my location.
Click here to enjoy Part I
MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with best-selling AUTHORS! Did you miss the past few months? December: Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series. January was Dinah Jefferies and February’s author is Sheryl Steines.
Johan Thompson (South African author) will join us in March.
Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!