Greetings everyone! Today we have the beautiful Ms. Susan Stielow with us. She is a young adult author currently living in Georgia with her husband, and one of her four children. Welcome Susan! Thanks for being here!
Carrigan: What is it about writing that you love?
Susan: The creating part. The part where you just sit back, close your eyes, and imagine what you want that world to look like. Will the sky be purple, red or blue. Will it be of this world, or one completely made up. That’s the part I love the most.
Carrigan: Why do you write for young adults?
Susan: To feel what it’s like to be young again. That’s why we have so many adults reading YA books these days. To remember what it was like to meet our first love, or first crush. Or to be the underdog who saves the day. Writing YA keeps me young at heart.
Carrigan: Amen! What is your favorite quote?
Susan: The greatest pleasure in life is doing what other people say you cannot do.
Carrigan: Ooh, I love that! How many books have you published?
Susan: 2 – Bloodborn Series: Book 1 Bloodborn, Book 2 Scarlet Butterfly, Book 3 coming soon.
Carrigan: How do you come up with your characters?
Susan: I don’t, really. They sort of come to me. I will have an idea for a book, and the characters just sort of present themselves. I’ve never really had to think about what a character looks like, or personality traits. It just comes to me as I write.
Carrigan: What do you like to read?
Susan: I read a lot of Romace like J.R. Ward and Darynda Jones. They’re two of my favs. However, I read even more YA. My newest favorite is Ransom Riggs, Home for Peculiar Children. His books are amazing.
Carrigan: Ransom Riggs is on my list! I can’t wait to read his! Tell us about yourself:
Susan: Well, I grew up in Michigan in a single parent home, and have a younger sister. I lived through some pretty wild teen years, and made my fair share of mistakes as a young adult. But I came out the other side okay. I’m now married to a wonder man and have four incredible children/adults. My 3 oldest sons are now grown and making their own way in the world. My youngest and only daughter, is twelve. She is beautiful and spoiled rotten. A few years ago we moved to Georgia when my husband had a job change, and we’ve been here ever since.
Carrigan: Georgia is lovely. 🙂 What inspired you to become a writer?
Susan: Boy, where do I start? I would have to say it all started when I was young. I was kind of a lonely kid living in a home with a single parent who constantly worked two jobs. I was alone a lot, and writing was a way to create a world other than the lonely one I lived in. It wasn’t until later in life when an idea for a book struck me, and wouldn’t go away. That was the day I sat down at the computer, and haven’t stopped writing since.
Carrigan: That’s incredible. What is your favorite young adult book and why?
Susan: Harry Potter. And I’m sure you hear that a lot, but it’s true. The world J.K. Rowling has created is none other than spectacular. They’re books you can completely lose yourself in.
Carrigan: Oh yes. I love Harry Potter myself. That’s a series I wish I had written! How did you come up with your ideas?
Carrigan: I think my love of all things paranormal has something to do with it. Plus, having a daughter, as sweet as mine, I wanted to write a book with a character that wasn’t always strong or even well liked. I wanted a character that life wasn’t always good to. One that only became strong and beautiful because of what life threw at her. Then one night when I couldn’t sleep, Gracie Ambrose appeared on the scene. She was as clear as day, and I knew, she was the character I had been longing for.
Carrigan: Are you self-published? If so, how did you decide to become self-published?
Susan: Yes, I am self-published. Being a writer isn’t easy. Especially when it comes to publishing houses. They can be brutal to a new inexperienced writer. I submitted my query letters, my 3 first chapters, and so on; that the publishers ask for. At first I received no responses. Then the rejection letters starting rolling in. And when they say you need a thick skin for this business, they’re not kidding. Some letters were nice and even gave some advice. While others were downright mean. It was tough to take. I started to doubt my writing and whether my story was even good. It wasn’t until a friend read my book and loved it! So I looked into self-publishing and never looked back.
Carrigan: Aww, yay! Give thanks to your friend! Publishing world is tough! Do you have any pets?
Susan: Two cats, actually. Sophie and Phoebie. They’re true sisters from the same litter even though you would never be able to tell that. One is gray and skinny, while the other is black and orange and quite portly. They’re my babies.
Carrigan: Haha. What music do you listen to while writing?
Susan: Everything from REO Speedwagon and Tesla, to Selena Gomez, Adele, and Ozzy Osbourne. I have a huge playlist.
Carrigan: Wow, what a mix! What was the moment in your career that you knew this was what you wanted to do all along?
Susan: Oh, that’s an easy question. The fans. Talking to them about my books, and reading the reviews they leave. There is no greater feeling to know all your hard work paid off.
Carrigan: Do you like cheese? What’s your favorite kind?
Susan: Um, odd question, but okay. I happen to looooove cheese. I put it on everything. Cheddar is my fav.
Carrigan: Haha yes – I’m quite an odd person. But cheese is a fact of life! What’s one fact about yourself that is unique?
Susan: I’m 42 and can still do a cartwheel? That’s about as unique as it gets with me.
Carrigan: Wow! Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Which ones make you screech and hide?
Susan: Ever see those facebook posts of a house on fire, and the tagline is: “I saw a spider.” Yeah, that’s me.
Carrigan: Haha. Do you have any strange writing habits?
Susan: Not that I can think of, no.
Carrigan: What book do you wish you had written?
Susan: Twilight. My vampires would not have been sparkly, and they would have had actual fangs. I mean come on, you’re not a vampire if you don’t have fangs.
Carrigan: Very true. If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Susan: Teleportation. I could go anywhere I wanted within seconds.
Carrigan: Have you ever gotten in trouble with the police?
Susan: No comment. 🙂
Carrigan: Hehe. What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?
Susan: When my daughter found out Santa Claus wasn’t real. She didn’t speak to me or my husband for 3 days. There was crying…lots of crying – on both parts.
Carrigan: Awww! What are you working on now? Any future releases?
Susan: Yes. I’m working on the third and final book of the Bloodborn Series, and the first book in a new series. The series focuses around witches and a plethora of new creatures.
Carrigan: Ooh witches! Those are my favorites! That’s what my series is about. I can’t wait to read yours! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions! If you would like more information on Susan, please visit her links below.