Saturday, March 5, 2011

Author Interview - Independence Day Plague by Carla Suson

Describe your book in five words or less.

Futuristic thriller on biological terrorism.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

I attended the 4th of July celebration in Washington DC. When the family got off the subway, we had to stand in a line to go up a 2-man wide escalator. I thought, "this is a good place for a bomb." My husband and I spent the rest of the day talking about what kind of bomb would kill the most and what would be the reason for planting the bomb. I also started wondering what happens to a scientist that spends their entire career in a secret lab. They can't publish, can't declare their work. If the lab shuts down, where do they go?

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

The hardest part is taking the time to do the research to provide believable details. We lived in Texas but visited DC every summer. I gathered up new maps, new pictures, looked at new places every time we visited. It became so much of a habit to ride the subway to look at places for "mom's book" that the kids would (jokingly) say things like "have you decided to kill the President yet?" on the subway. I told them that they were trying to get me arrested. In fact the dedication of the book states, "and to my kids who tried to get me arrested while researching this book, better luck next time."

The easiest part of writing is the actual process, when the ideas are flowing so fast that it pours out of you like water out of a pipe. What comes out isn't perfect but the story flows so well and takes such unexpected directions that it is hard to stop.

I never really know what my characters are going to do until they tell me and I write it out.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

I am currently in the final editing stages of a 2-book urban fantasy about ghosts and thieves. The first is call Specter of a Chance and the second is A Ghost of Hope. The next book will be based on Somali Pirates.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

I didn't really choose to write for a specific genre. I wrote the stories that I thought about all the time and then we tried to put a label to them. The stories were a little futuristic but not sci fi, a little fantasy but not magic and swords, some romance but the driving theme was the action. Finally, we just decided that they were thrillers.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

I wish I knew. I'm not quite to that stage yet except in my family. My sister gripes at me about when does she get to read the next book. It is wonderful and a little intimidating. I'm afraid that someday I'll disappoint them but simply not writing well enough.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

What do you think is the hardest part about creating a main character?" The answer would be coming up with the perfect name. Usually, I know their voice, their personality, their aspirations and I can even make a pretty good guess as to what car they drive. However, taking all that info and coming up with a name that is the embodiment of that character can take me days. Are they an "any-person" or a "special_person?" Should their name be one they hate, or love. Does it make them stick out or blend in? A name should say something about a character intrinsicly.

What was your road to publications like?

Independence Day Plague is actually my third adult novel and I have about 4 children's books sleeping in the filing cabinet. I spent years trying to sell children's work only to decide that I was too dark for that genre. For IDP, I had approached about 65 companies, mostly agents but some publishers too. Most of them turned it down on the query alone. Then Lois Bennett of Fireside Publications had decided to not be an agent and to go into publishing. I had approached her to represent my book but instead she wanted to publish it as one of her first thrillers. Basically, I was in the right time at the right place.

Author Bio

Carla Lee Suson graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree
in molecular and cellular biology. She started her career as a technician in cellular
biology and worked at Southwestern Medical School for several years before moving to
the Coastal Bend area of Texas. She switched to a career of writing and editing, forming the company Suson Communications Specialists which later became Carla Suson, Writer/Editor. She wrote articles, short stories and standardized test materials for over twelve years. Her topics included travel articles, parenting advice, children's stories and science. Additionally, she edited books for local professors on the subjects of art, art history,climatology and global warming.

Now she is the owner of North of the Red Writing Services in Northwest Indiana.
She is pursuing a Master's degree in professional writing and working on her novels.
Although a Texas girl in her heart, she lives in Crown Point, Indiana along with her
husband, three kids, and three dogs. When not banging out ideas on the computer, she is woodworking, making leather products or digging in the garden.

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