Welcome back to the blog series “Interview with the Awethors”! Today, I have the pleasure of sitting down with the Horror/Thriller author Suzi Albracht. Thank you for joining us today on the second post of our series, Suzi.
William: I have to say Suzi, “Death Most Wicked”, really brought the chills in my bones. I was just curious to know what was the inspiration behind the story?
Suzi: When I finished writing The Devil’s Lieutenant, I realized that Mikael was such a critical player that he deserved to have his own story told. It was important to the story line of The Devil’s Due Collection that the reader realize that there was more to Mikael than the dark place he was in when he first appeared in The Devil’s Lieutenant. I am very happy with Death Most Wicked and the telling of Mikael’s backstory. To me, he is the real hero, dark as he is now, of The Devil’s Due Collection. Who knows… perhaps he will get redemption in an upcoming book.
William: Mikael seems to have a special place in your heart as a character. Does Mikael Ruskoff play a certain role in your personal life?
Suzi: Mikael’s not a real person except on paper. However, I wish I knew a Mikael Ruskoff. I suppose if I analyzed my construction of Mikael that he is a combination of traits of various men I have met in person or in movies/books. But if I did say that I would have to clarify it to say that each contribution is miniscule. Mikael is his own person almost as he would be in flesh and blood.
William: A character created from the imagination. In my opinion, those are the best characters to have because they can surprise you at any turn. Now, if you could look into the eyes of a criminal, what would their normal life be like? Maybe a certain occupation?
Suzi: Well, that would depend on the nature of the criminal’s crimes and his personality. I think criminals can be personable, and most are certainly smart enough to have great careers. In my horror world, I can see a criminal being a lawyer who is high profile and perhaps has an extravagant personal life. What better way to hide his crimes than to bury them within his clients or perhaps friends who owe him money or favors? One of my “criminals” owns an automobile dealership. In his case, he is a snarky, envious kind of jerk. Having the dealership gives him respectability and the money necessary to hide his other activities and any additional monies he might acquire from his “ hobby”. If he weren’t such a jerk, I’d give him a wife
William: Ha-Ha! You have a point there. So what is your daily writing routine?
Suzi: I don’t have a routine per se. I play it by ear. Some days are writing days, on others marketing rules. And on still others, I will do research or create new photo cards to send out tweets.
I do have somewhat of a routine for writing a book. I start by writing down little snippets on neon colored index cards. I carry a stack of index cards wherever I go so that I can jot down those snippets anywhere I am at the moment. Eventually, there comes a point when I put those cards in order and then into the computer. I’ll juggle and re-juggle them until I get the backbone of my story and a flow of potential chapters. Next, I’ll begin to flesh out and write the stories. That part is euphoric for me. I feel all the emotions the characters experience, smell all the scents, even hunger if they do. It’s like living my own personal story. When I feel I have finished writing the story, I edit or do hand rewrites using my preferred brand of pens in hot pink. Usually, the book will be finished and ready for the last rounds of editing just before I go on a vacation or a long weekend trip so I’ll take it with me to edit whenever I get a down moment. Lastly, I’ll have an intense 3 week period where I will do nothing but reviewing in both printed pages and on the computer, trying to eliminate those typos and missing words. I don’t usually celebrate because I feel a little depressed when a book is finished. I’ll feel that way until a few note cards into starting the next book.
William: From other authors, I have heard the same feeling that once a book is finished it is a bit depressing after finishing a world that you were lost in for so long. Well, more about yourself, Suzi, are there any hobbies you enjoy?
Suzi: Pool, watching TV, going to movies & plays, exploring places on vacation.
William: Jumping off subject for a minute. What are my chances of beating you in a game of pool considering I play rarely?
Suzi: Oh boy, is that a trick question? To be honest, your odds would probably not be good. I’m not a high skilled player at the moment but I am a clutch player. I almost always beat people the first time I play them unless they are a much higher skilled player and I typically win in championships. I’ve been on winning teams and I’ve been on losing teams. One team even went to Vegas for the APA’s Championship. So yes I would probably beat you the first time but I’m sure that with a little practice we could go head to head.
William: Well, maybe one day I’ll have to opportunity to take you on in a match. Ha-Ha! Before we start to wrap things up, is there anyone special that you’d like to shout out to that has been an influence on your career as a writer?
Suzi: That would be Stephen King, of course. Until I read SK, my writing did not have a real direction. William Faulkner has a great impact on my writing as well. Teacher wise, there was a teacher in college who pushed me when no one else did. He wasn’t the first teacher to feel I had talent but he was the one who made me believe in myself. I wish I could remember his name. I can see his face when I think of him but at the time, I was going through some very trying times and names of people from that time period are lost to me. I think he planted a seed that grew without me knowing it.
William: Stephen King is one of my all time favorite authors as well. Last question I have here for you, what advice can you give to readers that are struggling with the negative feedback from peers about fulfilling their dreams?
Suzi: First – Not every piece of advice a peer or anyone else gives you is valid. When someone says something negative about your story or book, don’t get all worked up. Instead, think about what they said. Ask yourself if it is valid or just their opinion. If it’s an opinion, feel free to ignore it. Remember, everyone has an opinion but just because something works for their style of writing does not mean you have to do it too. I hate even saying this but there will be times that you will meet other writers who are jealous and say things just to make themselves sound or look better. Sad, but true, not every troll comes from the outside readers, some reside in the trenches with you.
Second – Rise above the criticism. Don’t fight back against someone who has been unfair to you. It is not worth it and you never know how deep a person will go to get revenge. Instead, believe in yourself and in your work. As long as you know you have done your best, keep writing. You don’t have to be friends with negative people but it’s better not to make them enemies either. You can’t control how they think or what they say so don’t even try. Shake it off as best you can. By doing so, you are not forgiving them, you are supporting yourself.
William: Suzi, I really do appreciate you sitting down and taking the time to answer my questions today.
If you want to check out some of Suzi’s books, she is currently attending a Book Tour: Rocking Awesome! I am tour #1 of the MOST EXCELLENT WORLDWIDE BOOK TOUR – http://ow.ly/Sd9Xh
Please go to any of the buy links below to check out her novels!
Also, Check out her book trailer for The Devil’s Lieutenant:
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If you are an author looking to be interviewed for this series, please contact me by email at: email@example.com