KAI Presents… Susanne Leist!
Kev’s Author Interviews Presents…
Susanne Leist graduated with an M.B.A. in Finance. Wherever life has led her, through the hectic commodities’ markets or the number-crunching field of budgeting, she’s continued to read and daydream. Unbeknownst to her, she had been pursuing her dream all along, her dream of putting her words down on paper for everyone to enjoy. She currently resides on Long Island with her husband, two daughters, and Maltese.
Kev: What is your latest book about, Susanne?
The Dead Game
Linda moves to a small town to live a quiet life. She opens a bookstore and makes new friends. Life is simple–that is until the dead body washes up on shore. Linda is horrified to find that dead bodies and disappearing tourists are common for this town. As soon as the sun sets, the residents are stalked by dark shadows. But this is only the beginning.
Linda and her friends receive an unsigned invitation to a party at a deserted house. They are pursued through revolving rooms and dangerous traps, barely escaping with their lives. Two of their own remain trapped in the house. Or so they think.
They must embark on a difficult journey, chased by unnatural creatures, not knowing whom to trust, to uncover the one controlling the game and everyone else in town. Who are The Dead? Are they humans or vampires?
The Dead Game has begun.
Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it?
I’ve always loved to read murder mysteries. I’ve read all types of mysteries, from Agatha Christie to Sherlock Holmes. In recent years, I’ve begun to watch TV shows with paranormal themes.
I found it be difficult to find books that combine paranormal and mystery. That’s why I decided to write a paranormal, murder mystery of my own. My book, The Dead Game, has dead bodies and suspects like a traditional murder mystery. However, it also has humans, vampires, and vampire derivatives. And don’t forget the haunted house—we must have one of these.
Kev: Did you do any specialised research for your story?
My story was created from my over-active imagination. The town of Oasis sprung out of my own thoughts and dreams. As the story progressed, the town took on a life of its own with its diverse set of unusual characters.
Kev: What challenges did you face while writing the story?
I incorporated many twists and turns into my plot. At times, I had myself confused. It is important to make sure that all facts and clues are backed up properly.
Kev: Who is the protagonist?
Linda Bennett is the protagonist. She is a good person who wants to be liked by everyone. She is sweet and kind. She wants to live in a peaceful town and make friends.
Kev: What would you say is the protagonist’s greatest weakness or obstacle and why?
Linda develops a crush on Todd, but at first, she is too shy to speak to him. Her friendship with Shana brings her out of her shell and at times, gets her into trouble. She finally develops the nerve to speak with him and to voice her own opinions.
Kev: Who is the main Antagonist?
Todd Morrison brings complications to Linda’s life. At first, she is drawn to his mysterious nature. But as she gets to know him better, this mystery soon *becomes off-putting to her. She believes he’s hiding secrets that have to do with the elusive residents and the murders and disappearances in town.
Kev: What would you say is the main antagonist’s greatest strength?
Todd is a good leader. He’s able to make decisions quickly and decisively when needed. The town needs someone to lead them out of the dangerous situation they have found themselves in.
Kev: Could you provide a short passage from your book to give us a taster?
“I’ll be back for you,” Wolf held her tight against his body and whispered in her ear. ”I love the way you stand up to me with your flashing blue eyes. Soon you’ll be mine, my beautiful ice queen.”
Linda couldn’t move her body. She was stuck in some kind of trance…she couldn’t leave; didn’t want to leave if given the choice. His voice soothed her and made her think of love, passion, and great need: a need that could only be satisfied by him with his expert hands and mouth. She knew that one day she was going to be with him, to be joined with him.
His lowered his mouth onto hers and drew her into a swirling miasma of unexpected feelings and desires. His mouth fully covering hers introduced her to a new realm of pure pleasure. His powerful form enveloped her, making her feel feelings that were foreign and untried for her. She couldn’t get enough of him. She tentatively began touching his face and then his body with an eager and unrelenting hunger. She didn’t know what she needed, but she knew that she wanted and desired this beautiful man standing right before her. Her past life was washed out of her mind, never to be considered again. She begged him to take her with him tonight. In response, Wolf lifted her in his arms, as if she weighed nothing, and turned to leave the party. His beautiful face looked victorious and happy. His black eyes filled with passion. She hoped that it was because of her. Then he looked down into her small face and gave a hearty roar.
While Wolf carried her in his powerful arms, a dark shadow swooped out of the house and flew directly at them. Linda was knocked out of his arms, and Wolf was thrown across the patio.
Kev: Favourite author’s book… What lured you to it?
My favorite author is Brad Meltzer. He is the one who inspired me to write my book. His books have likeable characters. They are people, like you and me, who get themselves into trouble. The interesting part is how they get themselves out of their convoluted problems and schemes.
Kev: When you write, do write off-the-cuff or do you use some kind of formula?
I write when I feel inspired or in the mood. If I’m tired or restless, I won’t even attempt to write. I can always write, but whether it’s special or not, is up to chance. I never know what I’m going to write beforehand. I write outlines. But when I sit down at the computer, words spill out of me, disregarding all plans and outlines. Afterward, I edit to give it shape and purpose.
Kev: Preference for writing: Day or Night?
I don’t believe the time of day is as important as the way I feel at the time. I have to feel relaxed with my mind open for ideas. A good night’s sleep is always helpful. A ringing phone can be disturbing.
My favorite time to write is late at night. I’m more relaxed with fewer disturbances. The later for me, the better; my defenses are down late at night.
Kev: What is your process for editing your work?
I used Outskirts Press to publish my book. The editor corrected about half the typos. I was determined to make my book the best it could be. I was on a mission to make it leaner and meaner. I read editing, grammar books, articles, and so on. The story remained the same but the words can now bring it to life better. I wonder if an editor could have helped me achieve my potential. It might have been a journey that I had to take on my own.
Kev: How do you come up with your book covers?
The cover of my book was supposed to be a door, partially open, with dripping blood. Outskirts Press didn’t have anything similar. The best they could come up with was a door with fire around it. It didn’t matter since I only needed a door to symbolize the mysterious door in Oasis; a door that opens to unknown mysteries and fantasies.
Kev: Do you think the book cover is important?
I believe the cover is an important ingredient for book sales. It reveals to potential readers what the author is trying to convey—his plot, his main idea. The door is an important theme in my book. It conveys possibilities and at the same time, secrets.
Kev: Which publishing platform do you prefer and why?
Self-publishing gave me the freedom to write my book the way I wanted it to be written. I was in total control. The deadlines were my own. The edits were under my control. The second book in this series will also be self-published.
Kev: Do you face any daunting obstacles during the publishing process?
After my book was published, it sat on Amazon and Barnes & Noble without a description, bio, background, or anything for a few days. When the self-publisher had sent me the email—everything was done through email—informing me that I was published, I hadn’t been told that my book was immediately available for sale. I had to quickly write up summaries and descriptions. Then I had to learn how to use Twitter, Facebook, and Google. I created blogs on Tumblr, Blogspot, and WordPress. I felt like I was in a Marathon race, against time.
Kev: What methods do you use to promote your work?
The only promotion I have done so far as been on the internet. It keeps me busy. I find that blogging, promoting, and writing take up all my free time.
Kev: Do you have any advice for new authors?
It is important for an author to have everything in place before launching his or her book. I learned the hard way after I self-published. Blogs, websites, and social sites like Google and Twitter should be ready and waiting. Summaries and bios should also be prepared in advance. After the book is released, it should be announced everywhere with bold pictures and words. People will be ready and eager to read it. That’s my goal for my next book, which will be the second book in The Dead Game series. Good luck!
Kev: Which social media platforms do you use the most?
- Kev: Do you have a blog or dedicated website for your books?
- Kev: Is there anything else you would like to add Susanne?
The Dead Game is the first book in a series. The first book resolves the murder mystery, but at the same time, opens a Pandora box of new mysteries. Its surprise ending will lead to more surprises.
Once my book is further established in the marketplace, I will begin work on the second book. I have an outline and notes all ready to be used to write the next book. My writing often leads me in unknown directions, so I won’t know how the book will end until it does.
Susanne Leist, Everyone!