FILL THE PAGES

FILL THE PAGES


Fill the pages of our lives
with words and stories.
Leave no blank pages.
Fill them with people and events.
Stories to tell our children.
Words to light our journeys.
We need to stand in the light.
Enjoy life to its fullest.
It is our right to fill in the pages.

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A REVIEW OF MY BOOK

A REVIEW OF MY BOOK

4.0 out of 5 stars Great horror debut, March 10, 2014 By  L (UK) – See all my reviews

This review is from: The Dead Game (Paperback)
Susanne Leist does a wonderful job of setting her debut novel The Dead Game, in the sweet seaside town of Oasis, a place where one would never expect evil to lurk.
At the beginning of the book we are dropped into a historical piece showcasing the gruesome capabilities of End house, this sets the novel up nicely for our introduction to recent times.
Oasis is a town which should require little by way of regular law enforcement, but it has suffered a disturbing history of disappearances and unexplained phenomena that have been covered up. Interestingly, the sheriff deputy has a habit of sneaking away when there’s work to be done!
The story progresses to tell us a bit about Linda and her perception of the town and its residents. A sense of menace builds quickly and there are surprises to be had when she and her friends accept an invite to a party at End house (unbeknown to them as the locus of the original horrors) A property in which everything defies the natural laws, the friends are subjected to a host of horrors that they try to attribute to mere ghoulish humour on behalf of their host. Vampire, Wolf, sets his eyes on the prize, (Not world peace!) and progressively works his evil machinations against the young people.
In Leist’s town we find that humans, vampires and vampire humans have come to coexist.
This is a book where the characters have more guts than sense! and in true horror fashion I read this book on the edge of my seat, willing and hoping for them to seal their fate by disregarding the warnings and jumping into the crises that could have been avoided. I was not disappointed!
Among the horrors, Leis introduces black magic and hallucinogenic apparitions; the walls bleed and pointy cages drop to trap the partygoers, and many other horrors follow. I loved how Linda and Todd’s romance blossomed through the midst of it, and how Todd’s true nature is hinted at throughout before being revealed.
There are many characters in Leist’s horror, and though I could have happily strangled some of them, (Par for the course) I was kept involved in true morbid fascination. I must confess that evil vampire, Wolf was my favourite character in this book, and I was entertained throughout.
This is a must read for horror lovers.

THE DEAD GAME BOOK 2

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I was on way with my second book, developing my characters, setting up the story, introducing conflicts for them to overcome. Then the problems began. I started to read articles from popular authors’ sites, claiming to know the best way to set up a story and its characters.

I agree the midpoint should be placed at the middle of the book and be the pivotal spot for the plot, where characters are spun about on their axis by unexpected events or people. However, these authors lecture about specific spots where each plot point is to be introduced.  They outline the exact number of pressure points and where they should be placed. 

I began to dissect my book, bit by bit. I follow an outline of my own. Each chapter is created to be a full scene with a beginning, middle and end. My midpoint is the big reversal. I didn’t plan on pressure points but I have them; not at the exact percentage points as recommended by the articles but close. After the reversal, I have pressure spots planned leading to the ultimate climax. 

I did all of this instinctively, from reading books my whole life. There is a rhythm to writing like there is to music. It doesn’t have to be strictly set at one speed. It can flow at your own pace. Characters don’t have to direct opposites or heroes to your main character, they could play off your protagonist to elicit humor or bring out the story.

There are rules but not hard and fast ones like in math and science. I followed the rules in my past jobs in Finance. I love formulas where you can input your data and come up with the one correct answer. Writing is more creative. There is more than one way to tell a story and each person has a different story to tell.

The beginning of my book has been rewritten four times before I realized that my story has been following the rules of writing but at its own rhythm. My own pace. I’ve stopped reading these preachy articles about the best way to structure a book. Scenes, character arcs, plot points and acts still float around in my head, but once I began writing all of these details took care of themselves. The plot can reach the midpoint and reversal on its way to the climax without any calculations of percentages.

If you’ve read enough books, an author knows how the story should flow. You instinctively know how to introduce characters and how they should play off the main character. I’m off to the finish! I’ve cleared the midpoint and on my way to the climax! Don’t ever doubt yourself. Let your story evolve from inside of you.

I LOVE THIS REVIEW!

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on March 5, 2016
“The Dead Game” by Susanne Leist is one of those great reads that you stumble across and end up eternally grateful for discovering it. In a vast sea of paranormal novels, The Dead Game stands out in all its horrifying glory. If you’re seeking chills and thrills this book is definitely a great read. Just the prologue will be enough to drag you deep into a plot filled with brilliant twists and turns. Leist brings her world and story to life with strong vivid language that flows seamlessly, lulling you into a tale you’ll never forget. I find her cast of characters to be truly unique and real, expressing human nature as if it were bare before us. Without hesitation I can say this is among the best novels of the year I’ve come across. Highly recommended.

Review of THE DEAD GAME

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I had to share this review. It’s the type of review that authors dream of. A reader that understood the book, the plot, the characters. Thank you Deneale !
Deneale Williams rated it it was amazing

This book, “The Dead Game” would make an excellent horror movie. I just could not get enough of it, and would love to see it on the silver screen. In fact, I think it would be even more fantastic in 3 dimensional. 

Let me start by saying: I read this in the dark, along with one light on and in a big house. Wait, did I mention I was alone? I might suggest that , you might not want to do that. I’m just sayin…

Just let me be frank with you here. Okay, wait. I still want to be me. Here goes. I honestly love watching TV, and I know what would make for a good show, or movie. And as I was reading this, I was just so totally freaking out all through it, I could totally visualize everything. I know this book would be amazing as a Movie, you seriously need to read it, because you know it goes. When they turn books into Movies, they ruin them. And if the words are this good, you need to read them now!

Another thing that I loved about this book, was the fact that it is portrayed in Oasis, Florida. As most of you know, I am I currently live in Florida. So I love it when books put Florida, or Ohio on the map, I’m in. 

This book, “The Dead Game” has Vampires, Beachfront property, a scary haunted mansion, dead bodies, romance and of course people. What a unique kind of mix.

But let me tell you, never ever go to a place called: “End house” and never attend a party on a Friday night where the invitation envelopes are black. I mean if that doesn’t just say: “It’s going to get weird.” As a warning, then nothing will. 

I was so impressed, with “The Dead Game”, I couldn’t put it down. I give it five stars, it was just that exciting. If you’re anything like me, and enjoy horror, with a kick, then you need to read this. And you better be ready to get comfortable, because you’re not going to want to put this book down! It’s just that enjoyable. 

TO BE OR NOT TO BE

TO BE OR NOT TO BE

To be or not to be a writer.
This has been the hardest question for me.
Should I continue with my pursuit?
Or step away and claim defeat?
One book written.
One book sold.
It dances around on Amazon and Nook.
It reaches new heights in its niche
And then it slowly bows its head in silence.
The highs feel good and lofty,
While the lows feel depressing and sad.
Is it worth it? 
Is it worth the aggravation?
I am told that a writer must keep writing.
More books to dance around.
More highs and lows.
Should I keep doing this?
Will I keep doing this? 
Yes, for now
As I wait for the next high. 

Author Spotlight on Susanne Leist by Angel Sefer

This is my author spotlight  on Angel Sefer’s blog.  She did a great job. Thank you.

Spotlight on Susanne Leist – Author of the exciting paranormal mystery/thriller The Dead Game by Angel Sefer

http://www.angelsefer.blogspot.gr/2015/10/spotlight-on-susanne-leist-author-of.html

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As you all know, I have a special section on my blog where I feature excerpts of fascinating novels of many talented authors. So, I asked Susanne Leist—the talented author of the exciting paranormal mystery/thriller The Dead Game—if she was interested in sending me an excerpt of her popular novel to post on my blog.

I was happy Susanne accepted my invitation and sent me an excerpt and information about her book. Along with that, she also sent me a very touching note about herself.

So, I want you all to meet the real Susanne Leist:

Author Susanne Leist
I was asked to contribute an article to a fellow author’s blog. At first I panicked. I didn’t know what to write about. I’m a listener. I listen to other people’s stories. I’m a good listener. I don’t like speaking about myself. Therefore, I don’t like to write about myself. But now that I’m a writer, I have to move into the spotlight.

I’ve done a few interviews on fellow authors’ blogs. Their questions helped to serve as guidelines. Now I have a blank page to deal with. Should I write about why I had decided to become a writer? I don’t think so. It has been done to death by writers. I believe I will write about what had inspired me to pursue my career in Finance. It wasn’t a ‘what’ but a ‘who;’ the person who I had looked up to and then had lost too early in life. This was my brother, Neil Leist.

Neil was the type of person who lit up a room when he entered it. He was 6’2”, but it wasn’t his height that drew others’ eyes. It was his dynamic personality and his intelligence. Those grey eyes mirrored his great intellect and capacity for greatness. He acted as my father when my father wasn’t home but working long days and nights driving a taxi. He took care of my blind mother until I was old enough to help out. He sheltered me as much as he could from life and responsibilities. He shouldered these burdens himself.

He did well in college but he flourished in the business world. He traded on the Commodity Exchange until he had enough money to take over a Fortune 500 company. With a majority share in its stock, he took over American Bakeries. Taystee Bread was never going to be the same. He took me along on his ride to stardom. I worked for him on the Exchange and in his offices on Madison Ave. in Manhattan. I majored in Finance at New York University, preparing to join him. All was going well for once in my life and in my brother’s life. My parents were proud. He helped them out. All was perfect until that awful phone call in the middle of the night.

My lights went out. All the light in the world was gone for me. I was stuck in darkness as dark and deep as the one my mother lived in. My brother had been in a car accident in the Hamptons. His fancy, red Porsche had hydroplaned on the wet roads. Neil was a great driver with quick reflexes. He drove the car off the road and onto the grass. Luck wasn’t with him. A truck was parked in his path and the Porsche crashed beneath it.

Neil was in a coma for two years before he passed away. Meanwhile, his so-called friends at American Bakeries were undermining his position at the company causing the stock price to drastically plummet. We had to sell off his investment in one big chunk at a big loss. Most of his money was tied up with this company. I spent eight years dealing with all the vermin or finance people and lawyers before his estate could be settled.

I lost my taste for high Finance. I did get an M.B.A. in Finance but it soon lost its appeal to me. I wasn’t cutthroat. I wasn’t a back stabber. I wanted an interesting job that was challenging. I did enjoy working at The Office of Management and Budget at City Hall. I wasn’t able to work the overtime hours on Saturdays because of my Sabbath, so I left.

I worked at different companies, such as: E.F. Hutton & Co., McCall Pattern Company, and at local brokerage firms on Long Island where I now live. None of these jobs appealed to me. I was married with two beautiful daughters. I devoted myself to them. I took on part-time jobs, but I was always available if they needed me.

The big 50 was approaching and I was beginning to feel that I had lost out on life. My brother and then both my parents had passed away. My daughters were beginning their own lives. I needed a focus, a reason for my life. I was helping my daughter write an essay for college. I read it over and was surprised that I had written it. It related to my mother being blind with dementia in a nursing home. I began to think about writing.

My mid-life crisis book, The Dead Game, took me ten years to write. I hadn’t realized that writing was so hard. Characters have to move around and speak at the same time. They can’t sound the same. Through all the rewrites, the plot and story remained the same. Only the dialogue and grammar changed. I believe I could edit for the rest of my life and still not be satisfied.
I found a self-publisher, who offered to print and edit the book for a set price. Anything else costs extra. If I made any changes to the book after it was published, it would cost hundreds of dollars for them to take care of it. They even charged to send the changes to Amazon and Nook, even though these companies don’t charge for this.

One day, the publisher informed me that my book was published. I thought that this meant it was printed. Not only was it printed, it was sitting on Amazon and Nook without a description or bio. It looked sad. I panicked. I had to learn how to use Google so I could ask it how to describe a book. I learned about the log line and synopsis. I bought books on grammar and editing. I opened blogs. I found Facebook and Twitter. Luckily, I found some nice authors who helped me with my countless questions.

My book looked nice on the sites, but it didn’t have reviews. I soon learned that without reviews there are no sales. I joined Goodreads.com to find reviewers. I was placed in review groups, where the members randomly reviewed other members’ books but not each other’s books. Some authors gave nice reviews with constructive criticism. Others took apart my book, piece by piece, and in detail described what was wrong with it. They even used excerpts. These hurt, but I used the reviews to fix any weak spots in my book. After a year of this, I put out a new edition of my book. I tried to address everyone’s concerns. But you just can’t please everyone.

My book is now sitting comfortably in its sections: Vampire Suspense on Amazon and Paranormal Suspense on Nook. I will continue to promote it online while I begin to work on book 2 of The Dead Game series.

My life has taken many unexpected twists and turns. I wonder what the young me would have thought if she had heard that she was going to write vampire stories in the future. Would she have laughed? Would she have been surprised? Knowing me so well, I wouldn’t have laughed or wouldn’t have been surprised. And I might have even been happy. I don’t believe I was so happy with Finance, even in the beginning. I did it as more of a challenge. I wanted to do well in a male-dominated field—just to prove that I could do it. And now I have a new mission. I want to prove to myself that I could be a good author. And I believe I’m well on my way.

Thank you for listening,

Susanne Leist
Excerpt from the exciting paranormal mystery/thriller The Dead Game by Susanne Leist

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