Woodmere, New York
Hello. My name is Susanne Leist. My book, The Dead Game, is a paranormal thriller with vampires, humans and human vampires. The action takes place in a small town called Oasis, on the coast of Florida. Linda and her friends are caught in a deadly game with the evil one controlling their town. They are led down dark pathways, where they must save their town from the evil forces at play.
Look through the palm trees,
Past the sanded beaches,
Beyond the swimming pools
And you will see the truth.
You can hear the raging winds,
Feel the spray of the tall waves,
Taste the salt in the air
And you will know Oasis, Florida
For what it really is.
A town living on the edge,
In fear of the nights,
Of the dark shadows.
Welcome to Vision and Verse, Susanne. It's a pleasure to have you with us this morning. What made you decide to write The Dead Game?
I've always been an avid reader. I grew up on Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes. In recent years, I've begun to read paranormal books. They bring fantasy and the surreal to life, but few combine paranormal with the classic murder mystery. I decided to write a paranormal mystery of my own. It's the type of book that I search for and love to read. Seven long years later, The Dead Game was born.
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.
What are you working on now?
The Dead Game is the first book of three books. The first book resolves the murder mystery, but at the same time, opens a Pandora box of new mysteries. Its surprise ending leads to more surprises.
I'm presently writing the second book. My writing often leads me in unknown directions, so I won't know how the book will end until it does. So far, the second book is slated to resolve the mysteries of The Dead in the United States. The last book will follow The Dead and their deadly activities abroad.
What are your hobbies?
I love to swim and read books.
Who is/are your favorite Author(s)?
The murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie was the first murder mystery I read. I was ten years old. Soon after, I read most of her collection-and she had one big collection. My love for murder mysteries continued with Arthur Conan Doyle and Alistair Maclean. These books taught me how to analyze clues and crime scenes.
Today, my favorite authors are Brad Meltzer and Linda Fairstein. Brad Meltzer's Zero Game prompted me to write my own book. He doesn't write in a pompous way. He follows through with the plot and clues. I feel satisfied when all the plot points are wrapped up in a pretty bow at the end. His writing inspired me to take on an author's long and hard journey.
What education have you had?
My first career was in Finance. I have an M.B.A. in Finance. I worked in the fields of commodities, financial analysis and budgeting. The creative side of me felt trapped inside. I followed my heart and wrote my first book, The Dead Game.
I am married with two beautiful daughters. My oldest is married and is an inventory analyst. My second recently got engaged and is working in digital marketing.
My life is complete.
What do you suggest for anyone thinking of or wanting to write a book?
The best advice for a new writer is to have your author platform and marketing strategies ready before you launch your book. After Outskirts Press informed me I was published, I quickly checked my book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It sat on the two sites-alone-with no description. I panicked. In a few short weeks, I set up Twitter, Facebook and Google accounts. I created blogs on Tumblr, Blogger and WordPress. I researched articles and books about book marketing. It was a year later before I was able to sit back and take a breath.
My advice to a new author is to have everything in place before your book is published. Blogs and online accounts should be open and ready. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone but an anticipated event.
Are you familiar with Oasis, Florida?
There could be a town in Florida where the longtime residents hide during the day and come out at night. A place where dark shadows roam the streets after the sun sets for the evening. Dead bodies roll in with the tides and settle in the white sand. Beach communities have sunshine during the day and trade winds at night. The rest of the story could easily be the result of someone's imagination: my over-active imagination.
What scares you?
Death scares me but not the type of death in my book. Death by vampire is a good way for me to deal with my fears. Here's to the bloodsuckers!
Do you have some links for us to follow you?