Good morning, Suzi, and welcome back to Vision and Verse, the site that loves art and books and the people who write them. What have you written?
An OBX Haunting Series:
A Love Haunting
The Siren of Diamond Shoals
The Devil’s Due Collection:
Death Most Wicked
The Devil’s Lieutenant
The Ghost Fixer
The Reluctant Angel of Death
What is your favorite genre to write?
I have two favorites – Supernatural Horror Crime Thrillers and Paranormal Romance/Ghost Novels. The first one allows me to be very, very bad. And the second one, allows me to love like I have never loved before. The funniest part is that in the first one, my characters love to swear and mutter outrageous things. So when I switch to writing the second genre, I have to find other ways to express pain when a character stubs his toe on a doorjamb.
I have two books in the works, one for each of my genres.
Since I live in Maryland that has to be steamed crabs with Old Bay Seasoning and served with clarified butter and fat onion rings. Oh my, I am so hungry now and it won’t be crab season for months. But we did find a new place for crabs this year off I-70, do you think they’ll have crabs? Maybe from Louisiana?
Tea or coffee?
Neither, I am a Pepsi girl, totally. Been one since I was a baby. My mother used to put Pepsi in my bottle. I’m sipping on one right now. With lots and lots of ice.
Pizza or ice cream?
Neither really get me going but if I have to make a choice, I would say Blue Bunny Ice Cream Sandwiches. They are the creamiest you have ever had. Plus they have these individual Salted Caramel Pretzel Bunny Snacks… Yummy.
Oh, Suzi! I love those little Blue Bunny Salted Caramel Pretzel ice cream squares. I hide this in the freezer under the Brussel sprouts. Wine or beer or soda?
Strictly Pepsi. Not the other one… coke. However, I do like a creamy, super cold Pina Colada topped with a bright red, crisp cherry. Mostly, I’ll have them on vacation. On those same vacations, I’ve been known to have Mimosas for brunch.
Where would you like to visit?
If it is somewhere I have never been, then I choose Hawaii. But if it is a favorite vacation spot, I choose Key West. If you haven’t been, you should definitely go. Beautiful beaches, awesome restaurants, interesting people, a cool art district. There is so much to see and do that you have to come back again, and again.
Key West is great. And you're right, it's never the same place twice. I actually like Key West and other parts of Florida better than Hawaii.
Favorite musical artist. Do you listen to music when you write?
I don’t listen to music. I normally listen the television while I write. Even then, I only half listen to what is on. When I write, I tend to lose myself in my words. So, if I am writing about my favorite ghost guy in the Outer Banks, I’m down there beside him with my toes in the sand and the sun kissing my face. If he has popped into his living wife’s condo because he desperately needs to see her even if he can’t touch her or hold her… or even let her know that he is there. In that moment, I’m there too, holding my breath, praying that he’ll be able to walk away because he has no choice but to walk away.
What makes you laugh?
Irony makes me laugh. I love things that start out in one direction and then twist around and go in completely different direction. If I giggle, it’s good. If I burst out with an unexpected laugh, it’s great.
Here is a scene from A Love Haunting that shows you what I mean. Jordan, the newly dead ghost, is at the beach with his friend, Luke, a skateboarding surfer angel.
Luke transported us to a section of beach where the surf was ‘tubular.’ And then while Luke went to find his nirvana, I put his backpack down and set up my umbrella and chair. I settled back to watch him and the rest of the surfers, both dead and living. Yes, there were others like us. No one came to talk to me, butI could tell which ones didn’t have a heartbeat.
Not ten minutes in, I was standing a few feet away from my chair, looking at the waves crashing on shore when I heard someone huffing and puffing. I looked in that direction and saw this rather largewoman waddle right up to my chair and umbrella. She took a quick glance around as if looking for the owner. I noticed right away that the woman’s eyes were like tiny beads of greed and sweat dripped off her brow. It came to me that I had seen that look before. In the third grade, Byron Reilly was the class bully. He always got that look when he was snatching some kid’s lunch money.
Holy crap, she’s going to take my stuff.
I hurried over and touching the backpack with my foot, I put my hands on the umbrella and chair when the woman was looking the other way. I have to say the look on her face when she turned to grab her newly found booty was hilarious. Her eyes were shining like new pennies under eyebrows that looked like McDonald’s arches, andshe was licking her lips. The woman was so eager she tripped over her own feet inches away from my chair and landed on her bum. I cringed because I didn’t know if she would crush my now invisible chair. Anyway, she narrowly missed it. I watched her scramble to get to her feet, dust herself off and head back to wherever she had come from.
Whew! I won’t forget that lesson.
After that near disaster, I decided I better start acting like an octopus with extra tentacles. I pulled my chair closer to the umbrella,so they were abutted against each other, andLuke’s backpack was shoved underneath, touching the chair’s legs. Don’t ask me how but I managed to sit in the chair without losing my death grip on either the umbrella or chair.
Looking out at the water, my eyes caught sight of Luke sitting on his board, laughing his ass off. I gave him a thumbs up. Then I guess the Devil got a hold of me for a second because I grabbed his backpack andheld it out as if I was about to toss it out onto the sand. Luke began to frantically wave at me to stop.
I grinned until I noticed that lady was heading toward my chair again. Shoving the backpack under my chair, I plopped myself down and held onto everything like my life depended on it. I could hear Luke’s chortles the entire time. I began to wonder if I was ever going to be good at this whole dead experience.
Favorite work of art or sculpture.
I love Monet. His work makes me feel as if I am floating.
How old were you when you started writing?
I was very young. Probably six. I kept all my little stories to myself and hid them under my bed. I didn’t want to share them with anyone because they were my personal thoughts put into story form. I wish I still had those stories. It would be fun to write about them today. I wonder what little me had to say.
Do you plan out your book with outlines and notecards? Or just write?
I am pretty much a free-spirit index card chick. For me every book begins when the story pops into my head. I could be anywhere when that happens, so I keep index cards with me at all times. Whenever I think of another piece of the story, I jot it down and add it to the stack of cards. Sometimes, that addition is a scene, sometimes, descriptions of characters. I keep adding to my stack of cards until I feel like I need to get something on paper. At that point in the process, I have a form I made that includes beats and plot points. I insert the contents of the cards where they make sense onto the form. Then I add in more scenes until my head is spinning from the desire to write the actual story. After that, I write the scenes I listed and wing it for the rest until I have a completed script.
Describe your perfect evening.
I love the beach. A lovely evening would begin and end with my guy holding my hand. We would start with dinner at a restaurant on the beach, preferably at a table with a view of the ocean. Better still, at a table on the deck. After dinner, we’d enjoy a nice stroll on the beach with shoes in hand. The evening would end with us sitting closely together in beach chairs, listening to the waves roll in and wonder what cool adventures might await us.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am very sensitive to my surroundings. My imagination is stimulated by people, places, things. I like to people watch and imagine what has happened to those people earlier in the day or year. I love to visit places and imagine people who may have lived there at one time. Sometimes, even a small, seemingly insignificant item such as a worn dress or highly polished old car speaks to me. My OBX Haunting Series came when I heard about T.L. Daniels. He had been shot and killed at The Black Pelican in the Outer Banks. I read about several rumors written on how it all went down and felt he got a raw deal. I wanted to right that wrong if I could. Anyway, from there, I came up with Jordan, my newbie ghost, and Luke, my skateboarding, surfer angel who’s favorite word is ‘Dude’ and the others. T.L. is not the lead character but he plays a major role.
What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I seldom get writer’s block, I get writer’s procrastination at times. But when I do get stuck, I interview my new characters. I ask them things like what they think of the story and how they feel about the other characters. It’s always surprising what they come up with.
Who is your favorite author?
To be honest, that would be me at this time. I am consumed with writing. And to be honest, I love my books and my characters. If you happen to read my books Death Most Wicked and The Devil’s Lieutenant, there is a character who I relate to in many, many ways. If you read my books, look for Mikael Ruskoff. The truth is that I fall in love with almost all of my characters. They don’t always do what I think they should do and some of them are not very nice at times, but I still love them. Even my villains were loved by their mothers. And they had their hearts broken at some time in their lives. Yes, when you meet them, they are at their worst, but they still hold pain inside them that pushes them to make those bad choices.
What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
That’s hard to say I have written all my life and I was a technical writer in my outside job. But there was one job that would pop into my mind from time to time. A forensic investigator. It’s probably the writer in me, but it would be interesting to try to connect the dots in a murder case and help bring closure to the family.
Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
I had two people. My mother’s father and the mother of one of my stepfathers. Both were kind people who treated me like I was precious. My grandfather would take me on train rides when I was little. We visited all the zoos all over Illinois. It was always just he and I. And my step-grandmother always treated me as if I were her blood grandchild. She always had time for me. Whenever I am nice to someone else, I think it is her, at my elbow nudging me along. Both of them loved me unconditionally in the short time we had together.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Now this will sound sad but it’s really not, just wishful thinking. I would like to talk to my father. He and my mother divorced when I was six months old. My mother had a world class talent in holding grudges so I was never allowed to even meet him even though he lived just across the river in Iowa. Thanks to the internet, I now know that he died in 1987, so all chances of meeting him are gone. I think it would be cool to just chill and chat over Pina Coladas.
What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Not only do you need to be open to learning new information and new ways of completing tasks, you need two more assets - patience and a thick skin. Patience because everything seems to take too much time. You must learn to be patient or your head will explode. And a thick skin because not everyone will think you are as great as your loved ones do. And there are a lot of mean people in the writing world. Just ignore them and be yourself and you will be fine.
As always, Suzi, it's been a pleasure. Give us a peek at those new books when they come out. Hugs.
Do you have some links for us to follow you?
My Amazon author page is
· My FB page is https://facebook.com/SuziAlbracht
· My handle on Twitter and Instagram is @SuziAlbracht
Individual book links: