Insight Interview #2 with Author, Susan M. Leitz. 2-10-15
Vaun: Susan thank you so much for taking the time to visit. I really enjoy talking with other authors. Can you give me a quick rundown of your daily life?
Susan: I'm happy to be here with you, Vaun. This is a great way to meet new writers and most importantly, new readers! My daily life? Well, pretty dull on most days. I am currently a stay at home woman, but only because I can't seem to be able to work outside the home. I made a life changing move to Belgium in April of 2013, and I am having the most difficult time learning the language. And, of course, you can't really work in a country if you can't learn the language! Prior to my move, I lived for seven years in Mesa, Arizona, where my daughter and grandchildren reside. I loved being near them, and every single day I miss them more than words can say. So, I write when I think I have something to say, because I have the time to do it!
Vaun: Is there a dream you have or had that started you on the road to writing?
Susan: No, I never dreamed, as a child, that I would ever become a writer. In fact, I didn't even like to read! I think that the only book that I read as a young child was a story about a young sailor boy...I can't remember much of it, not even the name! I do recall enjoying it enough to finish it, though.
Vaun: What book(s) do you have out already and what are you working on this moment?
Susan: I currently have five books out at this time. The first four are simple poetry. These are my voice, my mind, and my heart all rolled into one. The fifth book is a memoir, compilation of some of the poems from my other books, and a select few of my other writings. I actually love my fifth book. It has many photographs of the people and events in my life that are vitally important to me. They are the reason for my writing. They are the reason for my living.
I am currently working on three novels. One of which is a historical romance, one is a mystery, and the third is a romantic/erotica. I know, I know...I had to jump on that band-wagon. I also have a children's series that is awaiting illustration. My grandson will be doing the drawings for it...or so he says! I also work on my poetry. Constantly! (I believe that I am getting better at it, too!)
Vaun: How do you feel about the current marketplace for writers?
Susan: I find that the current marketplace for writers is so vast, so complex, and so inundated with new material that it is difficult for an author that is just beginning, to reach the reading audience that they so desperately desire to connect with. And, because of this, it is difficult for publishers to sift through, and ultimately choose the books that they will publish. For that reason, many of us have found that self-publishing and being an Indy Author is the best option.
Vaun: If you had to compare your writing style to another’s who would you say is similar?
Susan: I really cannot answer that. I don't think I write like any author that I've ever read. Since I read a great deal, sometimes the styles get mixed up in my head, but I do have some favorites. I only wish that I could write like them!
Vaun: What do you feel you add to the world with your viewpoint?
Susan: I think that I add compassion, understanding and love with my viewpoint. Like Thomas Jefferson, I truly believe that 'all men were created equally' and I strive to show this in both my actions and my writing.
Vaun: On any given day if you had to choose between skipping a meal or losing writing time what do you think you’d do?
Susan: I often skip meals. It is no big deal to me.
Vaun: Do you feel called to write only in one genre or do you branch out occasionally? For example, I have a Science Fiction series but I love a good book no matter what the subject. If a story hit me I’d definitely pounce on it even if it was a Western. Hold do you feel about an author genre crossing?
Susan: As I mentioned, I have branched out by writing in several different genres. I am not opposed to anything...well, except perhaps adult educational stuff.
Vaun: Do you feel like you have a creative balance? Do you have a routine that helps you get in writer mode?
Susan: Nope. I go with the flow and let the spirit take me to wherever it want to carry me. I think that's why I have so many projects in the works right now. If I have an idea for one story, I write it. If I have inspiration for another, I write that. Easier that, than fighting the muse!
Vaun: I’d like to end on a creative note so I’m going to give you a writing prompt and I’d like for you to write a short scene with it – just enough to hook a reader on an imaginary ride. Here it is: The darkness held invisible life…
Susan: (This is funny because I do already have a poem about the darkness and the life that is there in the shadows.)
Walking the dog shouldn't be this scary. It's just a simple stroll down the same street that I walk every single day. But, the day isn't the same, is it? The day doesn't hide the things that I fear. It doesn't hide the spiders, and the rats, and the others.
Those, the others, are what I fear most.
The dog jumps two feet off the ground, turning, and lets out a deep bark that she never uttered before. When she jumps, I follow suit, jumping and turning quickly to see what on Earth she is so afraid of in the darkness.
“What, damn dog? What is it?” I don't typically yell at her, and I don't ever use foul language, but she scared it out of me. I couldn't stop it. My breaths were coming quicker and my heart was racing to find a safe place. I struggled to hear what she had heard, to see what she might see, but there was nothing visible in the shadows of the night.
But, I knew it was there...somewhere in the darkness which holds invisible life.
Vaun: Why don’t we end this with your contact information so intrigued readers can find your work?
Susan: Sure! Here are all the ways you can reach me and find my work.