Suzanne M. Sabol is an author of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. She is married to her wonderful husband, Ross, who makes sure her books don't have too much gore... because there could be more. They live with their daughter, Scarlett, in Columbus, Ohio.
Suzanne M. Sabol is a member of Romance Writers of America; Central Ohio Fiction Writers; North East Ohio Romance Writers Chapter; Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter of RWA.
What made you get into writing as a career?
I had been writing since I was in high school. Mostly for my friends and myself. I liked putting stories down on paper and watching them grow into something more than just an idea. I liked writing the stories I wanted to read. It was my friends how pushed me to submit my manuscripts for review. My husband encouraged me to join a writing group and I found that I wasn’t alone and that gave me a better understanding of writing, of the business, and how I could be one of the people with their work in someone else’s hands. That was exciting to me.
What book of yours was the most fun to write, and why?
I think Golden Anidae (#4 in the Blushing Death Series) was particularly fun. In that book, I was able to pull my heroine out of her comfort zone, break her down, and build her back up again. I was able to create some genuinely unique characters that you don’t normally see in Urban Fantasy novels which was great. I took all the alpha expectations out of the supernatural beings and really looked at what’s left when they’re gone.
Who are your biggest inspirations, as a writer?
When I was in my teens, I loved Ian Fleming. I couldn’t get enough James Bond. I loved his damaged character and the idea that he would sacrifice everything he was for the mission. His hero was so well developed and straddle the line so well between hero and anti-hero. I didn’t realize that same type of character could not only be in fantasy but a woman until I found Laurell K. Hamilton in the early 2000’s.
What's the most challenging aspect of your job?
I think keeping the story lines fresh and new. It’s true that everything has already been done and several times before any of us even got to it. Making a story engaging, fresh, and exciting is hard. I think that’s a problem we all struggle with at some point while writing.
How do you cope with writer's block?
I always take a break in between my projects to recharge. I take a month or so and read as much as I can in that time. That puts some distance between me and the last work, as well as letting my mind wander into someone else’s world for a bit.
What was it like when you first got published?
It was very exciting. The rush of knowing that someone loves your work – your baby – as much as you do is and incredible feeling. I celebrated for an entire week.
Do you outline? Why or why not?
I actually used to be a “pantser” which basically means you sit down to write without a plan or direction. I found it more interesting and since I didn’t know what was coming next, I was always excited to write. That eats up a lot of time and your story – sometimes – isn’t so coherent. Once I had to write and rewrite a full manuscript of 75,000 words three times to get it right, I decided that maybe I would start plotting. That has made all the difference in the overall quality of the product and cohesion of the plot arch.
How is writing a series different from writing a stand-alone?
Writing a series is much more involved and complex than a single book. In the single book, you have to close the arch and find a satisfying conclusion for the characters, the readers, and yourself all in about 300 pages. In a series, you have to create an arch and stretch it, not only in the plot but in character development as well over multiple books and sometimes multiple characters. Tension has to carry from book to book and escalate with each new installment. It’s a lot of work and a lot of planning but when it all comes together, it’s amazing and a whole lot of fun.
Who is your favorite character that you've created, and why?
I love a really good villain and I’ve had some really good ones. There was the female vampire ninja assassin in Midnight Ash, the vampire human servant who sold his own daughter for immortality, the man-eating pixies, but I have two that really stand out. My representation of Baba Yaga. She is evil. No really, the essence of evil. Her goals and plans are so far above my heroine’s understanding that it has become a cat and mouse game and Baba is the cat. A very large cat. The second is Isidro Grimaldi, The Game Maker. This vampire is always playing both sides against the middle for his own purposes. He’s smooth, cunning, and a predator in the best sense of the word.
What advice would you give to new writers?
Don’t stop. If you want to, write. If you have a story to tell, tell it. It may not be publishing caliber the first go around or even the third, but you should still do it. You’ll get better with practice, with patience, with interactions with other writers, and with honest critique partners.
When I first started, I thought everything I wrote was gold. It wasn’t. I had to take a hard look at my manuscripts and figure out what worked and what didn’t. I read a lot and at some point I stopped reading simply for pleasure and began to analyze how those authors were making me so engaged.
Suzanne's website is HERE, and you can buy her books HERE. You can also follow her on the following social media platforms: Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.
Thanks so much to Suzanne for taking the time for this interview -- and for our mutual friend Tiffany for introducing us! If you enjoyed this interview, please take two seconds to subscribe to this website (the box for that is at the top of the page), or become one of my Patrons!