Meet Susan Lynn Solomon
Welcome back! I'm honored to have another great author here today, Susan Lynn Solomon.
1. Tell Us a little about yourself.
Ah, Rachael, I’ve reached that magic age at which it’s difficult to tell only a little about myself. Looking back, it seems I’ve been writing my entire life. Music, poetry, stories, at different stages my writing took different directions. In high school I learned to play guitar, and in short order began to play with a rock bank. After six or so months of playing other people’s songs, I started to write for the group. In one form or another, the group became moderately successful over time, playing colleges, concerts, and clubs along the east coast. Eventually, though, the love bug bit, and chasing stardom thorough one-night stands lost its attraction.
So, marriage, kids, law school, and jobs in the music industry filled my days and nights. Until. In a story, there’s always an until, isn’t there? Divorce, a severe car accident, and a drawn-out recovery led me in a new direction. When I was at last able to work again, I signed on as a contributing editor for a quarterly art magazine, where page design and writing became my full time job. Even within the strictures of the magazine’s editorial policy there was room for creativity. At this time, both articles and stories flowed, and the stories haven’t stopped. Though I still work, my life is now defined by the lies I spin— What? Isn’t a writer actually a professional liar?
2. Is Writing your full time profession, or do you have a "day job?"
There is a job that pays the bills—I’m in-house counsel for an efficiency management company here in Niagara Falls. But, in the past few years I’ve had more than a dozen short stories published—one of them nominated for Best of the Net in 2013—and now my first Solstice Publishing novel has enjoyed some success… Well, last week I explained to my employer that writing is now my job, and working for him is just a hobby. It’s a good thing Dr. Ganim—the man I work for—has a sense of humor…Actually, to give credit where it’s due, Dr. Ganim has, and continues to, support and encourage my writing. In this I believe I’m a very lucky woman.
3. What is your book about?
Voices In My Head, just released by solstice Publishing, is a volume of nine short stories focused on nine lives in crisis. To give you just a sense of just a few, In Mystery of the Carousel, I explores the link between a veteran of World War I and the carousel on which, as a child, he imagined great battles. In Maggie’s End, I explore the devastation of incest in an early 19th Century English setting. Witches Gumbo takes the reader to Bayou LaFit early in the 20th century—a time a place where the “old ways” still reigned—and considers whether vengeance is justified. Then, because I can’t resist a mystery, the book includes The Holmes Society in which my protagonist comes face-to-face with the horror of her past. The last story in the book, Kaddish shows the unavoidable bond between death and identity. I don’t know whether I ought to mention this, but Kaddish is more than a bit autobiographical—in places, embarrassingly so.
4. What is your current project?
I’m working now on a new murder mystery, Dead Again, featuring the characters from my book, The Magic of Murder. I can’t call Dead Again the sequel, because when Solstice put out a call for stories for it summer solstice anthologies, I brought back Emlyn Goode, Rebecca, Detective Roger Frey, and, of course, the albino cat, Elvira in a story called Bella Vita. That short story (if 15,000 words can be called short) gives the reader a smile while witnessing my imaginary friends trip over themselves trying to use witchcraft to give a killer a comeuppance. This story also introduces a few people who find their way into Dead Again.
All I’ll say about Dead Again is that it begins when Emlyn’s mother flied to Niagara Falls to attend a forty-second high school reunion. Uh-huh, that’s what I said—forty-second reunion. That might give you an idea that everything won’t quite be as it seems. Anyhow, I’ve finished two drafts of this novel, and I’m working on the third draft to clean a few things up.
5. What is your process? Does your mood/location have to be specific or can you write anywhere and anytime?
I’ll write anywhere and anytime. My writer’s journal is always in my purse (yes, I carry a rather large purse). A couple of stories were written at gates in airports while waiting for my flight. I write in restaurants, and a few time an idea floated into my brain while I was driving. Not very bright, I admit, but the cop who stopped me had an interesting way of phrasing things. As soon as he pulled away, his voice made it into my journal.
6. What do you read?
I’ll read anything I can get my hands on as long as it’s well written. But my preference is fiction. I tend to stay away from non-fiction because, I have enough reality in real life. So, fiction, and my first love is mysteries—a good whodunnit with well-crafted characters. And I gravitate to mysteries where the characters migrate from story to story, and I can watch them grow.
7. How can readers find you?
I’m on Facebook, constantly. I also have a website where readers can get a sense of what my novel, The Magic of Murder is about, and get a peek at my short story collection, Voices In My Head. Check out the book trailer here.
Anything you'd like to add?
Absolutely. Writers, please keep writing. Turn out those stories that fill my imagination and take me to places I’ve never seen. Show me the inner lives of people whom I wish I knew.