INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF, "ABITHICA" SUSAN GOLDSMITH
Hello Susan, thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity. You simply must tell us about your stint as an undercover private investigator, what kinds of jobs did you go on?
Thanks for having me! Believe it or not, being an Undercover Private Investigator was 95 percent pure, mind-numbing boredom tinged with moments of, Holy hell! What in the world have I gotten myself into? Basically, I was placed in a company (no, I’m not telling which one!), and was told to write down my observations. The ad in the local paper read something like this: Reputable Company Seeks Licensed Private Investigator for a Temporary Undercover Assignment. Visions of Mulder and Scully danced through my head, however, the list of required experience was extensive, and of course, I met none of the requirements. I called anyway, and somehow ended up talking myself into a job. It was supposed to last 3 weeks, but those weeks stretched into months and almost into a year. Without getting too specific, the company had rules. I made sure to break them. Then I’d write all about it in my daily reports.
How was it you found your way from P.I. to Sales, to Pharmaceutical sales and finally writing?
I had an endless supply of original ideas, but darn it, no matter how hard I willed those ideas to be carried through osmosis from my brain to my favorite authors’, it never happened. There they sat, alone in the dark, wilting, while I pursued every career but writing, and no, graduating with a degree in Journalism most definitely doesn’t count. Journalism and imagination are two words that don’t belong in the same sentence.A creative imagination was also frowned upon in my brief stint as an undercover private investigator. Uh oh, I had a captive audience but couldn’t embellish what I was seeing and boy was my imagination coming up with some really good stuff. Eventually that boredom had me shaking things up… but that’s another story entirely.
While undercover, I learned two important things about myself. I hated deception, and I had a surprising knack for sales.
Following my hunch, I started selling information for Dun & Bradstreet, and then slid into pharmaceutical sales. I had a ball. I met tons of interesting people, was given an excuse to travel, and best of all, I got paid to schmooze. Who wouldn’t love that?
Fate soon intervened. I found myself home, being a full time mother and wife. Suddenly, I was staring at the blank computer screen, not writing, just staring. I’d make a point to walk by it on my way to the bathroom, in-between Barney episodes, or during those times when my children actually did fall asleep during nap time.
Eventually, I turned the computer on, and have been writing ever since.
Your genre is largely Science Fiction and Fantasy Romance, if there was one other genre you could see yourself writing in what would it be and why?
One of these days, I’ll write a steamy Paranormal Romance (probably under a pseudonym so I can really let go, and have fun with it.)
Who and what are some of your most influential inspirations in your writing?
I blame Richard Bach and Stephen King for jump-starting my imagination at a young age. On the surface, the authors appear very different, but for me, their stories accomplished the same end.
When I was 6, every night for about a year, I fell asleep to the voice of Neil Diamond telling the story of Richard Bach’s, Jonathan Livingston Seagull. At the time, my life was chaos. The story became my lifeline. Hmmm, I remember thinking, maybe these things are happening for a reason. Never mind that in real life a bird who is too preoccupied learning how to fly to bother with the mundane task of feeding itself, is either a soon to be dead bird or a thief. None of that mattered to the six-year-old me. All I heard night after night was a message of hope.
Stephen King offered the same thing through different means.
After sitting in his head for a while, my messed up life was a Disney movie compared to the stuff his characters endured. Poor Carrie. Now that girl had issues! He was a master at placing his characters against the wall, then blocking them in further, brick by brick. It fascinated me that a lot of his story ideas came from his dreams, and while very few of his endings were the happily ever after variety, I couldn’t get enough.
Is it any wonder that years later I write a book where the main character is literally living my worst nightmare, and to find a way out she must first unravel the mystery of her existence?
Having a degree in journalism did you ever do any reporting or writing in that area?
Within the first minute of my first mandatory Pima County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, I decided that pulling duct tape off my arm had more appeal then reporting. A future writing under so many constraints—about other people’s lives, no less—scared me to death. Did I really want to spend the rest of my life watching others live theirs? But I’d committed to Journalism, and by God, I was going to see it through…. Yes, perseverance is sometimes a personality flaw, but despite my lack of enthusiasm, my professors must have seen something worthwhile. Why else would they send me to Washington D.C. for a semester to represent the U of A as Representative Morris K Udall’s Assistant Press Secretary? …and off I scurried before they had a chance to change their minds….
This was right before the whole President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal. Too bad. Now that would have been a fun story to write!
As an author with an active imagination have you ever been lying in bed at night and had to get up to write because you couldn't go to sleep without getting a story or character on the page?
Sometimes I wish my imagination had an on/off switch. Wouldn’t that be nice? Mine seems to be stuck in the “on” position. Reading before bed helps. Writing before bed is disastrous. My sleep window is short. If I miss it, I’m guaranteed to be pulling an all-nighter.
Tell us more about your story "Abithica" and what we can expect next from you.
As I’ve said, Abithica is living my worst nightmare.
She's found the love of a lifetime, but there's a catch: the body she inhabits belongs to another. How much change can one soul endure? It would help if she knew what she was or even how such a thing was possible. The one thing she does know is that God has a sense of humor where she's concerned. Why else would He continue to place her in one host body after another without warning or a clear memory of previous switches? Abithica's responsibility is to repair her host's lives while they take a back seat. To ensure her survival and protection, she vows never to get attached, but this latest switch is different from the start. Abithica breaks all her own rules, and is left with a choice. What will happen if she refuses to leave her host's body? Will love be her downfall or her salvation?
I’m 300 pages into the sequel of Abithica. I’m playing with the title, Echo-an Abithica novel.
Be careful what you wish for! Abithica’s are coming true, but they’re distorted and dark. She’s human, but more alone than she ever was as a bodiless soul. She got the guy, but it would be wrong to keep him, and in a moment of irritation, she wishes her nemesis would disappear, and viola! She disappears, literally! Afraid of the next horror her thoughts will conjure, she runs—right into the path of a kindred spirit. Her instincts scream danger, but Abithica is done listening to her gut.
Echonyza is a fallen angel, cursed to become whatever the beholder needs most, but this strange girl who has glued herself to his side is an enigma. She’s hiding secrets, and he can’t read her mind. He’s going to discover why, and then he’s going to kill her, along with the rest of mankind, who his penance is tied to. Decades bleed into centuries, and centuries drag on for millennia. He’s slumbered through most of it, awakening just long enough to check on the progress of the half breeds. They call themselves the Legnas, a title they do not deserve. Their task was simple: Destroy mankind. Incompetent fools. Mankind thrives. The half breeds are withering away. Must Echo do everything himself?
What are some of your all time favorite reads?
No fair. That’s like asking me to pick my favorite daughter. The answer to that, by the way, is whichever one I’m with at the time. Books are the same. With that said, here are some of my favorites: The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Name of the Wind, Darkfever, Unbroken, Twilight, The Game of Thrones, The Poison Study, Outlander, Interview with A Vampire, the Vampire Academy, Harry Potter, the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, The Stand, The Help, and The Book Thief.
What is the greatest reward that being an author brings to your life?
Sanity! Writing is therapy. I’d be nuts without it.
Do you have any advice you'd care to share with other authors? Please leave us your links so we can get to know more about you and your works!
The best advice I ever received is do is the first step to done. So many people talk about writing that book. Very few people actually do it. Write it for yourself, and then later, after you’re convinced it’s a masterpiece, set it in a drawer and forget about it, the longer, the better. Then read it with fresh eyes. Fix all the problems, and then repeat, again, and again, and again….
Come visit me on Goodreads, facebook, or even my website. I love talking to readers!
Thank you again Susan for taking the time to allow us this interview. We look forward to hearing more from you soon!