Introducing the lovely Susan Faw, author of the soon-to-be-published Seer of Souls. I have been lucky enough to receive an advanced reader copy of Seer of Souls and I’m already entranced by Susan’s beautiful writing style. This is the first book in the Spirit Shield Saga and promises to be an epic tale of fantasy, adventure and magic.
Seer of Souls is due to be published very soon – come join the release party on Facebook on the 22nd of February.
Read a chapter of the book on Susan Faw’s blog – Planting Story Seeds.
Interview with Susan Faw
What brought you to write this book?
I have always been an avid reader, but the explosion of the Harry Potter universe reminded me of the power of the written word to transport you to worlds that are every bit as real as…well reality. Seer of Souls was born out of despair over the end of a beloved series and a deep need to create a new one, one of my own imagination. Writing Seer of Souls filled a void in my life at that time, and after many years of taking care of everyone else, this was a gift to myself- permission to write. The words tumbled out of me. So dramatic and vivid was the story in my mind that I had to race to keep up with my characters.
Why spend years of your life writing this book?
It is a journey that Cayden and Avery were meant to take, and that I needed to explore with them. I am eagerly penning the sequel as their tale is not complete, and neither will I be complete, until we have completed this shared journey.
What are you trying to achieve with this book?
I am hoping to share a great fantasy read with people of similar tastes, and help them to fill the void I felt at the end of Harry Potter.
What got left out in the final draft?
Not a whole lot, actually. Redundancy for sure, and some weak grammar, but the story actually expanded in the hands of my editor, as I had written it very lean. I was aware of the cardinal sin of fantasy world building and didn’t want to be that author who could never “get to the point”. In the end, my editor made me add another 3000 words, while trimming the weak.
Where there alternate endings you considered? If so, what were they??
My first ending was pretty much a “throw the noodles at the wall and see if they stick”…which they did not. It slid off the wall and landed with a squishy smack on the floor. That was the most difficult rewrite, getting the ending correct for the scenario.
What’s next for you? What are you working on now?
I am working on book two of three, for the Spirit Shield Saga, and I also have the beginnings of three over novels underway, one being my nanowrimo novel which I pitched to an agent at SiWC last October. I need to make some progress on that one as she is waiting for my first five pages. I pitched it as “An anxiety ridden Princess Leia merges with Zorro”. Huh.
What made you want to start writing?
My love of books. My love of words. My love of the play of words. My love of the mental pictures formed by words. Did I mention I love books?
What things have you read that have especially helped your writing?
Harry Potter. Lord of The Rings. The entire Wheel of Time series. The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and of late, The Prism series by Brent Weeks and The Green Rider series by Kristen Britain. I love a good fantasy read and will hunt far and wide to find new series.
What’s the hardest thing about writing for you?
The toughest thing for me is when I fall out of my story and begin to fumble around in the dark for a match. I am very much a discovery writer and when I cannot stumble over the next chapter, I have to walk away. As any writer knows, though, when I am in the zone, I cannot type fast enough. Oh and the dreaded day job. You know that takes all day, right? 🙂
What do you wish you knew before you started?
It takes an inordinate amount of time between first draft and ready for publication. In my case, a couple of years. Most of that has been the learning curve of a self published author, but now that I publishing via the hybrid route, with Booktrope, the time between brain regurgitation and printed paper will hopefully shorten.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I love fantasy. I also love dystopian and will likely try a novel in that area in the future, once the right concept comes to mind. I love to tell a grand story, and find the concept of a paltry 50,000 suffocating. Similarly, I will likely never write a stand alone novel.
Where did your love of reading & writing come from?
In grade five, I had a teacher named Mr. McArthur. Our treat, for sitting quietly after the lunch bell, was for a hour of reading from his vast collection of fantasy novels. The one I remember most vividly is Moonfleet by J. Meade Faulkner. I was hooked on fantasy from that time on, and have never looked back. I would scour the library for every book that had a mystery or fantasy label on the spine. I still recommend that book, in case you have never read it. It was penned in 1898 and is available for free download if you google it. I search every used book store, trying to find a copy for my library.
How long have you been writing?
All my life, but mostly for business. Creatively for about 5 years.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Nothing, really, about writing the book. The hardest part was to learn the craft in preparation to write it, and to that, nods are deserving to the Writing Excuses podcasters, who went with me everywhere. They helped me cut the grass, and shovel snow, fold laundry and mop floors, and other places…
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I have enjoyed learning the social media side of becoming an author, as I have met some truly incredible people and some amazing authors, who share a passion of mine. Most I will never, ever meet in person, but they are friends, all the same.
What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn’t so?
That every fantasy book is about dragons and wizards. Every fantasy book is about PEOPLE who may end up interacting with dragons and wizards. It is the journey that is the hook, not the props. People are people, and circumstances make heros.
What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre, that they need to know?
The fantasy genre is the oldest book form, to my mind. Think of the oldest books you know of, and you probably think of the Bible. Is that not the hero’s journey spread over two thousand years? (if you believe the traditional timeline for the writing of it.) We are wired for hero stories. They are part of the very fabric of our being. All other story forms (to my mind) are snippets in time of the fantasy genre.
What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
My book is an epic fantasy tale that involves twin gods and a story that transcends the moral world.
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
Is your title a pun? And I would have to say, Yes 🙂
Susan Faw is a member of Indie Author Support and Discussion (IASD)
Check out the IASD website for more books by fabulous indie authors.