Susanne Leist is the author of “The Dead Game,” a thriller with a twist. Like so many authors she writes the kind of book she loves to read herself and her fans obviously agree considering all the 5-star reviews it’s generating on Amazon.com.
SL: I have been reading murder mysteries and thrillers since I was a teenager. I’ve read all types of mysteries, from Agatha Christie to Sherlock Holmes. In recent years, I’ve begun to read paranormal mysteries. These books bring fantasy and the surreal to the simple murder mystery.
It’s hard to find books that combine paranormal with mystery. That’s why I’ve decided to write a paranormal, murder mystery of my own. It’s the type of book that I search for and love to read.
My book, The Dead Game, has dead bodies and suspects like a traditional murder mystery. However, it also has humans, vampires, and vampire derivatives. And don’t forget the haunted house—we must have one of these.
MF: What was the inspiration for your story?
SL: I believe the true inspirations for this particular story are the T.V. shows, Supernatural and The Originals. Supernatural brings wit and humor to the paranormal genre while The Originals brings passion, loyalty, and betrayals.
I want my readers to care about my characters and to cheer for them as they fight the bad guys or in this case, The Dead. You can’t have supernatural creatures without a dose of humanity thrown into the frightful mix.
MF: Is your background in finance reflected in your fiction work or characters or is fiction writing an escape to get as far away as possible from your daily reality?
SL: My book takes me away as far as possible from the world of finance and the real world. It takes me to a world of my imagination, where anything can happen and usually does.
MF: Are you currently working on your next book? Can you tell us something about it?
SL: The Dead Game is the first of two books. The first book resolves the murder mystery, but at the same time, opens a Pandora’s Box of new mysteries. Its surprise ending will lead to more surprises.
I have just begun to work on the sequel. My outline and notes are ready. My writing often leads me in unknown directions, so I won’t know how the book will end until it does.
MF: Do you consider writing a hobby or your next career?
SL: Writing will continue to be a hobby to me until I become a best seller. So hobby it will be for now.
MF: Which part of writing do you find the most challenging? The most satisfying?
SL: The most enjoyable part was the writing. I began with a basic idea in mind. I wanted a murder to take place in a small town. This murder would involve a house that was rigged with supernatural or mechanical traps and moving rooms. But I had no idea how the story would evolve or end. The end turned out to be a surprise to even me.
The hardest part was the editing. I had it edited by Outskirts Press, but I still found mistakes. I listened to my reviewers and removed the extra adverbs that weren’t really needed. I also had a proof reader check the book for me. It was a long process.
MF: What advice would you give to someone aspiring to write their first novel?
SL: After my book was published, it sat on Amazon and Barnes & Noble without a description, bio, background, or anything for a few days. When the self-publisher had sent me an email—everything was done through email—saying that I was published, I hadn’t been told that my book was immediately available for sale. I had to quickly write up summaries and descriptions. Then I had to learn how to use Twitter, Facebook, and Google. I had to create blogs. I now have blogs on Tumblr, Blogspot, and WordPress.
My advice to a new author is to have everything prepared before the book is published. Blogs and online accounts should be open and already have your bio and details about the book. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone but an anticipated event.