I read Innocent Darkness when it was a book club choice and I really enjoyed it. When Charmed Vengence was released on NetGalley, I eagerly requested it. Once I was approved, I devoured it and loved it even more than the first one. So, when I saw Suzanne was going to be signing at Mysterious Galaxy, it a pretty sure thing.
I got down to the store just after 1pm, got a chai tea from Starbucks and headed over to bug my favorite employee, Rob. We talked about Tim Burton and books while he set up the event area.
Suzanne got to the store around 1:30 and started setting up a tray of cupcakes. All of a sudden, there was a loud scream…and the entire tray of cupcakes had fallen into the shelf of books. And of course, I had to point out to Rob that I had NOTHING to do with it.
Suzanne started at 2:20. She started talking about her costumes and how she was once mistaken for an Amish person when in costume getting gas and wearing a corset. Then went into the synopsis for Charmed Vengeance.
She asked if anyone wanted to call out a number for her to read. I said 19, her daughter said 59 and she read a portion of the scene on each page.
From there, it was an open Q&A session. There was only one other person at the start of the Q&A [more showed up later] so, her and I just went back and forth asking the questions. Thanks in advance to Gretchen McNeil for your awesome SCBWI guerilla panel questions.
What is your writing process like?
Vomits out books, messy dirty drafts. Book 1 had an outline, but it was a different story. It wasn’t steampunk. Charlotte wasn’t in the story. Book 2 was entirely pantsed. People had opinions of where it should go, some of them came from twitter. Or taxi cab conversations with other YA author friends.
I don’t usually go back, I work on getting all of the words on the page and then make it pretty. When you only have an hour a day to write and a deadline looming, the word count is important.
Did you devise playlists while writing?
It’s a combination of writing while listening. I use the playlists to switch mindsets between drafting and editing.
Best and worst thing that’s happened since being published?
Best: signing arcs at BEA. Felt so honored and humbled to see hundreds of people in line. But then you go to a bookstore for a signing and it’s closed.
What’s going to happen in book 3?
There will be some great things happening. We finally get to meet Elyse and she gets to start doing things.
What about Kevin?
He grows up and realizes that maybe drinking isn’t the best lifestyle choice. He gets a bit of a happily ever after. We do see more of James and the Dark King in book 3.
What is one thing you wish someone would have told you about publishing?
That it took so long. It was 27 months from the time book 1 sold to the time it was published. I felt like I was pregnant for 2 years.
Did you already know the group of authors that you’re good friends with?
I started writing at RWA before YA was really accepted and was part of the 2012 Apocalypsies, so I’ve done a lot of things with the same authors who have become friends.
Current guilty pleasure?
I’m a mom, so if I buy candy, everyone else eats it. But I love sour patch kids. A lot of them lost their lives while writing book 2.
Weirdest thing googled while doing research?
Victorian torture scenes from book 1 were based on real things.
What do you do in your free time?
Between a day job, being a mom and cleaning the house, I’ve found that people want food too.
What is your favorite genre?
I read a lot of YA and steampunk. I have a huge TBR pile. [There was a lot more to this answer, but I was taking photos.]
What 3 things would you take to a desert island?
I would take him, *points to husband*. His response? “And then you’d survive.” Her daughter answered, “And a computer.”
I have several projects, but I write fairy tales. Pretty much everything I write is based on that, some are magical and some aren’t. [Her daughter kept interjecting different things, different characters and Suzanne told her that those books weren’t written yet.]
Describe the series in 5 words.
Who put fairies in my steampunk? I always get questions about the fairies. People don’t realize that in the Victorian era there were many prominent people thought they could talk to fairies.
If you could write any famous novel, what would it be?
If there was an answer to this, I didn’t hear it. Somehow this got into a discussion about a cupcake cannon and how her husband is going to make her one.Around 2:50, Suzanne said she would be happy to sign books. When I got to her, I thanked her for coming and started taking all of the swag that was on the table. We briefly chatted about the fact that authors pay for their own swag, but didn’t get to say much more than that. A couple came rushing in to the store, came right up to the table and started talking to Suzanne about how they weren’t sure they were going to make it.
As I was gathering up my stuff to leave, I ended up talking with Suzanne’s husband. [John? I’m so sorry that I’m horrible with names!!] He had heard Rob and I talking about NOS4A2, but didn’t catch the book title. I may have fangirled over it a bit and told him the store probably had signed copies, that he should definitely get one.
After quickly saying bye to Rob, I headed home. It might have been a small gathering of people to see Suzanne, but it definitely made for an interesting conversation. I’m not sure I would have wanted it any other way!