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INTERVIEW by @Fidget78: Connie Suttle, Author of the Blood Destiny Series (@subtledemon)

Ms. Connie Suttle was nice enough to let me ask her numerous questions both as an interviewer and a fan.  We were able to do the interview via email.  Boy, I would have loved to been there in person!!  Hope you enjoy Connie’s very FIRST interview.  (For some additional insight into Ms Suttle’s world, you should visit her blog and read her entries on July 12th and October 19th in her archives.)
Dolly from Pure Textuality [Dolly] – Did you always want to be an author? If not, what made you decide to go in the writing direction?

Connie Suttle [Connie] – I can’t say that I always wanted to be an author. What I can say is that I’ve been making stories up in my head since I was young. I seldom wrote anything down in the early days, though. My MFA is in Film Production and Animation, which taps into that part of my brain. I taught those subjects at the college level for a few years and then, after working at a bookstore for eleven years while I wrote more stories and built characters in my head, I decided (finally) to do something about it.
 
Dolly – When did you start writing your first book?
Connie – Somewhere, there is a novel (handwritten) that is probably half done. I haven’t seen it in years. There are also a handful of short stories (some I also haven’t seen in years). My first completed novel was finished in 2008.
 
Dolly – Did you have to work at writing or did it just feel natural?
Connie – At first, I had to work at it. And then, through my husband’s extended illness and recovery, It became an escape. After I finished my first novel, it was easy. Writing is now an addiction and I can’t seem to stop. It has become second nature to me, and I’m not sure what I’d be doing with my time if I weren’t writing.
 
Dolly – Were you comfortable sharing your work with others while writing or did you wait until you finished?
Connie – Nobody ever saw the early work until a first draft was completed. A small number of people see the beginnings of new novels, now.
 
Dolly – Before deciding on self-publishing your books, did you try traditional publishing? What was that like?
Connie – I sent out queries, trying to find an agent. I sent six queries (not a lot) for Blood Wager. I sent twelve (also not a lot) for Bumble. The rejections weren’t easy, and maybe at some other point in my life I might have persisted. After my husband almost died in 2007, I realized that tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. Life can turn on a dime with devastating results. I’ve read that it can take two years to publish a book, and that’s after you’ve found an agent, who then has to find a publisher willing to buy your work. My books were written and sitting there, collecting dust. I decided to self-pub, never thinking that anyone other than close friends and family might ever buy or read my novels.
 
Dolly – Was there ever a point where you just wanted to give up and throw in the towel?
Connie – There may have been a couple of moments (very early on) when I thought about unpublishing. Never for a moment did I ever want to stop writing.
 
Dolly – If you could give aspiring writers everywhere one piece of advice, what would it be?
Connie – Don’t give up. Don’t stop writing, if that is what you really want to do. Write. Keep writing. Don’t quit until you write “The End” at the bottom of a manuscript. And then go back and revise and rewrite. Start the next novel. Read. Read. Read. I know that’s not really one piece of advice, but I look at it this way—all sorts of ingredients make up a cookie recipe. You get a single product at the end—cookies. Writing is like that for me. All sorts of things go into it. A completed novel is the result.
 
Dolly – What are your plans for future books? Any new releases on the horizon?
Connie – There are plenty of books coming. There are several others in various stages of completion. Right now, I wish I were three people: one to write, one to edit/revise and one to do marketing. Once you’re self-pubbed, you have to juggle all those things. This year, I plan to publish the last three books in the Blood Destiny series, beginning with Blood Rebellion in March. Bumble, the first in theLegend of the Ir’Indicti series will be published in February. With five books in that series, and the remaining three in the Blood Destiny series, that’s eight books. Then, I’ll start publishing the High Demon series, beginning with Demon Lost. There are six novels in that series.
 
As to works in progress, I am rewriting the first novel I ever completed. Originally titled Hope and Vengeance, I am currently writing it under the working title Enforcer. I have two chapters written on Chains, a Mystery/Paranormal novel featuring Conner when she still lived in Atlanta, and Finder, about an unusual girl who has an uncanny ability to find things. There are a couple of other titles that I’m working on, but if I listed those, they would be spoilers for what has yet to come in the series mentioned earlier. I’ll reveal those when the time is right 🙂
 
Dolly – Are any of your characters inspired by someone in your life or was your imagination your guide?
Connie – My imagination was mostly my guide. I’ve taken mannerisms and character strengths/weaknesses from observations through my life, but no single person served as a model for any complete character.
 
Dolly – Do you have a favorite character? One you don’t like at all?
Connie – My favorite female character is Lissa, hands down. My favorite male character is someone only now coming on deck:  Ashe Evans, from The Legend of the Ir’Indicti series. As to characters I don’t like, well, Saxom and Xenides were despicable, but there are other characters coming, both in Blood Destiny and the High Demon series that are just nasty and evil, with no redeeming qualities at all.
 
Dolly – Are any of your current characters in for a series of their own?
Connie – Tough question—If I can get Adam and Kiarra’s books rewritten, you’ll see them at least. The jury’s still out on any other Saa Thalarr novels. That’s an interesting thought, though. It makes me wonder which character(s) fans might like to see in their own series.
 
Dolly – Did you originally intend Blood Wager to be part of a series?
Connie – Yes. But I considered ending it at five or six books. When I reached that point, I realized there was more story to write.
 
Dolly – Are you definitely going to end the Blood Destiny series at book 9?
Connie – At the moment there are no plans to write more, but if an idea hits me for another book, I’ll write it.
 
Dolly – Do you have the ending planned?
Connie – The word “ending” isn’t one I prefer to use. Lissa makes appearances in the High Demon series. When Demon Lost is published, you’ll see how closely the two series are connected.
 
Dolly – Did your books require much research?

Connie
– I had to research locations, languages, all sorts of things. In fact, I probably spent too much time making sure there were French chateaux with plenty of uninhabited land surrounding them for Blood Royal. I was really worried that the FBI would show up at my doorstep as I was researching explosives, floor plans for the White House and the type of security provided for Senators and the Secretary of State (Please don’t arrest me, I’m only writing a book). I did miss one thing—a fan pointed out that in Blood Passage, when Lissa is driving with Gavin, she says she is watching kilometers per hour on Gavin’s speedometer. English cars have miles per hour. My excuse (and I’m holding to it) was that Gavin purchased his Mercedes in Germany. My apologies to all my English fans for that gaffe 🙂

Follow up questions:
Dolly – What were some of your favorite books growing up? And Now?
Connie – When I was in grade school, I read Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Black Beauty, Little Women, The Boxcar Children and anything else in the school library. I even read Gulliver’s Travels in the third grade. Later, I wore the covers off two paperback sets of Lord of the Rings. I read Gone with the Wind three times before graduating from high school. Following that, I read anything by Anne McCaffrey, a few by Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert—all the fantasy I could get my hands on.
 
Now, I have a wide range of favorite books and authors. I love Charlaine Harris, Chloe Neill, Rob Thurman, Tamora Pierce, (I laughed until I cried when I read Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands), Mary Janice Davidson, Ilona Andrews, Megan Whalen Turner, Philip Pullman, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Mercedes Lackey, Patricia McKillip—the list goes on. One of the most unusual of my favorites is a book called The Meq, by Steve Cash. And I can’t leave off two of my all-time favorites—The Princess Bride by William Goldman and The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.
 
Dolly – Do you listen to music while writing/editing?
Connie – At times I listen to music, to help set the mood or get me through a scene. When I wrote the scene in Blood Queen where Lissa meets the Ra’Ak Prince (if you’ve read the book, you know what I’m talking about) I cranked up Major Tom by Peter Schilling and started writing.
 
Dolly – Do you have a specific writing routine?
Connie – I always get up early to feed the cats. And then I have a choice—turn to the right and go to the bedroom to get dressed, or turn left and go into my office. My office wins 85% of the time and I find myself still in my PJs, writing or editing at lunchtime. (Pathetic, I know)
 
Dolly – Has publishing your books changed your life in any great way?
Connie – Only that my priorities have changed somewhat. I not only write, but I also work at marketing, pay more attention to editing/revising, worry about hitting my deadlines, I just wrote out my first ever checks for estimated quarterly taxes to the IRS and the state (that was certainly different) and best of all, I get email and messages from readers.
 
Dolly – Do you have any plans to attend any author/reader conventions in the coming year?

Connie – I haven’t really thought about that. I recently joined a couple of writer’s groups, so I suppose I could. If anybody has any suggestions, I’d be willing to listen 🙂

 
Dolly – Do you think you would ever change your publishing method if a traditional publishing house showed an interest in your work?

Connie – That’s an interesting question. I would certainly listen to what they have to say, and carefully weigh how a collaboration might mutually benefit both of us before making any decisions. After all, there are pros and cons to both sides of this business, I think. The one thing I appreciate about being an indie author right now is that I get to decide when to release my books. I don’t believe I could have released six books in six months if I were traditionally published, so obviously there are many factors to take into account.
From Dolly – I’d really like to thank Connie for taking the time to answer some questions for Pure Textuality and me.  With so much currently on her plate, we appreciate her time.

4 thoughts on “INTERVIEW by @Fidget78: Connie Suttle, Author of the Blood Destiny Series (@subtledemon)

  1. Great interview; I’m going to check out Connie’s Blood Destiny series. Thanks!

  2. Thanks!! I was so nervous I would mess it up but between Connie and Jena, it came out all right.

  3. […] Connie Suttle, Author of the Blood Destiny Series […]

  4. Connie please please keep up the fantastic fantasy work I love it. Your Blood destiny series kept me on the edge of my seat and the best bit is ALL the books are out and I didn’t have to wait pure brill. Just finished God wars and I’m really needing Blood love so from an avid fan – lets be ‘avin’ it lol xxx

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