Susannah Sandlan On Writing and Absolution

Today I have Susannah Sandlin in the hot seat. Susannah is touring her book, Absolution and has some Amazing Tour-Wide Prizes. Anyone interested in signed copies of the book? Or perhaps a Kindle Paper-White or $100 Gift Card? Read on to find out more.

Susannah, can you tell us a little about your newest release that isn’t in the blurb?
It has a major series of scenes that occur not in Penton but in New Orleans, where I lived for many years and still consider my hometown.

Oh, I love New Orleans, it’s so mysterious. Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I also write an urban fantasy series under the name Suzanne Johnson. The change was mostly to indicate the heat level and romance-focus of the different books. Suzanne writes urban fantasy with a light touch of romance; Susannah writes dark paranormal romance.

Speaking of Urban Fantasy, many people feel the PNR genre is on the way out. Do you agree? Are there any changes you’d make to stay on the cutting edge of this genre? Will you change genres?
I think it’s getting more challenging for authors to come up with a different way to write traditional paranormal characters like vampires and shifters. Angels and demons are getting tired, too. But do I think PNR will die out? No. I think there’s a core readership who love paranormals and will continue to love them. It’s our job as authors to keep the genre fresh. Right now, I can’t imagine me writing anything without a paranormal element in it, but never say never.

It’s hard to keep it fresh. What is the most challenging thing for you about writing a series?
Keeping the storyline moving at a good clip and the characters growing. It’s easier in a series with a different hero and heroine in each book, but in a series that keeps the same characters, it’s a challenge to keep the character fresh and continuing to grow.

Series work requires a lot of dedication. Have you ever suffered from “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?
I honestly don’t believe in writer’s block. It’s a luxury I don’t have time for. If you work a full-time day job and need to write at least two novels a year, you can’t afford writer’s block. I think the best way to avoid letting yourself get stuck is to plot your novels, plow on through that first draft, and give yourself permission to let the first draft totally suck. You can always go back and fix it.

Finding that work/work/life balance is tricky.  How do you organize your writing time?
I’m a full-time writer who also has a full-time day job. I have a rigid schedule. Four hours every night go to writing, plus at least six hours on Saturday and ten-twelve hours on Sunday. I rarely vary from this, even on holidays. Don’t I sound like a barrel of fun? LOL.

Work hard, play hard. lol Have you ever battled with any of your characters over their personality traits? If so, who won – you or the character?
The characters always win—if I’m smart—because they tell me interesting things about themselves I didn’t know. I don’t so much battle with them as go into a story with some idea in mind of who they are, and they always surprise me with something new. Always. In Absolution, I had no idea (and this is not a spoiler because it gets revealed early) that Mirren missed food even though he’s been a vampire for four-hundred years.

Surprises like that are wonderful for adding depth to the character. What can readers expect with next from you?
Omega, the third book in the Penton Vampire Legacy series, comes out on February 5, and it is Will’s story. It’s available for preorder at Amazon. After that, I have an idea of where I’d like to take these characters but it’s too early to talk about yet!

Book One Penton Legacy series
By Susannah Sandlin
Following a worldwide pandemic whose vaccine left human blood deadly to vampires, the vampire community is on the verge of starvation and panic. Some have fanned into rural areas, where the vaccine was less prevalent, and are taking unsuspecting humans as blood slaves. Others are simply starving, which for a vampire is worse than death—a raging hunger in a creature too weak to feed.

Immune to these struggles—at first—is Penton, a tiny community in rural Chambers County, Alabama, an abandoned cotton mill town that has been repopulated by charismatic vampire Aidan Murphy, his scathe of 50 vampires, and their willingly bonded humans. Aidan has recruited his people carefully, believing in a peaceful community where the humans are respected and the vampires retain a bit of their humanity.

But an unresolved family feud and the paranoia of the Vampire Tribunal descend on Penton in the form of Aidan’s brother, Owen Murphy. Owen has been issued a death warrant that can only be commuted if he destroys Penton—and Aidan, against whom he’s held a grudge since both were turned vampire in 17th-century Ireland.  Owen begins a systematic attack on the town, first killing its doctor, then attacking one of Aidan’s own human familiars

To protect his people, Aidan is forced to go against his principles and kidnap an unvaccinated human doctor—and finds himself falling in love for the first time since the death of his wife in Ireland centuries ago. 

Dr. Krystal Harris, forced into a world she never knew existed, must face up to her own abusive past to learn if the feelings she’s developing for her kidnapper are real—or just a warped, supernatural kind of Stockholm Syndrome in which she’s allowing herself to become a victim yet again.

Susannah Sandlin’s REDEMPTION is the first in the Penton Legacy series. Book two, ABSOLUTION, will be out September 18, and book three, OMEGA, on December 18.

Buy Links:

Amazon      Barnes and Noble      Book Depository


Susannah’s Tour wide Giveaway

WIN a Kindle Paper White OR $100 U.S. gift card to Amazon, B&N, or Book Depository – winner’s choice

Winner’s choice of signed print or audio copies of Absolution

Good Luck!!


About the Author:
Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranormal romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night.

A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right?)

The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana.


Connect with Susannah Sandlin

Website     Twitter @susannahsandlin     Facebook    Goodreads    

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6 Responses to Susannah Sandlan On Writing and Absolution

  1. miki says:

    i don’t think PNR will disappear not at all but it’s sure that the most original one will have an added bonus^^ ( like yours)

  2. xaurianx says:

    I do hope PNR never dies out, as it is my favourite genre. With UF of course. So, keep writing Susannah/Suzanne 🙂

  3. elaing8 says:

    Great interview.Enjoyed reading it.

  4. I completely agree w/Suzanne about reader’s trends. I tend to shift my focus to a new genre every so often. I’m loving paranormal right now.

    Thanks for sharing this great post!

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