Poet and Author Susan Sage provides me with an overview of her work and how it’s been influenced by a diverse range of writers.
Tell me about how you came to define your writing style.
My writing style has been greatly influenced by authors/poets I’ve enjoyed reading over many years. Due to my love of poetry, specifically contemporary, I’ve always enjoyed imagery – especially dreamlike imagery. My descriptions aren’t particularly lengthy, but they are often visual. Never was a big Hemingway fan, but I suppose I’ve been influenced by his writing style.
Authors like Zora Neale Hurston/Toni Morrison/William Faulkner are brilliant with voice, and have affected me most. I doubt whether you can see their influence in my writing, but I’m in awe of what incredible masters of the craft they all are. If you’re referring more to writing style in regards to genre, I don’t have a particular genre that I write in, though I especially enjoy character-driven writing, regardless of whether a novel’s a fantasy, mystery, or other. I’m currently working on a draft that I’m hoping is multi-genre. My favorite genre is probably Magic Realism.
What is your background in writing and how did you get in to writing professionally?
I have an undergraduate degree in English from Wayne State University in Detroit and have taken several graduate English classes from the University of Michigan-Flint. I took several creative writing classes when I was an undergraduate. Also, I’ve been an active member of a writing group for several years. I’ve taught creative writing to all ages of students and have been an editor of a student creative writing magazine. While I write fiction and some poetry, I’ve always worked, too. Since I don’t spend most of my day writing, I’m certainly not as professional as many.
Tell me about your books. What do you believe draws your readers to your work?
I’ve published two books. My first book, Insominy, is a contemporary fantasy. It was self-published back in 2010. I was clueless about how to promote it, and to be fair, there weren’t as many online opportunities. Local promotion drew readers interested in fantasy. A Mentor and Her Muse, published by a traditional publisher, Open Books, has definitely sold more copies than my first. It’s classified as both psychological and women’s fiction, so I guess readers, particularly women, who are interested in psychological fiction, are drawn to it. Two of the three main characters are writers, so it has a literary bent, as well, so female authors might be the ones most drawn to it.
When choosing books to read, what style of writing do you enjoy yourself? Are there any particular writers you admire?
Interesting question because I think it’s true that we do write what we tend to enjoy reading! I’d have to say, I most enjoy psychological fiction and also some fantasy and science fiction. I’m interested in writing and reading novels that make social statements, as seen in the work of Margaret Atwood or George Orwell. There are too many present day novelists to list, though my among my favorites from the 19th Century include Tolstoy, Proust, and Dickens. I’m a fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez due to his use of Magic Realism. I keep meaning to re-read One Hundred Years of Solitude.
If you could collaborate with any person, living or dead, on a writing project, who would it be and why?
It would have to be Margaret Atwood because of her superb imagination. Also, she seems like she’d be easy going and would have the right amount of humor to make a collaborative project possible.
Have you got any projects coming up that you are particularly excited about?
I’m currently working on a draft of a novel, which is proving to be an interesting challenge, not only because it’s multi genre, but also because it’s main character is a guy – an older guy. I’ve never written from a male perspective before except in a few short stories. It’s tentatively entitled The Ringo Tales and it’s basically about a near End Times community coming together in search of Ringo, a lost golden retriever.
Are there any new books or writers that you are looking forward to later in the year?
Just recently, I began enjoying books by several authors I’m acquainted with on Twitter. Ones I high recommend include: Kevin Ansbro, Susan Rooke, C.A. Asbrey, Milana Marsenich, Iris Yang, and Mark Ozeroff. There are many others whose works I’m curious about but haven’t yet read. This group includes Gemma Lawrence, Ellie Douglas, Karl Holton, Millie Thom, and M. Ainihi. There are many others, as well!
Anything you’d like to add?
Thanks SO much for giving me this opportunity! I’m looking forward to reading your blog.
Huge thanks to Susan for answering my questions, it’s been a pleasure.