Susan Helene Gottfried has always been surrounded by music. She says, “Between my dad who calls playing the drums a hobby (he also says he now plays in Geezer Bands!), a sister who was a very dedicated flute and piccolo player, and my own coming of age during some very exciting times in music, it’s always been there. Add in the fact that I seem to have a birth defect: I can’t stop writing fiction, no matter how hard I try.”
We know the feeling. Enjoy this interview.
Tell us about your latest book. What do you hope readers take away from it?
My latest book is an addition to my popular Demo Tapes short story series. It’s even called ShapeShifter: The Demo Tapes — Year 3 (Volume 3).
I hope my readers take away two things: the desire to read more of my books, of course. So far, all four books revolve around Trevor Wolff and his fictional band, ShapeShifter. (My short story, Mannequin, doesn’t… but someone has a cameo in it.) The more people who join The Trevolution, the better. That’s because of the other thing I hope people take away from Trevor: people aren’t always what they seem. Just because you think someone’s life is golden doesn’t mean it is. We all have our struggles.
Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?
I am aiming to put out the follow-up to Trevor’s Song
in time for my birthday next April. A lot of people want to know what happens to Trevor, and he’s so much fun to write, I knew I had to spend more time with him.
After that will be Demo Tapes 4, hopefully for next Rocktober. And after THAT (yes, I’m planning this far ahead!), something with some new characters.
I also have a really cool short story floating around that would like to see the light of day. I need to make time to bring that out, also.
Whew. Can I be any busier? I do try!
What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?
Interesting? Hmm. I don’t think I can say, because books are interesting in so many different ways. Some are interesting because of their structure, others because of their writing, their plots, their characters, their humor, their tone…
Books are endlessly fascinating.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I do all sorts of crazy things. I love to work out. I’m a Boy Scout (seriously!). My dining room table has been taken over by scrapbook supplies. And I am involved in a local, no-kill animal shelter. As I’m typing, I’ve got an adorable 6-week-old kitten in my lap. She’s a foster, which is a good thing. My 7-month-old kitten is very jealous her lap has been taken over.
In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?
A successful writer tells a great story, for whatever reason. It may not be about the number of books they sell — although in an ideal world, these would be the books that sell in huge numbers. It’s about a story that sucks people in and doesn’t make them wince at the writing or typos.
Where can we learn more about you?
From West of Mars, click on The Meet and Greet for my blog. I try to keep it interesting.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Just a huge thanks for hosting me today! I appreciate the chance to meet new readers — and hopefully make some new friends, as well.