#CelibritySaturday: Rockstar @Westofmars #amwriting

Greetings happy viewers!

On this fine and gloomy-outside-sunny-inside Saturday morning I’ve got a belly full of waffles and soon to brew a cup of coffee. Hope you guys are doing just as well!

Either way, this post should cheer you up cuz I’ve got with me funny-woman Susan Helene Gottfried who is the author of ShapeShifter: The Demo Tapes — Year 1, ShapeShifter: The Demo Tapes — Year 2, and Trevor’s Song. You can view her full bio here: http://westofmars.com/west-of-mars/susans-bio

Now here’s Susan!

1. First off, your website is really cool! How can my author tweethearts get a cool personalized site to promote their books too? http://westofmars.com/

Why, thank you. I dig the site, although I am searching for someone good
but relatively inexpensive who can do some tweaks for me.

How to get a cool, personalized site? I’m not sure. You could do it the
way I did, but it’s a bit involved: Fall in love with a computer geek.
Have feelings returned. Get married. Watch him perform magic on your
behalf. Fall in love deeper.

Man, with a story like that, you gotta wonder why I don’t write romances.

2. What is your book, Trevor’s Song about? Whose Trevor and why is he signing? 🙂

Good one! Trevor doesn’t sing. He’s the bass player. The book is his
story, though — the song is *about* him.

The book is the story of what happens to Trevor when his best friend and
leader of his band, ShapeShifter, goes and commits an act of monogamy. If
that’s not bad enough (and in Trevor’s world, monogamy is a dirtier word
than the book’s first word. I’ll let you look THAT up), Trevor gets
himself into a situation that might only be resolved by making common
cause with his biggest enemy — that woman Mitchell married.

3. You say one book isn’t enough, I happen to agree. Can you describe your other books please?

The other two books currently in print are anthologies of short fiction
that fills in the cracks of Trevor, Mitchell, and the band. Kerri, too,
to
a lesser degree, along with a few other characters who recur on my blog,
The Meet and Greet at West of Mars.

And I mean SHORT fiction. Some of them (incidentally my favorites) are
only a few paragraphs long. And in The Demo Tapes: Year 3, which is
forthcoming, some are 100 words. No longer. No shorter.

4. What got you into writing?

It’s a birth defect. Seriously.

5. How has social media helped you with your writing process?

With the writing process? I’m not sure. I guess that when I get stuck —
usually for a name of a new character or a location — I can turn to my
friends and solicit input.

One thing I’ll say for sure: There are days when I do no writing and all
social media.

6. What do you love most about writing?

Believe it or not, I love revising. I still do it on paper, and I like to
sit in front of a hockey game and get down and dirty with my manuscripts.

7. What do you hate the most about writing?

Ready? I hate the first draft!

8. How do you feel about self-publishing, traditional publishing and indie publishing? How did you know which one was right for you?

I knew self-pubbing was the right way to go when traditional publishing
people were *telling* me to do it.
That Trevor’s Song and the Demo Tapes
anthologies were perfect books for what was then the new self-publishing
wave.

While I’m having a ball as a self-published (Some call me indie. I don’t
like labels of any sort. I’m a writer. Period)
writer, I haven’t ruled out
going with one of The Big Six if I have a project that’s more mainstream
than Trevor turned out to be.

9. What’s in your library now? What are you reading?

Ha. I got involved in online training when the kids were young and dug
myself quite a hole. I have over 500 books sitting here waiting to be
read. And that doesn’t include what’s on my iPod, also waiting to be read.

What am I reading… hmm. I am about to finish the second Black Dagger
Brotherhood
book, and I’m also reading my friend Joanne Rendell’s latest,
Out of the Shadows.

10. Who’s your favorite author? Did they inspire you to start writing?

I don’t have ONE favorite author. I have a million (or so it seems) who I
really like, and who I auto buy
. So no, no one inspired me to write. Being
alive inspired me to write.
It still does.

11. What kind of works-in-progress are you working now? Or are you taking a break?

What is this break you speak of?

I’m juggling The Demo Tapes: Year 3, the follow-up to Trevor’s Song, AND
something new
. Something not directly involving the ShapeShifter boys.
Plus, there’s the Super Secret project I’m launching on April 12. It’s a
small thing, but it ought to be a lot of fun.

12. What do you do to get past writing block?

Honestly? Don’t laugh. I rip out the paragraphs directly above the spot at
which I got stuck until I figure out what I really need to be saying.

((Claire’s note: Huh, that’s actually a clever idea!))

13. Do you have other hobbies than writing?

Yep. I’m a Boy Scout of America. Seriously. I … umm, well, I write press
releases for our local district
. Does that count as something other than
writing? Guess not.

I also volunteer at Western Pennsylvania’s only No-Kill animal shelter. I
hang out with the cats and am on the list to be a foster mom. But… at
some point, I’m going to approach the publicity director about… umm…
well, doing some writing for them.

*sigh*

I TOLD you it’s a birth defect!

14. What kind of research, if any, do you do to prepare your books?

Most of it comes from past life experience. I used to work in the music
business.
I have remained friends with a number of folk who can answer
quick questions, so when I need to check something, my gang’s at my
disposal. Thankfully.

15. Does coffee or tea help you write? What’s your favorite?

Neither! I fill a glass with ice cubes, then put water in the cracks.

16. Thanks again so much Susan! Is there anything else you’d like my readers to know about you or your books?

Nah, except they’re awesome and everyone ought to read them. And a huge
thanks to you, Claire, for hosting me today. I TOLD you I was a good fit
for Rock Star Saturday!

And that’s it! Thank YOU Susan for snatching up Celebrity Saturday. You were right, you’re a great fir for Rock Star Saturday!

And as always folks, if you want a spot to be immortalized on Celebrity Saturday, than simply Tweet @SmithEClaire! Published or not, I want to hear YOUR story! 🙂

Thanks again guys, happy writing!

Stay Shiny,

❤ Claire

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