Interview with Suzanne Dome

What do you read for pleasure?
I read a variety of genres and topics for pleasure, but my favorite is science fiction, particularly the science fiction that confronts big "what if" questions and philosophic approaches to the use of scientific ideas. I also read some forensic dramas, historical fiction, action adventure, and paranormal. I do have a preference for well-written books, or books with a writing style specific to the story itself, such as The Great Gatsby or anything by Tolkien. I also love the occasional science documentary, and pseudoscience book. Some authors I love include Terry Pratchett, J.R.R Tolkien, Clive Cussler, Micheal Crighton, Charles Sheffield, Kathy Reichs, Tamara Thorn(Thunder Road), Zechariah Sitchen, and a few independent authors, such as A.R. Crebs.
Describe your desk
My desk is an old white teacher-style desk with one long drawer over my leg space, two standard sized drawers, and one deep file drawer. It holds the majority of my mailing, art supplies, and pen collection. The deep drawer is where I store official documents and a few binders full of art and writing. Over the years, the flotsam and jetsam have varied, but currently I have an assortment of gemstones, statuary, a lamp, a lava lamp, and a miscellaneous bin of stuff on top of old sketch pads, a three-hole punch and a stapler. I have a wooden TV tray for extra work space, and an open spot to either set up the laptop or work on my jewelry hobby. I've had this desk since I was very little, and even though I would love to repaint it(it's got splotches of nail polish and project paint on it, as well as glue and other strange marks), sitting there reminds me of my youth, and my early writing days.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I moved frequently, but not as frequently as some. I was born in Garden City, KS, and in my first year, mom and dad lost count of how many times they went back and forth to various places in Colorado. The earliest memories I have of being an imaginative kid who colored and drew on every paper possible too place in a log cabin and various homes in the Rockies.
After that, it was Tuscon, Arizona. The desert has stuck with me as magical. I still dream about it. My earliest story-telling experiences took place in Tuscon, though only one of them ever made it to paper. I used to play with oil-based clay and "talk" my stories out loud.
A year after my diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, and a couple months after my brother was born, we moved to Kansas. We spent a year in Hutchinson, and then moved to Coldwater, where I completed my 5th through Senior years. Those were the years where I really began writing, because there was nothing else to do there. Coldwater was a boring 1A school with little funding and no art program; I taught myself to make jewelry and read a lot of Star Wars books, and eventually began writing my own ideas in notebooks and journals. I would either write down my dreams from the night before and expand on them, or daydream for hours(usually on car trips or during boring classes). The town didn't help expand my imagination much; my peers did everything to squash it. However, living out in the country and having a free schedule to write was valuable to my development as a writer.
The places I have lived have affected me greatly, even as I went to college and when I lived in South Carolina, and Colorado again. Every place had added a flavor to my work, every place has given me insight into people, into mindsets, and into local histories that might not have been known to me if I hadn't gone to live there. I borrow a lot from my own experiences with people and customs when developing characters.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I tried the agent query racket, watched publishing companies take advantage of their writers, and decided to own my writing future. I do everything to my books and short stories--the formatting, the editing, the cover...I do many edits and reformats before I decide to publish.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
All of it. The daydreaming, watching the story develop, watching the characters grow into their own beings, seeing a rough draft ripe for rewrites, the text edits, the proof copies, designing the covers--I love all of it. I love meeting other indie writers too, and hearing about their process.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are people, with their own experiences and knowledge base. Many fans become positive acquaintances or even friends, and show me support by communicating with me through social media or visiting my events.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When I get up, I know I've dreamed another full life or several lives, and re-imagining and daydreaming those adventures, then writing them down, motivates me. Creativity motivates me. New science discoveries motivate me. A thousand or more ideas that bother me as soon as I'm awake motivate me.
Mostly, the need to take insulin and other meds, and eat breakfast motivate me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a number of hobbies. Mom taught me to sew in high school, and I make strung and wire-wrapped jewelry out of tumbled and rough gemstones. This is nice because I use Off World Tribe to help finance my books, and the sewing to help make costumes relevant to my books. Sometimes I dress up as the characters, if I have all the pieces ready. I go to nerd conventions with my jewelry/book booth, and meet so many awesome and inspiring people there. I also sketch and draw, and that is my oldest hobby. I've been doing that since I could pick up a pencil.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I frequently read ebooks by other indie authors I meet. I actually have a long mixed list. Honestly, I prefer paper copies when possible.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. It wa a short story for my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs Richardson, at Meyers Ganung elementary in Tuscon. It was about a magic unicorn named Shelly.
What is your writing process?
I tend to write scenes and develop a loose scene list in separate documents. When I work on a project, I keep any document related to that project open in a window, even back blurbs and cover ideas.
I will use the comments in the word document, write lengthy notes in the scene list document, and leave myself notes in other colored text. I write scenes that are really important first, or scenes that show some character development. As I write these, I organize the time table according to the scene list.
That scene list document is literally a numbered list of brief scene descriptions that are important to the plot of the book. Usually I develop this scene list from a free-writing exercise on the basic story idea. Breaking it into sections just helps me stay organized.
After I have these basic things put together, I let it sit for a while and work on something else, then come back to the project and work on details from a fresh view. It lets me have time to forget a few things, and when I go back through the scenes and start finding the places for chapters, I also end up filling in details that weren't there before, or things I need to question. I usually will leave more side comments. At a point when I feel like it is fairly full, I order a paper copy and start proofing. I'm brutal and my proof copies look like a rainbow puked on them. Changing colors as I proof keeps me attentive and I don't go colorblind to my editing marks. Since I was trained to use the old-school editing marks, and to write all over the margins and between lines, my editing looks messy, but allows me to rewrite as I see problems. I feel I do a better job editing on paper than on the computer, so I always work with a paper copy(or two or three) before releasing the work for publication.
I love hack and slash editing. I would rather cut than have to add in details.

I like mood lighting and free writing to start, and its even better if I've had a particularly detailed dream the night before. I love it when my dreaming brain does most of the leg work for me.
Published 2015-12-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Lotus of the Stars
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 97,170. Language: English. Published: January 18, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
Edda is tired of fighting. Padmanastra, her home commune, is one of many that survive centuries after The Fall. Trouble looms with sick pirates and falling debris. Edda is pulled into the mystery as she grapples with her aberrant meta abilities, struggles with both her job, and her sense of purpose, only to find an Earthly cause for the destruction.
Tree Row Howl
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 12,130. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
Agent Carthage has heard rumors about Tanesca; now she will see just how strange it really is.
Weird Wheat
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 45,870. Language: English. Published: April 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Tanesca, a small town in eastern KS, faces a rash or cattle mutilations, strange weather, an invasion of strangers, crop circles, and weird sightings. Can Frieda and her niece, Anne, stop the vicious woman behind it all?
The Scrounger Trilogy
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 237,210. Language: English. Published: April 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Dara is a scrounger, someone who researches the vast galactic net for money. Anyone could stand next to her an an elevator or addy, and have no idea she used their cell phone or tablet to hack a pirate's bank account and redistribute the funds in the space of the elevator ride. She has no idea how much trouble this ability will bring her when she accepts the job.
Last Star
Price: Free! Words: 8,240. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Last Star is a futuristic space-dystopia in which human survival depends on space stations, salvaging, and their ability seek out new planets as old planets and stars die off. Siblings Shuzhana and Yarrow salvage their survival, and make a discovery that changes the very course of their lives.