Suzanne Cowles


Suzanne Cowles was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and now lives in Florida with her husband and dachshund. She graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and received a Masters of Fine Art from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Her twenty-year professional career has spanned visual arts, 3D design and graphic arts.

One day her husband dared her to write a sequel screenplay for her favorite movie franchise. With dedication and determination, ALIEN 5: TRANSFECTION was born in a summer. Enjoying the creative process of writing so much, she challenged herself to conceive an original story, producing SHALLOW BASIN, book one of a planned trilogy series.

As a child, she grew up watching Saturday morning monster movies on a black and white television and enjoys the horror genre because it is disturbing and unpleasant. She especially loves the dark prose of the Bronte sisters or the sorrowful tone of poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She is most happy when scared by anything that leaves behind a lingering feeling of terror.

Her work crosses genres and bridges the gap between literary and commercial fiction. She endeavors to create a movie-like experience originating from a conceptualized story, painting a mental picture with words. The words connect thoughts in context as the driving force sustaining momentum for the reader to turn each page. Building suspense, the monster that waits in the crevice between pages reminds us that life is seldom a fairy tale.

If you want stereotypical tired plot lines, then read something else. If you want to be entertained in a new exciting way, then follow her into that dark place in her mind … She dares you.

Smashwords Interview

What is your writing process?
I first select a genre and then think about interesting subjects that would be entertaining in a story format. After doing some internet research to see if the idea has already been done, I form a concept and theme. The theme is what I want to convey about the subject, similar to a story moral.

Then I create the main characters by looking at actor photographs. This helps me visualize real people playing a role. There are eight main characters in pairs of two that act as opposites. An example would be the Protagonist and Antagonist relationship.

There are other story decisions that are formed early on to define the world the characters live in. Then I plan out the story in a three act structure, comprised of eight scenes. Each scene defines a chapter in book form, but is made up of mini scenes usually totaling 50.

Because I've worked in visual arts my entire career, I have a cork covered wall used to storyboard colored index cards. This helps me organize the action, and later write the movie script. Having a visual reference also motivates me to finish the manuscript.

I actually write the story with pen on loose leaf paper, dating each page. Then I type it into a Microsoft Word document. Call me old school.
How do you approach cover design?
As an artist with much experience in photography and computer graphics, I do my own covers in Adobe Photoshop. I employ the tried and true methods of topography and well established book cover design principles. A printed cover has more versatility with small text than an eBook cover which needs to be readable as a thumbnail image. But I prefer clarity and less is always more.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Suzanne Cowles online


The Eclipse of a Black Sun
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,440. Language: English. Published: July 8, 2014. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
A Medical Examiner discovers that the new anti-aging wonder drug is killing people, and the monster responsible could be a scorned woman. Can Dr. Singer solve the mystery before the Black Sun Cult conspires to poison mankind?
Shallow Basin
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 80,970. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2014. Category: Fiction » Horror » General
A high school senior with a love for photography, living in the shadow of his controlling narcissistic bass master father is torn between running from the generational backwoods or facing the cult's black magic urban legend before the Creepler swamp monster massacres the nearby town of Stray Oaks killing the future of humanity.

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