Susan May


I was four when I decided to be a writer. For forty-six years, though I suffered from life-gets-in-the-way-osis. Cured in 2010, I now write in the speculative thriller genre (horror, science fiction, thriller, psychopaths, mystery, in the style of Stephen King). Since then I've published several novels including conceiving and co-project managing the Amazon #1 best-selling anthology "From The Indie Side".

I'm passionate about the art of writing the short story, and have written dozens of stories and novellas-many published award winners in Australia, USA and UK. I also pen book and film reviews and author interviews for US Suspense Magazine, as well as other popular Australian and International sites.

Most days I'm your average mother and wife living in Perth, Western Australia, but my twist thriller storylines I blame on my darn imagination that constantly ventures into the crevices of dark worlds, whether I want to go there or not.

I hope you enjoy my stories, if you do please spread the word.

Smashwords Interview

What is the best bit of writing advice you ever received from another writer? Or a reader?
I was fortunate in early 2013 to interview the poster-boy for indie publishing, Hugh Howey the author of Wool. We had quite an email conversation during the interview and I shared with him my husband’s suggestion I self-publish my work. Hugh’s reply changed my whole view of my future publishing path. This is what Hugh wrote and I treasure it:
“I think your husband has sound advice. You already have massive advantages in understanding the book trade, being well read, reading for critique, understanding promotion, and possessing a grasp of grammar and editing pitfalls.
Literary agents are often asked how difficult it is to get out of the slush pile, and they are fond of saying that if you take your craft seriously, you are already in the top 1%. That's even more true of self-published authors. If you produce a steady stream of polished work, you are putting yourself at the top of the heap. True, it may take a long while to be discovered, but you'll stand out once you are. You aren't competing with millions of books a year but thousands.
Traditionally published authors have even longer odds. Even if they get into a bookstore (which they probably won't to any great degree), they won't be on display; they won't be promoted; and nobody will be looking for them. The worst disadvantage they suffer is that they only have 6 months to sell. Self-published works are available forever. They never go out of print. You never lose your rights to them.
It's a marathon. Run it to enjoy it. And dare to hope you turn a corner one day and find a yellow streamer pulled taut across the street, thousands of readers on the other side waiting for you with lemonade.”
Now isn’t that something to hang on any writer’s wall to inspire them every day.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from Behind the Fire?
My arson loving couple who may be heroes or may be insane are parents and seriously in over their heads, so I would cast Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire) because he has a look that he is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) for her ability to show strength and doubt in the same moment.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Susan May online


Back Again (The Short Story)
Price: Free! Words: 31,810. Language: American English. Published: June 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(5.00 from 6 reviews)
Between life and death lies fate. COULD YOU WATCH A LOVED ONE DIE TO SAVE THEIR LIFE? "Dawn had lost count of the number of times she’d lived through this. Every time it hurt as much as the time before. Eventually, she thought that she must become immune to the events, and that her heart wouldn’t shatter into a thousand, million pieces— But it always did."

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Smashwords book reviews by Susan May

  • A Visit from the Duchess and Other Award-winning Stories from the Stringybark Speculative Fiction Award on Sep. 02, 2011

    As a speculative fiction fan, I was eager to read this anthology. There are some thought provoking ideas here & some cheeky & fun twists too. A couple had me back for a second read. At $3.99 you will have yourself a bargain & take a trip to many different worlds courtesy of some talented authors.
  • The Bridge — 21 Short Stories from the Stringybark Fiction Awards on Sep. 02, 2011

    This is an impressive Australian collection. Having recently read what are considered quality Australian short story anthologies, I found myself quite bored. Many simply had no story to them. This collection, however, is filled with wonderful stories, created with great skill. David Vernon, the Editor certainly has a great feel for a good story. Send this book to overseas friends (or Aussie friends) & share a wonderful & fascinating view of Australia.