Thursday 1 December 2011

Interview with Susan Helene Gottfried

Ever hear of the Trevolution? Today we're chatting with multiple-book author Susan Helene Gottfried to find out all about it. Let's dive right into the interview, shall we?

Welcome to We Do Write, Susan. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm really quite boring. I write books. I take on select freelance editing clients. I'm a Boy Scout and a foster parent for a local no-kill animal shelter. I like to ride my bike, and I love to champion books. That's really about it.

How long have you been writing?

All my life. Seriously. I didn't even start to talk until I was able to form full sentences and paragraphs.

You've got a lot of books out there. What are you working on now?

I'm working on a bunch of things, actually. King Trevor is slated for an April 12, 2012 release. It'll be the follow-up to Trevor's Song. Then I'm planning on releasing Demo Tapes (Year 4) before moving on to a new set of characters. This doesn't mean Trevor's days are done. It just means I need to work with someone new for a bit.

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I now use a professional editor, but otherwise use whoever I can hoodwink into helping me get to that stage where it's ready for the editor. Nothing formal, although I hope that'll change one day.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

These days, it's making the time. Now that I'm an adult, with a house to manage and a family and all that, there are a lot more pulls on my time. Plus, taking on freelance work and the ever-present need to market myself... there's only so much time in a day. I do my best, though.

Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

Use an editor! Even if it's not me. A fresh set of eyes is always vital to your mission -- which ought to be putting out the best book you possibly can.

Who are your inspirations?

Ooh, lots of them. I had a couple of college professors -- Reginald McKnight, Chuck Kinder, Phil O'Connor and Richard Messer -- who really inspired me to follow this writerly path. I'm inspired daily by the music I listen to, and to be honest, the things around me. It's not uncommon for me to pick up something and think, "Now, how would my character react to this?" A lot of the stories now in the Demo Tapes anthologies came from exactly that prompt system.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

My radio, although that's not quite right. I have to have music on, and I usually fulfill that need by listening to Sirius-XM radio while I work. In the evenings, I'll flip on a hockey game and write or edit to that. Hockey games have great rhythm to write and edit to.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?


Oh, wait. That's something I'm supposed to have in real life.

Hmm. Then, I don't really know. I don't want x-ray vision 'cause I know what I look like under my clothes and to be able to see a whole world of that? No, thanks.

Spiderman crawls up and down buildings, but what's the point when I'm usually at home in my office, writing? And wouldn't those web spinner things get in the way of my typing speed?

Yeah, I'm not sure. I think I would like more patience.

Sounds good, lol. Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: catastrophe, apostrophe, and fee.

The catastrophe of your apostrophe use can be easily fixed by me -- for a small fee.

How's that? Sorta boring and self-promotional toward my editing work. Definitely not reflective of the rock and roll fiction I'm known for, but ... you can't have it all. And I'm not sure most of my rockers know what an apostrophe is, anyway...

LOL, in any case, it was great. Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

Oh, the people behind the West of Mars scenes know who they are. They hear about it. They hear from me (for both the better and the worse!). If I started listing them here, we'd be here for the next nine years.

Let's just say I'm blessed to have a great support system. And that system now includes you, Dorothy!

Aw, thanks so much! And finally, where can people find you and your books online?

I'm at West of Mars. If you're too lazy to use the link -- -- then Google it and watch what happens. The Meet and Greet is the fancy name for my blog, and here's the link to the books page: You can also link over to my short story page from the books page.

I'm on Twitter as @WestofMars. My Facebook fan page -- which I use way more than I use my personal page -- is

Are you seeing a theme? It's all West of Mars, baby.

But you can also pick up the books at any and all of the usual outlets: Amazon, B&N, Smashwords. Even Powells, Kobo, Chapters, the Apple Bookstore... I'm trying to make it as easy as possible for you to pick up my books. The royalties are nice. The fans are even nicer.

Thanks so much for letting us get to know you and your books, Susan. It's been fun, and I wish you tons of success!

Thanks for having me today, Dorothy! Really, I do hope you'll become a more permanent part of the West of Mars family!

1 comment:

Darcia Helle said...

Great interview! I enjoyed the unique questions.

Susan, you are far too modest. You already have super powers. Remember? Your superpower is editing genius! I have firsthand experience with that.

I'm looking forward to King Trevor!