Sunday, January 25, 2009

Author Sue Dent - FOREVER RICHARD - Free Book

I'm happy to have Sue Dent back to the blog. As I said before, when I heard about a Christian vampire-werewolf novel, I was totally sceptical. Then when I read Never Ceese, I changed my mind. Sue can reach people with the message of God who will never even see one of my books.

Welcome, Sue. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

I write books speculative in nature because speculative stories are the kind of stories that appeal to me the most. If I had to give a reason why I settled on a vampire/werewolf story for my debut novel, my answer would have to be that I love vampire and werewolf lore. I love westerns too and subtle romance stories, adventures and mysteries, science fiction and fantasy, legal thrillers-you name it.

Writing speculative is what I lean toward though and I suppose all my stories, no matter what the subject matter, will always be speculative in nature. I might experiment later. Who knows?

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

I consider coming to know the Lord as the most significant day in my life but not necessarily the happiest. It is certain that I would say the Lord is responsible for the happier days in my life. :-)

Also, my happiest day is subject to change. For now the happiest day in my life would be when my daughter, at five years old, and after celebrating her sixth birthday in the hospital, walked out of the Children’s Hospital in Iowa City on her own accord. She’d been admitted two weeks earlier with Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) At the time of admission, the coordination center of her brain, along with many other areas of her brain had been attacked by an “outlaw” anti-body. Upon admission to the hospital, Amanda couldn’t walk, stand or even sit-up. Neither could she speak without drawing out her words. The damage was significant. The day she left the hospital with no residual side effects, ranks as the happiest day of my life so far. And to substantiate my claim from above, I’ve God to thank for that and Dr. Afifi who I’m certain God sent our way. :-)

How has being published changed your life?

LOL It’s really too early for me to tell. One change is that people actually read what I write now and some even pay to do so. That’s nice. :-) The interest in my second novel, Forever Richard, shows that people enjoy what I write and want more. For the most part, being published hasn’t really changed my life at all.

What are you reading right now?

As a writer, I find little time to read. When I have any time, aside from raising my daughter and son, I write. I will push most everything aside when John Grisham comes out with a new book, almost always around my birthday. I know it will be fast-paced, enjoyable, and a quick read. Since he’s a Christian, I’m pretty certain he won’t write anything that might offend me and so far I’ve been right. I will admit though that I’ve yet to read Mr. Grisham’s first book, A Time to Kill, because I can’t get through the rape scene. He writes the scene far too well and the account hits to close to home as things such as what he described actually happen here in Mississippi. My brother told me how the book ends though, and I’m sorely tempted to skip the first few chapters so I can read on.

I do make time to read for research though. Currently I’m going through The Secret Commonwealth of Fauns, Fairies and Elves by the “Fairy Minister” himself Robert Kirk.

What is your current work in progress?

The third installment in my Thirsting for Blood Series is my current WIP. The tentative name is Cyn No More. It looks like this name will stick.

What would be your dream vacation?

I’ve never given it much thought. If I want to go somewhere that bad, I just find a way to go. I do love the beach A LOT! But then, I go there A LOT! Therefore, it’s not really a dream vacation. LOL

How do you choose your settings for each book?

No straight answer here. The story writes itself. The characters tell me things and I write. It’s not up to me to decide where they are and what they’re doing. If I did choose the settings, along with everything else, my writing would most likely be very predictable and boring. I have to laugh though. I’ve read reviews that placed Richard’s castle in Wales and not England, Zade has been called Zane and not Zade. It seems like most of my readers create their own world in spite of what I write or choose.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

Absolutely no one comes to mind. *gasp* Does that mean there’s something wrong with me? Probably. If I could spend an evening with one person currently alive I suppose I’d prefer being with someone who would want to be with me. Oh, and they’d have to like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies because I’d probably make them watch it with me--over and over. Particularly the last POTC movie as I really enjoyed that one. Yes, there’s definitely something wrong with me. LOL

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I like scrapbooking but I don’t have time for it anymore. Fancy that! Is driving your kids around a hobby? I guess not since I don’t particularly enjoy doing that and a hobby is supposed to be something you enjoy, right?

I remember the days when I felt like the chauffeur for the world. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

Ending a story? Okay, it’s not really an obstacle. It’s just that I’m in the beginning of a series and I haven’t had to deal with actually ending a story yet. I can see that it might be a problem though and if it turns out to be one-and I find a solution, you’ll be the first to know. :-)

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

The best advice I’d give any beginning author, if that author is seeking to be traditionally published as I was, is to find and hire a professional editor. Use critique groups if you want so that you won’t have to pay a professional editor quite as much, but get a professional edit nonetheless. This is the ONLY reason my work was picked up as fast as it was. A traditional publisher, no matter how small, is NOT going to muddle through what you think is well-edited writing when they’ve got a professionally edited MS from another author sitting right there.

Rarely, if ever, is someone’s first MS ever picked up by a traditional press when that author hasn’t had a professional edit. Ms. Rowling is an exception not the rule so don’t even go there. Also, it would be best to find a professional editor that edits for the market you intend to target. For example, if you plan to write for the specific market of Christians that bigger Christian publishers market to, then you’d best get an editor who is familiar with what those publishers will and won’t allow. The same goes for hiring a professional editor who knows the Sci-fi market or fantasy market or horror market or romance market.

Another piece of advice is to understand your market. Many aspiring authors I know of spend a lot of time attempting to sell their work to a market that doesn’t want the type story they write. This is particularly true for those writing Science Fiction, Fantasy, and horror. I’ve had numerous responses from several of the bigger Christian publishers myself that state quite clearly that since their market doesn’t read these kind of stories, they won’t publish them. It’s why Jeff Gerke left the Christian Booksellers Association to form his own publishing house. Most authors who are Christians want to solicit publishers who are Christian but many Christian publishers market to a very specific group. It may not be your market at all. Ask questions and a lot of them. It will be worth your while.

Actually, Sue, I sold the first novel I wrote without having it edited by someone else. Of course, it took several years. Tell us about the featured book.

I thought you’d never ask.

Forever Richard

The saga of redemption and spiritual triumph readers enjoyed in Never Ceese continues in Forever Richard.

Cassie Felts, graduate student and reluctant believer of such things as vampires and werewolves, couldn't be happier for Richard and Ceese Porter. Their curses lifted and after hundreds of years apart, they can now celebrate being brother and sister once more. Even Rodney, Cassie's college roommate and former nemesis, shares her relief. But will the faith that saved Richard and Ceese be enough to defeat the new evil that threatens them all?

Cassie learns that Dr. Clayton Henderson, the corrupt stem-cell researcher, has acquired the vampire's curse and has managed to transfer it to Rodney's troubled, drug-addicted buddy Josh. Addict or vampire, Cassie can see Josh isn't handling his new cravings for blood any better than he did his old habit. Their best hope seems to be taking Josh to Richard's isolated country estate in England. There, Josh can learn to temper his desire to curse another while they try to figure out how to deal with the impossible-to-kill Dr. Henderson.

Their mission becomes more complicated when they find a new vampire inhabiting Richard's castle, a malevolent werewolf stalking Ceese, and a long-lost relative who shows up carrying a sawed-off shotgun and an ancient knife he claims has supernatural powers.

Will the faith that redeemed two lost souls before be enough to overcome the wicked forces that now threaten to destroy them all?

Forever Richard has already received encouraging endorsement from The British Fantasy Society:

“Insightful and thought-provoking. Well worth the wait!” – Maryann Boo

I am anxiously awaiting my copy so I can read and review it. How can readers find you on the Internet?

You can find out more about me through my publishers site at http://www.thewriterscafe.com/. They also have a site where all their authors share at http://www.thewriterscafepressauthors.blogspot.com/.

I have my own site through TWCP at http://www.foreverrichard.com/ and my personal blog at http://www.suedent.blogspot.com/

I’m also a member of The Lost Genre Guild formed by fellow author Frank Creed. LGG is a support group and attention-bringer for those authors whose work is too overt for the general market publishers yet too outside-the-box for the bigger Christian houses or rather CBA and ECPA affiliated houses. Frank is responsible for coining the phrase, Biblical Speculative Fiction though he may truly never get credit. Their web address is http://www.lostgenreguild.com/

And lastly, I’ve been blessed by those who run http://www.shoutlife.com/ as they have become the official book launch site for Forever Richard. This huge and growing family friendly social network has been nothing but supportive. I’ve been featured author more than three times and spotlight author at least twice. Part-owner Steve Mclellan posed for Richard on the book cover with fellow part-owner Hauns Froehlingsdorf taking the photo. Part-owner and wife to Hauns, Laurie Froehlingsdorf provided the *ahem* studio. :-)

I spend a lot of time on Shoutlife.com so do visit me there. They absolutely do a superb job of supporting all artists who are Christian no matter what the affiliation. I must say they have at least one well-deserving author listed this month as one of the featured authors. *winks at Lena* Congratulations! That’s twice for you as well, isn’t it?

I’d like to add a final thanks to you Lena for all your support. Your review of Never Ceese still makes me smile.

God Bless

Thank you, Sue, for spending this time with us. This month, Shoutlife has debuted a rotating featured author strip on the Authors page. You're on it, too.

Readers, you can order Forever Richard using this link:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. There are several winner's who haven't contacted me. If you click on the winners label, all the winner blogs will be listed and you can check easily. Or just sign up for FeedBlitz at the top of the right hand column of the blog.

43 comments:

Vader's Mom said...

I never knew this existed. I love Vampire/Werewolf stories and this sounds totally up my alley. I'm going to go add it to my wishlist and I'll check out her blog as well.

Thanks!!!

Sue Dent said...

And if it weren't for authors like Lena and sites like shoutlife.com, you'd be hard-pressed to know it existed. :)

The bigger Christian publishers don't want horror novels as such and so I had to find me a general market publisher, a publisher who serves the broader market (Christians and otherwise.)

Sadly, this means my work hardly ever gets mentioned in Christian circles even though it has been overwhelmingly accepted by Christian readers.

It's quite frustrating at times but God is working to fix things. :)

As always!

Loree Lough said...

Excellent interview, lady, as awlays. What a fabulous peek into the life (and author's head) of this talented author. I'm headed straight for my nearest B&N to grab a copy. My biggest gripe? I don't live near enough to have Sue autograph it!

darbyscloset said...

I too, like you would be wonder how an author takes the reader to God thru a vampire/werewolf story!
Now you have my curiosity all up!!!
I'd be honored to win and read,
Thank you!
Darby
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Sue Dent said...

Girlie, girl, you better get your buns over to www.thewriterscafe.com to order your copy because I'm autographing ALL of those!

And they've got some ready to go!

Sue Dent said...

Just to clarify, Girlie girl=Loree Lough. LOL

And Darby I don't write to take the reader to God but as an author who is a Christian, I certainly don't write to lead them away. :)

I suppose that is the biggest difference in stories written by authors who are Christians and Christian authors who write for the bigger Christian publishing houses--the focus of the book.

John Grisham is a fine example IMO of an author who is a Christian but writes for the broader general market. :)

I absolutely love his work.

Sue Dent said...

But yes, my goal is to entertain in a way that is Christian friendly not necessarily to evangelize or provide discipleship.

At least that's my focus. :)

Carol Wiley said...

Great interview! I enjoyed reading it.
I am going to have to get a copy of your book Sue, so I can see how you managed to cover a topic like this in a Godly way. :-) I wish you the best with book sales.

windycindy said...

Happy Sunday! I have never read a paranormal Christian book, yet. One about werewolves/vampires sounds intriguing. I am so glad that Sue's daughter is fine. What a blessing!
Thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Sue Dent said...

A blessing indeed. She's now sixteen and a Duke Scholar. She'd been diagnosed with MS but has since had that diagnosis removed. She's also a proud member of the Ridgeland High School Marching Band who won the State Championships this year - French Horn/melaphone! Looking back at that tape the hospital made of her NOT being able to walk or talk or sit-up, one can only be amazed. God is good and faithful. He was there for me and I will always be there for him. :D

Sue Dent said...

Yikes! I meant "Him" not him. :)

Lindsey said...

Enjoyed the interview! I remember reading and being so thrilled with Never Ceese, and now here is the second in the series out! Can't wait to read it. :-)

Thanks for the advice for the beginning author, too!

ladyufshalott at yahoo.com

Carolynn W. said...

Very interesting! I would love to read the story! Thanks for the chance to win!
carolynnwald at hotmail dot com

Hope Chastain said...

Fabulous interview! Thank you so much, and thank you, too, Sue, for putting a link on your ShoutLife page! I want to read them BOTH!!! (I'm saving my pennies, but in the meantime, please enter me to win. Thanks!)

hope _ chastain [at] yahoo [dot] com
(no spaces)

The Surrendered Scribe said...

I because acquainted with Sue's work at FaithWriters.com and I'm so excited to see her promoting her second book. I know it's a risk to write against the Christian mainsream, you are proof if God has called you to it, it's more than ok to step out of the box and comfort zone.

You go, Sue!

buddyt said...

This book sounds like a interesting mix of genres.

Please enter me in the drawing.
Thank you.

Carol

Sue Dent said...

LOL at FW friend Surrendered Scribe. And to think I'd no idea I was writing against the Christian mainstream.

*Sue whispers through cupped hand* Actually, I'm not writing against the Christian mainstream. The Christian mainstream loves my work, and many other works like mine. It's the bigger Christian publishers who don't want these type stories. Their audience, they say, won't read horror or fantasy or Sci-Fi written as my story and others like it are written, for the broader general market.

Thank goodness for Christian publishers like The writers' Cafe Press, Tsaba House and the like, giving authors who are Christians and write for the broader market a place to go.

Pshaw. I'm not the first author who has written horror that's "pushed" the boundaries of Christian fiction. Apparently I'm just the first to appeal to that market that bigger Christian publishers serve. :)

I'm still amazed that this audience is reading my stories and liking them. But far be it from me to complain. An audience is an audience and I've got the best audience around. Now if it just keeps growing, I'll be able to keep writing.

Frances said...

Your book sounds intriguing and scary. I'm going to have to get the first one.

Sue Dent said...

Frances, if you go to www.foreverrichard.com and purchase Never Ceese through the button on the top left, I'll send you an autographed copy.

My first publisher sold all of her stock of Never Ceese to a wholesaler once they decided not to pursue Young Adult fiction. I don't get any money from the books being sold now except for the ones I sell myself. (I don't have that many left.)

The good news is, Never Ceese is now EVERYWHERE!!! Something my first publisher could never achieve.

The Writers' Cafe Press and I will be re-releasing my paper copy very soon!

As far as scary, I'll tell you it isn't but then there are those who will tell you otherwise. :)

It does have horror elements though and I stick to lore for the most part only changing some of the lore up a little to fit my needs . . . or rather Richard's and Ceese's needs.

Thanks for looking!

Marla said...

I myself am not in to vampire/werewolf stories, however my fiance is. I would love to have him read these books as they would interest him, while at the same time providing a Christian taching as well. I think I would even enjoy reading them so we could talk about them together. Thank you for the entry.
koinonia572001@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

This book about me promises to be very good. You will not be disappointed! You should pick up your copy today! Back to the coffin before the bats come...it's starting to get light out.

Sue Dent said...

Hmmmm . . . I'm going to assume from that last comment that the Richard the book is about has joined us here. No surprise that he has his own computer. :D

mommyjen99 said...

This book sounds great! I love horror books and theres not that many out there. I would love to win this book!
jen62728@aol.com

Sue Dent said...

Well, if you really like the horror genre, there are quite a few authors who write in this genre that are Christians. They just write for the broader market of Christians. One would be Kim Paffenroth who teaches theology at a Christian Univerity. He writes Zombie novels and has won at least one Bram Stoker Award and is on the short-list for two this year.

And then there's the Sinister Minister himself, Maurice Broadus who is actually a minister that writes in the horror genre.

Both are Christians and write wonderful horror novels!! It's a wonderful genre for Christian authors to shine in. IMO

Stacie said...

I love vampire stories and would love to read this book!

Sue Dent said...

Well, then you'll love it Stacie! And I see you're from Canada. If you've not read Never Ceese and want to read it first, Amazon.com.ca has some good deals but as I told Frances, you can order it from www.foreverrichard.com and I'll autograph you a copy and send it along. And yes, I'll ship to Canada free of charge . . . umm . . . within reason! I was in Toronto 2007 for the World Horror Convention and the Convention will be held in Canada again this year. I've got my passport! :)

Kristi said...

I love paranormal stories - and if you throw in some faith it is a win-win! Please sign me up for this giveaway!

kherbrand(at)comcast(dot)net

Sue Dent said...

Well, I don't know about throwing in any faith. LOL I just write from my heart and there's no disguising where my heart is.

This particular story has a fairly obvious redemption theme throughout. That's not to say other stories I write will. The redemption theme however, still didn't get me a green light with bigger Christian publishers. It did earn me a lot of readers from their market though. :)

Their is a faith element to the story but it's apparently not of the level Christian publishers want to see in the work they produce. Readers seem fine with it though . . . at least so far.

*Sue ducks behind her faithful readers for protection-just in case :)*

dub said...

So, I walked into BooksaMillion and said, "do you have Sue Dent's Forever Richard? The nerdy, pimpled kid, looked on the computer.

"Duh, I don't think we have it. But, like, you're the second person who has asked for it."

I chuckled, "Yeah, I don't think it may in distribution yet. I'll check back in a few weeks."

"Yeah, like you want me to take yer name or something in case it comes in?" I know this means - write your name and leave me alone -

"Naw, I'll just check back. You'll now you have it when Richard drains your blood."

"Yeah, okay. You need to check out or something?"

Frank Creed said...

Sue--
The wait is over for Never Ceese fans! I caught that tip about Cyn no More--how many books do you have planned in the Thirsty for Blood series?
Yea Faithwriters! If dub didn't live far far away, I'd say we must shop the same book store. 8D

Faith,
f

Frank Creed.com: the official site of Flashpoint: Book One of the UNDERGROUND

The Finishers.biz: Polishing Manuscripts until they Shine

Sue Dent said...

Good on you, Dub for finding a bookstore in the swamp! :D

But yes, the wheels of distribution "they are a churnin'!" It most definitely helps when you ask, even early on, but yes each and every legitimate bookstore can order and stock Forever Richard.

Finally Amazon has come around after posting at least two "erroneous" release dates then getting mad because the distributor didn't have the books when they went to order.

Gee Amazon I forgot ya'll could make up release dates. Didn't factor that into the distribution process. But the book is out now so even they can actually get them.

And yes, Frankus, finally Forever is here! And well, I couldn't have done it without you and The Writers' Cafe Press now could I?
;)

And of course Lena for hosting me and telling me that those posting comments liked for the authors to respond!

*gasp* As if this were a problem for me. :D Getting me to shutup--now there's your challenge. :)

ForstRose said...

Hey Sue, Hello Lena,

All sorts of fun stuff in the interview.

Be sure to put my name in the pot for Richard. I enjoyed reading Never Ceese though I wasn't sure about it at first since I don't like scary and always thought that went along with Horror all the time.

Great story though and lots of suspense and adventure going on for those that like alot of intensity to their stories.

Melissa
forst_rose[at]yahoo[dot]com

~Ley said...

I haven't even read Forever Richard yet, but I'm already excited about there being a third book! I love Never Ceese! Enter me in the drawing please. Thank you.

ashley.vanburen[at]gmail[dot]com

rebornbutterfly said...

I have her first book, but i'd like to have this one too!

buddyt said...

Please enter me in the giveaway.
Thank you.

Carol

Hope Chastain said...

Who won?

Sue Dent said...

LOL at Hope! I was wondering that too but I don't think Lena has listed the winners for the next batch yet.

Whoever it is will have to wait for their copy until my author copies land on my doorstep, hopefully any day now. :))

I hope I win. Oh, I'm just kidding. I just like to win things.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

The winner will be chosen on Saturday. The winners I chose last Saturday were for the interviews the week before Sue's. That way people have over a week to sign up.

Sue Dent said...

Thanks Lena. *big grin*

And there you have it Hope! :) Good luck.

Wendy Byard said...

Hello Lena:
I came across your site and saw that you are interested in spiritual books. Perhaps you might be interested in my new Christ-based book. I'm a college English professor and ordained deacon who has authored a soon-to-be released book called Teach and Reach for Classroom Miracles! Lessons on Teaching with Love. It's being published through CSS/Faithwalk Publishing and aimed primarily at teachers, youth leaders, and others who have the opportunity to empower others through love. If you are interested, you may visit my site at wendybyard.com.
Thank you for letting me share.
God bless!
Wendy Byard

Lisa Holloway said...

Looking forward to seeing this! Woohoo Sue! How exciting.

Danielle (Dani) said...

I have both Never Ceese and Forever Richard and am totally in LOVE with them!!!
I have always loved the though of the use of Werewolves/Vampires/Pirates/etc. in the Christian market. My opinion is that it was about time a Christian had the guts to try and then the talent to pull it off.
I would love to see these become movies, and being a Christian and an aspiring actress I would definitely encourage it.
Great job Mrs. Dent! God bless!

Sue Dent said...

WoW! Thank-you sooooo much Danielle. LOL Guts! I didn't know I was doing anything that hadn't been done before.

Do remember that the bigger Christian publishers won't allow the type of stories I write to be published. I tried a number of them before I went with a non-affiliated Christian publisher who serves the broader Christian market.

So learn the difference and support your non-affiliated Chrisian publishers too. There are more than you think. ;)