Spotlight Author Susie Black
Please welcome Susie Black to my blog
Named Best US Author of the Year by N. N. Lights Book Heaven, award-winning cozy mystery author Susie Black was born in New York City but now calls sunny Southern California home. Like the protagonist in her Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, Susie is a successful apparel sales executive. Susie began telling stories as soon as she learned to talk. Now she’s telling all the stories from her garment industry experiences in humorous mysteries.
She reads, writes, and speaks Spanish, albeit with an accent that sounds like Mildred from Michigan went on a Mexican vacation and is trying to fit in with the locals. Since life without pizza and ice cream as her core food groups wouldn’t be worth living, she’s a dedicated walker to keep her girlish figure. A voracious reader, she’s also an avid stamp collector. Susie lives with a highly intelligent man and has one incredibly brainy but smart-aleck adult son who inexplicably blames his sarcasm on an inherited genetic defect.
“Everyone wanted her dead…but who actually killed her? The last thing swimwear sales exec Holly Schlivnik expected was to discover ruthless buying office big wig Bunny Frank’s corpse trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey with a bikini stuffed down her throat. When Holly’s colleague is arrested for Bunny’s murder, the wise-cracking, irreverent amateur sleuth jumps into action to find the real killer. Nothing turns out the way Holly thinks it will as she matches wits with a wily killer hellbent on revenge.”
Excerpt of book:
“When the elevator doors opened, I had to stop myself short not to step on her. There was Bunny Frank-the buying office big shot-lying diagonally across the car. Her legs were splayed out and her back was propped against the corner. Her sightless eyes were wide open and her arms reached out in a come-to-me baby pose. She was trussed up with shipping tape like a dressed Thanksgiving turkey ready for the oven with a bikini stuffed in her mouth. A Gotham Swimwear hangtag drooped off her lower lip like a toe tag gone lost. Naturally, I burst out laughing.”
I wasn’t going to miss out on asking Susie Black questions – I’m sure you’ll find the answers as intriguing and interesting as I did, so here goes:
Have you always wanted to be an author?
The short answer? Yes. My mother read to me daily from infancy and taught me to read as a toddler, so words and stories were an important part of my youth. I loved the magic of getting lost in a story and knew I wanted to create the same magic for others. If I had to pinpoint it, I’d say I knew I wanted to be a writer as early as kindergarten. I’ve been writing for a long time. I wrote my first short story when I was in primary school.
What do you write?
I write humorous Cozy mysteries set in the fast-paced Los Angeles ladies’ apparel industry with strong female characters who have defied the odds and broken the glass ceiling.
What do you find the fun part of writing and why?
The fun part is creating the characters. I can make the characters as zany and outrageous as I please. The characters are my alter-egos and often say and do all the things I’d love to in real life, but either can’t or won’t. The other fun part is writing about a murder. Since the characters are based on people I know, I get to fictionally knock off some people who in real life I would have loved to eliminate. Quite cathartic, really; murder a jerk and don’t go to jail for the rest of your life. Brilliant. (Ah, so there’s the answer, the perfect murder!)
What makes your character shine?
My characters are all based on real people I know, so there is a genuineness about them readers can relate to. They shine because they are flawed, but believable, determined people who overcome the obstacles of life they are challenged by with class and aplomb.
What was it that made you write this particular book you’re talking about today?
As a female who succeeded in a traditionally male- dominated industry, it was important for me to write about the apparel business from a woman’s point of view.
What do you find the most difficult part of writing and why? The creative side of writing is joyous. The business side, which is marketing, is the most difficult for me because unlike the apparel industry, in publishing there is no quantifiable way to measure the success or failure of an author’s marketing efforts. Oh, I hear you, as do many others…
What real life experience influenced your novel?
My career as a ladies’ swimwear sales exec is the foundation of the plot and influenced virtually every aspect of my novel. The murder victim and the protagonist’s colleagues are all based on real people I knew from the apparel industry. While the murder victim in the story did not get murdered in real life, her rotten personality and some of the awful things the character did in the story the real-life person actually did. The setting is in the California Apparel Mart where I worked in a showroom for the lion’s share of my career and the protagonist and her colleagues all were sales execs in the ladies’ swimwear industry like I was. Like the protagonist, I have lived on a houseboat in Marina del Rey, and drove my mother’s vintage, bubblegum pink convertible.
Where do you write or what does your writing space look like?
I live on a golf course and my home office faces a duck-filled water hazard on the fairway. I love to look out at the duffers swatting at golf balls that invariably go into the water hazard and make the ducks quack at the golfers. Some of my best written zingers are as a result of watching their guffaws and antics.
Does your family support your career as a writer?
Absolutely yes. I am quite fortunate to have a husband and son who support my writing career completely. They had faith in me and in my writing when I’d lost faith in myself. They are a source of unfaltering support and encouragement. They never let me quit, no matter how many rejection letters I received. They are my go-to guys for information, opinions, and are quite patient with my continuous questions of “how does this sound?” or “which way do you think is better or more believable?” “ Is this funny?” or “Ok, I changed it. Can I read it to you again?”
Now that’s real dedication from your family, how wonderful to have such great support Susie!
Its been great hearing about your life and love of writing, and thank you for agreeing to be on my blog.
But that’s not all folks… Check out the links below:
Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/3n2xYB
BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/death-by-sample-size-susie-black/1139356591
I Tunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/death-by-sample-size/id1564686461
Death By Sample Size : Target
Death by Sample Size by Susie Black (goodreads.com)
Interested in more? Reach Susie at her website: www.authorsusieblack.com
Or via E-mail: [email protected]
Link for Fit Guide