Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Interviewing Author Susan Schwartz


Today, I interviewed author Susan Schwartz , who has a short story included in a horror anthology Nightmares & Echos: The 2014 GWS Press Charity Anthology that was just released in both Kindle and print. Enjoy the interview and do check out the anthology.

1.     Tell us about this anthology your story is in.

The title is “The Sparkling Floor.”

This horror anthology is filled with grisly and gory tales just in time for Halloween. The anthology contains nine chilling stories that may have you keeping the lights on at night. It is also a charity anthology where all the proceeds go to St. Jude Children's Hospital.

   2, Tell us I one sentence or two about your short story in the anthology. Give the title too.


]        3.  Tell us in one sentence or two about your short story in the anthology. Give the title too.

The blurb I used for the story was “You thought you were going in for a simple procedure, but She had other plans.”

   4.  Can you tell the readers of my blog the motivation behind writing your story?
 Being an OR Nurse, I started wondering one day what would happen if a surgeon or other team member drove the nurse in the room absolutely bonkers. The process of writing this story was very cathartic for me as writers do tend to kill off people that they dislike. It helped me get past some feelings I was having and move on.

     5. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I started out writing fanfiction for TV shows and getting that posted on different boards back in the 90’s. I started writing seriously in 2004 where I began with freelance articles and a couple of short stories.

I joined the Virginia Writers Club in 2004, and I feel like everything took off from there. It was so gratifying to work with such helpful writers who taught me more than I will ever remember.

I remember in 2008 that you challenged me to NANOWRIMO. I was racking my brain trying to come up with a good story, and I passed by an old graveyard on the way home. As a result, my first paranormal novel was born. I am currently trying to finish it as I also have a medical thriller in the works. I also am trying to publish a Nursing Manual for beginning nurses. This stemmed from my Masters project in school, and I would like to make it something that will help future generations of nurses.
     6.   Tell us about your writing schedule.

Being an OR Nurse, I started wondering one day what would happen if a surgeon or other team member drove the nurse in the room absolutely bonkers. The process of writing this story was very cathartic for me as writers do tend to kill off people that they dislike. It helped me get past some feelings I was having and move on.
As far as my writing schedule, I grab time when I have it. I did this when I was taking classes as well. If I had an appointment, I would take my books with me and use the wait time to study. I do the same with my writing. I take it with me everywhere I go. At home, I try to spend one to two hours a day working on my Nursing Manual at present. I am currently looking at publishers and sending in book proposals. After I finish that, I will get back to my paranormal romance.

                      7.   Since you write too, how would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?

The genre I like best is horror with a twist. I want to lead you down the hallway and then turn and leave you standing there wondering what happened.

Since I am an OR Nurse who loves to play in blood and guts, I also tend to add a medical part to most of my stories.

So put the two together, and you get Medical Horror. Doesn’t that sound kind of creepy? It is interesting though, because I think hospital and other medical facilities have an unknown factor. What is really behind those doors and those masks? Think about it next time you are in the hospital.

                          8.  What other genre would you like to write in?

I would love to be able to write are comedy, plays, and inspirational type stories.

                        9. Where do your ideas come from?

I remember one time I asked you that very same question when I had just started the Writer’s Club. I think your answer was “From my head.”

I look around me and see what I can take out of focus to make a good story and then at the end, refocus it again in a different way. I have several other short stories I have written that do this. One was set in an antique store, another concerned an old quilt.

                       10.   What was the first scary story or novel or legend that frightened you?

I think my first horror story was Carrie by Stephen King. I went on to Pet Sematary and Needful Things, two of my favorites by him, not to mention Night Shift and Everything’s Eventual.

Another of my favorite writers is Bentley Little. He is just an awesome horror writer. My favorites of his are The Policy, The Mailman, The Collection, and The Store. Like Stephen King, he is simply a genius.

                             11. Okay, so you're an author. What do you enjoy reading? Name three good books for people to reads this month (since Halloween is coming).

I love to read, and I have pretty eclectic tastes. My wonderful hubby gave me a Kindle, so I get to carry all my books around with me at once. I tend to read four at one time, so this makes the weight a lot less.

1. I am currently reading The Man Who Became Frankenstein’s Monster by Robert Daicy. It is about a man who has everything, then loses it.

2. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Harkness mixes historical and present day happenings to tell a story about a new witch coming into her own.

3. David Baldacci’s King & Maxwell series is simply awesome. It was also a TV series for one season. I sure wish they would bring it back. (Having met the fellow, he is another one of my favorite authors.)

4. Medical stories: Confessions of a GP by Benjamin Daniels, Miracles & Mayhem in the ER by Brent Russell, and the Angels of Mercy Medical series by CJ Lyon. (I have also met CJ Lyons, and she has a knack for bringing you right into her story.)

5. I also just finished a couple of series from Rose Pressey. These were the Charmed series and the Hotel in Honeysuckle series. She is a very creative writer that really keeps you guessing until the end.

                        12. Name four authors you admire and hope to be like.

The two mentioned above for horror, Stephen King and Bentley Little. On the medical side, I would love to aspire to the heights of Michael Palmer and Robin Cook. Another author, female this time, is Kathy Reichs who writes the Bones series. (I met her in Charlottesville at a book festival, and she was very helpful with some of my questions about writing.)

            13. Plotter or pantser?

I am probably a little of both. I like to sit back and think of new ways to entertain, but I also like to give the characters free rein. I just like to start writing and see where the characters take me, sometimes they really do take on a life of their own. They never cease to amaze me sometimes. Sometimes I have to write my ideas down quickly because they are in the back of my mind prodding me with a new idea.

1      14.    Now for fun: 
        1. Vanilla or chocolate?

Chocolate most definitely, especially the Dark Chocolate.

1      2. What do you like the most about Halloween?

Halloween is one of the best holidays for kids I think. They get to go around and get free candy. What could be better? As I got older, I loved to hand it out just to see their faces. In addition, I think the costumes are getting more and more creative each year as well. My favorite Halloween candy is the Mellowcreme Pumpkins. I get a bag every year.

1      3.  If there was any other job you like to do besides writing, what would it be?

Well, I am a nurse because I love helping others and being in the health care setting. If I had to choose another job, I would probably follow in my son’s footsteps and be an actor. I loved doing plays and shows in school.

         4. Favorite television show?

I have to say anything my son, Timothy, has been in so far. Haha, I am biased, I know. He has been in episodes of A Haunting, Ice Cold Killers, and Nightmare Next Door as well as a 30 second commercial and a music video.

As far as myself, right now my TIVO is recording Castle, Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who, Forever, Scorpion, and Bones. I am also recording past episodes of Leverage as I am a big fan of Christian Kane.
     5.  Favorite movie?

I have a couple: Always, A Perfect World, The Da Vinci Code, and any Star Trek movie.

   6. If could go anywhere in the world or universe, where would that be?

If I could go anywhere, I would just like to travel to many different places. My hubby and I have started trying to take one trip a year so far. We have been to Spain, Italy, and Korea. In November, we are headed to Australia. It is fascinating to immerse yourself in different cultures and sample their wonderful food. So far, Madrid, Spain has been my favorite place for eating. The jamon and manchego are simply heavenly.

            7. If you were stuck for a month in a haunted house alone, what four things would you want and need with you.

1. My TIVO so I don’t miss any of my shows.

2. Camera for taking pictures of any strange happenings.

3. Some great reading material to pass the time, preferably from my favorite authors. In addition, I would take my computer and spend some time on my own stories. I am sure a haunted house would give me many creative ideas.

4. A flashlight with plenty of batteries and a fully charged cell phone.

2014 GWS Press Charity Anthology Book Blurb:

The 2014 GWS Press Charity Anthology contains nine stories of horror ranging from the gory to the unsettling. The collection spans the gamut of terror contributed from a variety of Indie Writers for the sole purpose of giving something back. All proceeds from this collection will be donated to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Not only will you be sampling some awesome horror, but you'll be helping out a good cause.

Susan Schwartz’s Bio:
Susan Schwartz RN, MSN, MSHA has been an avid writer for around 10 years doing everything from writing freelance articles to editing manuscripts for other authors. She is extremely excited to be included in this anthology as she loves to write horror stories that have a twist at the end. Her alter ego is an Operating Room Nurse who loves playing in blood and guts and creating tales from the interesting and weird things she has seen. She is a member of the Virginia Writers Club and has served as President of the Richmond Chapter in the past. She also has two novels in the works, a paranormal romance and a medical thriller. In her spare time, she loves to read, crochet, and travel to such places as Italy, Spain, and Korea. Feedback can be sent to Ncc17lu@aol.com.

Find Susan’s Amazon Page at

Also find her on Facebook at

The anthology can be gotten on KINDLE

Find the book in PRINT

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