Friday, October 3, 2014

Dauntless Indies Q & A with Suzanne M. Sabol

Meet Suzanne M. Sabol

Suzanne M. Sabol was born in Eastern Ohio. She attended the Ohio State University, majoring in Criminology, International Studies, Russian and Political Science. She is married and enjoys reading and travelling with her husband. She is a part time writer and maintains a full time profession in Human Resources. She and her husband currently live in Columbus Ohio.

Dauntless Indies Sit Down with Suzanne

DI - What inspired you to write your first novel?

SS~ I was 17 and really into the James Bond books by Ian Fleming. I ate those up and then moved on to the John Gardner books. I couldn’t get it out of my head that although they were great and I loved every one of them, it was a very male centered world. So why not a woman? Why couldn’t someone like me be James Bond? So I decided that I could make that happen. It was not good but I discovered that I enjoyed creating characters, developing a story and seeing it through to the end.

DI - What books/authors have inspired your life most?

SS~ I loved the dark noir detective stories of the 1930’s through the 1950’s such as Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Their quick pace and taboo subject matters in such a dark setting made my imagination fire to life. I also love stories of valor and honor at all costs like Dumas’ The Three Musketeers and Baroness Orczy’s the Scarlet Pimpernel. I’ve tried to wrap all the best qualities that I love into my characters in one form or fashion.

DI - What book(s) are you reading now?
SS~ I currently enthralled with Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles. I don’t usually read YA but these were so out of the ordinary and the premise so twisted that I couldn’t put the first one down.

DI - What are your current writing projects?

SS~ I have several in the works. I’m currently in the writing stage for a new series set in a demon world parallel to Earth where my heroine is a human slave assassin in a world run by demons. I also have two in the plotting stage. I’m plotting out the Blushing Death Series #7 book and a noir of my own set in post WWII.

DI - What would we find you doing when you're not at the keyboard?

SS~ More than likely, I’d have my nose stuck in a book. I love to read and the different worlds that I find in them.

DI - Top ten books

1.    Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (I’ve read this too many times to count)
2.    The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammett
3.    The Scarlet Pimpernel – Baroness Orczy
4.    The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
5.    Guilty Pleasures – Laurell K Hamilton
6.    The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler
7.    Casino Royale – Ian Fleming
8.    Daughter of the Forest – Juliet Marillier
9.    Lady of the Camillas – Alexandre Dumas (I will watch, read, listen to this in any form)
10.  1984 – George Orwell

DI - What does writing preparation look like for you? Do you do full outlines and character profiles, or do you just start with a general idea and write?

SS~ I used to get an idea and just start writing. I discovered that this resulted in a lot of rewrites, anguished deletions, and wasted time. Over the years, I’ve become much more of a plotter, setting my story arcs up and making sure the story moves efficiently and logically. My walls are not covered in post-it notes, maps, and pictures to make sure I stay on track. This has taken a little of the spontaneity out of writing but I finish with a much better product and that makes me much happier.

DI - Editing is a challenge for many writers. Give us some of your tips for editing efficiently and well.

SS~ Editing is hard. Really hard. There are scenes that I just love and lines that make the book for me but when push comes to shove, if they don’t work then they don’t and they have to go.

I hand over my first draft to my husband. A lot of writers would say to me, “your husband reads your work?” Yes he does and he is harder on me than any critique group. He’ll tell me where I’ve screwed up, where it doesn’t make sense, and what absolutely needs to go. Once I go through his suggestions and notes, I start the rewrite process. This involves flushing out scenes that are too Spartan, adding scenes for emphasis, and just rewriting so that the pace is what I want it to be. This all happens before I submit the manuscript to my editor. Then she goes through it again and send it back to me and I go through it again. I often read it out loud on that third pass, just to make sure it reads correctly and flows. By the time I’m done, hopefully, I have a pretty good product.

DI - What genre do you write in? What are some of the challenges to writing this particular genre well?

SS~ I write in the Urban Fantasy genre which is a smaller subgenre of Paranormal and a much smaller market. This can be a darker place to come from when writing alienates some readers with the graphic nature of the violence and sexual content. A lot of people don’t feel comfortable reading or writing in this genre and I completely understand. I happen to love it and almost thrive in the darker elements but convincing others that they should try it, can be difficult.

DI - What advice would you give to a writer who is starting out?

SS~ Don’t give up. Writing isn’t easy and you’ll face a lot of rejection before you find someone who is even interested in your manuscript. If you finish a novel from start to finish, that’s an accomplishment. I know a lot of writers who don’t even do that. You also have to grow a very thick skin. There will be a lot of rejection. It’s the rare case where the very first person who reads your manuscript will love it. I got 42 rejection letters for Pool of Crimson before someone liked it enough to talk to me about it. I know many writers who have been writing and facing rejection for years before they made a sale. You learn to know which rejections actually read it and which ones are just moving through the slush pile. And you just have to keep at it.

Suzanne's Works:

Killing vampires is easy. Trusting one will be the hardest thing Dahlia Sabin has ever done. Dahlia has lived a lonely existence as a killer of the undead. Known as The Blushing Death to those that fear her, Dahlia uncovers a plot by Columbus's Master Vampire, Ethan. He intends to raise a demon from the depths of hell to destroy the city, cement his power, and take control. In her pursuit to stop a demon from manifesting, Dahlia sinks deeper into the city's supernatural underworld and discovers that vampires are not only deadly; one in particular could be dangerous to her very soul and her heart. Patrick, the Master vampire's second-in-command with dark penetrating eyes and a cool, deadly sophistication, can't stay away and Dahlia can't tell him no. There's something that neither of them knows, Ethan wants Dahlia's unleashed power for himself and is willing to do anything to get it. Dahlia is in a race against time to send the demon back to hell, at war with her better judgment, trusting a dark and intriguing vampire with his own agenda, while struggling to save her own neck. As the portal to hell opens, Dahlia has only herself to rely on in order to survive, if she can ... Also be sure to check out more action in the second book of the series with Dahlia Sabin, MIDNIGHT ASH

It's all fun and games until a dismembered hand gets nailed to your front door. When a woman is mutilated and murdered steps from her home, Dahlia Sabin is thrust into the middle of a territorial vampire war with a target on her back and an assassin on her trail. When a 500-year-old vampire ninja assassin is unleashed on the city to claim Dahlia's head, she has to convince the men in her life to work together before Midnight Ash and her group of assassins can claim their prize. But being in love with the most powerful and charismatic vampire in the state incites animosity and jealousy as Dahlia sinks deeper into the werewolf Pack, becoming entangled with its Beta. In her race to uncover the plot behind Midnight Ash, Dahlia is confronted with old arguments, forgotten traumas, and a new complication in the cogent and all tempting Pack Alpha. As she's driven further into the supernatural world, Dahlia is torn between the vampire she loves and the primal pull of the Pack. If Dahlia can't stop Midnight Ash before blood is spilled, she may never find out who has a contract out on her head, what they hope to gain, or if she's strong enough to survive losing everything. Also be sure to check out more action in the first book of the series with Dahlia Sabin, POOL OF CRIMSON.


Dahlia Sabin is Fertiri, carrying both the ancient magic of the grave and the primal power of the Pack. She’s marked for death by her enemies, protected by the vampire liege in love with her and the Pack Alpha infatuated by her. Strays have moved into the city, terrorizing the innocent and leaving mutilated bodies in their wake as a message that no one is safe.

Hot on the Strays’ trail, Dahlia must stop them before they can destroy the Pack and rule it as their own. As her life crashes and burns around her, Dahlia has to put all her inner turmoil aside and become the Blushing Death to protect the people she loves. If she can’t expose their plans, she could lose everything, and her most fearsome enemy is still hiding in the shadows . . .


Thousands of miles from home and the people she loves, Dahlia Sabin has found a safe haven in Las Vegas. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t escape who and what she is, the Blushing Death. Word of her arrival gets around fast and Dahlia is thrust back into the world of shadows and death with the scent of vampire lingering in the air. 

While searching for her missing friend, Dahlia uncovers a conspiracy to destroy werewolves across the country. To protect the local Pack and the Pack back home, Dahlia must stop a renegade cop from killing the innocent and a vampire liege hell bent on possessing her. Dahlia confronts old wounds and internal demons that have shaped her from the beginning while defending her friends and her life. But home is on the horizon, if only she can survive the night . . .


The Blushing Death has made a name for herself across the country but her biggest battle is at home. Reigniting old flames and venturing into new liaisons, Dahlia Sabin is in a battle for her heart. As she earns back the trust of the men she loves, the fae are plotting behind her back. 

After her lover is kidnapped and hidden in Faerie, Dahlia will venture into an unfamiliar land, battle creatures of myth, and face a foe that will affect the very fabric of power and magic forever. But before they can make the journey home, all will sacrifice something they hold dear.


From the moment of her birth, Hannah Worth bears the burden of a power that she does not understand and cannot control. Sheltered from the world, she grows up happily oblivious to the pain she causes others. Hannah doesn't know that she is despised and hated. At the height of her life, with everything she has ever wanted within her grasp, fate and the almighty impart a harsh lesson that will forever change her. Betrayed and cursed, Hannah will have to lose everything if she is to redeem herself, join the world and meet her destiny. The lines between good and evil are anything but clear in this epic dark fantasy that stretches from the witch trials of Salem to the onset of the French Revolution.


Dahlia Sabin has been killing vampires most of her life, that is until, she meets one in particular that needs her help. 

See Pool of Crimson through Patrick's eyes. Four short stories that give you a glimpse into his perspective. See the Blushing Death as Patrick sees her.

Connect With Suzanne

@suzannemsabol - twitter 

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