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Revive a Dead Thread > Author Chat and eBook Giveaway: June 15-17 with Susan Ee

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message 1: by Steph, Twisted Sister (new)

Steph (Angel4492) | 736 comments Mod
Please join me in welcoming Susan Ee, author of Angelfall!
Susan is a new member to Goodreads and our group.

* Before posting, please refer to our member guidelines and info on the giveaway [here]

Welcome, Susan!

To make it easy to know who's question you are answering, please use the "reply" feature when posting your answer. Please feel free to skip any questions you are not comfortable answering.

Thank you for spending time with us!


message 2: by Steph, Twisted Sister (last edited Jun 14, 2011 05:59PM) (new)

Steph (Angel4492) | 736 comments Mod
Hi, Susan! Welcome to The Dark Side! Thanks again for joining us here.

What lead you to start writing?

ETA: Split up my questions, like a good host. :)


message 3: by Judithe, ~Bump of Chicken~ (new)

Judithe | 242 comments Mod
Hi Susan! Looking forward to reading your new book!

What was your inspiration for Angelfall?


message 4: by Judithe, ~Bump of Chicken~ (new)

Judithe | 242 comments Mod
I like the cover..Did you have any say in it?


message 5: by Judithe, ~Bump of Chicken~ (last edited Jun 14, 2011 04:23PM) (new)

Judithe | 242 comments Mod
This is the first in a planned series. How clearly do you see the arc before you start writing ? (Basically know what will happen in each book, or is it a rougher idea with more surprises in store for you, too?)


message 6: by Steph, Twisted Sister (new)

Steph (Angel4492) | 736 comments Mod
LOL @ myself! I didn't follow my own rules very well there, did I? :) Sorry about the multiple questions per post. Please, do as I say, not as I do. ;)


message 7: by Steph, Twisted Sister (new)

Steph (Angel4492) | 736 comments Mod
Do you have a favorite author or someone who inspired your love of fantasy?


message 8: by Steph, Twisted Sister (new)

Steph (Angel4492) | 736 comments Mod
I'm looking forward to reading Angelfall. Would you classify it as a YA or Adult series?


Josie | 102 comments Did you do any research before and/or as you were writing the book? And if so, did it help or alter certain aspects of the world-building/plot etc?


message 10: by Josie (last edited Jun 14, 2011 07:00PM) (new)

Josie | 102 comments Okay so there were two questions but they were related!!


What made you choose to write about angels rather than any other supernaturals?


Josie | 102 comments What is your favourite supernatural?
And if it's an angel, then what's your next favourite?



message 12: by Sandra, Pink Floyd (new)

Sandra | 156 comments Mod
Hi Susan,

How many books do you think will be in this series?



message 13: by Sandra, Pink Floyd (new)

Sandra | 156 comments Mod
When will the next book be out?


message 14: by Sandra, Pink Floyd (new)

Sandra | 156 comments Mod
Have you written the next one yet? If so what is its name?


Susan Ee | 71 comments Steph wrote: "Welcome, Susan! "

Hi everyone!

Thank you so much for hosting this lovely chat and giveaway! This is such a welcoming and terrific group!

I’m excited to meet all of you. :-)


Susan Ee | 71 comments Steph wrote: "What lead you to start writing?"

Hi Steph!

I’ve always loved stories. I read them, I watched them, I listened to them on audio. I spent hours at the end of each day making up stories as a kid. I looked forward to bedtime so I could continue the adventures from the night before. In hindsight, I think it was a natural transition from imagining them to writing them.


Susan Ee | 71 comments Judithe wrote: "What was your inspiration for Angelfall?"

Hi Judithe! I’m excited you’re planning to read the book! :) I’d love to hear what you think of it.

I get random snippets of scenes and dialogue running through my head sometimes. One day, I imagined a piece of conversation between two Sopranos-type gangsters. Street soldiers jockeying for position. People who are deeply flawed with more power than someone like that should have. Human in every way, except that one had angel wings. And those wings set him above the other in their pecking order.

That was the seed for Angelfall, although the book has evolved beyond recognition from that.


Susan Ee | 71 comments Josie wrote: "What made you choose to write about angels rather than any other supernaturals?"

Hi Josie! Thanks for the great questions. I’m going to answer this one out of order because it dovetails into my previous answer.

I’ve known for a long time I wanted to write a novel about angels. They’re so fascinating. They destroy entire cities, turn people into pillars of salt and yet they’re portrayed as cute little cherubs or beings who bend over backwards to make us happy. Like unicorns and vampires, they must have an amazing public relations department.

So what if the PR fog cleared? What if angels were unleashed on the modern world? Would there be nothing but death and destruction? Or would there still be some room for dark adventure and romance? What would happen if one of these battle-hardened warriors had to partner up with an extraordinary victim of their apocalypse?

I just had to find out!


Susan Ee | 71 comments Judithe wrote: "I like the cover..Did you have any say in it?"

Yes! I really like the cover too! There are two versions. A square one and a long one. Amazon has both on their site if you’d like to see it. There are two thumbnails right under the main cover image. If you click on the second one, you’ll see the other cover here: Angelfall.

One of the great things about not choosing a traditional, corporate publisher is that I can pick my own cover! I admit that I have a weak spot for beautiful covers. :)


message 20: by Judithe, ~Bump of Chicken~ (new)

Judithe | 242 comments Mod
Oh! Lucky you! I have a weak spot for them, too! That was the first thing that caught my eye...and I've been on the look-out for "alternative" angels recently...a very exciting evolution in PN characters (IMO)!


Susan Ee | 71 comments Judithe wrote: "This is the first in a planned series. How clearly do you see the arc before you start writing ? (Basically know what will happen in each book, or is it a rougher idea with more surprises in store..."

Well, I have this crazy method of writing. It’s full of energy and spontaneity and about as full of surprises as it can get. I free write. No outline, no preset direction, no preconceived notions. The characters and world events guide the story. It’s Stephen King’s writing method of choice so I’m certainly not the only one out there on the edge of the cliff. It takes a lot of faith but I’m as surprised and entertained as the reader when the characters decide to do something unexpected.

If it feels like there’s something truly at risk in the story—that the characters are genuinely struggling to make things come out right for them—it’s because that’s really the case. There’s no guarantee of life, liberty and happiness for any of the characters. I have certain hopes for some of them and suspicions of what some of the others are up to, but I get surprisingly little say. It’s their story, unfolding in a way that’s natural in their world. And I hope the readers enjoy it as much as I do!


Susan Ee | 71 comments Judithe wrote: "Oh! Lucky you! I have a weak spot for them, too! That was the first thing that caught my eye...and I've been on the look-out for "alternative" angels recently...a very exciting evolution in PN c..."

Wonderful! I'm glad it caught your eye, Judithe! :)

This cover probably would not have made it through most traditional publishers' marketing department. They have a certain style that they're comfortable with and this cover does not fit that mold.


Susan Ee | 71 comments Steph wrote: "Do you have a favorite author or someone who inspired your love of fantasy?"

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t into fantastical stories! :)

Probably like most of you, I have a lot of favorite authors. My more recent favorites are Suzanne Collins for her The Hunger Games series and Karen Marie Moning for her Darkfever series. I love their pacing and action, their styles of story telling. Stephen King is a long time favorite, particularly his The Dark Tower series with its twisted, dying world. And George R.R. Martin with his amazing characterizations in his Song of Ice and Fire series that starts with A Game of Thrones.


Susan Ee | 71 comments Steph wrote: "I'm looking forward to reading Angelfall. Would you classify it as a YA or Adult series?"

Thanks, Steph! I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of it!

You've asked an excellent question. Frankly, I have no idea. :) I'm leaving that up to the readers to decide.

I originally thought it would be YA since Penryn, the main character, is 17 years old. But she's sort of an older soul, considering all the issues she's having to deal with--intense family responsibility, apocalyptic invaders, street gangs, a partner she doesn't trust but is dangerously attracted to, etc.

My first wave of readers were adults and they seemed to really like it. But I still feel that older YA audiences (16 and older) would also enjoy it. I got an email from a 15 year old who loved it and that totally made my day. :) I think it's too dark for younger teens but that all depends on the teen.


Susan Ee | 71 comments Okay, I just gotta say that this is super fun! This is my first author chat and I'm really enjoying your questions. Thank you! :)


Susan Ee | 71 comments Josie wrote: "Did you do any research before and/or as you were writing the book? And if so, did it help or alter certain aspects of the world-building/plot etc?"

Interesting question, Josie!

I did quite a bit of research on angels before I started writing. There's so much material on the topic. But it's vague and contradictory. Very mysterious and intriguing. It's not like for vampires or werewolves where the lore is fairly contained and consistent. With angels,
there is tremendous room for the imagination because angel information is scattered in vague bits and pieces around the world and throughout history.

I zeroed in on the Book of Enoch, which is part of the ancient documentation found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Very apocalyptic with juicy angel stories. Great stuff!

I didn't systematically structure the story around my research. I just let it simmer in my subconscious. It came out in bits and pieces when there was organic opportunity for it to weave itself into the story. So it certainly helped with the world-building and plot, but not at an overtly conscious level.


message 27: by Susan (last edited Jun 15, 2011 11:16AM) (new)

Susan Ee | 71 comments Josie wrote: "What is your favourite supernatural?
And if it's an angel, then what's your next favourite?"


Okay, this is a tough one! :) I used to be a huge fan of vampires as a teen. But I sort of overdosed on that. I'll still make an exception but it needs to be an exceptionally entertaining vampire series to get my attention.

These days, I'm more on the lookout for a fresh take on supernaturals. Aside from angels, the next most interesting supernatural that catches my attention now is probably a demon or some kind of hellion. Not the "embodiment of evil" kind of demon. More like the I-used-to-be-good-but-now-I-have-to-torture-people-in-hell-and-I'm-really-torn-up-about-it kind of demon.

Okay, I guess that's sort of like vampires without the blood and with some fresh lore. More grungy, probably. :)


Susan Ee | 71 comments Sandra wrote: "Hi Susan,

How many books do you think will be in this series?"


Hi Sandra!

I can tell it'll be at least 3 but I suspect it will be closer to 5 or 6 or maybe even 10. There are several factions in the Angelfall world and a lot of characters with their own agenda. I think it will take time and space to let it all play out.


message 29: by Susan (last edited Jun 15, 2011 11:44AM) (new)

Susan Ee | 71 comments Sandra wrote: "When will the next book be out?"

Not sure exactly but I can say the countdown will be in months, not years. :)

There's a new release notification list that you can sign up for if you like the book. It's on my blog: www.susanee.com

I promise that the people who sign up for this list will receive only new release notifications and nothing else.


message 30: by Susan (last edited Jun 15, 2011 04:02PM) (new)

Susan Ee | 71 comments Sandra wrote: "Have you written the next one yet? If so what is its name?"

The next book is shaping up! Code name: Locustfall

All right, you got me. It doesn't really have a code name. :) I've been calling it Book 2 but that's not very sexy!...But now that I see it in writing, neither is Locustfall...:-)


message 31: by Laura Lulu (last edited Jun 15, 2011 06:50PM) (new)

Laura Lulu (LauraLulu) | 44 comments Mod
This sounds like a really great book, Susan. I haven't read many angels that I was crazy about, but yours sound nice & dark, but not necessarily evil. I'm a big fan of shades of grey. And I'm always a sucker for post-apocalyptical books. :)

I love your writing style; it seems so much more organic than outlines and all that jazz. Writing the way you do lets the story evolve so much more naturally, IMO.

*off to buy the ebook at Amazon*


message 32: by Susan (last edited Jun 15, 2011 07:30PM) (new)

Susan Ee | 71 comments Laura Lulu wrote: "This sounds like a really great book, Susan."

Thanks, Laura! Oh, I hope you enjoy it.

Laura Lulu wrote: "I'm a big fan of shades of grey. And I'm always a sucker for post-apocalyptical books."

Me too! I would love to hear what you think of it. :)


Susan Ee | 71 comments So, I'm curious--what are your favorite supernaturals (or types of humans who deal with supernaturals) and what makes them special to you?


message 34: by Judithe, ~Bump of Chicken~ (new)

Judithe | 242 comments Mod
Hmmm....recently, I've been very intrigued by djinn & demons (particularly djinn) though vamps were my first paranormal love! HEA's are nice, but I've really been enjoying the darker vein of stories that are popping up (or that I'm just finding!)

Where do you do your research? Libraries, on-line, pick people's brains (like specialists in certain fields, etc)


message 35: by Laura Lulu (last edited Jun 16, 2011 09:57AM) (new)

Laura Lulu (LauraLulu) | 44 comments Mod
I don't really think I have a fave supernatural, although if you made me choose one at gunpoint, I'd probably pick shifters. :)

For me, I'm happy to read about any kind, as long as they are well fleshed out characters. That's my make-or-break; I am all about characterization. I need to care about the people I'm reading about, they need to feel real to me, and not like cliched cardboard cutouts. They don't have to be perfect, in fact, I prefer if they're not. Because perfect isn't "real", is it? ;)


Susan Ee | 71 comments Judithe wrote: "Hmmm....recently, I've been very intrigued by djinn & demons (particularly djinn)..."

Interesting! I haven't read any modern djinn stories. Can you recommend some? It's interesting that they're making it dark.


message 37: by Susan (last edited Jun 16, 2011 10:10AM) (new)

Susan Ee | 71 comments Judithe wrote: "Where do you do your research? Libraries, on-line, pick people's brains (like specialists in certain fields, etc)"

I usually start my research on the net but have found that although there is tremendous breadth of information there, it still doesn't match the depth I can get through an actual reference book. I generally buy those books. I own a copy of the translated text of the Book of Enoch and a bunch of other reference books about angels.

A lot of angel fiction uses nephilim as their main character--a half angel, half human superbeing. But in the Book of Enoch, the nephilim are monsters who eat people and drink their blood. Some people think the nephilim were the origin of vampires. And if you read between the lines, there must have been a whole lot of drama going on between Mom, Dad, and their nephilim kid.

These stories echo through the world of Angelfall, although that's not what it's about. It's about a 17 year old modern girl trying to survive and protect her family during a time when a twisted version of these ancient stories start to become meaningful in her world.

I also talked to a friend who owns a sword collection and he helped me figure out that the angel sword in the book is a gladius. I got to play with one to get the feel of it. Although it's never called a gladius in the book, it helped me to know what it was.

I also talked to another friend who has extensive training in martial arts to get an idea of what sort of things you would do and think about during a fight.


Laura Lulu (LauraLulu) | 44 comments Mod
Oh, you're stressing me out just thinking about everything that goes into writing a book. I don't know how you do it. It's not just about creating a story--you have to do all that research, too. Obviously, when you're writing something in the fantasy/paranormal genre, you get to take bunches of liberties, but still, there will always be people who will call you on inaccuracies, hence the research.

And then you have to put your baby out there and know that there will be people who don't like it. You are a braver woman than I. ;)


Susan Ee | 71 comments Laura Lulu wrote: "I don't really think I have a fave supernatural, although if you made me choose one at gunpoint, I'd probably pick shifters. :)..."

Shifters! They are fun. I think being able to shift at will to anything you want could be the greatest superpower ever. It seems like most shifter books stick to one animal, though, like the Mercy Thompson character of Moon Called.

I'd love to see a good character who can turn into anything. The only characters I can recall who can do that are in the movies--my favorite being Maya, of Space 1999, a very old British sci-fi series with a whacked out premise. Maya could change into any living thing that she touched for one hour (or something like that).

Please do let me know if you can recommend good books with shifter characters like that. :)


message 40: by Laura Lulu (last edited Jun 16, 2011 10:41AM) (new)

Laura Lulu (LauraLulu) | 44 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "A lot of angel fiction uses nephilim as their main character--a half angel, half human superbeing. But in the Book of Enoch, the nephilim are monsters who eat people and drink their blood. Some people think the nephilim were the origin of vampires. And if you read between the lines, there must have been a whole lot of drama going on between Mom, Dad, and their nephilim kid."

Richelle Mead has a nephilim in her Georgina Kincaid series. And she goes that route with him. Kind of. In her series, nephilim are the children of angels and humans, and when the angels find out they sired a nephilim on a human, they kill the child because the nephilim are supposed to be pretty crazy. Plus, the angel then becomes a demon for sleeping with a human. Dummy. :)


Laura Lulu (LauraLulu) | 44 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "Please do let me know if you can recommend good books with shifter characters like that. :) "

I'll have to think about that, because you're right--most shifters can shift into just one animal.

I know Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock is a Native American skinwalker and can change into different animals, although she has her one "go to" animal that she prefers, a mountain lion. But in order to change into an animal, she needs a bit of that type of animals DNA--bones, fur, teeth, etc.

And Kevin Hearne's Atticus O'Sullivan is a 2000 year old druid who can change into a few different animals, but not anything he wants to--I guess each druid has a handful of animals in their repertoire. One of Atticus' animals is an Irish Wolfhound, and I think he has a flier in his bag of tricks, but I can't remember. :)

But I can't think of anyone off the top of my head who can change into whatever they want.


Susan Ee | 71 comments Laura Lulu wrote: "Richelle Mead has a nephilim in her Georgina Kincaid series. And she goes that route with him...."

Nice. I'll have to check that out. That sounds pretty true to my research. Thanks for the recommendation. I'd like to see how she handles that.


Susan Ee | 71 comments Laura Lulu wrote: "Susan wrote: "Please do let me know if you can recommend good books with shifter characters like that. :) "

I'll have to think about that, because you're right--most shifters can shift into just o..."


Thanks! I'll check those out.


Laura Lulu (LauraLulu) | 44 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "Laura Lulu wrote: "Richelle Mead has a nephilim in her Georgina Kincaid series."

Nice. I'll have to check that out. That sounds pretty true to my research. Thanks for the recommendation. I'd like to see how she handles that. "


He's just a side character, and there's only one book left to be released in that series, but I'm waiting to see how she ends it before I read it. I will let my Goodreads friends be my guinea pigs. Because if she is taking it where (and with whom) I think she is, I am boycotting. ;) But I will say the nephilim is one of my fave characters in the series. :)

I just went and scanned my shifter shelf and found another. Karen Kincy's Other has a main character who is half pooka, which means she can shift into any animal.

And I found another that I haven't read, Mistwood by Leah Cypress. In the synopsis it says:

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist.

Animal, wind & mist? Pretty snazzy. ;)


Susan Ee | 71 comments Laura Lulu wrote: "For me, I'm happy to read about any kind, as long as they are well well fleshed out characters..."

Totally agree. I said I had overdosed on vampires but I loved the Night Huntress series that starts with Halfway to the Grave. I really enjoyed the characters and their interaction. The supernatural part could have been anything and I probably would have enjoyed it anyway.


Susan Ee | 71 comments Laura Lulu wrote: "Karen Kincy's Other has a main character who is half pooka, which means she can shift into any animal...."

LOL! She has one of the coolest superpowers in the world and the most respectful name they can give her is "pooka!" Love it!


Susan Ee | 71 comments Laura Lulu wrote: "But I will say the nephilim is one of my fave characters in the series. :)..."

Yeah, I always seem to be drawn to the angels, fallen, and the in-betweens. One of my favorite characters is Constantine of Hellblazer. It's a graphic novel (they made a movie, too) and I think the first one is Hellblazer: Original Sins. The first short story in it is awesome! Very dark and rich. The rest of the short stories in this graphic novel didn't impress me. But I LOVE this character. He's a guy who makes some seriously tough choices. I would classify him as an in-between, although, I think he's just human.


Susan Ee | 71 comments Laura Lulu wrote: "Oh, you're stressing me out just thinking about everything that goes into writing a book. I don't know how you do it. It's not just about creating a story--you have to do all that research, too. Ob..."

Some writers don't do any research. If I wrote a vampire story, I wouldn't need to do research. I'm practically an expert in that lore! :) Same with werewolves. And I bet you are too.

But with angels, I needed to dive into the research. I think the trick is to write about something that fascinates you so that the research is more fun than work. I was mesmerized.


Susan Ee | 71 comments Laura Lulu wrote: "And then you have to put your baby out there and know that there will be people who don't like it. You are a braver woman than I. ;) "

I firmly believe that there are amazingly talented writers out there whose stories will never be enjoyed by the world because their talent didn't come with a lead shield.

It's very important for a writer to find a supportive group to help her learn to write. At some point, that writer will feel like she has polished her raw talent enough to put herself out there.

And it can feel like an invitation to be crucified, which is terrifying. But when you get an email from a reader, telling you that she stayed up all night to read your book and thought it was "astounding"--that becomes your inspiration and your shield.

For this and many other reasons, readers who love my book are absolutely cherished. :) They protect me from the world; they inspire me to write the next story; they make me feel like I have superpowers, like the characters in my favorite stories. I am forever grateful to supporters of my book.


message 50: by Josie (last edited Jun 16, 2011 03:16PM) (new)

Josie | 102 comments Susan wrote: "Interesting! I haven't read any modern djinn stories. Can you recommend some? It's interesting..."

The only one that I can think of off the top of my head is Rachel Caine's 'Weather Warden' series, starting with Ill Wind. I find the world-building incredibly fascinating and unique.

Laura Lulu wrote: "He's just a side character, and there's only one book left to be released in that series, but I'm waiting to see how she ends it before I read it. I will let my Goodreads friends be my guinea pigs. Because if she is taking it where (and with whom) I think she is, I am boycotting. ;) But I will say the nephilim is one of my fave characters in the series. :)"

100% agree. Such a fustrating series. (view spoiler)

What is your all-time favourite book (or book series)?

Do you get time to read a lot yourself?


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Books mentioned in this topic

Angelfall (other topics)
Darkfever (other topics)
A Game of Thrones (other topics)
The Dark Tower (other topics)
The Hunger Games (other topics)
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Susan Ee (other topics)