Susann Cokal

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Susann Cokal

Goodreads Author


Born
California
Website

Twitter

Genre

Influences
fairy stories, insomnia, and a psychic great-aunt

Member Since
May 2013


Susann Cokal is the author of two books for young adults and two for regular adults. Mermaid Moon just came out and is recommended for ages 14 and up. Her previous novel, The Kingdom of Little Wounds, won several national awards, including a Michael L. Printz Honor from the American Library Association.

Susann comes from a Danish family whose traditions have worked their way into her novels. Mermaid Moon takes place in the far northern reaches of civilization, in a Middle Ages in which traces of Viking magic remain. The Kingdom of Little Wounds is set in a watery, witchy, mermaidy kingdom in Scandinavia, 1572. The tale of plotting between three outcasts--a seamstress, a slave, and a mad queen--involves mysterious illness, a conniving count,
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Susann Cokal I recently finished a novel set in Virginia around World War I and the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1917 to 1920. There are twins. There are ghosts (one…moreI recently finished a novel set in Virginia around World War I and the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1917 to 1920. There are twins. There are ghosts (one ghost in particular). There are waves of the illness ... I wonder if anybody will want to read it now, as coronavirus circles us all?

And I’m working on a couple of new novels. One is set in the Dark Ages, in a town in France where I lived for a year. It's inspired by a real episode in which a dragon plagued the townspeople and nuns fought back.

The other project hops twelve hundred years to the Cold War and is set in the town where I went to high school, which happened to be the place the Atomic Bomb was invented. Combine the fear and blustering of Cold War Los Alamos with the fear and blustering of high school in general … It’s the way some parts of our world feel to me today. Bombs. There are bombs. And spies.(less)
Susann Cokal I'm not one of those people who don't believe in writer's block. It's real.

But you can jar it loose and get the words flowing again. Sometimes there's…more
I'm not one of those people who don't believe in writer's block. It's real.

But you can jar it loose and get the words flowing again. Sometimes there's a pileup of ideas, and you have to get rid of a bunch of them in order to reach the ones that you want. And it's possible that the pileup (or log jam) includes some thoughts that are bad for you--fear, uncertainty, self-recrimination.

At such a time, I find it helps to write out (longhand or on my laptop) all the thoughts running through my mind, the good and the bad. Maybe especially the bad thoughts that hurt. And sometimes, once I've let all that out, the words that I want do show up.

And then there are times when I really need to step away. Take a walk to some water and sit and watch it move. Look at some art that I love, whether in a book or a museum (in person is best, but we can't all dash off to Venice when we want to). Or read a book or watch a movie that is not at all in the style of what I write. If I occupy a bit of my mind with that, the rest of it--the dark, chaotic, primal part--might push my own story forward.

I wrote about that method in a blog post called "Four Reasons to Spend Time with 'Bad' Books," on Jane Friedman's blog for writers, readers, and editors. Here's the link: https://www.janefriedman.com/4-reason....

And if it's just not happening for you this week, forgive yourself!

May you never experience a logjam or slump.(less)
Average rating: 3.3 · 2,864 ratings · 724 reviews · 7 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Kingdom of Little Wounds

3.26 avg rating — 2,327 ratings — published 2013 — 12 editions
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Mirabilis

3.41 avg rating — 332 ratings — published 2001 — 4 editions
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Breath and Bones

3.63 avg rating — 112 ratings — published 2005
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Mermaid Moon

3.55 avg rating — 76 ratings — published 2020 — 7 editions
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Fourteen Shakes the Baby (E...

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4.33 avg rating — 6 ratings
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Gargoyle 57

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4.18 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 2011
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More books by Susann Cokal…

Skipping Inside--on life, love, and the last great viral pandemic.

Pandemic 1918, from a novel-in-manuscript called Influence


The current pandemic has naturally made me think of a novel manuscript I completed recently, Influence, in which twin sisters Flora and Mavis Talley live (andspoiler alertfall ill) during the greatest pandemic in modern history to date. When I wrote about the first outbreak, it was fictionalized historical reportage, but now it seems alm... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on March 11, 2020 09:33 Tags: coronavirus, epidemic, historical-fiction, influenza, love, quarantine

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Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon
Mermaid
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Susann Cokal and 1 other person liked Leslie Young's review of Mermaid Moon:
Mermaid Moon by Susann Cokal
"Thank you, NetGalley and publisher for the e-ARC!!

FANTASTIC! A wonderful twist on a classic sea creature... Kept me guessing and rooting for Sanna! Absolutely adored this, and I really must get my hands on the gorgeous physical copy."
Mermaid Moon by Susann Cokal
"I loved this story!! The writing in this book was well done and the story unfolded so beautifully. This book is beautiful both outside and inside! I have to say that this is the most beautiful book that I have ever seen!! This was a nice blend of..." Read more of this review »
Mermaid Moon by Susann Cokal
"A labyrinthine and fascinating tale, Mermaid Moon emerges from the tides in a reworking of the Little Mermaid (Hans Christian Andersen); but it is so much more. It strides on land proudly if tentatively at times; rich in political and social tradi..." Read more of this review »
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Mermaid Moon by Susann Cokal
Mermaid Moon
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Susann Cokal answered Goodreads's question: Susann Cokal
I think I'm lucky, because my characters talk to me all night and day. They won't shut up, not even the ones from novels and stories I wrote twenty years ago.

But I don't always know what to do with what they tell me, and there are big gaps in wha... See Full Answer
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Margaret Fuller by Megan Marshall
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Talking to the Dead by Barbara Weisberg
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The Mermaid Garden by Santa Montefiore
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More of Susann's books…
“In the darkness, fear my light.”
Susann Cokal, The Kingdom of Little Wounds

“Fate refuses to stop at the pretty part of the tale; Fate insists on more tests of courage and wit, a terrible end, even if the heroine's heart be pure and her crime accidental.”
Susann Cokal, The Kingdom of Little Wounds

“She give me honey to make my voice sweet, but there never were a sweetness in me. I prefer a taste of rot.”
Susann Cokal, The Kingdom of Little Wounds

Topics Mentioning This Author

“In the darkness, fear my light.”
Susann Cokal, The Kingdom of Little Wounds

“Fate refuses to stop at the pretty part of the tale; Fate insists on more tests of courage and wit, a terrible end, even if the heroine's heart be pure and her crime accidental.”
Susann Cokal, The Kingdom of Little Wounds

“Après moi, le dénouement.”
Gregory Wealtherford

“Crying makes me know I'm still real and still alive.”
Gigi Amateau, Claiming Georgia Tate

“Am I in love? --yes, since I am waiting. The other one never waits. Sometimes I want to play the part of the one who doesn't wait; I try to busy myself elsewhere, to arrive late; but I always lose at this game. Whatever I do, I find myself there, with nothing to do, punctual, even ahead of time. The lover's fatal identity is precisely this: I am the one who waits.”
Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse: Fragments




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