It’s a great Monday, isn’t it?
Of course it is! Why? Because it’s another Monday Morning Author Interview! Today we have Elizabeth Suggs dropping in. Elizabeth is co-owner of the indie publisher Collective Tales Publishing, owner of Editing Mee, and is the author of several stories, two of which were in a podcast and poetry journal. She is the president of two writing groups, one being part of the League of Utah Writers. She’s a book reviewer and popular bookstagramer. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s playing video/board games or making cookies.
And now for the questions! And answers. Can’t forget answers.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I first picked up a pencil in Kindergarten. I was writing a sentence about a little monster. I’ve been in love with writing ever since.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have a writing routine each morning: I have to have my green tea and my music; otherwise, I can’t get in the flow, and if I don’t write, then I feel “off” for the rest of the day.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
If I’m not writing AND not reading, I’m playing video games, doing yoga, or walking to unknown destinations.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Yes, I did. I actually don’t really like my last name, but one day I decided that I should embrace who I am, so now I go by full name.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I’m friends with many writers, both published and unpublished! One of the published authors I know, my friend Jonathan Reddoch, helps me with editing and marketing. He and I co-own Collective Tales Publishing. He’s a wonderful person!
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
It depends. For my novels, I want them all in the same universe, but my short stories stand-alone.
What do you think makes a good story?
A strong voice and a good story. While I think there are many other aspects to stories, without these two, the book falls apart.
Do you like to create books for adults?
Yes! I prefer to write for adults because then I can focus on specific topics that can’t be discussed in YA or younger, like certain philosphical discussions and intense or vivid content.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Eyes of Sleeping Children by D. A. Butcher. This is an indie-published book that I was fortunate enough to review. It is amazing. I highly suggest it!
What’s the best way to market your books?
Talk with people and go out in the virtual and in-person community. No one will know about your book unless you TELL people about your book!
How can your fans connect with you?
I love hearing from my readers and fans! I’m active on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You’ll put in buttons?
And now a special treat!
Here is a sample of my story “Into the Dark” in Collective Darkness.
It started because of her, my wife. It’s funny; when I think back on it, she never did anything different. Whenever I came home, she left the room. If I said hello, her eyes flashed anywhere else. Yet, that day, my mind full of gin and aching, I saw a laugh dance upon her lips. In that moment, she was laughing at me, and I hated her with every fiber of my being, but it was all false—my imagination. If I’d been sober, I wouldn’t have seen her joy because it never would have been there. She never smiled.
She had stopped smiling years before…
one for our entire marriage.
She was a block of stone.
So, it was too easy to give in to my desires—
When I picked up the knife, she didn’t say a word, nor did she look at me. It was just like her to pretend I didn’t exist, but that night was different. Neither I nor the horrible pounding in my head would let her forget who I was.
I wanted her to know I was there. I needed her to know I was there. I bashed her head in with the handle of the knife to remind her I was there.
I just wanted her to make some sound.
One in her temple.
Another in her eye and nose.
Blood spilled everywhere. She grunted but never screamed. Never pleaded for me to stop. Just watched me. Took the pain, as if she knew all along where the silence would eventually lead us.
The ugliness of her death wore on me, and rather than feel remorse, I hid her. I needed those all-knowing eyes, gray with death, and lips once so pink turned blue, hidden from my view, though to hide her was almost unnecessary. No one asked me about my wife. No one noticed. Before her death, she never left the house.
She didn’t have a job. Her parents were dead. She didn’t speak to her siblings. It was too perfect.
No one would have ever found out.
If I hadn’t made the call.
Listened to the person on the other end ask about my emergency.
Don’t even remember speaking.
Telling them anything.
Though I must have. Within minutes, there sat a car in my driveway. Blue and red lights flashed up through the front room’s window and into the living room.
I ran out the back door. The fear of punishment became the devil’s fist clutching my heart, pulsating with each new beat. I sped my legs
faster down the street,
Maybe I was spotted. Maybe police asked my neighbors, and found answers, though I doubted it. The night was dark, not even the moon came out to spy at the ruckus.
I ran until my lungs were about to burst. I bent over my knees to catch my breath. When I looked up, I saw a doorway bathed in blackness, a stark contrast to the brightly lit street and nearby homes. Without hesitation, I slipped inside and slammed the door shut, ensconced by protective darkness.
I pressed my back against the door and drew in a breath. I allowed relief to sweep over me until something touched my arm. That something was sharp and dragged along my skin as if it were a nail. The nail ran up my body and paired with an animal’s breath, hot and wet. Both breath and nail ran up to my throat and stopped as light spilled over me.
Blinking away the night blindness, I saw a feeble old man hunched over a doorway leading into a house. I stood in a garage that had been transformed into a room. A thin cot lay invitingly beside a few shelves, some empty, while others held knickknacks.
Growls came from the corner. Somehow I knew whatever thing touched me now stared from those shadows.
“Don’t worry,” said the old man. “He won’t come out in the light.”