Sue is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, and is an award-winning, bestselling, multi- published author in numerous anthologies and her forensics articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly. Every third Tuesday of the month, Sue co-hosts the radio show “Partners in Crime” on Writestream Radio Network with Homicide Detective (Ret.) and Cold Case Expert Kimberly McGath.
She is the 2017 Award-winner of Feedspot’s Top 50 Crime Blogs (Murder Blog sits at #6), and is also the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter.
You can join her Crime Lover’s Lounge and be the first to know about free giveaways, contests, and have inside access to deleted scenes. As an added bonus, members get to play in the lounge. Your secret key code will unlock the virtual door. Inside, like-minded folks discuss their favorite crime novels, solve mindbender and mystery puzzles, and/or relax and chat. Most importantly, everyone has a lot of fun.
Sue: Why would I want to change places with another author? I like who I am and what I write. Would I want to be a household name? Absolutely! I’ll get there someday. Till then, I’m enjoying the journey.
What genre do you write in, why and if you had to write in another (by royal decree, let’s say) what would you choose?
Sue: I love this question, because numerous reviewers have tried to narrow my books to fit neatly in one genre, and it’s hilarious to see them try. Even though I classify my books as psychological thrillers & mysteries, I write what I like to read, which mixes noir, police procedurals, the best taste of horror, gritty crime, romantic suspense (to some extent), and psychological mystery, suspense, thriller. The only genre I would write in is children’s books, because that’s where I started. Years ago — like 30 years ago (cringe) — I wrote my first children’s book as a way to send a message to a friend, and that’s when the writing bug hit me. I know it’s a far cry from what I write now, but every so often I get an awesome idea for a children’s book. For example, I feed crows, chipmunks, squirrels, and foxes in my yard, and I’ve grown to love each and every one of them (they all have names, too!). To write about their adventures, or what I imagine are their adventures, would be so fun. It’s just a matter of finding the time to do it in between other projects.
What inspired your first book?
Sue: My very first novel, which is now trunked by the way, was inspired by our move to a small, country town in the mountains and a creepy neighbor. LOL
Are your stories based on actual events or not?
Sue: No. Some readers believe my books are based on my personal experiences, and I’m not saying I never include real-life elements in sub-plots, but the main storylines are always fictional. That’s not to say they couldn’t happen. They just haven’t happened to me.
Not long ago, a reader approached me while reading CLEAVED. He was so upset by what was transpiring between Sage and Niko Quintano, he stopped reading to contact me on FB. Turns out, he thought I based the characters on me and my husband. It took a while to convince him otherwise. I’m still not sure if he totally believes me.
Does the genre you write in worry your family in any way. Side long glances at you while you polish the knives, for example?
Sue: Hahahahaha! My husband Bob 'gets me'. So, my dark humor and fascination with serial killers and murder doesn’t faze him. Some of my friends and neighbors look at me differently once they read my books, though! I find it especially funny when the guys tiptoe around me as if they think I’ll slice their throat if they piss me off. Especially considering they tower over me; I’m barely 5’2”.
Does your TV viewing and movie choices match your writing genre? Is that a conscious choice or are fluffy chick-flicks not your thing? Which is a very convoluted way of saying what kinds of movies do you like?
Sue: Yep. I watch the same things I like to read, which also includes true crime stories. My favorite movies are about serial killers, murder, mystery and/or investigations, but as long as it’s done well I’m willing to try just about any type of flick. I’m not really into chick-flicks or cozy mysteries, though. Many of them stretch my disbelief too much. I need realism, or Bob and I will spend the entire time trashing the movie for unbelievable elements. We’re harsh critics!
What movie that’s in the genre in which you write is your favourite?
Sue: If we’re talkin’ classics: Silence of the Lambs
For newer flicks, Solace with Anthony Hopkins. Yes, I’m a fan of his work, but that’s not why I chose the movie. Solace is an intense psychological/paranormal thriller about a serial killer, and it’s done really, really well.
Do you discuss WIPs (work-in-progress) plots with your family? Are they any help in the process?
Sue: To some extent I do, but without spoilers. Bob prefers to hold an actual book, so he waits for when they release in paperback. I’m vague about a lot of the storyline so I don’t ruin the experience for him.
Do you have a writing assistant – dog/cat/budgie/purple-headed lizard?
Sue: Assistant? Distraction is more like it. LOL Sadly, I lost my two dogs, and we’re not ready for another yet. So now, I mother six crows, three squirrels, three chipmunks, and two foxes. They just happen to live free. I say distraction because when they’re around they draw my focus away from my WIP with their adorable antics. If I’m trying to make a deadline, I have to write in the other room. Often times, Poe (Mommy of the crow family) squawks until I come into the sunroom to say hi.
What are thoughts on the necessity of exercise for writers? Any tips?
Sue: It’s very important. Exercise allows your mind to clear, and often times you’ll figure out that plot element you’ve been agonizing over by just stepping away from the computer for a few minutes. I love nature in all its majestic wonder, so a mid-day walk is something I enjoy. My research trips are another favorite pastime. Bob loves them too, because he never knows where I’ll take him next … desolated swamps, marshes, under bridges, middle of the woods, out-of-the-way waterfalls — body dump locations and murder sites are the most fun. :D
What great responses! Thanks Sue. I thoroughly enjoyed having you as a guest.
What's CLEAVED about? Take a read...
Author Sage Quintano writes about crime. Her husband Niko investigates it. Together they make an unstoppable team. But no one counted on a twisted serial killer, who stalks their sleepy community, uproots their happy home, and splits the threads that bond their family unit.
Darkness swallows the Quintanos whole—ensnared by a ruthless killer out for blood. Why he focused on Sage remains a mystery, but he won’t stop till she dies like the others.
Women impaled by deer antlers, bodies encased in oil drums, nursery rhymes, and the Suicide King. What connects these cryptic clues? For Sage and Niko, the truth may be more terrifying than they ever imagined.
CLEAVED can easily be read as a stand alone novel, and it’s on sale for a limited time on Amazon: http://smarturl.it/Cleaved
Amazon author page: https://amazon.com/author/suecoletta
Tirgearr Publishing: http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Coletta_Sue/index.htm