I read and reviewed author S.S. Bazinet’s novel, Michael’s Blood in the summer of of 2018. I loved the story and her writing. That is why she is one of my favorite authors and has earned a position on my Author Spotlight page! Please see her interview and upcoming work below.
1. What inspired you to write a book?
For me the urge to write seems as natural as a duck’s need to take to the water. However, when I started writing my first real story, I didn’t think of it as a book to be published. It was an avenue to express feelings in a way that helped me to deal with a particularly difficult period in my life.
When I got to the point of thinking about publishing a book, my writing bubble was quickly burst. An author who was teaching a writing group red-lined about ninety percent of a little sci-fi story I wrote. I was extremely discouraged and became so critical of my writing that I had writer’s block for many, many years. Finally, I let go. I surrendered and decided to just have fun. It worked. I couldn’t write fast enough. Eventually, after years of perfecting my writing skills, I decided to publish my stories.
2. What does your typical writing day look like?
My writing day has changed a lot since I became involved with social media. For years, I’d write for most of the day. Now, I definitely try to write for several hours off and on. I also write at night. I usually call it quits around one or two in the morning.
3. Do you have a favorite book you have written?
I love all my books. However, my YA thriller, MY BROTHER’S KEEPER, is a definite favorite. One of its main characters, sixteen-year-old Theodore and his background, grabbed hold of my heart almost immediately. He was separated from family as a toddler, tortured and abused, and finally adopted by an obsessive woman who was incapable of love. Yet, Theodore’s spirit is so strong that he doesn’t let circumstances or his past destroy him. He perseveres. With encouragement from someone he trusts, he learns how to take a chance on who he is. Even though he doesn’t look like a hero, he proves that he has what it takes to keep going when all seems lost.
For me, Theodore represents what’s best in people. I feel there’s an innocence and love that wants to be expressed in each of us, but it’s often overshadowed by fear. Still, in extreme circumstances, people can be like Theodore. They become heroes because they can’t help it. Their spirit overrides their fear, and they do things they never imagined they could do.
4. What advice would you give to a new writer just starting out?
I believe there are two aspects involved when we talk about writing. First, there is the idea of writing for yourself, giving yourself a means to express what’s inside. That part is yours and is sacred. Don’t let someone “red-line” you into thinking you can’t write.
Secondly, there is the business of publishing a book. That’s a wholly different “story.” Publishing a book is a little like sending your child out into the world. You want your child to be at their best. When it comes to a book, you have to be just as judicious.
First of all, learn the craft and how to write in a way that makes a book not just passable, but great. Workshops, classes and presentations can be very enlightening. You can also learn from a mentor or read articles online. My daughter and I have had weekly, writer’s meetings for years. A part of every meeting is called Nuts and Bolts. We devote that time to researching every kind of topic that pertains to writing. It’s been fun and educational.
Secondly, rewrite your manuscript as many times as necessary. Edit and polish your story until it becomes the treasure you want it to be when someone is reading it. Professional edits are also advised. And please, if at all possible, hire a professional for your book cover.
5. Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?
Twitter and Facebook are my primary social media outlets. I’ve recently started doing more with Facebook, but Twitter has been the easiest way for me to interact. It’s helped me to “meet” so many other writers. It also gives readers a way to connect with me, and I love those connections.
6. How do you handle literary criticism?
As I mentioned earlier, I crumbled when I was starting out as a writer. But maybe that was a good thing. It made me retreat and learn about who I am and who I want to be as a person. When I started writing again, I did it just for me. It was a joyous, transformative experience. When I finally published a book, I didn’t have the fear I’d once had. Again, a good thing. Now, when someone hands out a negative review, I respect their feelings. If there is something valid in their criticism, I try to learn and grow with the experience.
7. Please describe your writing space?
I have a nice, big desk and large monitor. My desk surface usually sports large, soothing mug of coffee, and lots of cute, cozy items to remind me to have fun. I used to listen to music when I wrote. I found it enhanced my ability to focus on the moment. Now I write in the quiet most of the time.
8. Who is your own favorite author? Dead or alive.
Geez, I don’t have a favorite. I can say that I love “The Prophet,” by Kahlil Gibran. His prose poetry not only touches the heart, but it asks you to expand your heart’s capabilities. That’s a gift I’d like to give, at least in some small way, with my books.
9. What is the most helpful thing to you in this industry?
Support is so important. I’m very lucky to have a supportive family. But if that’s not the case, an exchange with other like-minded people is great. Twitter can provide a place for that exchange. In fact, it’s where I’ve met people like Leonard Tillerman who totally supports indie authors with his well thought out reviews and informative articles.
10. If you had to describe yourself in 3 words…what would they be?
Blessed, inquisitive, happy
Upcoming Work and Teasers:
I recently finished a lengthy, love/romance story. I call it a love/romance novel because it has elements of both genres. There is a main couple, Lea and Matthew, who are in love. But traumatic circumstances threaten to sever their bond. Soon other people become involved.
For example, one of the supporting characters is a cardiologist named Eric Lloyd. The son of a country doctor, he was a hyper-empathic child who grew up in the isolated wilds of Appalachia. Burdened with a strict, domineering father and surrounded by dark secrets his parents never shared, he has a troubled past. However, he thinks he’s put it all behind him. That changes when he hits a woman named Lea with his car. The accident isn’t his fault, but the woman involved eventually becomes a catalyst for dredging up all the horrors he’d hoped to forget.
At the beginning of the story, Lea is a high-strung, difficult person who’s newly engaged. Unfortunately, the event triggers childhood traumas so devastating that she can’t cope with her current situation. Convinced that she’s losing her mind and afraid to confide in Matthew, she decides her only recourse is to abandon her life in Chicago. By disappearing, Lea feels she’ll spare her fiancé Matthew the pain of dealing with her impending insanity.
When Lea is struck by Eric’s car and loses her memory, her life changes completely. Without any identification or clue about her life, she has no one to turn to. Eric’s mother, Margaret, comes to the rescue and practically adopts Lea. It’s the beginning of a new and wonderful life. Nurtured and loved by Margaret and treated like the sister Eric never had, Lea blossoms into the sweet person who was buried beneath the trauma. However, will she be able to maintain her new sense of self when her past catches up with her?
And what about Lea’s fiancé, Matthew? He’s a confident, no-nonsense, Chicago surgeon who’s used to being in control. That control suddenly slips away when the unthinkable happens. The woman he loves and is going to marry disappears without a trace. As he searches for her and comes up empty, his life begins to unravel.
I won’t give any more of the story away, but I can say this, I believe in happy endings.
About the Author:
A number of years ago, I gave myself the freedom to write from a much deeper part of myself. Some might call that part the heart or perhaps the soul. Whatever the label, wonderful things happened. Stories unfolded in new and exciting ways. My writing became a transformative process for both my characters and for me. Now, my fondest wish is that my stories not only entertain my readers, but that they also provide them with moments of clarity and a deeper connection to themselves.
Connect with the Author: