ALLUSIVE AFTERSHOCK by Susan Griscom: Interview & Excerpt

Title: Allusive Aftershock
Author: Susan Griscom
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: Amber Glow Books
Release Date: 18th 2012
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Available At: Kindle | Amazon

What happens when a major earthquake changes life as you know it and the boy you thought you hated ends up saving you? Three times!

Courtland Reese is the guy everyone hates and makes fun of because … well, he is weird. He communicates with animals. Strange or interesting, seventeen-year-old Adela Castielle can’t quite figure out, but when he saves her from being trampled by her own horse, she begins to understand him a little better and wants to learn more about him. But, Max–her best friend/dream guy/someday-to-be-her-husband-only-he-doesn’t-know-it-yet–hates Courtland with a passion. Adela wants to know why, except neither boy is talking. When Max leaves her stranded in his parents’ wine cave with his worst enemy, Courtland, after what the experts are calling a “megathrust” earthquake, Adela starts to question her loyalty to Max as steamy kisses in a dark damp cellar only fuel her emotions with more conflict. But does she really have time to worry about that when fire, destruction and mayhem surround her?

Thank you for stopping by the House Millar.

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Aine.

You are quite welcome. I’ve got a few questions for you. Winking smile Thanks for taking time out to visit and share a little about your great story Allusive Aftershock!

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Pennsylvania, but we left there when I was twelve. I lived in several different states growing up until we finally moved to Southern California and stayed there. I’m still in California now, but have migrated up to Northern California. I live in the Sierra Foothills just west of South Lake Tahoe close to the location for the setting for Allusive Aftershock.

What or who inspired you to write? And how long have you been writing?

Inspiration comes in many forms for me. Spirits that surround me at the time I’m writing and other authors, friends and family. Real life situations spark ideas and I love to people watch. I’d secretly always wanted to write a book, but never really thought I had it in me. There’s an old saying among writers, “Write what you know.” Even though fiction and particularly paranormal is all made up stuff from deep within my mind, there are times that I need to know a little about what I’m describing. Like earthquakes. Sure I’d experienced them, but there are certain facts that experience doesn’t teach you and with the internet today, research has become easier.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I never really considered myself a writer until my old publisher told me I was.

LOL, understand that feeling.
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?

Allusive Aftershock is a mature young adult story of destruction, devotion, friendship, betrayal loss and love, and the trials and tribulations that three teenagers must go through to survive.

I love reading the warnings on the blurbs for many books. If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say?

Beware! Keep away from chocolate.

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?

They’d probably tell me to get out of my writing rut and finish their story.

What does your protagonist think about you? Would he or she want to hang out with you, the author?

I don’t know if they’d want to hang with me, but I would definitely want to hang out with them. My life is pretty boring compared to theirs. I think most of my female characters have a little bit of me in them and Adela does for sure, and well, I’d be tickled pink if my hero’s ever wanted to spend a little time with me. Smile I think they are all swoon worthy.

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?

The very first scene in Allusive Aftershock is based on a real earthquake I experienced when I was the same age as Adela. So, yeah, I would say Adela has a lot of me in her. Except we didn’t have any horses. In fact, I was thrown from a horse when I was her age and was never ever able to bring myself to ride again.

That’s sad. I loved riding when I was a teen.
Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m not really sure. I write what I feel inside at the time. I’m a panster. I like writing in both first person point of view and third, but usually show both sides. I love writing in the male POV to show their feelings in the story as well as the female.

How did you come up with the title?

I had the Aftershock par
t and my editor, who was not my editor at the time, suggested putting the Allusive with it.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I would most definitely say that bullying is an issue in Allusive Aftershock. Courtland was bullied most of his life but showed even the worst of the bullies how to survive when all hope was lost.

How did you come up with the cover design?

The front cover was designed by Robin Ludwig Designs. She did a fantastic job and I fell in love with it immediately. I wanted a young couple on the cover and ideally wanted a couple with the guy carrying the girl. I searched and searched and when I saw the picture of Pepe and Sztella I hesitated on using them. They were already so popular and on so many books, but I spoke with other author and blogger friends and got opinions. I searched all the books they were on and never saw that particular pose, so I went with it, showing it off all over the place in early August, 2012 on Goodreads and various blogs did cover release posts for it when the story was still in the editing stages.

Where do you see yourself in five (5) years?

Hopefully close to where I am, except with a ton more books under my belt and of course millions of fans. LOL I love the idea that I can spend my days creating stories that others might enjoy.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Very close to the ocean, beach property to be exact. I don’t care where as long as the waves roll over the sand and I can listen to them while I daydream.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?

Nora Roberts. Although, I’d probably freeze up and not be able to talk to her.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?

I do love print books, especially hardcover, but I like them to stay pretty so I love reading e-books. Especially at night in bed. It is easier to turn the page with a flick of the finger and stay snug under the covers.

What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?

Right now I am working on the third book in the Whisper Cape series, A Secret Fate. It should be out this coming fall.

How do you market/promote your books?

Facebook, Twitter, bloggers are wonderful. Interviews, blog tours. You name it, I try it.

What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?

The scene that the cover portrays with Courtland carrying Adela out of the forest fire. It was intense and completely in Courtland’s POV the entire time because Adela was unconscious.

What has been the best component?

When a reader says they cried during one of the scenes I wrote, because sometimes I even cry while writing them.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I jog. I know that sounds boring, but I listen to audio books while I jog. But my favorite thing is soaking a bubble bath with a glass of wine or floating in the pool on a warm sunny day reading a book. Not on my kindle though. LOL

Have you ever read a book more than once? Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?

The last Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn, part 2. I loved that we got to see Alice’s visions. The book was completely in Bella’s POV so we never got to experience them before.

Do you write under a pen name?

I wrote the Whisper Cape series under the name of Regan Walsh, but soon learned that it was too difficult to be two people. Two websites, two facebooks accounts, email, etc. It was exhausting. I am trying to promote that series as Susan Griscom now.

Cats or dogs?

Both. I have both and their feelings would be hurt if I said I liked one better than the other. You know, they can read.  Smile

White wine or red?

Mostly red, but I like white on a hot summer day.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee, although a cup of tea in the afternoon.

Favourite food?

Sushi and Mexican food. But my stay-at-home-comfort food is Pasta.

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?

I didn’t know they made vanilla.

What are 2 things you never leave home without?

My iPhone and iPad.

Laptop or desktop for writing?

Desktop. I wish I had a laptop. It would be wonderful to go sit somewhere other than my office to write.

List 3 of your all time favourite books?

  • The Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts
  • The In-Death Series by J. D. Robb
  • The Black Daggar Brotherhood by J.R. Ward

List 3 of your all time favourite movies?

  • P.S. I love You
  • Love Actually
  • Armageddon
  • Sorry I have 4 – Independence Day

An actor you have a crush on?

Gerard Butler and Henry Cavill

An explosion burst through the air and I almost jumped out of my skin. I turned toward the noise and stared in horror at the sight of the Arco gas station completely engulfed in flames. The fire immediately spread into a clump of trees between the station and the half-demolished grocery store about six feet from where Max stood.

“Max!” I screamed and leaped up forgetting about the clenching in my stomach.

Max hurried back and grabbed my hand again. We ran, hopping over broken brick, concrete, glass, and wood from collapsed buildings, swerving between and around abandoned cars stopped or smashed along the road. Max never let go of my hand. Trees and buildings consumed in flames glowered around us, the heat almost too much to bear. The scent of gas permeated the air along with the muck of smoke and debris. Water spewed up from a broken fire hydrant, knocked on its side by the delivery truck now perched on top of it and I gasped at the sight of a bloodied man’s head hanging out the window.

I wanted to be home more than anything now. Did we even have a home? Were my mom and dad okay? The twins? What about Big Blue? I fought back tears, trying to convince myself they were all fine and probably wondering where I was. I squeezed my eyes shut to picture my mom pacing the living room, worrying and telling my dad they needed to find me.

All of a sudden, we stopped running. I glanced up to see why and gaped with horror at the road in front of us. The broken asphalt had buckled into a pile about twelve feet high, obstructing our way. The crumbled debris from the buildings on both sides blocked the entire area. With the newly formed abyss in front of us and the out-of-control inferno behind us closing in fast, we were trapped.

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I daydream often. If I didn’t write, I think my mind would explode from an overload of fantasy and weirdness. To the annoyance of my friends and family, my characters sometimes become a part of my world. During my childhood, I would frequently get in trouble in school for daydreaming. Eventually, my vivid imagination paid off and I had the privilege of writing and co-directing my sixth-grade class play–a dreadful disaster; though not from my writing, of course, I must blame it on the acting.

The craft of writing, although dormant for years, never really left me. Many years later, and with the help of technology, I let my imagination run wild again.

Born in a small town in Pennsylvania, I enjoy writing about characters living in small quaint towns. I tend to lean toward the unusual and spooky. I read all genres but I love reading paranormal romance and like writing in that genre.

My paranormal playing field delves into a different milieu, abandoning vampires and werewolves, but not discounting them. Someday I might like to write a novel about vamps and those furry creatures. But for now I like the bizarre mixed with romance. A strong hero or heroine confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers and capabilities gets my blood running.

I live in Northern California with my very romantic husband, my small yippy dog, Riley, and my humungous black cat, Saké. My family consists of his and her children; four wonderful sons, one beautiful daughter, and seven grandchildren. My greatest love in life is my family and those large and ever growing holiday dinners.

I enjoy traveling. I hate running, but do it once in a while. Reading and writing are my favorite pastimes.

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1 comment

    • Maria D. on April 4th, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Thanks for the interview with Susan and the Excerpt from Allusive Aftershock – it sounds really good! I always seem to fall for the “wrong” guy….lol….that seems to be my biggest problem – can’t seem to find “Mr. Right” only “Mr. Wrong”. I still have hope though:)

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