AUTHOR: Susan York Meyers
BOOK TITLE: I Spy Something Wicked
GENRE: Humorous Paranormal Mystery YA
PUBLISHER: 4RV Publishing
BUY LINK: Coming Fall 2014
Please tell us about yourself.
I live in Oklahoma with my husband, son and one spoiled dog who thinks she’s people. I love to read, do multi-media art, and network online. I generally feel very blessed to have a job where I get to create my own little worlds and populate them!
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? I am a full-time writer. How I organize my time depends on where I am in my writing. At the moment, I’m putting a lot of time into promoting I Spy, so I’m not doing much new writing. Instead, I’m working on revisions for my middle grade novel.
When and why did you begin writing? I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school, but I didn’t really start taking it seriously until my son was born. I loved making up bedtime stories for him. Telling the stories brought back my early passion for writing. However, it took me a long time to find out what types of books I wanted to write. I’d start a story then read a book and think, “No, that’s the type of story I want to write.” Immediately I’d file away the story I’d been working on and start a new one. That led to a lot of half-finished stories. About twelve years ago, I decided to go back and finish a few of those stories. Once I concentrated on completing them from rough draft to ready to send, I started getting published!
What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? LOL, you mean there’s life besides writing? Seriously, I love paperart and am in the mist of creating “scenes” to go with my Haikus (oops, guess Haiku is writing, but I’m just working on the art, so it countsJ
Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it? Yes, especially when I’ve been away from a story for a large amount of time. It sounds simplistic, but when I have writer’s block, I write. I rework an already written scene and by the time I finish it, the ideas are flowing and I can usually pick up the next scene with no problem.
What are your current projects? I am working on a middle grade novel with the working title of Stone Girl.
How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.? I have a fan page on Facebook for I Spy. You can find it at https://www.facebook.com/ISpySomethingWicked. My I spy blog is http://onceuponahaiku.blogspot.com/ and my general website is susanameyers.com I’d love for you to visit!
Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.
I Spy Something Wicked is a humorous, paranormal, mystery YA.
Is this your first published children’s work? No, although it’s my first YA.
What other types of writing have you done? I’m the author of two chapter books, Callie and the Stepmother and The Princess and the Pee. I’ve also had several stories published in anthologies and magazines.
What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book? I wrote I Spy in a completely different way than I’ve ever written any other story. I had a scene in my mind and I wrote it first. Then I built the rest of the book around it.
What comes first: the plot or characters? Plot. My favorite question is, “What if?” What if a teenage girl discovers the ghost she met as a child is real and not something out of her imagination? (And, he’s as cute as she remembers him.J
How did you decide how your characters should look? Personality plays a key. In I Spy, the main character, Tessa, is girly, but not devoted to it. Makeup is minimal, and hair has to be easy to style. She is much more comfortable in oversized sweaters than heels.
Do you have any tips for writers who are new to children’s literature? While writing is a creative process, it is also a profession. Learn your craft! One of the best things I ever did was join SCBWI. Among other things, it’s how I found my wonderful critique partners without whom I Spy Something Wicked wouldn’t exist!
What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun? I LOVE mysteries. That’s why it’s so exciting for me to have my very own published.:-) I especially love older mystery series such as the Mr. and Mrs. North books by Francis and Richard Lockridge.
What was your most embarrassing moment as an author? One of my very first signings was at the Austin Book Festival. The keynote speaker was Lemony Snicket. My first book, Callie and the Stepmother, had just been published. As I sat in the Blooming Tree booth, a mother and daughter came by. The daughter was obviously upset about something. They stopped in front of me and the mother said, “I told you, Lemony Snicket has already left. Get this lady’s autograph.” The daughter and I stared at each other. Then she slowly held out her autograph book. I signed it, both of us knowing she had no idea who I was.
Excerpt from I Spy Something Wicked
Grasping the nearest rail, I glared at the broken hole that used to be the stained glass center of my front door. "You're a ghost," I wailed. "Couldn't you have scared him or something?"
"Worse than you did?" Andre reappeared, doubled over with laughter.
My glare deepened.
He took it to a snicker. "I'd managed an unearthly 'who's there,' when you made your entrance. Are you okay?" he asked in what seemed an afterthought.
"Fine!" I attempted to make a dignified exit and immediately regretted it. "Ouch." A trickle of blood oozed down my left knee.
"Tessa, you're hurt."
Before I could say something nasty about stating the obvious, Andre lifted and carried me into the living room. Thank goodness he stayed visible for the trip. I wrapped my arms around his neck, my brain torn between giving attention to my knee pain and the serious attraction building in other areas.
Oblivious to my dilemma, Andre gently laid me on the couch. "Stay here," he ordered. "I'm going to see if I can find any sign of our friend."
I closed my eyes and willed my knee not to hurt and my dignity to come back.
After forever, Andre reappeared with a first aid kit. "Whoever it was hightailed it. Of course, there are numerous places to hide on the property and he definitely got a wiggle on."
"A what?" I asked.
"He scrammed, left in a hurry."
"Oh. Couldn't you see him hiding?"
"I can be seen through, but can't see through," he retorted.