How it all started

It was the year 2000. I was a weird and lonely 14-year-old nerd struggling with my identity – I had very “masculine” hobbies and interests and felt I had to dress and act a certain way and be one of the boys, to be taken seriously by the people who shared my interests.

Ginger Snaps had just released. Me and my best friend at the time rented it at the local video store and stayed up late to watch it one, two, three times in a row. Watching it was almost like a religious experience – we felt so seen. I felt like someone had made a movie about me, albeit with werewolves in it, and I realized that I desperately needed more of the same. More stories about sisterhood, sacrifice and kickass girls that were weird and flawed. (The movie incidentally also made me realize you can have weird interests and dress however the fuck you want. This sparked my obsession with dresses and fancy shoes.)

Then, in 2004, Ginger Snaps: Unleashed came out and my story started to coalesce out of the murk. Several games, comics, movies and books later I had something tangible. I started on a very rough first draft and hated it. It was so fucking bad! Like I could see the scenes and characters so clearly, but when I put them to paper they straight up sucked. So I dropped the project. Wrote terrible angsty poems instead. Tried my hands at short stories – some of them decent, most of them trash. (I think I still have some of them. That will be fun… for you.) Wrote longer stuff, even a novel with aformentioned friend. Tried different genres, different styles, but always sort of circled back to fantasy, scifi and action. I also read a lot. Started working at a SFF bookstore and read even more, while also learning about what different people like, and what sells.

I picked the project back up in 2015. Wrote a little, doubted myself a lot, wrote a little, procrastinated, hated every other sentence. Finished the thing, had people read it and revised based on their feedback. ALL their feedback, even when it was contradictory or I didn’t agree with it at all. My book turned into a fucking mess. I had to start from scratch and rewrite the whole thing. Finished Book 2.0, had people read it, only this time I reviewed the feedback and only revised if the feeback asked questions I couldn’t readily answer. Revised, revised, revised, and finally, in 2020, I felt confident enough to call it finished and start sending it out to agents and publishers. I’ve sent it out 10 times so far and recieved 8 rejections. Crossing my fingers and toes that the last two will see what I see in the book.

While I wait I have been working on this website, and book number 2. Working on book 2 has been a totally different experience than writing Embers – it’s actually kinda fun? Like I like what I’m writing? Feels fucking weird, bruh. But yeah, it feels like I’ve finally hit my stride and I’m now more afraid of never trying than I am of failing.

– xoxo Suzy

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