Mind control…do you believe in that?

Corsonia by Susan Berliner

Susan, what is your typical day like?

I write in the morning before breakfast. First, I review the scene(s) I wrote the previous day and make changes. (My work is never “finished” in one take; it always needs editing.) Then I sit at the computer and compose a new scene. I’m very focused during this creative time, which lasts for about an hour. Later in the day, I usually edit and/or promote my novels. I also go on Facebook, where I have a group and pages for each of my books. Twice a week, I blog about writing on my website’s “Blog” page.

Final Pix - Portrait - Rachel Leib

Do you write with music or not?

I don’t write with music. In fact, I need complete quiet when I write. Before I begin, I remove the phone and close the door of the den. I get very angry with family members if they interrupt me during my creative time. But since I only write for about an hour each day, I’m not really much of a diva.

Do you outline your manuscript first?

No. However, when I started writing my first novel, DUST, I thought I’d be outlining the book because, as a non-fiction writer and reporter, I’d always outlined my work since my articles involved organizing detailed notes.

But a funny thing happened when I sat down to write the novel: My characters talked to me and directed the flow of the action. I found myself transcribing their words. Now that’s the way I write fiction.

Outlining a novel would detract from the total entertainment quality—the surprise factor. I love not knowing what’s going to happen! To me, outlining would make the novel-writing experience much more tedious—more of a “job.” And, just like a reader, I want to be entertained.

I so agree with you there. What is the most difficult thing about being an author?

Writing the book is the easy part. Everything afterwards is hard— editing, publishing, and especially marketing and promoting. To me, the promoting and marketing aspect—getting the word out about my novel—is the most difficult, which is ironic because I spent twenty years as a promotion manager for a large chain of shopping magazines. But promoting on the Internet is incredibly complex.

How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?

I can’t really be sure my idea will work for a book until I figure out the plot and the characters—mull over everything in my head—and then start writing. Luckily, so far, all the ideas I’ve considered for novels have worked.

What is the title of your book?



What inspired you to write this book?

Since mind-control is a fascinating subject and I’ve always loved novels that deal with this theme (Night Chills by Dean Koontz is one of my favorites), I decided to write my own mind-control themed novel: Corsonia, published in December, 2014.

Tell us what it is about?

Corsonia is about two teenage girls from Long Island, New York— Loren Cofton and Tracie Martinez—who drive cross-country in celebration of their high school graduation. But when they reach the remote hills of northeastern Nevada, their fun vacation quickly morphs into a perilous adventure.

After photographing an abandoned gold mine, Loren swipes a bottle of water from an eerily robotic man stocking bottles in the only occupied store of an otherwise deserted shopping center. The water’s effect on Loren leads the pair to investigate the strange little town of Corsonia—despite threats from the local sheriff. And when Loren and Tracie befriend a child named Boy 11, who tells them about his curious life and upcoming fate, the girls become even more determined to figure out what is going on.

When the teens uncover a horrifying trail of evil, they put their own lives in jeopardy as they try to rescue the people of Corsonia without becoming the town’s next victims.

How do you come up with your character’s names?

For main characters, I play around with names until I find the “right” ones—names that seem to suit them. For minor characters, I sometimes mix combinations of names of people I know—friends, neighbors, or former co-workers. If a character has a distinct ethnicity, it makes choosing a surname easier. For example, Tracie Martinez, a Puerto Rican teen, is one of the protagonists in Corsonia.

What genre does your book fall under?

Corsonia fits several genres: thriller & suspense, action & adventure, paranormal, and young adult.

What will be your next project?

What will be your next project?

I’m currently working on a collection of short stories. Like my novels, the stories all contain a bit of the supernatural, although some are horror, others are fairytales, a couple are funny, and the one I’m writing now is about dreams. I’ve completed eight so far and I hope to write at least fifteen.

I’m also working on a two-part doomsday novel, The Touchers. I wrote the first draft of Part One and I’ve written most of Part Two. But it got tedious—maybe because this story is told in the first-person by a teenage girl. Nevertheless, I hope to get back to this project soon.

Susan, where can we buy a copy of your book?

Corsonia is available as a paperback and as an ebook for all ereaders. Here are the links:

Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/Corsonia-Susan-Berliner/dp/0983940142/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418150094&sr=1-1&keywords=Corsonia&pebp=1418150099492

Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00R6DNGM8

Barnes & Noble (Paperback): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/corsonia-susan-berliner/1120878729?ean=9780983940142

Barnes & Noble (Nook): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/corsonia-susan-berliner/1120878729?ean=2940150112063

Smashwords (Other ebook formats): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/503269

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2 Responses to “Mind control…do you believe in that?”

  1. Ary says:

    Tracie, along with you, I am so frustrated with the media that makes it seem as if hanivg a child after 40 is no big deal. I was lucky and conceived at 39, but other friends were not so lucky. We only read about X, Y, or Z who conceived in her late 40’s. No one writes about A, B, or C who wasn’t able to conceive at 40. I have a “soapbox”, and when I hear women who are 35 or older thinking that they have time to wait, I feel compelled to tell them that time may betray them, and don’t wait if that is what they want. Good luck to you Tracie, and from my soapbox, I want to say, don’t want to find the “perfect” donor. Most people don’t put as much effort into finding a husband with the right genetic characteristics as we SMCs do in seeking the perfect donor. If being a mother is what you want, try to hasten the process, rather than seeking perfection. Best of luck. Sandy

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