CorsoniaÂ byÂ 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.
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 qualityâ€”the surprise factor. I love not knowing what’s going to happen! To me, outlining would make the novel-writing experience much more tediousâ€”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 hardâ€” editing, publishing, and especially marketing and promoting. To me, the promoting and marketing aspectâ€”getting the word out about my novelâ€”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 charactersâ€”mull over everything in my headâ€”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 Yorkâ€” Loren Cofton and Tracie Martinezâ€”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 Corsoniaâ€”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 characterâ€™s names?
For main characters, I play around with names until I find the “right” onesâ€”names that seem to suit them. For minor characters, I sometimes mix combinations of names of people I knowâ€”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?
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.
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 (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
Tags: action adventure, Dean Koontz, fiction, friendship, high school graduation, intrigue, Long Island, middle grade, mind-control, mystery, New York, Night Chills, paranormal, pre-teens, suspense, thriller, ya, Ya fantasy, young Adult, young adult book, young adults