A Nosedive Off the High-rise

Once upon a time, in teeny-tiny Winfield, Alabama, a shy (but secretly sarcastic and oh-so-hip) girl in Cyrus Brock’s eighth-grade English class abandoned her notebook of bad poetry, written in the grand manner of Richard Brautigan, and sat down to write a short story.

Actually, I wrote two short stories. Because you knew it was me, right?

In the first, an elderly man suffering from dementia trudged to work as a night guard at a small factory.(Hey, I was 14, okay?) That night, the factory caught on fire. As he was overcome by smoke and flames, he thought, “Martha’s burning the bacon.”

In the second story, my protagonist took some ungodly amount of an unnamed psychedelic drug (because I didn’t know the names of any such drugs, being 14 and living in a small town before crystal meth became the preferred cash crop). He then dressed himself like Captain America, complete with star-spangled cape, and tried to fly off the roof of a high-rise. He nosedived.

Get the idea romance was never going to be my genre?

Some short time afterward, I decided I had no skill in fiction writing and I moved on to a career in journalism.

Imagine my surprise when my long-abandoned fiction muse suddenly awoke in August 2008 and decided to write a novel. It was a cathartic exercise in the beginning, just a way for me to record the sights I’d seen and things I’d experienced living in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Somewhere along the way, it turned into a real novel. I called it Royal Street.

Then the miracles began.

1. I sent it to agents, and most of them wanted to look at it. While I waited, I wrote a sequel, River Road.

2. My own miracle worker, agent Marlene Stringer, offered to represent me.

3. My soon-to-be miracle worker, Stacy Hague-Hill at Tor Books, offered a publishing deal for both books. The whole publishing process is about to begin, and I can’t wait!

Most of my blog posts won’t be so long (I promise). And I’ll probably find a groove eventually that will take the blog in a different direction. Along the way, I’ll introduce you to my urban fantasy world and my characters, and will probably throw a few publishing rants into the mix along the way.

I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

P.S. I still can’t write short stories.

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban and paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense, currently living in Auburn, Alabama. Author of the Sentinels of New Orleans series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, and Belle Chasse (Nov 2016). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the upcoming Wilds of the Bayou series (Book 1, Wild Man's Curse) releases April 2016).

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