Susan K. Hamilton is an award-winning, multi-genre author whose books include Shadow King, Darkstar Rising, The Devil Inside, and Stone Heart (coming August 2022). She's also had the good fortune to have several short stories included in anthologies.
Horse-crazy since she was a little girl, she pretty much adores every furry creature on the planet (except spiders). She also loves comfy jeans, pizza, and great stand-up comedy. Susan lives near Boston with her husband and misses her cat terribly.
Q: When you write, do you have music playing in the background? What’s on your playlist?
A: Not always. When I do, the playlist depends on my mood. I’ve got fairly eclectic musical taste so it could be anything from hard rock to instrumentals. More often than not, I’ll have the TV on in the background. I’ll find some repeat of a police procedural (Chicago PD, Law & Order, NCIS) and put that on with the volume low. I’m familiar with many of the episodes, so it doesn’t distract me, but the little bit of noise gives me something to tune out. If the house is too quiet, that’s when I start losing my focus.
Q: Do you keep a specific schedule when you write? Or is it more spontaneous?
A: Although I wish I could say I make my full-time living writing books, I have a separate job to pay the bills. That means, sometimes I have to write whenever the opportunity arises. I get up extra early during the week so that I have the chance to do some writing before work. Well, most of the time I try to write but I have to confess that when I have a new book coming out, sometimes that morning write time has to turn into morning marketing time.
Q: Do you have a special genre that you like to write?
A: In the past, I’ve written mostly in the fantasy genre, but my new manuscript is actually more women’s fiction/contemporary romance, and I’m finding I’m really enjoying it. I like the idea of being a multi-genre author—I think if you have a story in your head, you need to get it out and onto paper regardless of whether or not it is your “normal” genre.
Q: What’s easier for you, writing the rough draft or editing?
A: Definitely the rough draft. Rough drafts come out in a rush—you go through and get the story out of your head. It can be very stream-of-consciousness, at least for me. But that means, when you go back to edit, you find and have to fix, all of the rough spots.
Q: Who is your favorite character Shadow King and why?
A: It is a toss up, but probably Aohdan. I came up with him before I even had a story—SHADOW KING was really my way of figuring out who Aohdan was. I liked how he was a mysterious, shadowy figure to start but as he came into sharper relief for me, I have to confess I loved the combination of his bad-boy lifestyle while still having a very strict moral code.
Q: What can you tell us about your upcoming works?
A: My new novel, STONE HEART, will be coming out in August 2022. It is a bit of a departure for me: I've really only written in the fantasy genre, and this is women's fiction. It is a story about relationships, regrets, and the the sometimes spectacularly dumb decisions we make for love.
Q: When do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
A: You’ll probably find me at the barn. I love animals. I've almost always had cats and dogs for pets. We lost our 19-year-old cat recently, and I miss her terribly. One day we'll have another but I'm not ready yet. I’ve also ridden horses since I was little. Right now I have a 14-year-old mare and get to ride three to four days a week. I’ve competed in hunters, jumpers and eventing (but at a very low local level) – I really ride for the enjoyment of spending time at the barn.