Women in SFF Author Spotlight – Susana Imaginário (WYRD GODS)
Susana Imaginário lives in Ireland with her husband and their extremely spoiled dog.
Her hobbies include reading, playing board games, hanging upside down, poking around ancient ruins, talking to trees and being tired.
Her debut novel, Wyrd Gods, combines mythological fantasy with science fiction and satire in a schizophrenic sort of way.
Welcome to the Hive, Susana. Let’s start small: tell us about a great book you’ve read recently!
I’m reading The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton and loving it.
Okay, time to escalate things: reality warps and you suddenly find yourself leading a D&D-style party through a monster-infested dungeon. What character class are you, and what’s your weapon of choice?
When you’re not trawling through dungeons, how do you like to work? (In silence, with music, or serenaded by the damned souls of a thousand dead shrimps? Do you prefer to type or to hand-write? Are you an architect or a gardener? A plotter or a pantser? D’you write in your underwear, or in a deep-sea diver’s suit?)
Tell us a little bit about your writing method!
I need silence when I work and I much prefer to type. I’m both architect and gardener. I need to know where the story starts and where it ends and I even plan a few stops along the way, but then I let the characters be themselves and work with whatever happens.
What (or who) are your most significant female fantasy influences? Are there any creators whom you dream of working with someday?
N.K. Jemisin, for sure.
What was the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it? Alternatively, what games have you enjoyed recently?
Dark. I’m two episodes away from the end. If you like complex time travelling stories, than you’ll find this is one of the best tv series ever!
Recently I went back to Skyrim. It’s been seven years since I last played and was feeling nostalgic, I suppose…
The world shifts, and you find yourself with an extra day on your hands during which you’re not allowed to write. How do you choose to spend the day?
Is the weather good? If so, I’m going for a long walk in the woods. If not, I have a 2000pc jigsaw puzzle I promised myself to finish this year.
Can you tell us a little something about your current work(s) in progress?
The second book in the Timelessness series is now available for pre-order!
What’s the most (and/or least) helpful piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever read: ‘Write down everything that happens in the story, and then in your second draft make it look like you knew what you were doing all along.’ Neil Gaiman.
I received a lot of bad advice, and advice that did not apply to me or my writing style. People tend to think the way they write is the ‘right’ way and everything else is wrong. My advice: pick your mentors wisely…
Every writer encounters stumbling blocks, be it a difficult chapter, challenging subject matter or just starting a new project. How do you motivate yourself on days when you don’t want to write?
I just don’t write.
For me, writer’s block fall under two categories. Personal and plot related.
Plot related issues are the easiest to overcome. They usually happen when I force the narrative to go a direction that makes no sense in relation to what I wrote previously. It’s like a red light goes on in my brain telling me to stop before I fall down the plot hole. So whenever that happens I take a moment to answer this question: Can I adjust the plot to this new idea or does it belong in a different story?
If it fits the story, then usually going back a few pages is enough to get me back on track.
Personal and health issues can be quite destructive. Have you tried to work out with pneumonia? Exactly. Writing with anxiety or depression doesn’t work either. If that’s my frame of mind, then I find something else to do instead. I read, research, plot or edit. For some reason, editing feels less upsetting when I’m already upset.
If you could visit any country at any point in history, where/when would you go, and why?
Central Europe. Iron age. The Celts and their culture always fascinated me.
Who are your favourite female characters in literature or pop culture? And do you have a favourite type of female character you enjoy writing?
Jessica Jones, Natasha Romanoff, Lara Croft, Monza Murcatto… to name a few.
I enjoy writing strong, intelligent and athletic female characters who are comfortable with their sexuality and have no desire to be rescued.
Tell us about a book that’s excellent, but underappreciated or obscure.
The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa.
Finally, would you be so kind as to dazzle us with an elevator pitch? Why should readers check out your work?
Because it’s a sort of Clash of the Titans meets Stargate in the Underworld.
Thanks Susana, The Dharkan is available from 1st August – good luck with the release!