29 April 2015

The Intel: Suzanne Spiegoski

Suzanne SpiegoskiSuzanne Spiegoski is a US author whose first book featuring homicide detective Lily Dietz is published by Touchpoint Press. The Fisherman’s Lily is about an ambitious and short-tempered NYC homicide detective whose investigation into a gruesome murder case reveals cryptic clues linking her with her dark and troubling past.

Suzanne’s got a terrific CV. Not only is she a novelist, but she’s a photographer and journalist—and a professional figure skating coach!

I’m delighted to say that Suzanne’s has skated in to give us the intel on her feisty heroine, her dream poker match and how being an author is like going twelve rounds in the ring…

Tell us about Lily Dietz…

A femme fatale with a soft spot for vintage cars and British cigarettes Lily is an Asian-American NYPD homicide detective, who is a rebellious, manic-depressive, self-destructive alcoholic and doesn’t exactly follow the rules. Aside from her unlikable characteristics she is also ambitious, strong-willed and loving. Lily tries maintaining complicated relationships, which include her father, Anthony, her younger brother, CJ, who is a famous basketball player for the Knicks and her adorable niece, Antoinette, who is like a daughter to Lily. Along with her longtime partner detective John Fremont, while beginning to work on a new murder case cryptic clues in the evidence start to link with Lily’s dark and troubling past.

Where did the inspiration for The Fisherman’s Lily come from?

The Fisherman’s Lily is the baby child of artistic expression and the extreme desire to help the world. At some point in my life, I wanted to be a police officer but my longing to pursue writing eventually won itself over after coming up with a story for the crime genre playing field.

You’re a photographer and figure skater, and you have a BA in Criminal Justice—How have your own experiences in life influenced your own writing, do you think?

I think meeting people and sharing life experiences are what great stories and characters are built from. Without outside influences my perception of the world would be greatly different and therefore my writing would be too. I think my experiences are what I know and we’ve all heard writers write what they know and I like to take comfort in that. I also feel that because of my diverse surroundings and background, this is also influential in my work.

What was your path to publication?

A very difficult one and it happened when I least expected it to! At first I scouted for a literary agent, but that was proving to be daunting, almost unattainable, especially as a first time novelist. After about a year of ruthless persistence and pursuance of agents, I was about to shift toward looking for publishers when I struck paths with my now publisher, Touchpoint Press, who nearly 20 years after being an agent, was now ready to start their own publishing company and had picked up my query amidst the transition! Pretty awesome story, one I will never forget and one I will forever be thankful of.

The Fisherman's LilyWhat’s the hardest lesson you ever had to learn about writing?

Rejection for sure! A few rounds of what seems like to be an eternal boxing match, I’d come out a little bit bruised and scratched up, maybe even sometimes in tears, but you don’t give up; you keep fighting. Let’s say you’re in that familiar box ring. The lesson is no matter what anyone tells you if you believe in something, stand for it. Oh, and make sure you got a few ride-or-die homies to have your back and a couple pounds of chocolate to deal with the “no’s” of the world.

How do you deal with feedback?

With a grain of salt. Sometimes critique might sting more than another’s, and as much as I would like to believe I’m gracious 100% of the time, I know I’m not, because I’m human! I do try to take any criticism constructively but if life wants to hand me some of those lemons, well then I just make some rocking snazzy lemonade!

Who are the authors you admire, and why?

I adore Thomas Harris, Jeffery Deaver and Stephen King. I would like to consider them to be my three Godfathers of the crime/thriller world. These talented men had very quickly thrown me into a torrid love affair with the genre and eventually inspired me to pursue my own dreams of being a writer. That and going against all three in a game of poker would be mind-blowing! Boys, are you down?

Give me some advice about writing…

Never apologize when you aren’t sorry.

What’s next for you?

Right now, I’m pretty busy promoting The Fisherman’s Lily but do have upcoming news! Stay tuned…