Today I am talking with author S. S. Bazinet who tells me her fondest wish is that her stories entertain her readers and also provide them with moments of clarity and a deeper connection to themselves. Her books include The Vampire Reclamation Project series, the Sentenced to Heaven series, as well as the YA thriller, My Brother’s Keeper, and a dystopian novel, Dying Takes It Out of You.
Could you tell us about yourself?
I’m a proud mom of four amazing children. Once my children were out on their own, I became interested in computers. I even became a computer tutor for a while. I eventually worked on website and graphic design. However, my true calling is writing. When I’m writing, I’m happy. However, I still like to design and update my own websites, including the graphics.
When did you first decide to write and what got you started?
I’ve written off and on for many years, but I never was really serious about it until the summer of 2008.
Do you plot your stories or do you write and see where it takes you?
In my case, maybe I would phrase this question in a different way. Do my stories come from ideas that originate in the mind or do my stories come from that inspired part of myself that connects with the heart and soul? I tried the first method for many years and ended up with a severe case of writer’s block. Finally, I was so frustrated that I surrendered to the second method.
I stated a new intention for my writing when I announced, “I just want to have fun.” The result was amazing. My series, “The Vampire Reclamation Project,” flowed in on its own. I had never imagined that I’d write a series about incarnate angels helping out a despairing vampire. Yet, I could barely write fast enough. My first year’s word count reached over 570,000 words.
What is the best part about writing, and the worst?
I have so much fun when I’m writing. With inspiration at the helm, I write the story like a reporter taking down the facts. I enjoy the story’s characters as they interact with each other. I’m always surprised by the events that unfold and how impossible situations work out in ways that I never imagined. It’s like going to the movies and letting the magic happen.
I also love editing. It’s an opportunity to spend more time with the story and its characters. The worst part is when I finish a story. I can suffer from “empty nest syndrome.” Of course, the cure is to start writing another book! – I’m going through that at the moment, hence I’ve just started the next one (actually two but I’m trying to prioritize)
Which of the books that you have written so far is your favourite and what can you tell us about it without giving the game away?
When I’m writing a story, that story is my favorite. Afterwards, I love all the characters from all the books. They’re almost like a family of sorts. However, I must say that I’m intrigued by certain characters. For instance, in the “Sentenced to Heaven” series, the main character, Alan, has such a different personality than my own. He’s very out-spoken and sees himself as a complete rebel. He’s very upset when he finds out that he can care about someone other than himself. For him, “caring really hurts.” He doesn’t mean to be, but he’s very funny. I’m often smiling when I’m writing about his latest disasters in the heavenly realm.
What are you currently working on? How long before release?
I’ve completed a love story, but I haven’t decided when I’ll release it. I’m also editing book six of my series, “The Vampire Reclamation Project.” Hopefully it will come out around the first part of 2019.
When you have finished writing the book – what do you do next? By that I mean, do you edit the book yourself? Do you design your own book cover? Do you prepare a project plan to market your book?
I edit each book a number of times. Then I hand it over to a copy editor. Personally, I feel that a book cover should be designed by a professional, but an author needs to find a designer that is “in tune” with the type of book they wrote. The cover needs to convey a sense of what the story is all about. Absolutely, and I love your covers. Project planning? No, I don’t do very much.
Which is your favourite genre to read and why?
Genre isn’t what’s important to me. I like character driven stories of any genre, but I don’t like too much violence. I enjoy a story that demonstrates how a difficult situation helps a person to grow and find out more about themselves. I appreciate happy endings or endings that tell the reader that the main character is headed forward in their life.
How important do you think social media is for an author?
For me, it’s been invaluable in getting my books out in front of the public. It’s also been a great way to meet other people from all over the world. I’ve been so fortunate to become acquainted with many people who are not only kind and generous, but also very supportive. – Agreed!
What do you feel are the greatest challenges facing any writer at the present time?
It’s so easy to be pulled outside of oneself, to pay too much attention to what one “should do” instead of remaining true to oneself. For me, being happy with who I am and what I write is most important. It’s where I derive my greatest joy outside of family. Family comes first in all circumstances.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing, marketing, or being involved with your book business? Do you have any hobbies?
I love walking in the desert, hiking, and taking photos of the beautiful world we live in. I also like going to the movies and eating popcorn. Even if the movie isn’t great, I have my delicious popcorn to get me through. Dancing and listening to music are also favorite things to do. Coffee isn’t a hobby, but I do love it. I usually have a large mug close at hand when I’m writing.
Any fun facts about you that you would like to share?
I’m all about the “now” moment. I don’t think about the past as “the good old days.” My idea of happiness is to infuse each day with as much creativity and joy as possible. Humor and laughter are also very important. I really believe in that old saying, “Lighten up.”