Good morning, Muffin readers! Sweet treat today: an interview with Suzie Lockhart, a runner-up in the Spring 2013 Flash Fiction contest. Head over to WOW! and read Suzie’s story, The Dead Boy and the Lavender Suit, and return here to find out more about this amazing author and her story.
She originally wanted to write romance novels, but after discovering the innate ability to tell chilling tales of the macabre, Suzie embraced her inner-creepiness.
When her son Bruce realized he had the same passion for storytelling, they teamed up. Two years of working together have produced twenty short stories and a nearly complete YA novel. Their scary stories can be found in a variety of horror publications, including Dark Moon Digest, Sirens Call, and Horrified Press.
In fall of 2012, ‘Team Lockhart’, as Suzie and her son have been pegged by one of their publishers, delved into editing. After building a reputation as hard workers, they were asked by that same U.K. publisher to edit an entire anthology. Reading through all of the entries for Nightmare Stalkers & Dream Walkers has been an interesting journey to the other side of the writing industry.
Suzie resides in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and their four children.
WOW: Suzie, congratulations for your writing success and for having your flash piece, The Dead Boy and the Lavender Suit, receive runner-up in the Spring flash fiction contest! Like most readers, I’m interested in story development and how an idea sparked, so I’ll get to the basics of the question: how did this story come to fruition?
Suzie: This tale originated from a story my mom told me about an experience she had after her cousin died. I did some research to try and embrace the time period, as this would've happened over 75yrs ago. After his death, the young boy's mother did, indeed, give my mother his lavender suit. When she tried it on at home, she heard something 'go bump in the night'.
WOW: That was a touching gesture, and it’s a bit eerie, too. I'm a big fan of symbolism and the implications on a story. Now I’m wondering, what's the significance of lavender?
Suzie: The significance of the color...Mom was never able to wear anything purple from that day forth. Always a great supporter of my writing endeavors, I wanted to honor her by utilizing her experience.
WOW: It’s a great tribute to your mother. Isn’t it great when family members are supportive of our writing ventures! My parents,both former teachers, have always talked about writing a book with me, so I'm interested in the writing relationship you have with your son. What are some of the challenges and joys of working/writing with a family member?
Suzie: It's funny, because my dad and I always talked about the two of us writing a book together, and now I'm actually doing that with one of my sons. I can't imagine anything better. We usually compliment the other's thoughts when we bounce around ideas, and rarely have a dispute. Rarely (smiles).
WOW: (chuckling) I have a feeling my writing relationship with my parents would be similar. And naturally, I would be in charge. (grins) I’m curious about which authors inspire you. Would you mind sharing some of your favorites?
Suzie: J.K. Rowlings and Michael Grant. I am always reading; there are many authors I admire.
WOW: I read a lot, too. So many writers spark my imagination! What projects are you working on now? There is never enough time, right?
Suzie: That’s a loaded question for a writer, eh? (Deep breath) Here goes: Rewriting our 1st YA novel as we start a YA novella, editing volume one of an anthology for Horrified Press, entitled ‘Nightmare Stalkers & Dream Walkers’, and that same publisher will soon be releasing a collection of our short stories. Because the horror genre was not initially what we wanted to write, until we discovered it was where we best fit in, and because of the amazing journey we have been on, we decided to call the book ‘Adventures in Horrorland’.
WOW: Sounds intriguing! I’ll make sure to check it out. Thank you for sharing time with our readers today, and once again, congratulations Suzie.
Interview by LuAnn Schindler