This week, I'm interviewing Susanne Schemper, a writer whose first book is coming out in March 2018. Susanne is a Swedish writer whom I met through her husband Ian, with whom I went to art college in Zimbabwe one or two years...ok, decades ago.
How did you begin your journey to being a published author, Susanne?
When I took my first course in creative writing in 2013, something fell into place. It was the start of an amazing journey. For years, I had been saying to myself (and a few selected others) that I will be writing a book one day, that I have so many stories and characters in my head that need to be written down.
So in 2013, I started working on a book almost immediately after starting my first course. The course brought out this incredible motivation in me as well as a total conviction that I had to write. No matter what! Since then I have taken several courses, and they have all given me more tools, more inspiration and a lot of joy.
The book I started way back then has transformed over the years, and has now been taken on by a publishing company (Bokförlaget SOL) and in March 2018, Osynlig Närvaro (Invisible Presence) will be released. It is an amazing feeling and I think I will only truly believe it when I have the book in my hand.
My writing courses also opened my eyes for short stories. The challenge of creating a story which only lasts a few pages is so much fun, and I am almost always busy working on a short story. And I have many ideas for more. The format allows for experimentation in a way that a longer story doesn’t and I enjoy the possibility for open endings. I like when the story can continue in the mind of the reader.
Besides your novel, have you done any other creative writing?
In 2016, I sent a short story to a publishing company (Ordberoende förlag) that had announced that they were going to pick thirty short stories to be published in an anthology with the theme “longing”. My story was selected, and for the first time my words were printed in a book! Shortly after that, a story that I sent to a magazine was published, and that same magazine has now bought over ten stories from me. And I was selected to be in the anthology this year as well; the theme being “freedom”.
In 2017, I also made a debut in a different format. I sent an example of my writing to a publishing company (Danje förlag) specializing in e-publishing, and they offered me a contract of six short stories in two collections.
So, from being very shy about my writing, the course in 2013 changed it all and I am now comfortable sharing my written words.
Do you have a motto that inspires you to keep writing?
I live by this: "No story lives unless someone wants to listen" - J. K Rowling
Many stories are never shared and will only live with me, while others come to live as they are being read!
Since I have now learned that dreams come true, I am busy dreaming hard about an agent… about being translated… maybe into several languages! Anyway, just dreams for now…
So, about the book?
First, I need to say that it will be published in Swedish. (easy language to learn, ask my Zimbabwean husband, so if you start now you might have the hang of it by the time my book is out!)
The Synopsis of Susanne's book, 'INVISIBLE PRESENCE'
Petrus is an odd recluse, living a lonely and predictable life. His daily routines are disturbed when he finds himself becoming more and more obsessed with a woman at work, Martina. The same moment that Petrus realizes that he is invisible to her, a nobody, emotions he has never experienced before well up inside him. Feelings of humiliation and disappointment change into thoughts of revenge, and he starts to follow Martina, getting closer and closer to her life in a way that is affecting her more than he could have ever imagined.
Martina is good looking, self-confident and successful at work. However, she is not liked by all since she cares mostly about her own needs and only socializes with co-workers when she can get something out of it. But slowly things are changing. An incident at work gets her out of balance and she start suspecting that someone is stalking her. At first, she believes it is all in her head, but the feeling grows and she can´t ignore it. She has no idea who it could be or why, and when she allows fear to rule her life, everything she has built starts falling to pieces.
Publishing company: Bokförlaget SOL : http://www.bokforlagetsol.se/b%C3%B6cker/osynlig-n%C3%A4rvaro-37673102
Release date: 23 March, 2018
Where to find Susanne
This is where you find me and (if you read Swedish) my stories so far. In my social media I share short stories in English now and again.
Facebook: Susanne Schemper – SkrivLiv
E-short stories: https://www.adlibris.com/se/sok?q=susanne+schemper
Thanks so much for a lovely interview, Susanne. Good luck with the book!
Currently writing. Please bring coffee and sticky buns!