Susan Berliner



1. When did you fall in love with books?

I fell in love with books when I was a young child listening to my parents read to me. I remember especially enjoying fairy tales. Then, once I learned how to read, I continued my love of fiction—reading about intriguing characters in stories that transported me to wondrous imaginary places.

2. When did you realize you wanted to write?

I’ve always been a writer. In elementary school, I wrote plays. At least I started to write them. I’d list the cast of characters and maybe write the first scene, but I never finished any play. As an adult, I thought I wanted to be a teacher. When that didn’t work out (I only taught for a year), I switched to newspaper reporting and I’ve been a professional writer ever since. However, I only became a novelist a few years ago.

3. Tell us about yourself.

I was born in London, but moved to New York as a young girl, grew up in the Bronx, New York and graduated from Queens College. My first writing job was covering men’s retailing for Daily New Record, then the “brother” newspaper of Women’s Wear Daily.
After my children were born, I switched to freelance writing—mainly in education—publishing several book series dealing with editing skills, language arts, and standardized testing. I also created teachers’ guides, student activity sheets, and test passages and served as project editor for a national science magazine for elementary school students. Later I worked as a freelance reporter for the North County News, a weekly newspaper in Yorktown Heights, New York, covering board meetings.
When I returned to work full-time, I became the promotion manager of the Yorktown PennySaver, a position I held for 20 years. I live in Yorktown Heights with my husband, Larry. We still do freelance educational writing, creating reading passages for standardized tests.

4. Who are your favorite authors?

I love Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and most of Stephen King’s work. They write in the same genre as I do—supernatural thrillers—and have the wonderful knack of creating real characters whom readers can empathize with, something I try to do. And of course, these authors are great storytellers.

5. What are your favorite books?

From the above authors: Watchers by Koontz, Swan Song by McCammon, and The Stand by King—all good versus evil sagas. Some of my other favorite novels are Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (a horror classic about mind vampires); Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford, The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, and The Source by James Michener.

6. Are you currently working on anything new? If so, please give a brief synopsis and when should we expect it?

I will soon be editing my fourth novel, Corsonia, which deals with mind control, one of my favorite fictional subjects. In this book, two New York teen girls on a cross-country vacation stumble across a very strange town in the remote hills of northeastern Nevada. I’m targeting a publication date of late next year.

I’m also writing my fifth novel, The Touchers, a doomsday story, another of my favorite topics. It’s told in the first person by Erin, a teenage girl. My version of the world’s demise isn’t one of the typical forms of annihilation—alien attack, meteor, nuclear explosion, or deadly disease. I won’t give away my method of mass destruction, but I will tell you that it starts with bubbles.

I thought I had finished the first draft, but my characters are insisting they’re not done so I may have to write a sequel, or at least a second part. The Touchers probably won’t be available until 2014.

7. What makes you unique as an author?

Readers have told me that my books appeal to a wider spectrum of people and age groups than most novels. Women, men, and teens all seem to enjoy DUST, Peachwood Lake, and The Disappearance so my readers’ ages span a huge gamut—from 11 to 100. A few months ago, I sold a copy of DUST, which is about an evil miniature tornado, to a 100-year-old lady named Dorothy (as in The Wizard of Oz)—during a tornado warning!

8. Why should readers pick up your books?

I think I tell a good story. And the themes of my novels are atypical. DUST and Peachwood Lake, both supernatural thrillers, are nevertheless based on real phenomena: dust devils and a jumping fish (the gulf sturgeon) while my new novel, The Disappearance, offers a different take on time traveling.

My novels are fun—fast-paced, easy reading—and most readers say they “couldn’t put the book down.” Isn’t that what we want from the novels we read—for them to intrigue us, entertain us, and hold our attention?

9. How can readers connect with you?



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