Susan Wingate’s latest psychological thriller, Storm Season wins thriller category in the 2019 Book Excellence Award. New York Times bestseller of The Demon Crown, James Rollins says this about Wingate’s thriller, “”I’m still reeling after finishing Susan Wingate’s latest, THE DEATH OFVULTURES. Brilliantly written, here is a tale that grips you by the throat from the opening prologue to the gut-punch of an ending. Both tender and brutal, intelligent and visceral, each page carries a reader further down a harrowing path to a conclusion both inevitable yet also shocking. This novel will leave an indelible mark on your soul. Don’t miss it.”
You just released not 1 but 2 new books, Storm Season and The Lesser Witness. Where did the inspiration for the creation of the books come from?
Yes. I’ve been busy this spring and summer. Well, the inspiration for Storm Season came one day while I was sitting at the kitchen table. The table is set in a bay window that looks out onto a vast wooded field that pours off toward a fresh water pond. About halfway down the field, I spotted two turkey vultures mantled over something in the yard. I took off. Ran all the way out and scared them away. They were feasting on a dead fawn. The tragic thing about this was not only the fawn’s death but also a doe, its mother kept darting out trying to shew the vultures but she didn’t remotely bother them. It broke my heart to watch her trying to save her child. It was this scene that sparked the issue about the loss of a child. What if it were my child? What would I do if someone killed my child? The original title of this story is The Death of Vultures but the story is really about Meg Storm, the main character and how she deals with the loss of Lily, her daughter. All of this sparked from seeing nature and all its raw amazing sadness.
As for The Lesser Witness, this story is totally something that grew out of my imagination. I was standing on the beach. South Beach takes about five minutes to get to by car. I was out there one day, walking my sweet dog, Robert. The day had grizzled into a blustery gray sky. It was gorgeous; the way North Puget Sound can be at the turn of a season. I was thinking, “This is what the apocalypse will look like.” And as I thought the words, I saw (in my mind’s eye) a young woman running toward me. She ran straight past. She was scared and panting and she crouched over, in obvious pain that stabbing sensation in the side of the stomach from running. But she heard a gang of young men running after her and tried to get away but couldn’t. That is where the story begins and where it picks up in the end. The year is 2025 and the Earth has suffered a global catastrophe that has marked the end of the world. Like I said, straight out of my imagination.
You also own and host one of the top literary book radio stations in the country called Dialogue. How did the radio station come about and what are the top three things you look for when selecting an author to be featured on your show?
Dialogue has increasingly become more popular as the years have gone on. The first show aired in September 2010. At the time I was co-hosting the show with my friend and colleague, Joshua Graham. The idea for Dialogue came to life when I explained to Joshua that fiction authors weren’t typically featured via media channels radio, podcasts, and TV. Things have changed quite a bit since then. As for who makes a great guest for Dialogue depends on the likability of the author? The books are almost second to the author’s appearance. We have a large listenership of readers and writers. When queries, they both respond to enjoying hearing about the author primarily with they’re book or books following a close second? And that makes sense. Our show is very conversational. I’m an author and understand the technical and craft issues of writing a novel as well as the marketing and publishing side of things in the industry. So, each show takes on a fully rounded talk about craft, the writer, the industry, and the readers. It’s so much fun too. I love talking with other writers about books.
With so many things going on in your every day life, how do find the time to run the station and write so much? What’s the Susan Wingate secret to writing?
Well, with anyone who runs a business, I get up; get to my studio and work. I work anywhere from four to eight hours a day, five to six days a week. It’s my business. It’s an awesome business but it’s a business nonetheless. If you don’t show up, you don’t get paid. And I like getting paid.
What other books do you have in the works for 2019?
Right now, I’m finishing The False Witness, the second book in The Eschatos Chronicles with The Lesser Witness book one. After that, I’ll be jumping into another story, a climate catastrophe thriller that, presently, is unnamed. The first draft for that one should be done by December. After that, I will be working on another family drama called The Landing. I can’t wait to get to that story. It will be another sister story like Moon Spyer except with older sisters this time but an unduly amount of trouble thrown in, like Moon Spyer. Moon Spyer was recently acquired by Fitzroy Books, an imprint of Regal House Publishing and will be out in a year or so. I love that story. But then, I love all the stories.