Interview with Susan Furlong-Bolliger

Susan Furlong-Bolliger

Interview Date: 9/4/2012


A former high school language teacher, Susan started working as a freelance translator and writer after leaving the teaching profession. During her writing career, she has worked to compile several literary encyclopedias, text books, and medical reference dictionaries. In addition to her work as an academic writer, she has published numerous articles in national magazines. Recently, she has turned to writing fiction and has published several short mysteries. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and four children. Visit her website at

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a child. However, I didn’t turn to writing as a profession until the mid 1990’s when our first child was born. I left teaching to stay home with him and turned to writing for extra income. At first I worked translating documents from Spanish to English. Later, I began copy edit work for a local printer and eventually turned to academic writing. I’ve worked on several text books and reference manuals. More recently, I’ve tried my hand at fiction.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

That’s easy! I would choose to be SUPER EDITOR: able to fix errant syntax with a simple glance; effortlessly eradicate all unnecessary adverbs; and type over dangling prepositions with a single key stroke. Oh, yes … I’d also have super vision that would allow me to detect all misspelled words within a hundred mile radius!

Kev's response: Hmm. I'm thinking that last one would land you in a psych ward in about 5 seconds flat, especially if you detected them on all computer screens within that range! o.O

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics or movies?

Batman from the original television series back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. (I watched the reruns much later, of course) I think Batman was played by Adam West. I loved the way words would pop up on the screen when Batman took on the villains—POW! BOOM! OOF!

Kev's response: Oh my, basing one's superhero choice off a silly televised version. Okay, I'll go with it! To be fair, I do have a clown hero who speaks like that in fights. That's partially because he's not entirely sane, however.

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

I believe that I like to write because I enjoy reading. Good books have always inspired my imagination and I enjoy trying to create my own stories.

Kev's response: In the immortal words of Yoga: "Bend. Assume this pose. Breathe in. Breathe out." What does that have to do with this? I haven't a clue, apart from mentally saying that with Yoda's voice, and also thinking about "Do, or do not, there is no try."

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

I’m a pantster. I come up with a vague idea, create the characters and start writing. Usually half-way through the story I have to stop and make an outline to get the plot back on track.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down and write?

I set a schedule and sit down to write. Otherwise, I would never be inspired!

Kev's response: There would be a good superpower ... to be inspired whenever you wish!

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

Mystery is my favorite genre for both reading and writing.

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

Hmmm … well, I have a bad habit of chewing Twizzlers while I write. If I’m working on an especially difficult piece, I can go through a whole bag without realizing it.

Kev's response: So ... you like sugar highs? I find that type of thing easy to do as well, so long as the candy/munchie is not one that leaves residue on the fingers, such as Doritos. Then, I have to clean my fingers before I type again.

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

Currently, I have 7 short stories and a novel all on submission. I juggle several projects at a time. This works well for me as I usually need to let my work rest for a while before I come back to it for final edits. I also write on contract, so I often balance my time between contracted projects and my personal projects.

Kev's response: That's very interesting. Quite different from doing things the "pure indie" route where we develop, write, edit, (possibly adding in beta reading and formatting if the author doesn't do it themselves) and then simply submit it to the online sites.

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

I believe there’s more than enough room for both formats. Personally, I have shelves full of printed books as well as a full Kindle library. I’ll never tire of cracking open a book, but I do love the convenience of throwing my Kindle into my purse for easy, portable reading.

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

I haven’t ventured into self-publishing yet, but I do know that any published author needs to be adept at self-promotion. I schedule my marketing the same way I do my writing. Getting your work in front of readers’ eyes is essential to every writer.

Kev's response: Very much so! If you can't be found, you can't be bought! (Why do I instantly think of something like the Mob at this?)

My website:
Amazon Author Page: Susan Furlong-Bolliger
Twitter: @foulplayauthor
Untreed Reads (Publisher)

Kev's response: Susan, thank you for joining me! Good fortune on the mysteries!

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