Susan Wingate Responds
I have been blessed by friends who are willing to work with me. When I found that Kindle Worlds was interested in my Doublesight world, I was thrilled. All I had to do was find five or so writers willing to produce a story, novella, or novel for the launch. When I sent out my request, I was overwhelmed with kind responses. So, I wanted to introduce everyone to the writers one at a time. I'm starting with my good friend Susan Wingate, also the first person to submit her story. By the way, her latest novel, The Deer Effect, has won several awards. Pretty amazin.
Thank you, Susan.
• How did you come to be interested in the Doublesight Kindle World?
After reading DOUBLESIGHT, it was a done deal for me. Terry Persun’s exquisite setting, the
characters, the lore, all resonated in me. Plus, the world Terry created set up a fabulous segue setting for my novel The Deer Effect and the main character, Hannah Demsey—a spirit. But, the DOUBLESIGHT story is a fascinating look at Native American lore all by itself, filled with conflict and suspense.
• How does your story link to the Doublesight series?
The main character of my story in BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH (named Hannah), dies next to a fawn in the road thus connecting their spirits forever. When she and the fawn leave their earthly plane to set off on her journey toward Heaven, the Lorensak River, the woods, and the valley around it, provide a perfect setting for Hannah to complete her journey with all the dangers and glory of the Doublesight original setting—not to mention a couple of talking totems.
• Doublesight is an epic fantasy that spans over several novels. What genres or cross-genres do you explore with your story?
In BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH, the genres I continue with are fantasy, the thriller as well as Native American fiction. Incredibly, the three genres work well together.
• The Doublesight world is basically an Earth-like world, with shape shifters who shift into Earth animals, whether mythic, real, or extinct. What animals do you write about and why?
As in DOUBLESIGHT, my story brings in crows but also the spider—which in Cree lore has great mystical power that is told of in the Legend of Ehep. Of course, I have also brought in my own existing deer character from The Deer Effect. I wanted to overlap Terry’s great story using the crows with my own by adding the spider, totems, and the deer. I love deer. In fact, I have a small herd that come to eat every morning and evening on our land. We have five wooded acres on a small island in the Pacific Northwest and we have quite a few deer around the island. I love their grace and kind demeanor and intend to nurture them until I leave this earth.
• Tell us a little about your main character. Why do you think readers will like him or her?
Hannah Demsey exhibits herself as a tween spirit. However, when she died she was a married adult and in the throes of marital problems. Hannah loves animals and in The Deer Effect another main character found is her dog, Bobby, who ends up helping Hannah’s husband find the people responsible for killing her. Hannah is a survivor, even in death. She loves her family more than anything in the world.
• What major theme or idea comes across the clearest in your story? Is this theme found in your other work?
I’d have to say the main concept of BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH (as well as The Deer Effect) is the concept of spirituality and faith. Kindness to those you love is a secondary theme. Reunion is another theme found in both stories. My writings of late have been leaning toward fantasy and faith-based stories.
• Share some of your story about becoming a writer.
My father was a writer. He studied English as his major and Speech Therapy as a minor in college. He used to write these funny, romantic, safari adventures—a genre in and of itself. He was probably one of the most creative and humorous people I’ve ever known. I think my whole life has been searching for some way to reunite myself with my father since his death. So, I write. While I write, I think about him like crazy. I hope he’s proud of my stories. Oh, he was also a golfer. And, guess what? I’ve taken up golfing too. I’m not very good but I love it maybe more than he loved golfing and most definitely because of that fact.
• Do you have a background in writing?
My background is in accounting and business. My bachelor’s degree is from Arizona State University as were my father’s degrees. The thought of writing as a career choice (as opposed to my hobby writing) came shortly after we learned of my father’s terminal illness. That was December 1994. My father died fourteen months later, January 1996.
• What makes you interesting outside of your writing?
Not much. LOL! Well, hmm. Let me think. I have a few domestic animals—three dogs, eleven birds, and ten cats. Does that qualify as interesting or simply insane? Either description is fine with me. I like to think of my obsession with animals as eccentric. Other things I do that might qualify as interesting are playing an inordinate amount of cribbage with my husband, Bob, and taking care of my mother who now lives with us. She has dementia and COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. She’s on oxygen. It’s like my own little convalescent center with one patient.
• What are you working on next, aside from another piece for the Doublesight Kindle World?
Right now, I’m finishing up the first book in a faith-based, end-of-times thriller series called The Eschatos Chronicles. Book one shows the protagonist, Croy Justice, coming to terms with the end of times and the devastation of land and humanity. Each story in the series will explore two of the Seven Deadly Sins. Croy comes up against some pretty nasty sorts but also will be gathering souls toward the final conquest, which will be seen in the last book of the series.