Over the past several months I’ve taken time to chat with Susan about writing and many other things. The main item that caught my eye was her keen ability to understand and grasp concepts many young authors miss. Things like narration, story flow, adaptation of characters in adverse situations. I feel she is one of the few – up and comers – that will impact the kindle scene like JK.Rowling did in London. Watch out World here comes Susan
Interview with S C Clarke
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, I am the first generation American on my mothers side. I am a proud mother of four all almost grown children, two boys, two girls, ages seventeen to twenty-four. In the early 1950’s my grandmother (Oma), uncle and mother arrived at Ellis Island on Christmas Eve. My mother was only about seven at the time, the only thing she received for Christmas that year was a doll which she still has today.
My fathers side of my family resided in Philadelphia, and Bucks County Pennsylvania. Both of my fathers parents were born in 1900, unfortunately I never had the opportunity to know either one of them, for they both passed away before I was born. My father’s paternal grandfather was born in Virginia, he was one of the many men who hoisted William Penn atop city hall in Philadelphia, he even carved his initials into one of the eyes, which I am sure has eroded away from these many years. There is much I do not know about my family ancestry, there are rumors that my father’s paternal grandfather took part in starting one of the first auto car companies, without conclusive evidence of this I cannot truly say how accurate this may be.
I have often been asked where do I get my strength from…I would have to say from my grandmother, my Oma, whenever I feel discouraged, I think of what she had gone through when she lived in Germany during World War II. She was arrested and held in a camp for sheltering, and assisting many Jewish families escape, also during this time she was the mother of two young children, my uncle who was born during the war, and my mother who was born three months before the end of the war. Falling in love with an American soldier who was also part African American, and moving herself and her children here to America where back in the 1950’s, mixed marriages were much frowned upon. Oma however did not care, she was a woman of strong will and strong passions. When I was eight years old I traveled to Germany with my Oma, mother, and brother, seeing such sights as the castles along the Rhine River, The Black Forest, and other places. And of course Neuschwanstein Castle, which is my favorite place in the world, and I have longed to return there ever since.
Writing has been a dream of mine for many years, I never had the courage to pursue this passion, always doubting myself and thinking I will never be good enough. Now that I have written two books in my Halcyon Isle Series and am working on the third, not to mention other works I have completed, along with other books I am currently working on. I see now that being successful with my writing has more to do with the feeling of accomplishment I have when I finally finish a book I worked so hard on, giving me the strength to go on to the next one.
2. Who are your favorite authors?
I would have to say JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling, Terry Brookes, Ernest Hemningway. To name a few. Plus a few Indie Authors I have had the pleasure of reading their books as well.
3. Tell us a bit about your books.
The Halcyon Isle Series takes place in a magical and mysterious fictional world called Halcyon where there are other lands as well. Such as Kiadoz (world of the zodiac people). Lumeare (where the Lythari live)
Plus other places to intrigue the mind.
Halcyon has a Renaissance type of feel with a touch of modern day aspects.
4. If you could travel back in time to any place and period in the past where and when would you go?
I would probably go to the early 1900’s some time before 1930. I never had the opportunity to know my fathers parents and grandparents and this would answer so many question both my father and myself have about our ancestry.
My father never really knowing his mother either since she passed away when he was only a year old. I could tell him all about her.
5. What attracts you to writing in your genre?
One word. Castles. When I was around eight years old I had the opportunity to travel to Germany with my Oma(grandmother), mother and brother. We traveled all over going down the Rhine River passing by the Lorelei, through the Black Forest by train. Also seeing all the castles intrigue me to no end. My favorite place in the whole world which one day I hope to return to again is Neuschwanstein Castle. Since the day I saw this castle I felt a longing and a connection to its mysteries. And of course, one cannot have castles without a king and queen, adventures, magic and other worlds and creatures.
6. Tell us a little about your books. I see you like to delve into many different genres.
My main genre I enjoy is fantasy. I love the mystery of castles the lore involved and where it may take someone.
The Halcyon Isle Series is about courage and friendship with an adventure to seek out the Elemental Spirits who now hold the powers of the people of Halcyon. Peter, Patrick, William and Evans ancestors found a way to banish the powers of their people as well as their own. Now they are finding how to have their powers returned in order to fight off the evil that has once again returned.
Benjamin, Charles, Jacob, and Thomas, King Frederick’s elite men were sent off to find a new country for the people of Aldenna to live. Aldenna was in the mists of war between good and evil, the onset was unknown. At the end of it all there were many who survived, many lives were lost as well, men mostly, some women and also children.
Charles, Jacob, Thomas, and Benjamin were to become the leaders of the people, dividing Halcyon into four lands, each becoming the king of their own country. Believing that magic is no longer beneficial the four find a way to do away with any and all magical powers that were possessed by everyone. Using a gigantic crystal that laid in the center of Lake Erewhon, Halcyon is now powerless. For many years after this there was no war, no anything, the people of Halcyon resided in peace.
Many years later, Dominick Randolffe, a descendant of Benjamin and his wife Sarah had two children, a son first, Patrick, then Emily a few years later. Emily was still born, which put Sarah into a spiraling downward depression, losing her battle and will to live. Not long after that Dominick was overtaken by an unseen force that slowly led him into destruction. Years later When Patrick was finally old enough to rule he had his father imprisoned for his own safety as well well as the safety of others. Dominick escaped, no one knowing how, Patrick, William, Peter, and Evan did not know what they were up against, all they knew things were going to get worse before they got better. The only way to be ready to go against any evil that had returned was to have their powers and the people of Halcyon as well. In order to do this they had to first seek out offerings for the Elementals, who were holding their magic, and take these offerings to the Atoll, the home of the Elementals.
Along the way of seeking out these offerings, this new generation of rulers met many different people and creatures along their way. From fairies, to mists, shape-shifting elves that can turn themselves into wolves at will. One creature they encounter is an enchanted redwood tree, who called himself Roter Baum.
7. Are you planning to participate in any anthologies? Any hints about your story?
Secrets Revealed, the fourth book in the Halcyon Isle Series starts to wrap up what has been taking place on the first three books (Peace No More, Lost Kingdom, Return From Kiadoz). I still have not decided if there will be a fifth book.
First few paragraphs of Secrets Revealed
The kings now had their amulets back, as they sat in Hansa they began to discuss how they would make their people feel at ease as best they could. Evan took his tree symbol from is pocket, “What about these, can we get to Roter with these?” He questioned. “There are several problems with that, first we do not know how to use them, secondly, Roter has been swallowed into the ground, we do not even know if he even exists anymore.” William replied. “We have to find a way.” Jasper said, taking his symbol out as well laying it upon the table. He as took off his amulet, “This is useless at the moment.” He added.
Jasper laid his amulet right next to the tree symbol, both of them started to let out a faint glow. “What is happening here?” Peter asked, as they all watched, the tree symbol some how on its on wrapped itself around Jasper’s amulet. Peter, William and Evan placed their tree symbols on the table as well, took off their amulets from around their necks. Placing them on the table as well. The same thing happened to theirs as did Jaspers. Peter picked his up, he tried to pull the two apart, they were stuck together as if they were made this way.
“It is time again to contact our ancestors, the founders, tonight at midnight we all must try to think of them in our dreams, I do not know who else may have the answers that we seek.” William said. They all agreed to this, Peter, Jasper and William went back to their homes.
8. What do you like to do to relax?
I like to listen to music, write, read and just enjoy down time how ever I can.
9. What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on the fourth book in the Halcyon Isle Series-Secrets Revealed. I am also working on a paranormal murder mystery Kin-dling which I hope to get more completed on soon.
10. How can readers connect with you?
S C Clarke
Halcyon Isle Series