Introducing Paranormal Author Susan Stec

The Grateful Undead: They're So Vein (volume 1)
Author, Susan Stec

Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer

When I got older and started seeing those crow's feet forming at the corner of my eyes, I started to have this very pleasant dream every night: Sexy vamp waltzes through the French doors of my bedroom balcony, and after an erotically charged interlude, he fangs me, which just happened to clock me back about 30 years. The next night the dream expanded into a nightmare when every damn non-estrogen producing women in my family burst through the French doors asking for a piece of the action. I woke laughing, and got out a pad and a pen.

After I cut the girls loose in my imaginary world there was no dragging them back out again! My dreams became filled with fanged fiascos and they mentally pushed me toward the computer every morning.

Tell us about your novel

Well I should probably say right out that They're So Vein is NOT your teenaged daughter's vampire story. It starts out when a cheeky, potty-mouthed tyke takes a bite out of the protagonist, Susan, in a public bathroom. Vanity being the mainstay in this zany family of senior citizens, they all want a piece of the action. Susan looked twenty-five…they looked…well…old.

A domino effect quickly ensues, leaving only Jeni, Susan's oldest daughter, the sole voice of reason. The amateur vampires, with only dime store literature to guide them, swiftly find out feedin' ain't easy…not with five new immortals on the loose.

Susan's Bible-toting sister, JoAnn, inadvertently turns a raccoon into a ‘vampoon’—talk about screwing up the whole eco-system. PETA would be so pissed. Fanged critters start parading around the neighborhood like a conga line in front of a buffet at the Golden Coral. The day the Jehovah witnesses show up at the door…well that wasn't pretty, everyone felt so bad…

Then Susan's vamped-out eighty-three-year old mother, mixing blood with pleasure, begins to seize, with gusto, the moments she'd missed in her sexually-deficient life. Problem is she loses a few warm bodies along the way.

That's when the Morizzio Cartel pulled out the big fangs, mailed out rules and demanded a meeting. And although the girls were ready to stomp their new stilettos all over their 1,500-year-old rules, they end up paying for their infractions, big time.

Being assigned to Critter Control for an eternity wasn't what any of them had signed up for. Especially with the protagonist's six-year-old nemesis, Christopher, as a partner.

When will the next in the series be released?

I hope to have book two, The Grateful Undead: Gator Baitin', out by May, and the third, Blood Sweat and Demon Tears out quickly after. I'll be starting on book four in March.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

I dream them. I wake up with an idea, and then start typing. The characters fill in the pages one night at a time. I've tried to do outlines, but after tossing so many attempts I just sit back and let my characters do the work for me. Not like they aren't gonna do that anyway. Not like I have any real control in the situation. They've even changed the plot mid book, like when the legendary blood countess shows up in the second book! That was not the story I had in mind at all. I woke up and there she was, wreaking all kinds of havoc from inside her freakin' mirror!

What are you working on right now?

The last chapter of a YA,The Other F Word. It's about Faeries who are being humanized with teen-toys. Cell phones, computers, video games, bug vehicles, etc. My poor main character drives a darner dragonfly— it's a predator— and he eats the other vehicles (which are also insects), as if she doesn't have it bad enough being the only half-breed in Terra Fae Nova.

However, things aren't what they seem. The story brings up issues with drugs, bullying, friendship, trust, interracial families, sexual tension, and of course being the underdog.

How much of the marketing do you do?

I use FaceBook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, and a few others. I network with other authors blog, blog, blog. I've hit bookstores, libraries, and do mail outs. I haven't bought indelible markers and hit the restroom walls at Wal-mart. Well, I haven't done a sandwich-board downtown either. Too much?

Anything you’ve found to be particularly helpful in marketing your book?


Is your book available as an eBook?

Yes, every major online eBook retailer for numerous devices such as Barnes and Nobel's Nook, Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iPad, pdfs, Android phones and many others.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Write for you, not for the market you think will be available when your work is completed. Have patience, try new ideas. Join a writing group. I highly recommend, The Next Big Writer, and be open minded about critiques because those readers help you not only understand your market, but help get your book ready to query. If you think two heads are better than one, try 20 or 30.

As a writer we all face rejection, any advice on how to deal with it?

All I can say is that I grew a really hard layer of skin that first year. It's a tough market out there, and although I really wanted to see my books in print, I think holding on to the fact that I write for me and the women in my family is what got me through it. However, there is nothing like seeing your name on Amazon! Makes you feel special.

What’s your writing schedule like?

I try to write at least a chapter a week now that I'm published. Used to be able to crank out two, three a week, but marketing is taking up more than half of my time now. I'd say I write about 12 to 24 hours a week and market or build relationships the remainder of my work week which is usually around 40 hours during the summer and lots more in the winter.

What’s your favorite thing and least favorite thing about writing?

My favorite would be typing away and laughing out loud as my characters go all wonky on me. They crack me up with their outbursts and constant surprises. Like who would have thought my Bible-toting sister would have a child with a demon????… Ooops… spoiler for the third book! Dang, maybe you want to edit that out?

My least favorite—I'm a wordy bitch—writing a damn query! One or two paragraphs?—come on!

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

On the cover of Rolling Stone. Ha!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

That I have five women, a bunch of faeries, a troll, werewolf, demon, and several sexy immortals living in my brain! And they won't go home!

Where can readers find you? … amp;ugrp=2

Apryl Baker


  1. Great interview, Susan. Your books sound hilarious and weird. I love me some weird. I also get inspired by my dreams. I think all my books have come from dreams.

  2. Thanks Courtney, I appreciate April giving me the opportunity. I don't just love weird - I live weird, LOL. My characters have startled me awake many a night with ideas that have me giggling. Then there's the times when I sit down at the computer with 'a plan' and they walk all over it.


  3. Wonderful interview - comprehensive and fun. Congratulations on your book release. I'm adding it to my TBR list :-) Love your avatar!

  4. Lots of useful info there. It's hard work being a writer, and the learning curve about marketing is a steep one to climb, but we all do it because we just can't not do it.