Susan Sloate – Interview (Part One – 1-29-15)

2015 Pamlico Writers Conference and Competition

March 21, 2015       8:30am to 6pm
The Turnage Theatre
150 W. Main Street, Washington, NC 27889

Susan Sloate






Susan Sloate

Hello Again. This week our post is Part One of an interview with author Susan Sloate by Doris Schneider (PWCC Steering Committee – Chair).

Susan Sloate is an American novelist, screenwriter and playwright. Born in New York City, June 1957, she grew up in New Rochelle, New York. Her childhood was spent fascinated by the entertainment world.  As a child, she wrote constantly — short stories and short poems, and by her teens graduated to full-length novels and musical plays.

Ms. Sloate is best known as the co-author (with Kevin Finn) of the 2003 alternate-history, time-travel thriller novel, FORWARD TO CAMELOT, published by Drake Valley Press, about the JFK assassination. Inspired after seeing Oliver Stone’s film JFK. The book has also been optioned for film production. The original edition was a #6 Amazon bestseller (April 2004), and a finalist in 2008 Beach Book Festival, 2004 Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPYS) and 2004 Arizona Authors Association Literary Competition.

STEALING FIRE, a love story set against a backdrop of the Broadway musical, published 2013 by Drake Valley Press, which she began writing in Los Angeles in 1983. Originally this novel was entered into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest in 2012. The novel garnered excellent response from readers and was named a Quarter-Finalist (top 5%) in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. It was also a finalist in the 2014 Reader’s Favorite Book Awards.

In 2013 FORWARD TO CAMELOT: 50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION, was re-edited and published by Drake Valley Press, in time for the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.

In the fall of 2013 Ms. Sloate was ready to release and pioneer a new genre: the self-help NOVEL, titled REALIZING YOU (with Ron Doades).

Beyond these, she has also written numerous fiction and non-fiction books for young readers and adults (17 at last count) on topics from pre-teen fashion to biography (Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, Clara Barton, Ray Charles) to the history of baseball and Alcatraz Island to novels for girls’ series, two produced stage plays and two optioned film works. She has managed two recent political campaigns and founded a local author’s festival, promoting literacy among students. And in an effort to help other writers, became a writing coach with her Coaching For Writers program.

Now to our interview with Susan Sloate, Part 1:

Q.     Do you sleep? You have accomplished so much, I feel tired just reading about all you do.  Do you ever have down time? And how do you use it?

A.     Thanks for the nice words! Unfortunately, I sleep WAY too much and I waste WAY too much time–still working on both of those bad habits! I spend more time on the Internet and computer games than I like to admit, and while I love reading, I still read too much junk, instead of books that really enhance my life. Hearing about writers like Stephen King and Max Allan Collins, who have so many books to their credit and are so disciplined, makes me want to scream. So for the future I’m going to PLAN my time and use it more effectively. This includes scheduling my writing time (I’m going to publish a new novel in 2015, which means scheduling not just the writing hours, but also time to edit and put the book through production). It also includes deciding what else I want to do–and there are so many dazzling possibilities that it’s hard to limit myself. I’m currently working on the revision of the screenplay for FORWARD TO CAMELOT, the time-travel novel I wrote with my partner Kevin Finn and re-published in 2013. We want to get that finished very soon, so we can get it out to our agent in L.A. and have him get it to producers and studios.

Right now there isn’t much ‘down time’. I’m working on a new novel and still trying to learn Scrivener, doing some copywriting for a new company I’m excited about, coaching writers through the writing and publishing process (something I love to do), and doing freelance story analysis as well. In my ‘spare’ time I serve on the Culture, Arts & Pride Commission for the Town of Mount Pleasant, SC, am working on a local program to bring actors and directors together with writers for staged readings of their work in progress, and am mom to two great teenage boys. And I always have new writing projects behind the current one, begging to be written, so as I get ideas for those, I’m jotting them down and trying to organize them for the time when I’m ready to write.

Q.     Since you write in so many different genres, is there one that matters most or is more fulfilling?

A.     Like so many writers, whatever I’m working on now is the genre I’m most interested in, and that changes from project to project. But I do have a real soft spot for girls’ series books–Nancy Drew, Connie Blair, Donna Parker, those kinds of series, and the malt-shop books of the 40’s and 50’s which were aimed at girls from about 12 to 16. I re-read those continually (I have a collection of about 400 of the old books that I’m trying to add to), and they’re fabulous. I do have a girls’ series as one of my upcoming projects, so I can pour everything I’ve learned from the old books into it, and I’m trusting that there’s SOMEONE out there who’ll find it as exciting as I do.

By Kaylene Wilson and Doris Schneider

For information on or about The 2015 Pamlico Writers Conference or Competition

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Remember, if you’re planning to enter the competition, there’s still time. Go to our website for competition rules and details. Then get your entries sent in no later than March 8th, 2015. Don’t let an opportunity like this pass you by, make sure your written pieces are entered early.

And if you haven’t already registered for the conference, chosen your desired workshops to attend, etc.? (Let me share with you the titles of two of the (9) Nine workshops that will be presented and see if either peeks your interest enough to go to the website for more information: How to Write About Sex Without Getting Arrested with Richard Krawiec and Tying You to Your Readers: Using Social Media, Readings, and Book Tours with Marni Graff) As I told you, these are just two of the workshops we have planned this year. Go to our website ( for a complete list of planned events and workshops. Don’t take the chance of losing a seat in a workshop you’d like to attend because it’s full. Register early. Register soon.


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