Author Connie Suttle

Author Connie Suttle:
Urban Fantasy/ Young Adult

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Blood Queen Release

Hello, all. It is now 2:25 am and Blood Queen is now available on Amazon. Still waiting for it to show on, but hopefully that won't take much longer. Strange events are brewing. Changes are in the wind. Fasten your seatbelts.....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Blood Queen and Blog Posts

Blood Queen is on track for the December 15th release date. My editor/proofreader and I are working through the manuscript now, doing our best to make it ready for next week's release.

A few days ago, I put up a post on my Facebook page (Connie Suttle Author) saying I'd been invited to do a guest post for a blog this month. I asked for suggestions from fans on what subject they'd like to see me write a guest post about. The suggestions ran from Merrill to Kifirin, with a few others in between. I wrote three things--two concerning Merrill, one with Kifirin. All three contain little slices of their past, and none of the three will make it to the guest post. So, I'm publishing them here. The first concerns Merrill and how he became vampire. The second is Kifirin's last conversation with Lendevik Lith, then King of the High Demons. the last involves a visit with Griffin, and an unusual Christmas gift. Here they are:


September—C.E. 9. That's when I left my human life behind. As a centurion for the Nineteenth Roman legion, under the leadership of Publius Quintilius Varus, I and my troops were led straight into a trap. Teutoburg Forest will remain forever burned in my memory, as we were surrounded by Arminius' troops and slaughtered. The battle is often called the clades Variana—the defeat of the Roman General Varus.

Varus committed suicide after the defeat, and I, being the sole remaining survivor of that battle, still hold some anger against Varus. I still think him a fool, too, for his treatment of the people and for his blind trust in Arminius.

I was left for dead in a swampy, forested area. I would have died there, too, had night not fallen. My heartbeat, faint as it was, drew him. My sire. My maker. Had he known at the time what he was making, he may have turned away. Nevertheless, he has expressed his gratitude on more than one occasion that he did not know when he offered his blood and a chance at immortality.

I and one other stood until the last, until Nepos fell, hacked across the throat by an enemy blade. I had the choice, then, of falling on my knees and accepting the beheading, but I refused, eventually taking a sword through the gut. And then they walked away, leaving me to die a painful death.

"My name is Aniketos," he said softly, leaning over me. As full dark had fallen and there was no moon, I could not make out his features. He spoke fluent Latin, but with an accent. As I was dying and in too much pain, I failed to notice or attempt to unravel its origins. Instead, I expected him to deliver a death blow. And I would have welcomed it, as an escape from my suffering.

"Do you wish to live?" he asked. I must have blinked in weary astonishment, as he repeated the question. "Do you wish to live?"

"Not in pain," I whispered. My throat was dry as dust and my lips were cracking—hours had passed since I'd been left to breathe my last.

"There will be no pain, my child," he whispered, before bending his head to my throat.


Lendevik Lith regarded me warily. They all did. Seldom did I come to them, and they worried and were distrustful at my appearance. Every time. I knew of their guilt and innocence. It mattered not to me, as I'd promised from the beginning not to interfere with their lives. Now, I merely expected this one to keep his word.

"What is your desire, Dark Lord?" Lendevik inclined his head respectfully. I knew a part of that respect was false—the High Demons had grown too confident in their power.

"I desire that you keep your promise to me," I said. "I grow weary and wish to rest. The Dragon's Teeth are the way to wake me. Use them if there is need." I turned to go.

"But the Dragon's Teeth requires willingly offered blood," Lendevik murmured behind my back.

"Then only offer if there is great need." I leveled my gaze upon the High Demon King before disappearing. I intended to sleep. For a very long time.


"Griffin?" Merrill should be used to Griffin's sudden appearances by now—he just wasn't. They'd known one another for more than eight hundred years and Griffin often brought wine to Merrill, some of a quality Merrill couldn't hope to get anywhere else.

He'd given up, too, on attempting to read labels affixed to some of the bottles. Griffin explained often enough that the worlds they came from were so far away the suns couldn't be seen from Earth, but Merrill just shook his head. He understood that Earth had catching up to do—they were far behind what Griffin referred to as other star systems.

"Case of wine," Griffin grinned and produced a crate of bottles from nothing, handing it to Merrill.

"Is this?" Merrill examined the bottles—he recognized the labels, although the language evaded him. This was his favorite of all the wines Griffin brought.

"Glish, from Refizan," Griffin nodded.

"A midwinter gift?" Merrill lifted an eyebrow at his friend.

"Start calling it a Christmas gift, brother," Griffin smiled crookedly.

Merrill snorted. "Never let it be said that humans were accurate in their keeping of the time or the seasons."

"A fallacy common to many worlds, not just this one," Griffin slapped Merrill on the back. "Where are your wine cups and your manners?"
* * *
"You know," Griffin waved his sixth cup of wine later, "I have a better gift for you. But you have to come with me."

"Come where?" Merrill lifted an eyebrow—he didn't often see Griffin in a near-drunken state.

"Oh, it's a private planet. It belongs to someone I know. Don't worry, I'll shield us. The owner will never know we're there," Griffin said.

"Are you sure?" Merrill had only drank three cups to Griffin's six, and watched his friend skeptically. They sat before a roaring fire in Merrill's study, inside his expansive Italian villa. Griffin had helped in the construction of the villa, and many envied it and copied its spires and vaulted entry. Merrill seldom allowed anyone inside, however, preferring to send them away with compulsion to never return.

"A private planet?" Merrill sipped more wine. This was an excellent vintage and he raised his glass to Griffin.

"A small planet, with only one inhabitant. We'll pay a brief visit and come back quickly."

"I fail to see the point in this, brother," Merrill observed.

"Just bear with me. Come on, get off your posterior and come with me."

"Are you sure you should be folding space in your condition?" Merrill had his doubts whether they'd arrive where Griffin intended. Or, once there, they'd get back again.

"Come on, where's that adventurous vampire spirit?"

"I've never had that. Neither has my sire."

"Your sire wouldn't recognize adventure if it bit him on the ass," Griffin chuckled.

"Come now, he turned Radomir on a whim," Merrill defended Wlodek.

"A very good decision on Wlodek's part," Griffin admitted, pouring out more wine. "Even if he did complain that the cottage smelled like fish when he walked into it."

"I wouldn't mention that to him, if you ever have the opportunity," Merrill offered dryly. "Come. If we don't leave soon, I have my doubts you'll land us where you intend."

"Oh, yes. We'll go," Griffin downed his wine in only a few swallows, forcing Merrill to shake his head. In a blink they were gone.

"I knew this would happen," Griffin slurred his last two words. Merrill had taken one look at the woman and fallen to his knees, a stunned expression on his face.

"Who is she?" Merrill was breathless and still staring. She was everything. His world, his desires. He would give everything for her; there was no doubt.

"Kiarra," Griffin whispered. "Someday, that will be yours, brother. But there is much time and distance between you."

"I will wait forever," Merrill vowed.

"It may seem that long," Griffin replied and before Merrill could protest, he'd folded Merrill home.

My guest post is scheduled for December 21st on Rabid Reads ( Carmel, who runs the site, is amazing, and if you haven't checked out the site, I urge you to do so! The guest post I intend to submit is on another subject, and one that was eventually edited out of Blood Queen. It involves an explanation on how Larentii prefer to have sex :)


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blood Queen Teaser

"Thousands of Copper Ra'Ak fought throughout Veshtul, killing many as they lashed out, or crushing others as they crawled along. Screaming comesuli ran before them, desperate to escape the deadly creatures. In the distance, Dragon's roar sounded as he fought off one of the monsters. Three other Dragons fought beside him; I saw them as they charged their prey—a Black Dragon, a Silver Dragon and a Gold Dragon. Others were fighting Ra'Ak as well; a Black Gryphon fought alongside a huge Snow Leopard. Giant birds swept the sky, screaming in anger as Ra'Ak leapt at them, attempting to sink rows of deadly teeth into feathered flesh."

I know you're waiting. I'm working to get Blood Queen finished. I promise. And as soon as I feel comfortable giving a date in December for its release, you'll be the first to know. What's the hold up, you ask? Well, Blood Queen, when it was originally written, was filled with characters you haven't met before. They were all members of the Saa Thalarr, and without prior introductions, those characters would only be confusing. So, I am going through and weeding out what I can so the story will (hopefully) flow smoother for everyone. There are still a few I left in, because they're important. All I can say right now is: I love the Falchani twins.
All my best,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blood Royal Release

Blood Royal is now available on, and the manuscript has been submitted to, so it should be available from them soon. Hope all is well with all of you today, and I hope your week is a good one!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Nexus Echo

In Blood Royal, you'll get a taste of Nexus Echo. It was employed a bit in Blood Domination, it just wasn't completely evident. It is mentioned in Blood Royal, but nobody ever explains how it works. So I thought I'd give you the facts now, only I'd let another character explain it. (hint: it's not Lissa, but Kiarra)

"Nexus Echo is an ancient trick the Larentii devised, to listen for key words, names and phrases. If Pheligar is employing Nexus Echo and his name is mentioned—he knows it. The trouble is, he'll never bother to explain how it works, he'll just fold his long blue arms over his chest and pretend you didn't ask. Therefore, I'll explain it as best I can.

This is how Nexus Echo works: imagine the entire planet is a lake. Now, imagine that someone places an invisible net over that lake. It doesn't sink—it floats on the surface. With me so far? The net is tuned to certain words, phrases or names, spoken by certain people. Any time any of those words are spoken by these people, it's like dropping a pebble into the lake. The pebble causes ripples, which make the invisible net bounce. The net caster has an ear tuned to that net. He knows when the ripples come and he can go in an instant if he feels his presence is warranted. Is it nosy in the extreme? Sometimes. But then being nosy means nothing to the Larentii; they are never worried or embarrassed over any information, and think the rest of us are just being silly over the whole thing. I must admit, however, that many of the Saa Thalarr and their healers, along with a few other powerful races, have adopted Nexus Echo and employ it at times. Is it a logistical nightmare? The simple answer is yes, unless you are Larentii."

Okay, it's me again. And on another note—I love the Larentii. I think every woman should have access to one, just for the trilling alone. (I'll explain that, someday) And while I love Pheligar, he's my second favorite Larentii. My favorite Larentii is his son, Renegar. Also a tale for another day. Going back to work, now. November 15th is coming.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fact and Fiction

In July 2007, when I left my job at Borders, I fully intended to search for a desk job the following January. Life has a way of pointing out the amusement it feels for any human-made plans. "Why January?" you ask? Good question. You see, after working eleven Christmases in retail, with absolutely no time allowed for family during the holidays, well, I intended to have a nice holiday that year.

Big mistake. My husband was rushed to the hospital two days before Thanksgiving, after a routine outpatient procedure that went as bad as it could go. He almost died. I can't begin to tell you what it feels like to have a doctor, a nurse and the hospital chaplain come to you and tell you that your husband is bleeding internally and if surgery is required, he won't make it. And then listen as the nurse explains that when they call the code in the CAT scan lab (not if, when) to go ahead and go in—they'd allow it. (They had to do the scan to determine where the bleeding originated)

Against all odds (insert a miracle or two, here) my husband lived over all that. We spent six weeks in intensive care—my husband unconscious and breathing on a vent—me wagging my spiral notebook around, watching machines register his vital signs, listening for regular breathing patterns and writing my first book. I kept writing after that, in doctor's waiting rooms, during dialysis treatments and while waiting for my husband to finish rehab/physical therapy.

That first book—then titled Hope and Vengeance helped get me through those dark days. There will always be a special place in my heart for Adam Chessman, because the book was about him and Kiarra. (Warning—if you haven't read Blood Domination, you won't know who I'm talking about) In the following months, I wrote twelve or thirteen books about the Saa Thalarr. (Hope and Vengeance is the English translation of Saa Thalarr, by the way) They were a mix of Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Fantasy and Science Fiction. And the reason I say twelve or thirteen books is that one of them was so long (more than 150,000 words) that I split it in half. Lately, I've considered rejoining those halves—especially since nobody except me and a couple of good friends may ever read them. They're all too long, all need to be rewritten (I was cutting my writing teeth on those novels) and have way too much sex in them.

I came up with the idea for Blood Wager while attempting to write a punchline for a joke to insert in one of those first novels. The joke? Two vampires walk into a bar. I never did come up with anything particularly funny to go along with it. But it did send me down Lissa's path—what if there really were two vampires in a bar, with more nefarious plans? What if they played games with people's lives, betting on how long it would take them to become vampire? Obviously, they wouldn't pick the healthiest or the youngest—those were easy guesses. No, they'd go after the older, sick or infirm. They'd kill their victims afterward, of course—those hapless targets had outlived their usefulness after the bet was collected.

I wrote those first notes on a scrap of paper and slipped it inside a notebook. I didn't get back to it until seven months later. In March, 2009, after writing twelve or thirteen other books, I pulled out my scrap of paper and sat down to write Lissa's story. The first draft was finished in ten days. After two years of rewrites, edits and more books written (and after a lengthy bout of double pneumonia last February) I decided to self-publish. Yes, I sent out queries for Blood Wager—six, in fact. Nobody seemed to be interested. I know six rejections isn't a lot—I read horror stories all the time about successful authors who were rejected many more times than that. And honestly, I didn't expect Blood Wager to do very well. But it and the books following it were just sitting there, and I'd devoted four years of my life to writing. Time to do something.

After making the decision to self-publish, I did as much research as I could. I'm still not an expert, and I cringe at a bad review. I can only hope some of those things are easier for traditionally published authors—the ones with agents and publishers to back them and reassure them when the road gets bumpy. I don't have that backup system. I have me. Honestly, I've had to work my way through marketing, cover design, book giveaways, advertising—everything. I am thankful that I have an amazing cover artist and a handful of good friends who've gotten behind me and helped push this bus to get it started.

And now, a few fans have jumped in to provide moral support. (Thank you!) I have four books available that are experiencing decent sales—especially for an indie author. What worries me, though, is this: These books are already written. When I sat down to write Lissa's story, I never intended the series to go in the same direction other published series have gone. And there are things that have happened (and will happen) that are certainly outside the norm. I have read suggestions from readers already that I should kill off this character or that, because they're just not needed. That actually frightens me. What I want to say is this: I can't change my vision to fit everybody's vision. If you have hopes and dreams of Lissa having a traditional marriage someday, I beg you to stop reading the series now. You will be disappointed. If you want this or that character dead and gone, I beg you to stop reading now. If any character lives or dies, there is a purpose in it and I cannot rewrite the remaining books to suit one or two people.

For those of you who are art fans, I know you'll recognize the name Georgia O'Keeffe. I once watched a documentary on her life and work, and she said in it (I'm paraphrasing, because I can't find the actual words) that in her early work, she did certain paintings to please one person, and other paintings to please someone else. And then she realized she hadn't done anything to please herself. That's when she started doing the works she is truly known for. One of her quotes, however, I love: "I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life—and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." While I'm not that brave, I want to be. My books will remain intact, because they are the things I did to please myself, probably for the only time in my life. I wrote what I wanted to read.

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."—Toni Morrison.

I hope you stay with me. I hope you understand the vision—at least a little—when all the books are published and available. If not, I'll understand. After all, not every book is for every person. Thanks for reading so far—Connie

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blood Royal Teaser

***Spoiler Alert***
(If you haven't read Blood Domination, perhaps you should carefully consider before reading the following)

"Rene', what will you do if I kick his ass?" I jerked my head toward Tony.

"Nothing, as long as you do not inflict permanent harm," Rene' smiled slightly. I got up to go after Tony, but Wlodek hauled me back.

"We will not allow a brawl between our two youngest," he declared and settled me back in my seat.

**Note: I always smile when I read through this scene :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blood Domination Release

Okay, I may be experiencing a pseudo heart attack. I uploaded Blood Domination on Amazon this afternoon, fully expecting the standard (according to 24 hours to go by before it would be available for purchase, and I planned to start watching Amazon tomorrow morning, just in case it was offered earlier. Well, much to my surprise, I checked my sales page half an hour ago and two sales had already shown up! It's there. If it doesn't come up by title, try entering my name as author. That's how I located it. Picture me having a total freak out, because that's what is happening. Anyway, happy reading.

Friday, October 7, 2011

You Saw It Here First

The first pages of Blood Domination:

Jovana was beautiful. Xenides hated her. If not for a command given by his now-deceased sire, Xenides would have killed her long ago. Instead, Saxom had instructed his eldest to keep Jovana alive and hidden, as she might be useful in Xenides' war against the Vampire Council.

"You should do this for me--in our sire's memory and with no compensation," Xenides growled. Xenides sat on a Louis XVI sofa in Jovana's private quarters. Jovana's Paris apartment was tastefully decorated in antiques, many of which Saxom had given her. He'd collected throughout his lengthy life and now Jovana had enough to keep her into the next century. She wasn't satisfied with that, however. She had expensive tastes and only wore the best in designer clothing. Therefore, she often agreed to the odd assignment for Xenides. For a healthy fee, of course.

"Our sire is dead and compulsion is merely a joke to me," Jovana murmured, rising to gaze out a window. Evenings in Paris appealed to her and were the deciding factor in her choice of living quarters. Lucius had taken her for his lover long ago, and he'd never informed anyone that Jovana wasn't susceptible to compulsion. Saxom had known it anyway, and together he and Jovana had killed Lucius before Saxom made her vampire. She'd agreed willingly to the turn--after all, her beauty was fading away and she worried that Lucius would leave her behind. She'd risen a Queen Vampire, just as Saxom knew she would, and she'd created havoc at Saxom's bidding for more than two hundred years.

"Jovana, our sire left me in charge of his wealth for a reason," Xenides pointed out maliciously.

"So you can keep me under your thumb," Jovana snorted, turning back to her vampire sibling. "He knew I would walk away from you and your foolishness if he didn't."

"You could sell what you own and keep yourself for a very long time," Xenides snapped.

"Of course I will not sell my things. This is mine," Jovana swept out a hand. "And I deserved a fair share of our sire's wealth when he died. You refuse to give it to me."

"I will pay for your services as always, Jovana," Xenides sighed. "How much this time for your assistance in capturing the little princess?"

"You should be glad I have no feelings for you, Xenides," Jovana huffed. "Else I would be quite jealous. You talk of her too often."

"You have no reason to be jealous. I only wish to utilize her talents, as you are so reluctant to do so."

"Of course I am reluctant. You fail to see the ignorance in this quest. You should allow me to kill the little bitch and be done with it."

"You will not kill her, and avenging our sire's death is not ignorance," Xenides hissed, his eyes turning so deep a red they were nearly black.

"No need to be angry, Xenides. I'll do this for you." Jovana inspected a well-manicured hand. "Six million will suffice until the next assignment."

"Then I suggest you don't spend it in one place, Jovana. As soon as I have the little female under compulsion, you and I will part ways."

"Where and when?" Jovana ignored Xenides' threat.

"Don't worry, I'll bring her to you. You won't have to leave your precious city behind."

"What about the Council?" Jovana didn't bother to hide the contempt in her voice. After all, Wlodek always treated her coldly and ignored her advances.

"I have my own plans where they're concerned," Xenides replied. "I intend to kill Wlodek and then watch the others scatter like the frightened vermin they are. I will only contact you again if the situation becomes dire. You are dead weight to me, Jovana, and without your particular talents, you would be completely worthless."

"Please, see yourself out," Jovana snarled, turning her back on Xenides. "I shall expect the transfer of funds in two days."

Xenides didn't bother with a farewell; he merely slammed the door so hard on his way out the wood split. Jovana cursed at his retreating back.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blood Domination Cover

The cover image for Blood Domination is now posted on the website and on Facebook. Check it out!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blood Domination Update

Things are going well on the manuscript, so we are currently on track for the October 15th release. Here's a teaser:

"To whom are you taking her?" Merrill asked, uncharacteristically curious.

"Dragon," Griffin grinned. I stared at Griffin, my mouth surely open in surprise. Dragon? There was somebody named Dragon? That didn't sound promising. Who named their kid Dragon?

Hope your day is a happy one--

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Blood Sense Happy Dance!

It's up! I can't help but think Dare had something to do with it, so thank you, thank you, thank you! Anyway, Blood Sense is now available from Amazon and, as well as AmazonUK. Thank you all for being patient and I promise to submit the next book when I'm more awake after a long day :) My heart has now gone back to a more normal rhythm. Now if I can just get my laptop problem solved.....


P.S. Off to update website now. We'll see how that goes.


Usually Amazon is very prompt at hitting the 24-hour mark in putting a book up for sale after submission. Blood Sense was submitted Monday night. For those of you checking, the book cover shows up with the blurb "pricing not available", which is quite frustrating. This morning I sent a message to Amazon, but have no idea, still, how much longer the wait will be. My apologies. Blood Sense was submitted to 12hours after the Amazon submission and is available for purchase there for those of you who have nooks or the nook app. Again, I will post here as soon as the book is live on Amazon.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blood Sense

For those of you looking for information, Blood Sense will likely be available September 15th. Keep an eye on this blog or subtledemon on twitter or Subtle Demon on Facebook--announcements will be made as soon as the book is available. And as always, check the The cover will be posted there very soon!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Wait is Over

For those lucky few who read my blog--Blood Passage is now available from Amazon, and has been submitted to, so it won't be long before it's available in Nook format as well. Happy reading!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Make It So

Blood Passage is scheduled for release September 1, 2011. I am currently doing last-minute preparations for the release. For all the fans who liked Blood Wager, the roller coaster ride continues with book 2.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Free Copies of Blood Wager

I have twenty free kindle copies of Blood Wager to give away. Send a message to, or leave a comment on this post. Either way, I'll need an email address to send the book. Never fear, your email will remain sacred and will only be used to send a free book to you. And if you know anyone who might be interested in a free copy, feel free to send them my way. Have a great weekend and enjoy your free read!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Web of Lies

Regularly, I receive (via email) what can only be described as political propaganda. Most of it has been circulating for years, it's just that someone, somewhere, has plugged in the names of current politicians/political parties and is now passing it off as something new.

The most recent of these came to me with the following title: Your Social Security is an ENTITLEMENT! Yes, entitlement was all in caps, with the accompanying exclamation point. What followed was a diatribe that has (according to my research) been circulating since 2005 at least, with only a few minor changes.

When I get these emails, they bother me. Their purpose (in my mind) is singular--denounce one party or the other, or one politician or another. To me, it isn't difficult to see why the country is so divided at this point. These propaganda emails, along with a media that prefers to deal in shock and entertainment instead of reporting the news, have led us down that path.

And since these emails bother me so much, I feel compelled to research most of them. At times, I even send my findings back to the person who sent the email to begin with. I'm sure they've gotten wise to my ways and trash all my carefully researched emails without reading them, but that's all right. That wasn't the reason I did the research to begin with. I did it for my own peace of mind. Unfortunately, most people who receive these emails don't bother to do the same, choosing instead to believe the gossip and lies that have been passed over a virtual back fence. They then cheerfully participate in the lie by passing it right along over the internet to everybody in their electronic address book. The truth of the matter, poor orphan that it is, never stands a chance.

In case you're interested in the Social Security email (if you didn't get it already I am much surprised, but let's say you didn't), the gist of of it can be found by searching with the key words Social Security Changes. And then you can go to the official Social Security Administration website at and read MYTHS AND MISINFORMATION ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY-Parts 1 & 2, because they've done their research as well and have an answer for every point made in the email. Sadly, some people won't take that as truth either, but then I don't buy into conspiracy theories and do not possess the talent to convince those folks otherwise. I also don't have a license to provide sorely needed counseling services.

Now, those folks who send me these emails wouldn't normally tell a lie to my face. Not knowingly, anyway. But once they receive something in print, even if it's printed in an email (and it fits their ideas and political views) it doesn't even strike them as dishonest to bat it into the outfield so everybody can read it and get their underwear in a bunch (figuratively speaking, of course). If your underwear does indeed bunch up, then perhaps a different brand might work. You just need to do your research.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Borders Closing

I worked for Borders. I admit it freely. For eleven years I walked through the doors of the store in Oklahoma City, and was greeted by the scent of ink on paper.

I started as a bookseller in 1996, but was quickly promoted, and rotated through most of the positions any Borders assistant manager might aspire to. As a Training Manager, I once helped open a new store in the New Orleans area, leaving the city barely ahead of hurricane Georges in 1998.

But my favorite thing about working for Borders was The Books. After all, that is a book store's raison d'etre--Books. More than anything, I loved opening boxes of books, just to see the new titles every week. It was Christmas-like, those discoveries, and I found so many new authors that I loved and continue to read. But the most special boxes were the ones that held laydowns.

For anyone who isn't familiar with the term Laydown, that is the release date for special books--the hot, new, or eagerly anticipated in the realm of printed pages. The most obvious example might be the Harry Potter titles. In fact, my last day working for Borders in July, 2007, coincided with the release of the last Harry Potter book.

"I'm going out with Harry," I announced to all my friends. Those boxes of J.K. Rowling's books were such a temptation, but we weren't even allowed to open any of them until THE DAY, they were so secret an entity and the laydown date so protected. We didn't defile that trust, but it was difficult not to do so. The employees waited until time on that fateful evening, before cracking open boxes and hauling the books out to the sales floor at one minute past midnight. Of course, the crowd had already gathered, and with line numbers in hand, the excitement was tangible and the noise and conversation nearly deafening as we all waited to buy our copy.

That's how I spent my first day of non-employment--reading about the boy who lived. I know things have changed and that e-books are now the thing. And yes, I am a consumer of those things. But I worry that gathering crowds, anxiously awaiting a midnight release may never happen again. After all, I can't see a multitude congregating, just to download a copy of their favorite author's latest on an e-reader together. That phenomenon, like Borders, may be dying.

The store I worked for in Oklahoma City was in the first wave of shut-downs earlier this year. I visited it shortly before it closed its doors for good. It was sad to see it go. Now, if the liquidators have their way, the remaining Borders stores will be laid out like a dying beast, waiting for scavengers to descend and pick its bones clean. How will we mourn its passing? What will this mean for the future? I don't have that answer. All I can do is say farewell, and promise to remember.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Self Publishing

Years ago, when I was in film school, I had a dream. In my dream I saw a tall woman. She stood at the top of many steep marble steps, and others were climbing those steps to ask her questions. Those others all seemed pleased with the answers the received.

After watching for a while, I decided to walk up and ask a question of my own. As I came before her, I noticed the woman was bald and wearing a wide headdress. At the time, I remember thinking it odd, but I asked my question anyway. "Will I be successful?" I queried. I meant at what I was doing at that moment, working to get through film school and then working in the industry past that. The woman gazed at me thoughtfully for several seconds before answering.

"You will," she nodded. "Only it will not be what you think."

Okay, as answers went, that was disappointing. Right in the middle of my MFA as it was, it didn't come as the best of news. When I woke, as one normally does from a dream, I shook it off and went on with my life. I finished my MFA, taught for a few years and then went looking for a part-time job to feed my independent filmmaking habit. The dream nagged at me, though, over the years.

"We don't have any part-time positions available," a hiring manager for a new bookstore informed me. "I have a full-time position, though."

That started my career in bookselling and bookstore management. But after a few years at that job, I regularly developed problems with sciatica. I learned it was from lifting heavy boxes of magazines off the loading dock at work. My doctor suggested I find a desk job instead. My last day at the bookstore was in July, 2007. I intended to take a few months off and have a nice Christmas (I hadn't been able to celebrate the holiday the entire time I worked in retail) before looking for another job. My husband suggested I use the time off to write. I'd thought of doing that often enough, and even had a few chapters of things I'd started, stuffed in desk drawers. I began writing, but wasn't truly serious about it until my life (and my husband's) changed dramatically.

While I sat in my husband's ICU room (as he lay in bed, breathing on a vent in a drug-induced coma) I began to write seriously. Every day I'd bring my notebook and pen, scribbling furiously away at the very first novel I ever completed. Not only did the writing keep me busy, it saved my sanity. I was writing about lives other than my own, and that was ultimately better than what I woke to every day. And the writing didn't stop. When my husband regained consciousness and started rehab (he was already going through dialysis after a major organ shutdown) I followed him to two other hospitals, still writing every spare moment. When my husband came home, I was still writing, in between caring for him and driving him to clinics and doctor visits. In less than six months, I had two finished novels and was working on a third.

My husband and I both wept when a doctor announced that his kidneys were working again, after five months of dialysis. Prior to that, our family physician was already talking to us about placing my husband on a donor list.

In all, I wrote at least twelve novels while my husband got on his feet again. No, I didn't sleep much during that time. I wrote a lot at night, while my husband was asleep. It is quieter, then. Nobody calls, knocks, or generally disturbs. At times, I wrote until five or six am, going to bed then for three or four hours of sleep. In the past four years, (yes, the fourth anniversary of my leaving the bookstore is quickly approaching) I've written thirty books. The first twelve or thirteen are in desperate need of rewrites. Most of them are much too long as well. I've self-published the fourteenth novel as an e-book, and the sequel is in the revision/editing stage. I've learned a lot in the past four years. I still have a lot to learn. My advice to aspiring authors? Write. Just write. It can save you, when all is said and done.

When I first had my dream about the oracle (that's how I think of her, now), I hoped it was just a dream and that her answer was wrong. After all, I'd spent a lot of time, effort and money getting my degree. Nowadays, I hope it wasn't just a dream and that the woman was right. And I hope this is what she meant when she said I'd be successful. Writing has become the passion that filmmaking and animation never were. And I hope that somewhere in the e-verse, a few people will enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Blood Wager, Blood destiny #1 (my fourteenth novel and first self-published e-book), is available as a kindle title and as a nook book. Blood Passage, Blood Destiny #2, is scheduled for release September 1, 2011.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

True Blood

In 2008, I met Charlaine Harris at a book signing. She was charming, witty and one of the nicest people I've ever met in my life. A few months later, I wrote a letter (not an email, twitter or Facebook post, an honest to God, stamp-requiring letter) to her, through her publisher. It took a while to filter through them and reach her, but I got a letter back (also requiring a stamp), in which she apologized to me for taking so long to reply. I was both shocked and pleased that a best-selling author would even take the time to write back, let alone apologize for the delay.

But that's not the subject of this blog post. I'm writing about True Blood, I remind myself somewhat sternly. Okay, it's early and I haven't had coffee (or green tea) yet, so bear with me. This blog is actually about ownership. Of your ideas, thoughts and yes--books. I have faithfully read every single one of Ms. Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries series and enjoyed all of them immensely. Nowadays, I download most of my reading material as e-books, but Ms. Harris' books are proudly displayed on my bookshelves in hard copy.

And that brings me to True Blood, the cable television series, based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Yes, I have watched every episode and yes, I was caught like a deer in the headlights when the first episode aired. True Blood isn't much like the books at all, but if you've read and watched both series, you already know that. Was I upset that True Blood veered away from the books? A little at first. But then I sat down and had a talk with myself. This happens all the time. You read a book and then see a movie based on the book, discovering quickly that they often have little in common. Two different formats, two different takes. Honestly, even though True Blood bears little resemblance to the books, I don't blame Ms. Harris one bit for that. After all, I used to work in a bookstore and love the printed word. True Blood has likely garnered an entirely new readership for the Southern Vampire Mysteries series, and I have always held the belief that the more we read, no matter what it is, the richer we are. Ms. Harris did the right thing, I think.

And so we come to ownership. All readers have their favorite books. The characters that populate those books feed our dreams and fantasies. That's why we read them, isn't it? So we can walk away from our own lives and live somewhere else for a while? A place ultimately more interesting and exciting than our own routine existence? Does that mean we own the characters and events in those books, or do we only borrow them for a while? Should we be allowed to dictate the actions of our favorite fictional characters? In our imagination, we can.

We owe the authors for giving us those books and characters to begin with. Therefore, we have to allow the authors to take us where they will in the writing (and selling) of those books. I also believe we have to take a deep breath, step back and refrain from judgment when an author's characters transform during their leap from page to screen. Someone else has imagined different lives and events for those characters (just as some of the rest of us have) and then presented their imaginings to us on television or in a motion picture. I think of True Blood as an alternate universe and (as everyone knows) in an alternate universe, all things are possible. Will I stop watching True Blood because it doesn't follow the books? No. I've separated them, as they are two completely different things. Both are highly entertaining and worthy in their respective formats. Will I stop reading the Southern Vampire Mysteries series? Absolutely not. And I'll have a copy on my shelf of every single title.

Connie Suttle is the author of Blood Wager (Blood Destiny, book 1) available as a kindle e-book from Learn more at

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I woke this morning early, and since the cats think that the opening of my eyes heralds gooshie food, I fed them. Then, just to check things out, I logged onto (When I downloaded the book yesterday, I was informed that it would take at least 24 hours for the book to be available). Surprisingly, Blood Wager was there and waiting. I shamelessly downloaded the first copy for myself.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Today was the day--the last day--that I'd set aside to do the multitude of things necessary to publish Blood Wager as an e-book and have it available for purchase on July first.. It makes me think of an old commercial that an oil company ran years ago: "If you don't have an oil well, get one!" Only my slogan would be, "If you don't have an e-book, make one!" I made one, now I have to wait and see if I did everything right to get it onto Amazon's website. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tunnel. Vision.

Soon. Blood Wager will be uploaded on Amazon. Soon. This process I travel through to get the book ready (or as ready as I can make it) makes me think of my first visit to Yosemite.  We drove there from Fresno, where my youngest sister lives. It is a grueling trek through steep mountain roads, some with curves so tight you double back often while watching other vehicles directly below, traveling the same stretch you just covered.  You see nothing except those hairpin turns, thick stands of pines and the occasional redwood that rises to seemingly endless heights.  And then comes the tunnel.  Dim and lengthy it is, and you are required to turn on headlights before entering. The journey through that tunnel seems endless, and you may expect to find more steep mountain, more curves and more trees on the other side.  Instead, the moment you come away from the tunnel, you see it.  What all the fuss is about.  Why all the tourists come.  It is magnificent, that vista.  A wide valley stands before you, with El Capitan in the distance, all of it so grandly glorious you feel compelled to reach out a hand to touch.

While editing and making corrections on Blood Wager, I have the same sensation as traveling the tunnel into Yosemite.  Writing the book was the journey through the mountain, with editing being the tunnel at the end.  I only hope the view on the other side will be even a fraction as satisfying as my first glimpse of Yosemite.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Lately I have been reading anything that comes my way on self-publishing, hoping to prepare myself for that fateful day when I take the leap, putting Blood Wager up for sale on Amazon. The spin on self-publishing has become a vortex, since the publishing industry is experiencing a metamorphosis. While many articles offer hope for the self-pubbing, some are downright discouraging. As if I needed another excuse to doubt myself and my work. The truth is, I can't stop writing. If I'm not sitting at my desk typing away,then the story is in the back of my mind and at times my husband or my friends catch me staring off into space (I'm not ignoring you on purpose, I promise) while I plot out What Happens Next. So, if I fail to garner the readers I dream about, while being spitted by authors who were fortunate enough to snag agents and publishers, so be it. I suppose I'll have to live with that. Just don't expect me to stop writing.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pitfall Navigation

Currently I am proofing Blood Wager, (for perhaps the fiftieth time) and working on cover art.  Fangs, tombstones and dark, frightening streetscapes seem a little overdone, so I'll try to come up with something different.  We'll see how that turns out--cs