Blog - 2023


Susan Berliner is the author of six supernatural thrillers ("DUST," "Peachwood Lake," "The Disappearance," "Corsonia," "After the Bubbles," "Soldier Girl"); three short story collections ("The Sea Crystal and Other Weird Tales," "George's Mother and Other Weird Stories," "Crash Effect and Other Weird Stories); and a memoir ("Doing the Write Thing"). If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact me.

Moving backwards - February 3, 2023

I started writing my dystopian thriller, The Resolve, during the height of the pandemic. Since I spent so much time thinking about Covid, that virus seemed like a good idea for a doomsday novel.

However, after reviewing the 30,000 words I had written through last year—and trying to continue the story—I realized the Covid element wasn't working. The overall plot still works, just not the Covid part.

As a result, I have to redo a lot of the manuscript and throw away a bunch of stuff I've written, much of which I like. (I usually love many of the words I have to dump.)

So before I move forward again, I have to go backwards. The scenes with my villains are fine, but the Part 2 sections that involve my protagonists have to be completely rewritten. I've redone Chapters 1 and 2, but I still have to redo Chapters 3 and 4.

I'm really looking forward to Chapter 5 where I can finally write new material.

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Review request - January 28, 2023


The above quote is from a 5-star Amazon review I received this week for my new book, CRASH EFFECT and Other Weird Stories.

I love getting a 5-star (or even a 4-star) review, but, unfortunately, it happens infrequently. The great majority of people who enjoy a book don't bother to write reviews, which takes time and effort. However, reviews are so important for authors—especially indie authors—because it shows potential customers that a non-bestseller can be a worthwhile read.

So here's my request: Everyone who reads a good book, please take a few minutes to write a brief review and post it on Amazon. You'll be doing me—and every other author—a huge favor.

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Dean Koontz and me - January 22, 2023

My supernatural thrillers have been called "Dean Koontz-lite," which I take as a compliment because Koontz, a wonderful writer, is my favorite author.

Although I don't claim to be nearly as good a writer as Koontz, I often find similarities in my work and his. For example, I'm currently reading his novel, Elsewhere, which is about parallel universes and "the key to everything" and two tales in my collection of short stories, George's Mother and Other Weird Stories—"Wrong Road" and "The Key"—are about a parallel universe and a strange key.

In addition, Elsewhere's main characters—a father and his nearly 12-year-old daughter whose mother has deserted them—are similar to my 13-year-old heroine in Peachwood Lake, who lives only with her father because her mother has abandoned the family.

I love the Koontz connections!

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It's all here - January 16, 2023

In December, I published Crash Effect and Other Weird Stories as both an ebook and a paperback. Then last week, I got everything else: my paperback copies, bookmarks, and poster. Here's what the bookmarks and poster--which features my three short story collections--look like:

                                                                   CE Bookmark FrontaCE Bookmark Back

                                                               CE Poster
Now I need a book-signing event so I can display the poster, give out the bookmarks—and of course, sell the paperbacks.

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The reread begins - January 10, 2023

True to my first New Year's resolution (see January 4 post), I've begun rereading my post-Covid dystopian thriller, The Resolve. So far, I've read 80 pages and partially fixed a major plot issue.

Although I am editing as I read, I'm mostly trying to remember what I wrote, since I haven't looked at this manuscript in nearly a year. It's full of holes, missing geographic names and route numbers as well as other details. However, I need to know what's happened before I continue writing Part Two.

But at least it's a start. Another 90 pages to go before I can continue the adventure.

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Writing resolutions - January 4, 2023

Happy New Year! Another year of writing means another set of resolutions:

1. I resolve to finish writing my post-Covid dystopian thriller, The Resolve (an appropriate title!). I began working on this book during the pandemic and have written 30,000 words (some of them good). I'm into Part Two, but stopped last February to finish Crash Effect and Other Weird Stories. However, before continuing, I have to resolve a major plot issue in The Resolve.

2. I resolve to finish my children's book, which I wrote more than ten-years ago after being inspired by a dream. It's a story about a flying car and, from what I read recently, scientists are now building flying cars. That means if I don't write this book soon, the topic might be true-life—not science fiction.

That's it, just two resolutions for 2023, but they're big ones so I hope I can achieve both. (I'd also like to be a BookTok star on TikTok, but I don't see that happening.)

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