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Susan DiPlacido

Website: SusanDiPlacido.com

Susan DiPlacido is the author of three novels. Her short story, I, Candy won the Spirit award at the 2005 Moondance International Film Festival (this story can be read online). Her novel Trattoria has been nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Small Press Romance for 2005. She has upcoming short stories in Best American Erotica 2007 and Zane’s anthology Caramel Flava.

Short story collections

American Cool (Rebel Press, 2007) 

(runner up, Romance category, Beach Book Festival 2008)

Reviewed by Sarah Hilary

Interview with Susan DiPlacido

The Short Review: How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?

Susan DiPlacido: They were all written over a two year period. I also write book length fiction, so I like to alternate and do a few short stories in between longer works.

TSR: Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

SD: I didn't have a collection in mind at all. There are certain repeating themes that come up in my writing, though, so they seemed to fit together. Sometimes I'll tackle the same basic premise from a different angle, or sometimes I'll use characters in a different time in their life or even an alternate reality. So those tendencies helped make for a cohesive whole when putting them all together.

TSR: How did you choose which stories to include and in what order?

SD: That's a good question. I wanted a good mix of erotic and non-erotic and some pulpy things to represent all the genres I really enjoy writing -- and reading. So I tried to keep that mix in mind and also arrange them in a way that gives an up-and-down effect when reading. Something silly, then something a little more ahem, provocative.

TSR: Do you have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?

SD: I have pretty mainstream tastes in reading, even though I like things a little edgier. To me, there's often a divide when it comes to genres, and I don't understand why we can't have the best of both worlds. I think back to some of the books that made Jackie Collins so famous, and she intertwined romance and suspense and pulpy crime really well. I realize that Jackie Collins isn't always respected among the literati, but she's really fun to read, because she incorporates all those elements. So I try to write that way, thinking there must be others out there like me who can't get enough of that edgier, more explicit fiction when they're browsing the latest chick-lit titles.

TSR: Is there anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your
collection, anything at all?

SD: I'd like to thank them is what I'd like to do. But, I learned a long time ago to never ask a question you may not want to know an honest answer to, so no, I wouldn't really ask any questions. ;)

TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?

SD: It's both humbling and exhilarating. Writing is a form of communicating, even though it can seem isolated and one-way, like one person doing all the talking. But if someone buys a book and then reads it, they've kept that communication going. It's crazy, and wonderful. And it makes me grateful, much as I am to you for having me here!

TSR: What are you working on now?

SD: Right now I'm back to book-length. It's a spicy rom-com set in the pro poker world. But I have gotten some ideas for new shorts from it, too. (that's generally how it happens, one story leads to another.) So once that's done, I'll be working on a few shorts again.

TSR: What are the three most recent short story collections you've read?

SD: Stories from Sunset Hill by Donald Capone. I really enjoyed this collection. I thought it was both touching and humorous. Paris Noir edited by Maxim Jakubowski. This was a collection of crime fiction, all set in Paris, and it came together really well. Very good stuff. Thieves' Dozen by Donald Westlake. Comic capers. You gotta love that.