Ahead of the release of Susana's new book, I managed to catch her for a quick chat about it. As you know, the Timelessness series is one of my all time favourites. The first books in the series, Wyrd Gods, was one of the earliest books that I reviewed. I absolutely adored that book and the subsequent full length novels and the novella in the series as it catapulted me into a world of mythology, science fiction, fantasy and anything else that the imagination of Susana cared to throw at me.

I have already been fortunate to read the latest book Oublie, and will share my thoughts with you prior to the book coming out, but first I wanted to catch up (well, when I say catch up I mean dropped this Q & A on her sporadically and with very little warning, but she kindly obliged) with Susana before the release on 21 March 2024

Right, lets get on with it then!

Oh, and by the way, when Susana refers to Mark, that's me! Whilst I have grown into the name Fantasy Book Nerd, that wasn't what my parents had in mind when they named me.


Hello Susana! How are you?

Hello Mark! I'm well, thank you. And thank you so much for this Q&A.

Oublié is out soon, isn’t it? When is it out?

21st of March 2024, the spring equinox. (I recently found out the equinox this year is on the 20th... oh well... it's the intention that counts, I suppose)

The story is set in the Timelessness series of stories, but is very much a standalone. How does this book fit into the Timelessness series?

Yes, it was written as a sequel, but I turned it into a standalone, hoping to draw new readers to the Timelessness universe.

I call it a monochromatic Bifröst between series. It should make sense in a few years once I publish the rest of the story. 

In the introductory paragraphs of the books, you say that originally this was meant to be a follow up to Wyrd Gods, and that you had to rewrite and pair back some strands of the original story arcs. Was it a difficult process to go back and revise a story that you had already mapped out?

Yes, very much so. It took almost a year of revisions and despair. Many times I thought I couldn't do it. Or that I was ruining the entire plot. The main problem was that I relied a lot on events that happened in the series. It was difficult to refer to them without major spoilers. Also, several of the characters who were already well established and developed in the series had to be (re)introduced. That took a lot of work. Oublié is certainly different now than what it was originally, but I think, overall, it's better. At least in the sense that it's its own thing. You can read it as part of the series (and I would strongly recommend you do) or on its own without missing out on much. But my hope is to make the reader curious about what came before.

The Timelessness series is made up of four books and a novella, but it also has an overarching arc to the story. Was the process in writing the book as a standalone different from writing a lengthy series?

Very different. I had to simplify the narrative, to keep the focus on the main plot and that (for me, at last) is quite the challenge. I tend to digress and complicate things, just for fun. (re)writing this book taught me how not to lose track of the main events.

When reading this book, it seems that this book is much more linear and propulsive in its structure, was that something that you purposefully set out to do?

Yes. Because of the complexity of the subtext, I had to keep everything else simple. I followed a very strict scene and plot structure to avoid digressions. I also chose to tell the story from a single, omniscient pov. This way I could play with the different character perspectives and guide the reader’s attention without having to change scene or chapter for each pov. It was a refreshing even if somewhat daunting experience.

Obviously, I have asked you a few questions, but I haven’t actually asked you what the book was about, so for those readers out there are not familiar with your work, what is Oublie about?

At its core, Oublié is about memory and identity. And in the context of the series is about the advent of Time and the creation of the Underworlds as well as the role souls play in the fabric of Timelessness universe. There’s also a bit of satire and social criticism because I just can’t help myself. I like to address heavy subjects in lighthearted ways, disguised as entertainment. Oublié might seem straightforward (at least compared with Timelessness) but I think it’s one of the darkest, most layered stories I've ever written. It's both metaphorical and metaphysical, designed to entertain and reflect.

Throughout all of your books, mythology as a whole is used as a springboard to the story. What is it about mythology that fascinates you so much?

Mythology is the foundation of storytelling. It’s a way to make sense of the universe, of life and humanity through stories that are timeless. I can't get enough of it)

Many contemporary books about mythology seem to focus on retelling the variety of mythologies in some way, yet your books tend to amalgamate mythology into the story. Is that something that you made a conscious decision to do?

Absolutely. I'm sick of retellings (that being said, I am writing one at the moment – a retelling of the myth of the Minotaur from the Minotaur's perspective).
I always wondered what happened next. After the myths we know. And how the gods from different pantheons would interact with each other. What do they think about themselves and the Universe? How would they feel about humanity in the future? How would they react to AI? So that's the sort of thing I write about.

In Oublie, it seems to be that Seshat was the main character in this story. Did you always have plans to give Seshat their own starring role, or was it something that grew organically?

It grew organically. Seshat started as little more than an observer. I wanted a writer in the cast to act as a sort of comic relief, so I could vent all my frustrations while writing through her. But then she became a lot more. Her arc with Thoth and Mnemosyne was planned from the beginning, but it played out very differently because of how much depth she gained in the series.

Now, I mentioned that I thought that this was a standalone, but at the end of the book you leave us with a bit of a cliffhanger. Do you have plans to write some more books in the Timelessness series such as a follow-up series?

Of course! Timelessness was originally nine books (each about the size of a trilogy). So there's a lot more to tell. I just couldn't keep writing as I’d originally planned. At this rate I'd writing Timelessness book 15 in my fifties. I could not afford that… As a self-published author, I need to sell books in order to publish them, so that meant making the story available to a wider audience and diversify how it’s told.

So, just to move on a bit, you also have a YouTube channel called Den of Wyrd. Obviously, I am an avid watcher, but how is it going?

Very well. Quiet, unproblematic. Perhaps a bit neglected. It's something I do for fun, to entertain (myself, mostly). It gives me an excuse to talk about the things I enjoy and think deserve more attention as well as to pick the brains of interesting people while trying to give something back to the community. I rarely use it to advertise my work and I refuse to perform for the algorithm. I'm there mainly as a reader and enthusiast of stories, cinema and board games. Not as an author. So far it’s been fun and I intend to keep it that way.

As a final question, what next? Do you have anything in the pipeline? Are there going to be more Timelessness stories or are you planning something else?

I'm quite busy, actually.) There's definitely going to be more Timelessness stories. Another novel might take a while, but I have a short story, Daemons, and a novella, Asterius, coming up this year. I'm also working on a special edition of Timelessness and a couple of 'secret' projects unrleated to Timelessness under a pen name. (That I won’t reveal because it’s part of an experiment regarding the writing community and reader’s bias). Stay tuned! 

 Oublie is out 21 March 2024

You can still Pre - order it on AMAZON 

If you want to add it to your TBR, here's the GOODREADS link



Popular Posts