Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Crashing Eden by Michael Sussman : Interview

YA Paranormal Fantasy

For one boy and his friends, the path to Paradise comes at a cost - one they may not be prepared to pay.

When a biking accident leaves 17-year-old Joss Kazdan with the ability to hear things others can't, reality as he knows it begins to unravel.

A world of legends exists beyond the ordinary life he's always known, and he is transported to the same Paradise he's studying in World Mythology. But the strange gets even stranger when his new friends build a device that delivers people through the gates of the Garden of Eden.

Now Samael, the Creator God, is furious. As Samael rains down his apocalyptic devastation on the ecstasy-seeking teens, Joss and his companions must find a way to appease Samael - or the world will be destroyed forever.

I'm happy to welcome Michael Sussman as my guest author today.  He's agreed to sit down with me and let me badger him with my questions.

Good Morning, Michael.  Thanks for being here. So, let's begin. Tell us about your current release.

My first novel, Crashing Eden, is a YA urban fantasy with paranormal elements. It was released by Solstice Publishing in May, both as a paperback and e-book.

I’ve been interested in world mythology for many years, and especially intrigued by the widespread myths suggesting that humans have degenerated from an ancient state of grace, symbolized by Paradise or the Golden Age.

In Crashing Eden, I tell the story of a group of youngsters who build a device that reproduces the state of mind experienced by people before the Fall. This instant enlightenment puts them at odds with Samael, the Creator God, who regards them as having crashed the Gates of Eden. As Samael rains down his apocalyptic devastation, the protagonist and his companions must find a way to overcome his wrath or face oblivion.

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

I begin with an idea, or even a title, and let my mind play around with it. Many writers prefer to work from an outline, but I find that too constricting. I like to let my unconscious lead the way, trusting that a good story will emerge. With Crashing Eden, I often started a new chapter with little or no idea where the story was heading next. That keeps me interested, as if I’m the reader!

What would we find under your bed?

All of the repressed, unresolved pain and humiliation from my childhood. (Also, a dust bunny convention.)

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

It’s a bit of a cliché to say that one’s characters take on a life of their own, but it’s true! I’m constantly amazed at some of the unexpected things my characters do and say. As my novel took shape, the protagonist did something that utterly shocked me. I dismissed the idea at first, but eventually accepted that it was meant to be.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

When I was 19, I suffered a concussion in a car accident in which the driver was killed. Only recently did I connect this memory to my novel. Like my protagonist in Crashing Eden, I spent the days following the concussion in what I can only call a state of grace, filled with deep feelings of gratitude and joy.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

My younger brother, whom I bullied as a child. Although I wasn’t nearly as vicious toward him as my protagonist is toward his younger brother, I do regret having teased and tormented Danny.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

“Never take anyone’s advice.” Naturally, I ignored it.


I’m originally from Lexington, Massachusetts, the historic site of the shot heard ’round the world. The middle son of two microbiologists, I grew up in a wonderful community called Five Fields, my lost Eden. I loved reading, sports, music and photography, and tried my hand at writing poetry and song lyrics.
My life changed forever in October of 1998, with the birth of my son. Ollie is a remarkable fellow, and he single-handedly jump-started my creativity. When he was five, I started writing picture books, and in 2009 I published Otto Grows Down, illustrated by Scott Magoon.
As Ollie aged, I started writing for an older audience. The result—Crashing Eden—is my first novel, an urban fantasy for young adults and savvy not-so-young adults. Ollie was my muse, my collaborator, and my most astute critic. I’m forever grateful to my son. Now, if I could just get him to clear his dishes …

This is just a portion of Michael’s biography. Read about him on his Website.

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Heather Ayris Burnell said...

Great interview. Michael's book sounds very intriguing!

Heather said...

Excellent interview. Michael's book sounds like something my sons and I would enjoy. Thank you!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Great interview! I have heard of Ollie Grows Down, and Crashing Eden sounds very intriguing! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

This book seems amazing. I love paranormal novels!



dythia99 said...

This book looks very interesting


Kimberly Lim said...

Thanks for the giveaway

Sarah Kalaitzidis said...

Thanks for the great giveaway! This book so very cool! I would love to read it!

Kara D. said...

Sounds awesome! Thanks for the giveaway.

Joy said...

Book sounds great, would love to read
magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

Jennifer Haile said...

This book sounds really good! I'd love to read it!

joannie said...

Hi Now this book is quite different from anything i have read so far can;t wait to read it. thanks alot joannie

Brian McBride said...

I love Crashing Eden's cover! Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

Book looks great, loved the interview!


Suz said...

Thanks for this amazing giveaway! This book sounds great and I would love to win it!

Suz Reads

Steph said...

Thanks for the giveaway! This book sounds great!

Elizabeth said...

New Follower Cool blog :)

Holly Bryan said...

Aw, what a great interview. By the time I got to the end of it and saw your comment about how you'd apologize for teasing your younger brother (I hope you've told HIM that, by the way), and then read your homage to your son as your muse...I must admit I lost it. Tears coming down, no question! I have a son who has just turned 4, and he has changed my life too, as it sounds like your son did for you. I have read about "Crashing Eden" and have wanted to read it (love sci-fi, urban fantasy, mythology, paranormal, apocalyptic stories, etc.), so I'm excited for this chance. But also I wanted to say, I had not connected you with "Otto Grows Down"!! I have heard *wonderful* things about that book as well and I'm going to hop over to Amazon right now and check it out.

Thanks to you both for this opportunity!

Michael Sussman said...

Holly--thanks so much for your lovely comment. Yes, my son has completely altered my life, and I'm so grateful for him. (He's about to go off to camp for seven weeks & I don't how I'll get by!)

Sad to say, Otto Grows Down has just gone out of print--in fact, I just wrote about it on my blog. The good news is that you can pick up a copy at Amazon at a very reduced price!


Holly Bryan said...

Thank you, Michael! I just ordered Otto Grows Down and can't wait to get it. There are only 2 copies left in stock at Amazon... in case others are interested :)