It’s been a busy week at Camp Kitty, hasn’t it, campers? Well, it’s not about to calm down any. I have another author who has blown into my little part of the world, and I’m glad she agreed to an interview. Let’s meet M.E. Sutton.
Nice to have you on the blog, Ms. Sutton. Grab a campmade cookie (mind the pine needles), and let’s get right to the interview, shall we?
How did you come up with the idea for “Power Play”?
The general concept was floated by my publisher – a child transported into a video game. From there, I tried to think of “what would happen if a kid suddenly found herself in this world?” But to keep it from becoming just fluff, I thought of a kid in middle school, kind of on the outs, just trying to figure it out and keep it together, as so many kids do. I remember that feeling of “I don’t really want to fit in, but how do I find myself without becoming a target?” and I’m watching my 12-year old daughter do the same thing. So from there, the story morphed into what can this girl, Jaycee, learn from her experiences in the video game and how is that going to impact her life in school?
I remember those days. Sure am glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore. Adulthood and middle age are hard enough.
Are you a gamer yourself? Do you have a favorite game?
I wouldn’t describe myself as a gamer – just too busy reading and writing, I guess. But I do enjoy some video games, particularly problem-solving ones and problem/adventure ones such as Legend of Zelda.
The Zelda ones are my favorites. Just enough thinking and problem solving (without it just being a “kill the monster” fest) with some fantasy adventure.
That’s more than I do. Spider Solitaire is about my speed.
What were some of your favorite games as a child?-not necessarily computer.
We played a lot of board games as a kid. I loved Clue – where the guy has been murdered and you have to determine who killed him, where, and with what. I loved reading mysteries, so the idea of game with me as a detective was compelling. When I got older, I played a lot of Trivial Pursuit with my dad. I see a theme here, board and video games. I like games that make you think and give you a puzzle to solve.
I do too–but I generally do jigsaw puzzles. The best are the murder-mystery ones, where you solve whodunit by putting the puzzle together.
Have you written any other books?
This is my first published work. I just received edits on Hero’s Sword Volume 2, titled Storm Clouds, so that will be coming soon. And I will have a crime fiction publication credit under my pen name, Liz Milliron, in the spring/summer issue of Mysterical-E magazine that is for a more adult audience.
Sounds terrific–I’d like to read both. I have to assume, then, that you’re going to be doing a lot more writing?
Oh definitely. I talked with my publisher and the vision for Hero’s Sword is anywhere from 10-12 books, dependent on how the series arc develops. And I’ve got more coming for the crime fiction genre as well – a couple more short stories and maybe a future anthology. Busy, busy.
Sounds like it. What are your interests outside of writing?– not that it sounds like you have much time for them.
I enjoy martial arts; I just earned my red belt in taekwondo. In the summer, I like swimming. In general, I like being outdoors, although I broke my ankle a few years ago and that really put a crimp in my ability to hike and stuff. And, as a writer, it goes without saying that I am a voracious reader. My favorite genres are crime fiction and fantasy, but I really will read anything if the characters and story are compelling.
Taekwondo–I used to take those classes. Self-defense is a good thing to know, and this particular martial art is really good exercise.
“Power Play” seems more than just a fantasy story. It feels like a coming-of-age lesson also-it teaches the protagonist, Jaycee, that she has worth. Did you intend that when you wrote it?
Absolutely, yes. I’m not big into “message” books. I want the story to be first and foremost. But when I thought about the target audience, I tried to think of what in a story would really hit home with them and what they could relate to. As I said above, almost every kid in middle school is trying to figure out who she is and where she fits in what can be a very competitive social scene (I think middle school is the roughest set of years in a kid’s education). And what I hope I can convey is that it’s okay to be yourself. You don’t have to be like everybody else and the strength to do that is inside of you. You just need to get in touch with that power and embrace it. Do that, and you’ll come out the other side in one piece.
Well said. There are a lot of young ladies out there who need to hear that, over and over again.
I appreciate your coming by and giving us a rundown on your book, plus answering a few other questions about yourself. Are there any parting thoughts for us?
Just that I hope readers enjoy traveling along with Jaycee as much as I do. These were great questions. Thanks for having me.
I hope you can come back some time! And here, my friends, are the places to find out more about M.L. Sutton: