Q & A with Susan Dennard

If you follow the writing community at all on Twitter, you might have come across a pick your path story (#TheLuminaries) by the brilliant Susan Dennard. She started four months ago with the start of a story and a poll for viewers to pick what the character did next. Now, we have hashtags, teams, ships, a FAQ and exactly one life left and everybody trying to not mess it up. 

I heard about Susan Dennard from another author at Las Vegas Book Fest last year. While she was signing my book and I told her that I was a writer, she immediately told me to look up Sooz and start getting her newsletter because she is constantly giving advice for writers. So I did exactly that. 

After following her for a few months I started seeing all these tweets about her book that was about to be released, Bloodwitch, and with all the hype and everything that was being said, I got very interested in what this series was about. So I got the first book, Truthwitch, and I was completely blow away. I think I finished the book in two nights. It is SO GOOD. And so good isn’t even strong enough to describe it. I LOVE this book.  I do have the second book but I’ll be honest, I am terrible at keeping up with series so I still need to start it (and finish it). I think I’m going to pick it up after I finish the book I’m currently reading. I just don’t have time to read like I want to. I miss the days of summer vacation where I could lazy around all day and re-read all the books. Like the summer I spent re-reading all the Harry Potter books, in mixed order, one after the other all leading up to the release of book 7. However, adulting. 

Back to #TheLuminaries, we get our updates once a day in the morning with the next piece of the story. Susan was awesome, amazing, and nice enough to answer some questions I had so I could write this blog post. Thank you Susan for being an amazing author and for giving us #TheLuminaries 

1. On Instagram, you mentioned The Luminaries started from being bored in an airport, what exactly made you want to do this as a choose your own adventure?

SD: Honestly, I have no idea. I really don’t. I am as impulsive as Safi, some days.

2.  What has been the biggest surprise about starting The Luminaries Choose Your Own Adventure?

SD: Well, it’s not a Choose Your Own Adventure–both because that phrase is trademarked and because the format really is different. It’s more like a crowdsourced adventure. 😉

And the biggest surprise has been the engagement. I really was just looking to kill some time, I didn’t expect it to take off…Or to last 4 months!

3. So much has formed from when you started it, we have #TeamPetty, #TeamPractical, #TeamUGHJAY, people shipping Winnie and Jay already (for good reason, haha)- do you have a favorite team? 

SD: No, haha. I think it’s great what everyone is doing and how they’ve build up their own versions of Winnie and what she would do. This story is so, so vastly different from the book I’ll one day publish, so I’m all for letting the readers have their teams and their fun!

4. Or maybe you’re more focused on making sure our reckless choices don’t kill us?

SD: Definitely that, ha. Ever since I started giving hints, though, I feel a little bit better that Hive Mind Winnie won’t die…

5. What has been the best moment of The Luminaries for you?

SD: It was fine to finally reward everyone with a super shippy moment. 😉

6. Has it been easy to keep up with your other writing projects and The Luminaries at the same time? 

SD: Not at first, ha. When I first started, I didn’t expect the story to explode or for people to have so many questions about the world/families. So doing #TheLuminariesFAQ took so much time to start. But soon enough, enough of the world had been shared and described…so now it’s really just a matter of updating the story each day.

7. What is something this choose your own adventure style game has taught you? 

SD: When you’re working in an interactive format, people are willing to forgo logic in favor of banter and ships. I see this often in video games–I’m totally willing to stop all action for a kiss cut scene!! But it’s still really fascinating to see it play out in this novel/game hybrid.

8. If I was cool enough to not be a non, I would be in the Monday family. What family would you be in? Is there a better way to say it? House Monday? Family Monday? There are many options here. 

SD: I’m probably a Saturday. They’re natural leaders and good with words–something I definitely pride myself on 😉

I can attest that Susan Dennard is awesome with words! She is the Queen of world building if you ask me. She has created multiple words I wouldn’t mind being a part of. Outside of #TheLuminaries on Twitter, the Witchland series, Susan has another story on Wattpad (The Executioner’s Three) that I’ve heard amazing things about. (I’ve officially added it to my mental to-read list.) 

You can check out Susan Dennard here