Susan’s Author Spotlight: Sylvie Simmons


You might have missed this — and I hope you have — but I’ve been whining to myself lately that I’m not doing enough to spread the word about my fellow writers. At the RT Convention, I’d come up with this idea to do an author spotlight, but I wasn’t really sure how to implement it. My friends and I launched a cool contest blog, but it’s not enough. I want to do more for the great writers out there.

So I owe a big chunk of credit to my friend Bridget, who’s not a blogger but who is part of my at-home road crew. She keeps me sane, listens to me vent, makes me feel guilty for skipping the gym, and drops her kid at my house so she can shop in peace while I get uninterrupted writing time. She also took my idea of an author spotlight and gave me ideas how to make it work.

That left me with the dilemma of who to choose. Ugh, the possibilities. I couldn’t choose, couldn’t figure out a way TO choose.

Until about ten minutes ago. I was sitting on the couch, catching up on the Metallica Club‘s latest edition of their magazine, So What! I’d like this mag even if their editor, who’s a cool dude with the cool name of Steffan, hadn’t let me write a few pieces for it. I mean, hello? Metallica, people! Susan loves Metallica.

The main feature in this issue is an interview by renowned rock writer (Steffan’s words, not mine) Sylvie Simmons. I’ve been working through the interview slowly, wishing I had an uninterrupted chunk of time to devote to it. Every time I scrape out a few minutes, I envision myself signing into the Metallica Club’s bulletin boards and asking, “Am I the only one more jazzed about the fact that Sylvie Simmons did the interview than I am by the subject?”

I probably am.

Heck, *I’d* never heard of Sylvie Simmons until I heard about her 2004 collection of stories, Too Weird for Ziggy. It was one of those books I had to have. Right then. So I ran out and ordered it for myself. Yes, from a bookstore. (Those of you who know me well know what an avid book trader I am.) Yes, from an independent book store, which is another thing that’s important to me.

I’m not a fan of stories, but Sylvie Simmons totally rocked them. She created characters — some of whom make more than one appearance in this book — who are darker, more depraved, more sick, more gross, more grotesque than mine. In short, they are rock and roll at its essence. I write rock-lite in comparison. (And no, Trevor’s not insulted by that. Nor, for that matter, am I.)

The lead-off story, Pussy, has stayed with me all this time. It’s haunting.

At one point, I tracked down Ms. Simmons and asked if there was more fiction in the works. There wasn’t. Not at that moment, anyway. But she had a story in a collection called London Noir

Which is now sitting on my Mountain of To Be Reads, otherwise known as Mt. TBR. (also known as my small book problem.) It’s number 315 of 349, so it’ll be awhile.

But in the meantime, go check out Too Weird for Ziggy. You’ll quickly see why Sylvie Simmons deserves more attention and why I’m taking up a beautiful afternoon to rave about her. She’s one of those writers who I ought to be focusing on.

And so, I am. Maybe one of these days, I’ll finish up that magazine…



  1. gautami tripathy

    May 19, 2008 9:56 pm

    Thanks for introducing me to Sylvie Simmons. I liked visiting her. The blog world truly makes us know real good authors, who might be lesser known.BR/BR/A HREF=”” REL=”nofollow”stoicism/A

  2. Bob-kat

    May 20, 2008 9:07 am

    Thanks for the tip. This sounds exactly like soemthing I would love to read so I’m going to get it. Not put it on a list to get, but I am actually going to get it. BR/BR/Your idea for a site to promote other authors is great. I think you could use a blogroll or similar to categorise authors you want to list with links to their sites or a review and then highlight authors as appropritae. What is appropriate? Well, that is up to you but I guess if you read something and you think others should read it too then that’s a preety good criterion to start with. I bet you’ve already thought of all this though. Sometimes I get carried away!

  3. Susan Helene Gottfried

    May 20, 2008 9:47 am

    Get carried away all you want, my friend. There’s never any telling what’ll knock my brain into gear — it can use the help and help is always appreciated!

  4. Wylie Kinson

    May 20, 2008 1:16 pm

    SHG – you are the most supportive pimper/writer/poet/blogbud/and directress of all things cool on the web. I shall go back now and click those links 🙂

  5. Anonymous

    May 20, 2008 3:34 pm

    Thanks for the kudos. Not necessary, my friend, but thanks anyway. We’ll get that author list going!BR/BR/B

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