For Susanne Lambdin, the prolific writer, it was quite a shock coming back to Wellington last Wednesday to speak to students about writing. When the GPS took her past the empty, former middle school building, she was finally surprised to see the new-to-her Wellington Middle School. There, she spoke to over a dozen students about the writing process.
This event came about as a result of one of her fans, whose mother works for the Wellington school system. Word from her then got to Librarian Kristin White, who made it happen. The students, who were there to hear Susanne speak, had to write a short story to participate.
“The kids were really fun and excited and interested. They had 15 kids who were interested in writing. It was a big turn out.”
When we spoke to Susanne Friday evening, she was going over a story from a thirteen-year-old student who had given it to her to critique that day in Wellington.
Susanne told me the points of writing she expressed to the students. They must write. They must write what they know. Show it, don’t say it.
She encouraged them to write about what they are interested in, to pay attention in school, and to try and use that in their stories.
Susanne has written across several genres. She has tackled the zombie apocalypse, mixed with mythology. She has also dabbled in fantasy/supernatural, science fiction, dark fantasy, as well as realm of fantasy, which she described as being like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.
It was her first novel, written by hand, at the age of eight, and coming in at 200 pages, that started off her interest in writing. Susanne eventually got her B.A. in journalism from Oklahoma University in Norman before heading out to try her luck with writing in Los Angeles.
During her many years living in Los Angeles, she did a very bold thing with one of the producers of Star Trek the Next Generation. She recalled how she marched into Michael Piller’s office and left a script she had written about the character of Wesley Crusher. She then promptly left. She later received a call from Pillar who complimented her boldness. Paramount Pictures, the studio that owned Star Trek, then bought the script she wrote.
Episode number 76, entitled 'Family', aired in 1990 as the second episode of season four. Susanne came up with the subplot dealing with Wesley Crusher and his dead father. 'The Wish' was the original title of Susanne’s screenplay.
Despite selling 'The Wish', Susanne said she tried to get on staff, but noted the lack of women, pointing out it was still mostly a boys’ club. “After four years in Hollywood,” she said, “I realized my true calling as a novelist, moved back home, and started writing fiction. Since 2012, I have published twelve novels. After having gone through two publishers, I have been an independent author since last August. I would rather do it myself. I want to write what I want to write.”
These days, Susanne is also keeping busy at various comic cons. She said her routine in the past, going to so many cons, was too exhausting. She is now sticking to conventions in the Midwest. Still, she said sometimes, she “gets celebrity status. I dress up as a character from one of my novels, Captain Brunhilda. I won Best Female Villain at a comic con in St. Joseph, MO. When I stomped out on stage, I was told I looked formidable. With my black cape billowing out behind me, I was told by people that it was like Darth Vader.”
She has appeared at the Smallville convention in Hutchinson, and was featured on the front page of the Hutchinson News in costume. “I was also in a recent commercial for the Great Plains Renaissance Festival showing off my sword.”
When she is in costume, she claims to be 6’4. “I want people to be frightened, thinking I am a powerful warrior.” She went to add, “When I am in cosplay, it helps my book sales. It makes a good selling point for people to come up and ask questions.”
Susanne has used her talents to advise other authors about their book signing event presentations. She told them to “give them something to talk about. Have your book in the middle of the table and spread them out. People want to talk about what is in the middle of the table.”
Still, she remembers her time in Wellington when she was younger. “My grandparents lived outside Wellington north of town. Sterling and Wilma Lambdin. I spent a lot of time there growing up. Wellington is my old stomping grounds. They had a Dairy Queen. Grandma ‘Lambdy’ would take us there after a day on the farm. It was the place to go on the weekends in the summer.” She mentioned they also would go to the Chisholm Trail Drive-In.
She said when she drives by her grandparents’ old farm now, she cannot believe how much it has changed. “It’s so small.”
Susanne lives in Wichita and is active on social media. Her websites are http://The-Realm-of-Magic.com/, http://susannelambdin.com/, and http://deadheartsnovel.com/
Her podcasts are also available to view on YouTube.
Her books include: Seeker of Magic, Mistress of Magic, Queen of Magic, Morbid Hearts, Forsaken Hearts, Vengeful Hearts, Defiant Hearts, Immortal Hearts, Bloodlines: Exordium, Bloodlines: Medius, Bloodlines: Ultimum, Zombie Wars: Interviews from the Front Lines, among others.