Please say hello to Suzey Ingold and
In the height of the Prohibition era, recent Yale graduate Heath Johnson falls for Art, the proprietor of a unique speakeasy tucked away beneath the streets of Manhattan where men are free to explore their sexuality. When Art’s sanctuary is raided, Heath is forced to choose between love and the structured life his parents planned for him.
Heath swallows, playing over an idea that had formed shakily in his head after he saw Frankie, since Art walked through that door and possibly longer without him being fully conscious of it. “Maybe it’s time I was honest. Tell them that I don’t want to marry Ginny or work with my father. Let the pieces fall where they may.”
“You would do that?”
“If it meant being with you, I would do anything.” Heath sits up and the sheets fall to pool around his waist. “I know what I want, now. And it’s you and whatever a future with you brings.”
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We had the opportunity to ask the author a few questions!
Hi Suzey, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Thank you for having me! I’m a writer and linguistics student, currently based in Edinburgh. I’ve been writing for years and had my first short story, The Willow Weeps for Us, published in 2015, in the Summer Love anthology from Duet Books. Speakeasy is about a recent Yale graduate who must discover what he really wants when he meets the owner of a unique Midtown speakeasy in 1920s Manhattan.
What is the most satisfying thing about being a writer?
Seeing the product of all your hard work. A story starts out as nothing but a few ideas scribbled down on scraps of paper and when you can look at the final product, after all the writing and the editing, and read through all you’ve done, it’s an immensely satisfying feeling.
Do your characters ever take over your writing and make the story go somewhere you hadn’t originally planned?
All the time! I swear they have an absolute mind of their own sometimes. I might be in the line at the grocery store or in the shower, and they’ll be continuing on in my head entirely of their own accord. And when I’m actually writing, I’ll think things are going one way and suddenly they’ll take off and it goes somewhere entirely different. I suppose it’s the price we have to pay for creating the character in the first place!
How did you celebrate the release of your book?
Unfortunately, the actual release date involved a five hour train journey and a pretty dull two hour workshop! But I’m having belated celebrations with some friends at a speakeasy-style bar in Edinburgh—seemed like an appropriate venue for it, not to mention that it’s one of my favorite bars in the city.
How did you come up with the idea for this book?
The idea for this book came pieced together from a few things. The first was the 1920s: I’ve always loved the Jazz Age in New York City and the history of the Prohibition era. Of the whole book, Heath was the first thing to become fully formed in my head, before I had any idea of what the story was going to be, and Heath was inspired in part by Jack Falahee. I often discover actors or public figures and I start creating characters for them, and that was what happened with Heath.
Have you ever written naked?
I can’t say that I have. It bears worth mentioning that I do live in Scotland and my flat is in a very old, draughty building. So, most of the time, naked would not be an option unless I want to get hypothermia. We’re talking more like four blankets, two sweaters, a hot water bottle, and my heatable dragon plushie, Ernie.
More about the author:
Suzey Ingold is a writer, linguist and coffee addict, currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Brought up in a household where children’s books are quoted over the dinner table, literature has always had a strong influence on her life. She enjoys traveling, scented candles and brunch. Her short story, “The Willow Weeps for Us,” was included in “Summer Love: An LGBTQ Collection,” published by Duet, an imprint of Interlude Press (2015).
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