We get to know sweets in this month's edition.
Kiwi: Hi there, sweets :-) Thank you for taking the time for this interview.
Kiwi: First, I would like to say congratulations on publishing your book. Is this the first book you have had published?
sweets: Thank you. Actually Eden's Truth is the third book.
Kiwi: How long did it take to write the book?
sweets: It is a long, tedious process taking anywhere from six months to a year to complete a novel.
Kiwi: What is the title of the book and your name as the author for those that would like to go out and buy it?
sweets: Ghost Generations, Blood Bride and now Eden's Truth were all made available internationally through amazon.com this spring, which is very exciting. My name? LOL Well there goes being anonymous at Active Worlds. Susan May Gudge is my name but most call me Sweets, in real life as well. The books can be found at (amazon.com) along with a small biography of my life.
Kiwi: Can you tell us a little about what gave you the idea for your book and a little about the storyline?
sweets: When I was young, I asked 'too many' questions about religion, science and life in general. Those questions got me into a lot of trouble with the church, since we were brought up to believe without question. I felt Eve got a bad rap in the original story, so I decided to write a better one. Coinciding with the 200th birthday of Darwin, I could not resist mixing religion and science together, and adding a bit of sci-fi to make it interesting. By using religion, I wrote a story that takes religion out of religion, if that makes any sense. It took months of research to make this story not only believable but plausible in an entertaining way. It is in no way a religious book, although it leaves open doors as to why, and how, hundreds of religions could have formed. Eden's Truth takes religion and science, mixes them together, to explain the 'Missing Link'.
Kiwi: There was a launch party for your book as well as your birthday in Active Worlds at AWMix07 Music World. Your friends were very happy to come and celebrate with you on your special night. Great party sweets ;-)
Link here for those who didn't make it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON7gSgYPcnk
Kiwi: Do you think you would ever write a book on your experiences in Active Worlds?
sweets: That party was a blast. I wanted to share my experience with AW since AW has been a big part of my life. I did try once to start a book about my experiences with AW and on the road meeting AW people, but that project never went very far. As a fiction writer I find it hard to write about myself. I come to Active Worlds for a dose of reality, since my real life is fiction LOL
Kiwi: Where is the real life sweets from?
sweets: I am from Montreal, Canada. After all this time, I still find it amazing that you are interviewing me, all the way from New Zealand. Other side of the world, south to my north, we could not be further apart. Internet sure made the world smaller.
Kiwi: I know it blows my mind sometimes too lol.
Kiwi: How long have you been in Active Worlds?
sweets: I am not exactly sure. Someone I knew was a geek and kept dragging me down to see 'something' on the computer. It bored me to tears. Computers to me meant work, not fun. One day I asked where all the 3D stuff was like they were showing on TV. So he surfed, and found AW. Dragged down to the basement to see yet another boring web page, I was startled to see AW that first time. There were no citizens, only a few places to go, but it was amazing. I danced and did cartwheels on a brazilian dance floor, learned to say mi casa es su casa LOL and knew that there was finally something on computer that was FUN.
Each time I visited, I demanded to go downstairs and see 'that 3D thing'. A couple of years later, I allowed a computer in my house; I was hooked on AW. I was happy for a couple years as a "Tourist" and only got my citizenship in 2000 when a friend, Tonycat, started a world for friends to build.
Kiwi: Where do you like to hang out?
sweets: I like to hang out where there are people. I still enjoy the awe new people show when they see what they can do at AW, so I tend to hang around at the Gate where the new ones start. If they are nice to me, I may even help them out LOL. I am really pleased at how the AWMix07 is run and the people it attracts. I have met, and re-met, a lot of good people there. Good people and good music, what more could I ask for?
Kiwi: I remember you had a beautiful world in AW. Are you still building?
sweets: I miss that world. I was thrilled to see AW having a game contest. They gave a P-50, which was exactly what my world used to be, and ask us to 'create' a game. Since my world was already game based, it seemed like fate. I thought it would be fun to try to bring it back. It is loaded and being prepared and updated and PG'ed LOL. Just seeing it again has been a dream. Even if it does not win the contest, which involves it being 'preserved' indefinitely, it has been wonderful of AW to give me the chance to see my world again. It ran for 7 years and has been gone about 3. I also won a small world, so I hope to recreate the planet Vapir from my second book, Blood Bride.
Kiwi: What if anything would you change about Active Worlds to bring in more people?
sweets: LOL the list would be way too long for this interview.
Kiwi: What do you love the most about AW?
sweets: I know I should say the people, and don't get me wrong they are a HUGE part of the enjoyment at AW, but I have to say building. Owning a world and being a goddess LOL turning my crazy dreams into actual 3D objects or scenes.
Kiwi: Are you happy with the Custom Avatars?
sweets: A picture of an AW CAV was used for the cover of my second book, Blood Bride. I was surprised to see that one of the accessories, a ruby necklace, was the same as one I had described in the book. I took a screenshot, the picture was approved, and now an AW CAV graces the front cover of the book. There could be some improvement made to the CAVs, but all-in-all I am happy with them.
Kiwi: What would be your favorite world in AW to visit, and why?
sweets: My own, of course LOL. Nothing beats the ability to create or destroy at will, to be lost in your own little world, to be Boss of your fantasies.
Kiwi: How would you describe AW to your friends?
sweets: My best friend and I shared a world here for 7 years. I got her hooked. We sit at a table in real life, drink coffee and rant and rave about some 'building problem'... Friends have put up with our 'descriptions' for so long that they usually end up checking it out, joining in.
Kiwi: For others to get to know you better, describe yourself in one word.
sweets: Eccentric. LOL One of my favorite expressions is: I am not crazy... I am eccentric!
Kiwi: I know you also as someone who loves animals. Have known you to rescue a few :-) Are they a big part of your life, too, sweets?
sweets: Animals have always been a big part of my life. I was training to be a veterinarian but did not complete the courses. I worked for over 10 years as a dog and cat groomer. Since I was young, I had a tendency to bring in injured or 'too young' small wild animals or birds, to try to either heal them or raise them to an age they could be safely set free. It's just what I do.
Kiwi: Any suggestions for anyone thinking of writing a Book?
sweets: Unless you are serious about it, don't do it. You give up a lot of your life to live in your fantasies. It is not all fun. It is hard, grueling work that is at most times harder than a 9-5 office job. The final product is the reward for 8-16 hour days for months on end, editing that involves rereading and correcting the book a minimum of three times, scheduling your hours per day and saying no to friends that want you to go out and live 'a real life'.
Kiwi: Thank you for letting us get to know you better sweets. And again congratulations on your success. We hope you have many more books published :-) Hugs
sweets: Thank you so much for your interest in my work. I hope, when you do read my books, that you enjoy them! See you in Active Worlds :)
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