GREAT FALLS — Susan Bliler of Great Falls has become a best-selling author on the online retail website Amazon.com. Born and raised in Great Falls, Susan has 37 published novels to date. With most of her stories taking place in Montana and especially in the Great Falls area, her stories are inspired by the place she's called home her entire life.
Susan says she also draws inspiration for her paranormal romance stories from her own love of reading, and her love of story telling began in her childhood during her middle school years.
“We grew up pretty poor and we couldn’t afford gifts for other people, so I would write stories for my mom and my sister,” said Susan. “My sister, I have a twin sister, and she’s actually the one who probably got me started in writing. We always shared a room and she would lay on the bed next to me and she couldn’t sleep, so she’d say, ‘Tell me a story, tell me a dream,’ so I would tell her a little bit of a story and I’d get tired and I’d say, ‘OK, now make up the rest,’ and I would go to bed, and then the next night she’d be like, ‘Tell me some more of that story’.”
After writing her first novel, she submitted her manuscript to publishers, and was told there was no audience for her stories. “I waited and waited, and the publishers got back to me and said they didn’t think there would be an audience for my type of writing, which I didn’t believe because I’m the audience, I read paranormal romance, so, well, they’re wrong. But you know, what do you do at that point? "
Her sister pushed her to try a self-publishing service, and found a way she could publish her books with Amazon: "My sister was like, ‘We should self-publish,’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t know how to do that’, and so she researched and she found Amazon. She was like, ‘There’s this place, you can self-publish your own books,’ and I’m like, ‘OK!’
Susan continued, "So she learned how to do Photoshop and did the cover for me, and I got on Amazon and figured out how to self-publish, and I self-published my first book, Territory, and she asked me, ‘What is your goal, what would make you feel successful?’ And I said, “If I can sell 300 copies of this book, I would feel vindicated,’ and the first month we sold 3,000 copies of the book.”
Susan then learned the process of how to publish her works on her own, and her books quickly hit the top charts of Amazon’s Best Selling Authors List.
Susan is expecting the release of her first book for children soon, and the next book in her Skin Walkers series will be released in July, giving her a total of 39 published books in her nine years of professional writing.