Angela Yuriko Smith’s work has been published in several print and online publications, including the Horror Writers Association’s Poetry Showcase, volumes 2-5, Christmas Lites, volumes 1-6, and the Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy anthology.
She has written nearly 20 books of speculative fiction and poetry for adults, young adults, and children. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award.
Her newest book is The Bitter Suites:
Book a stay at the Bitter Suites, a hotel that specializes in renewable death experiences. Whether you schedule your demise as therapy, to bond with a loved one, or for pure recreation, your death is sure to give you a new lease on life. Renewable death is always beneficial… at least to someone.
Did something in the real world inspire The Bitter Suites?
I had a friend that was trapped in suicidal behavior set on repeat. She could pull herself up for a short time, but then she would slide back into the negative situation she had created for herself.
I wish she could just kill herself and move on, I thought one day. Of course, I didn’t mean actually die, but just somehow get it out of her system. I wanted her to have a near-death experience that would illuminate her shadows and show her the path up and out of the pit she had created. I wished she could get it out of her system, realize it didn’t help, and move on.
Bitter Suites was born from that fantasy. When the curtain of depression falls across our vision, the world is colored melancholy. People that have never experienced suicidal thoughts can’t understand. Even those of us that have may not understand—but we can empathize. Bitter Suites is my wish that there was a return path.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
Probably the Romeo and Juliet romantic partner death. I’m not a huge fan of romance, so it was really entertaining to write my idea of how two lovers would get along trying to re-enact the infamous death scene from Shakespeare’s play. Of course, pain brings out our true selves… along with other, even more unpleasant things.
What was your writing process like as you wrote The Bitter Suites?
At the time, I worked a lot of hours in my day job, so I really had to squeeze in a few words anywhere I could. I switched all my work over to Google Drive so it would be in the cloud and I could work anywhere with just my phone.
I had all the chapters laid out so I didn’t have to waste time thinking of would happen next. I still got surprises, when the characters went rogue and did things on their own. Popcorn was written almost entirely on my phone as I waited for an appointment to show up.
What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?
Officially I released it at Kansas City Crypticon on Friday the 13th. Sales were good and I came very close to selling out. Just in case, I had grabbed a stack of some of my older books that I happened to have on hand.
On the last day, this wonderful gentleman came up to purchase a copy of Bitter Suites and he noticed there was only one copy left of one of my other books. Next thing I knew, he had grabbed a copy of every book I had out on display and bought them. Signing and writing a message in each one felt like I was writing another story. It seriously made my day.
What do you have planned next?
Right now I’m wrapping up two poetry collections. They are Psychonauts and Altars and Oubliettes. My husband has written a massive dark fantasy called Shadow’s Lament that I am pre-editing for him. Of course, I’m also busy writing Suite and Sour, the second Bitter Suites book. I hope to have it ready by early next year.
Pick up a copy of The Bitter Suites at https://amzn.to/2LZTLce.