Monday, November 5, 2012

Suzie Plakson - The Return of King Lillian - Author Interview

Author Interview

1. How did you come up with the title?
About 20-some years ago, a friend of mine had been painting a wall to look like a lovely day sky, and there was a scrap rectangle of plywood he’d experimented on lying around. I took it and began to use it as a lapdesk.

So, one day, I was staring at this painted sky on my lap, in one of those kind of restful, meditative stares, and I saw “The Return of King Lillian” being written across that sky in cursive writing. And when I read it, I burst out laughing, as in “Of course! Eureka!” It was a right brain gift, the kind you don’t reason out or choose, but that has plainly chosen to present itself to you.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Hm. I would be the last one to prescribe what someone should take from away from the experience of listening to or reading “The Return of King Lillian.” I suppose, more than anything, I’d most like to let the story speak to people individually, in any way at all, in any direction it might take them. And of course, I’d love for them to have a wonderful ride.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
Well, it’s a fantasy/allegory, so very little of it is realistic -- though I guess that depends on your perspective. I must say it felt completely real to me as I was writing it, performing it -- and the world of King Lillian has felt exquisitely real to me in the sporadic dreams I’ve had about it for so many years now. They were literally flashes of this world -- but so beautiful, so enchanting, and so palpably real that I couldn’t possibly forget them. The first dream was of Lillian in scarlet cape and Musketeer hat riding horseback uphill on a mountain trail. It was enthralling.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
At this moment, one day after its release, I would not change a single thing. Though I must say I would have liked my very own printing press warehouse operation and bookbinding geniuses to create a beautiful, old-fashioned, embossed volume, all out of hemp, with hemp paper, too.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Sitting forever ‘til my legs go numb and my back hurts and I’m barely able to straighten up afterwards, as I sit hunched over like a big comma, no matter how many times I remind myself not to.

And of course the light and the shadow of what is apparently my process can drive me nuts. I call it “The Walk Around The Moon” because it takes you from light to shadow to light -- “Oh, this is heaven! This is such fun!” to “Oh, this is hell, this is horrible, quick, somebody, call a professional! Call someone who knows what they’re doing!” to “Oh my God, I love this! I was always meant to write this!” Maddening, but true.

Ultimately, the hardest thing about writing “The Return of King Lillian” was the agonizingly long gestation period. Though, as I wrote it this time around, I realized -- constantly and repeatedly -- that it could never have been written before now, and had been so wise to wait until it was ripe, and until I was ready.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
A zillion and one things, of course, but the one that springs to mind in this moment is: I learned, many times over, that I have to not only allow all the “really bad” ideas onto the page, but welcome them with open arms. Always, truly swell stuff was waiting just behind what was “stupid” or “a mistake.” I used to be so afraid that writing the “wrong” idea would block the path of the better idea, but I have found that being willing to brave feeling foolish actually pointed the way.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
In truth, I don’t consider myself a writer first and foremost; I’m a sort of multi-media artist who writes to best express whatever art most wants expressing. For example, in the past stretch of years, I’ve done a solo stage show in which I played Eve, an alternative country rock album, and a performance art music video, all of which required writing, as well as a mix of other expressions.

“The Return of King Lillian” is, in some ways, spoken word storytelling captured in print. And I’m also a sculptor, so many of the pages are designed, and “King Lillian” on paper is a visual expression, as well.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Hm. That’s a really tough one. In this moment, if you had a gun to my head I’d say Dickens. (I’d also call the police when you left.) What strikes me? The wisdom, pathos, humor, scope, the beauty of the language, the painting of the scenes and the people, the sheer masterful power of the storytelling.

9. Tell us your latest news.
Well, aside from the launch of our King Lillian website, where we are now selling the AudioBook/eBook “The Return of King Lillian”, I’m soon returning to the CBS TV show “How I Met Your Mother” to play Marshall’s mother, Judy Eriksen.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
That I hope listening to and reading this story gives them joy.

About the Book

“The Return of King Lillian” is a mythic journey for dreamers and non-conformists of all ages.

So, why the manly moniker in tandem with the womanly name?

The Firstborn Child of The Emperor-King
Inherits the Ruling Crown, the Title of Emperor-King
and All Powers Thereof.

~ Item 37, The Royal Manual

Enter Lillian, the firstborn child of said Emperor-King.
Cast out of her Kingdom by malevolent forces,
mysteriously waylaid by Destiny,
the spirited, self-reliant Lillian sets off on an exuberant journey
to find her way home and claim her birthright.

Most of the tale is told by Lillian herself, as she chronicles her extraordinary adventures.

Price/Format: $12.99 for both the ebook and audiobook
Pages: 274
Genre: Fantasy Fiction
Release Date: November 1, 2012
Buy Link:

About the Author

Suzie Plakson has played a wide range of roles in film and television, including: A nice Midwestern mom on How I Met Your Mother, a nasty ex-wife on Everybody Loves Raymond, a gay gynecologist on Mad About You, a curmudgeonly sportswriter on Love and War, a tall personal assistant in Wag the Dog, a smart alec flight attendant in Redeye, a disgruntled engineer in Disclosure, and of course, a Vulcan, a half-Klingon, an Andorian and a Q on various Star Trek television series.

Also a voiceover artist, Suzie has played Monica Devertebrae on the series Dinosaurs, as well as a variety of guest voices on Dinosaurs, King of the Hill, Family Guy, and Futurama.

In addition, she has appeared in many theatrical productions, performing such roles as: the lead opposite Anthony Newley in the USA revival tour of Stop the World I Want to Get Off, Marquise Therese du Parc in La Bete on Broadway, and Maleficent in a Disney spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.

Suzie is also a singer, a sculptor, and a writer. She has written a diverse range of material, including the one-woman stage show An Evening With Eve, the gift book The Second Going, the true story Kicking It (published on, and the original album DidnWannaDoIt! (available for purchase from and iTunes), which spawned the video performance art piece of the title cut.

Links to connect with Suzie:
Web site (book)
Facebook (book)
Web site

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