Welcome to our interview with Suzanna. Be sure you click over to her website to watch her videos and book trailer. She's quite creative in what she's done to promo her book. I think you'll agree once you've hopped over there to watch them. There's a contest at the end and a few commenters will end up as lucky winners!
RH: Suzanna, we loved visiting your website! Which got us thinking about all you do. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Suzanna: I am the world’s worst person at sport. You know that kid who was always picked last for teams at school? That was me. I can’t run, jump, throw or catch and I’m not even competitive … which are not good traits for most sports.
Maybe my lack of athletic achievement is the reason I make my characters so good. Paige has a black belt in karate and does gymnastics and Lee, my hero, is into parkour (which is a kind of urban gymnastics - the art of moving from one place to another taking the shortest route).
RH: For an evening out, would it be dinner or a movie? What would the dinner be? What might the movie be?
Suzanna: Let’s do dinner and a movie. When I’m eating out, I like to order something I wouldn’t cook at home, probably something Indian, Italian, Chinese, definitely an international dish – my home cooking tends to centre round very English roasts and stews.
And the movie? Action adventure please. I used to pitch ShockWaves as Die Hard for Kids and I went to see A Good Day to Die Hard last week. That was fun.
RH: Do you have to split your writing time between a day job?
Suzanna: I am a serial collector of random, badly paying jobs. Presently, I only teach piano and work in a supermarket because I gave up my registrar job last year … not enough people getting married anymore.
Although it would be nice to just be able to write, working lets me ‘people watch’ and provides lots of ideas for my characters so it’s not all bad.
RH: What do you do to relax when you aren’t writing?
Suzanna: I’m a serial collector of hobbies too. I play the piano, read lots, love walking in the mountains and at the moment I’m knitting a baby shawl because I’m almost a granny. I have a ‘nearly’ grandson due at the end of April.
RH: Congratulations on the new baby! How exciting! You'll have to take a break from writing for that! As authors, we’ve sometimes been accused of being several people. How many personalities live in your mind?
Suzanna: That would depend on the book I’m working on. I have two main characters talking to me from my present work in progress. In fact, I have the complete story written from both perspectives, although the finished book will only be told from one. After you’ve lived with your characters for a while, you actually do get to know their reactions to the situations they find themselves in.
I think my family has gotten used to me having conversations with myself now.
RH: Can you tell the readers something about your next book?
Suzanna: I’d love to. It’s called Ninety-Five percent Human and it’s about a boy living on a farm in a sleepy Welsh village who saves a girl from committing suicide in the river only to discover she’s a human/alien hybrid and her survival has triggered the invasion of Earth. Phew! I knew I could do the log-line in one sentence.
I know it sounds very sci-fi, and although we do get some spaceships at the end, it’s more about relationships and what it means to be human than ‘little green men.’
RH: What type of reader will Ninety-five percent Human appeal to?
Suzanna: All my books fall into the Young Adult category. There’s action and adventure and a touch of romance. They’re aimed at readers who might like Marie Lu’s ‘Legend’ or ‘Robert Muchamores ‘Cherub’ series or, dare I say, ‘The Hunger Games,’ which had a lot of adult readers too. Legend’s one of my favourite books at the moment. Here I am reading it. I like to get into the atmosphere of a book.
RH: What research do you do when writing?
Suzanna: I love stories that make the reader believe could happen to them. So I write about normal places I know and invent radical situations in them. Hence ShockWaves is set in Shrewsbury, my nearest town but my characters have to fight against an ex-IRA terrorist and have a telepathic connection and Ninety-five percent Human finds an alien in a Welsh farming community.
I like to visit locations as research for my novels so I traveled on a ferry before I wrote the scene. Who’d have thought you’d smell the non-slip rubbery decking? Or the corridors between the cabins would be so narrow? Or the lifeboats inflate?????
Shhhh....but the ferry gets blown up in the story. Imagine Lee and Paige in the dark, soaking wet and being winched onto a rescue helicopter as the ship sinks beneath the waves.
RH: That was the scene on your book cover. Did you really get actors to do that?
Suzanna: Umm … No … It was my son and his girlfriend standing on a gate ... But don’t tell anyone … It was actually quite dangerous ... They fell on the photographer twice!
RH: That must have been a fun photo shoot! Suzanna, you're hilarious. Thank you so much for stopping by our blog this week to spend time with our readers! You're also doing a contest and all they have to do is leave a comment for you, their email addy and e-format they need if they win!
THANK YOU ALL FOR STOPPING IN!
*includes buy links and connections with her*
CONTEST: Leave a question or comment about Suzanna's videos, promo, covers or characters. She'll need your email to contact you in case you're a winner and the e-format you need. Thanks for chatting with Suzanna.