It's with great pleasure that I get to introduce you to an amazing author with a mind full of talent! Her website is filled with even more talent and when you click over there, make sure you have a few minutes to watch her funny videos!
This week we're going aboard a ferry across the 'pond' to chat with Suzanna! She had me laughing more than a few times so I do hope you enjoy her and her books!
Suzanna: Hi Deanna. Thanks for meeting me. I thought the bar in the Rosslaire to Fishguard ferry would be a great place for an interview. When I’ve answered your questions we can go on deck. Ships are so romantic at night.
Deanna: Right. I’m not sure the Irish car ferry is romantic but the wine’s good. So, your book’s called ShockWaves. Is there a significance to the ferry in the story?
Suzanna: Yes, my heroine, Paige, finds herself stuck in car ferry that gets blown up and sinks in St Georges Channel between Wales and Ireland. (Laughs nervously) Let’s hope that doesn’t happen today.
Deanna: Suzanna, I loved visiting your website! Which got me 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).
Deanna: For an evening out, would it be dinner or a movie? What would the dinner be? What might the movie be?
Suzanna: Umm, what’s wrong with the Ferry bar? Only kidding. 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.
Deanna: 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.
(Leans forward) I don’t want to worry you, Deanna, but do you think this ferry crossing is starting to get rough now we’re out of the harbour?
Deanna: Umm, *looking around out the windows* I don’t think the water’s too choppy at the moment; let's keep going. What do you do to relax when you aren’t writing?
Suzanna: Nice distraction technique, Deanna. I’m a serial collector of hobbies too. (Takes good swig from wine glass). 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.
Deanna: Congratulations on the new baby! How exciting! 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.
Deanna: Can you tell the readers something about your next book?
Suzanna: I’d love to, Deanna. 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.’
Speaking of green men, I think the couple sitting by the window are starting to look an odd colour. Told you the water was rough.
Deanna: I’m afraid you might be right but perhaps they’re just poor sailors. So, 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.
Deanna: I see. I suppose that’s where this ship comes in? 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 this ship 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????? Let’s go and look at them.
Deanna: *pulling the collar of my coat tighter around my neck* The sea breeze is cold up here at night.
Suzanna: It is. Imagine Lee and Paige in the dark, soaking wet and being winched onto a rescue helicopter as the ship sinks beneath the waves.
Deanna: 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!
Deanna: That must have been a fun photo shoot! *I grab hold of the side railing* Wait! Did you feel that? It was … an explosion!!!
Suzanna: Yes. (shrugs) We probably should wrap up this interview now.
Deanna: What? You mean, you’ve blown up the ferry?
Suzanna: I told you I like doing research ...
(Suzanna would like to reassure readers that no authors were harmed in the making of this interview.)
Deanna: Okay, I think we're all safe in this life boat now and they're taking us to shore. Suzanna, this has definitely been an exciting interview! Thank you for having us here. I don't think we'll soon forget THIS adventure!
Contest: Suzanna is giving away THREE e-copies of ShockWaves! Wow! Get your entries into the Rafflecopter below and don't forget to let Suzanna know what type of e-format you need. Good luck everyone!
THANK YOU ALL FOR STOPPING IN!
*includes buy links and connections with her*