Suzanna, we’re glad you could join us. Tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from/grew up/live now, what you do for fun, if you work at “day job” what do you do that may impact your writing—you know, all that stuff that makes Suzanna interesting!
I was born in Warrington, UK, a Northern industrial town once known for its steel works, now all closed down. Holidays were spent camping in the mountains of Wales; a place I came to live twenty years ago. I love the rugged scenery, the tumbledown castles and, yes, probably even the rain.
Sounds like a little piece of heaven to me! I love the rain, history and beautiful scenery.
At the moment I have only two jobs besides my writing. I teach the piano and work in a shop. Previous employment has included musician, wedding registrar, telesales, school lab assistant and secretary which have no relevance to my degree in psychology but provide plenty of inspiration for the characters in my stories.
I wrote and directed several Am-Dram productions and used to play keyboard on the club circuit.
Movie–(hard question) Waterworld, the Die Hard films, Ten things I Hate about You, Hot Chick…depends on my mood J
Book–(even harder question) I’m very fickle but I loved “Where She Went” by Gayle Forman, have reread Marie Lu’s, “Legend” and still have a really old copy of “The Gammage Cup” by Carol Kendal from when I was a child.
Actor–Kevin Costner (but sadly he’s looking old now), Bruce Willis (ooh, looking even older). Channing Tatum’s yummy.
Actress–not really got a favourite–Drew Barrymore’s been in some good films.
Agree about Costner—getting a bit long in the tooth for romances (but who isn’t) and CT is definitely lookin’ gooood! When and why did you begin writing?
I could read really well before I started school. Writing stories followed soon after. My first novel was called “My Uncle the Ostrich”. I don’t remember what it was about but the title was memorable. I started writing with a view to publication about six years ago.
It sounds cute. What is your genre now that you’re all grown up?
Being perpetually 18 years old, I write YA. Most of my stories are action adventure with a twist of sci-fi and dash of romance on the side.
(Laughing here) Sorry—guess you’re not totally grown up yet. What’s your process? Seat-of-pants, well-devised outliner?
I started as a seat-of-pants writer but found I always wrote myself into a corner from which there was no escape. You wouldn’t believe how many unfinished stories I have. Now I plan everything so I know exactly where I’m going before I start. I have a pinboard so I can change scenes as I go and notebooks full of ramblings from all my characters POVs.
What other writer inspires you? Your work?
There are a lot of awesome YA writers about at the moment. Maggie Stiefvater, Sarah Rees Brennan, Suzanne Collins, Marie Lu. The list goes on.
Now here’s a toughie for writers. What is your favorite work by you? And why is it your fav?
There’s a saying ‘love the one you’re with’. I always love my current work best.
My WIP is called “Ninety-five Percent Human” and it’s about a boy who saves the life of a genetic experiment from another planet so bringing about an invasion of earth. I really enjoyed figuring out the way he explains her sometimes bizarre behavior before he finds out the truth about where she’s from.
Where does your character inspiration come from?
My collection of unrelated badly paying jobs allows me to indulge in my favourite pastime of people watching. I also watch a lot of films. But most of my characters just arrive in my head where they grow and evolve until they come of age and I have to write down what they have to say.
What’s your best/worst experience as a writer?
Now my best and worst experiences were both with the same agent. She liked my story. I was overjoyed.
But she wasn’t happy with the antagonist. We worked together for over a year and I completely changed my bad guy and rewrote the whole story…several times. I learned a lot. In the process, we ended up taking out all the things that both she and I liked about the story in the first place. And after a year she decided she couldn’t take a chance on representation. I was devastated.
I changed my bad guy back.
Good for you! Best/worst writing advice you ever got?