Friday, August 26, 2011

Interview with Suzy Turner

Name of the book: Raven (Part I of The Raven Saga)

Kindle Price: $2.99

Available from: Amazon Kindle US, Amazon Kindle UK, Smashwords

Authors Website: &


Although I'm a Yorkshire lass at heart, I left my home town of Rotherham, UK, to move to Portugal with my family when I was ten. The Algarve continues to be my home, where I live with my childhood sweetheart and husband Michael and our menagerie of cats and dogs.
My career began soon after completing my A levels when I was offered the position of trainee journalist for a local English newspaper. My love of writing developed and a few years later I moved on to become assistant editor for the region's largest English language publisher. Since then I have also worked as the editor of one of the Algarve's most loved monthly lifestyle magazines. Early in 2010 I was made redundant and so I began working as a freelance writer and author.

Tell me about your book?

Raven is a fantasy novel for children and young adults set in the beautiful province of British Columbia. After the inexplicable disappearance of Lilly Taylor's parents, she has no choice but to move to Canada where she unravels some frightening yet intriguing family secrets...
Her whole life had been based on a lie. Lilly had grown up in a loveless home with a father who she had barely ever seen and a mother who was... well, not very motherly.
After they mysteriously disappear without a trace, Lilly is sent to Canada where she finds a whole new way of life. A life filled with love and people who care for her. But that's not all she discovers, Lilly also finds out that she isn't who, or what, she thinks she is.
Lilly has a very special ability and it's just a matter of time before her true self starts to shine. And when it does, her life will never be the same again.

What will readers like about your book? That it's mysterious and a little eerie. It will keep them guessing about what's going to happen next. It should appeal to all ages.

What inspired you to write this particular story? It was while visiting western Canada in 2009. We were sitting having a picnic on a little beach in Powell River, surrounded by the most awe inspiring natural beauty. Little islands off in the distance, trees everywhere, the ocean lapping by our feet while fish kept hopping in and out of the water. The beach was covered in huge pieces of driftwood too. It was so serene... and yet a little eerie. This all got the cogs of my brain turning and, a few months later, the idea for Raven was born.

When did you start writing? I always loved the process of writing, even at school, but it wasn't until I began working as a journalist that I realised I wasn't too bad at it!

When did you realize that you were a serious writer? After I'd written my first novel (Molly, a romantic comedy), I tried to get an agent but failed and so I gave up trying for a little while. But once I knew I had it in me, I guess I knew then that I was serious.

When did you decide that you wanted to write a book? It was after reading an interview with an author I liked (Jenny Colgan). Everything she said just appealed to me and I knew then that I had to give it a try.

Why did you choose this particular genre to write your book in? Although I write in two different genres (chick lit and YA urban fantasy), the setting of Powell River was just too perfect not to write a fantasy book based there. I am also a big fan of both genres... I love everything supernatural and everything girlie!

What is your writing process? I give myself targets to work to... for example, I start off telling myself I must write 10,000 words by the end of the week. I work so hard during that time that I've usually written closer to 25,000!

How long does it take you to write your first draft? In total, probably three or four weeks but then of course it's all the re-writing, editing and proofreading that is so time consuming.

Why did you publish on Kindle and other eReaders? After receiving 18 standard rejection letters from agents, I was feeling a bit downtrodden. A friend of a friend had put his book on amazon and told me how easy it was so I thought I'd give it a go. I was excited at the prospect of my book finally getting into the hands of readers and I'm absolutely delighted at the feedback I've had so far. I had my first review by a book blogger the other day and she gave Raven 5 stars!

What kind of advice would you like to share with an aspiring writer who’s looking to publish a book for the first time? Just do it! Unless your book isn't up to scratch, you've got nothing to lose. I would recommend you get either a professional editor or several other people to look at your book first though. And work hard on your cover... that first impression is crucial.

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