Name: Suzy Turner
Where are you from: Rotherham, South Yorkshire
A little about your self `ie your education Family life ect
Although I’m a real Yorkshire lass at heart, I left the UK, to move to Portugal with my family, when I was ten.
The Algarve is still my home (26 years later!) where I live in the country with my very supportive husband Michael. Although we are hoping to move in the next couple of years. We’d love to return to the UK… we’ve had our fair share of the sun!
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’ve also worked as the editor of one of the Algarve’s most loved monthly lifestyle magazines. Early in 2010 however, I began working as a freelance writer and author, and have since completed my first three novels for young adults.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Well, I’m super excited to have launched a brand new look for my series, The Raven Saga, yesterday. Creative book designer/author, Emma Michaels offered to re-do my covers for me and the result is just fabulous! I’m also in the middle of writing the first book of my new series, The Morgan Sisters, which will be out in November. I’m doing a Grand Cover Reveal on 1st September!! This time, the cover was designed by another awesome designed, Ravven.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always loved to read books, so English Literature seemed the natural way for me to go. I wrote my first novel when I was in my early 20s, but I never got anywhere with it. It was a chick lit book called Molly. I really became serious about writing in 2010, after I was made redundant, when I wrote my first YA novel, Raven.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When Raven was uploaded to Amazon and I got my first review. That was amazing!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I consider Raven to be my first real book so I’ll talk about that. It was during a holiday to Canada in 2009. It was the most spectacular place I’d ever seen, beautiful in so many ways. But it was when we visited a place called Powell River that the cogs of my brain went into overdrive. I just started having all these ideas about vampires and changelings and werewolves… I could imagine them hiding in the trees that surrounded us. It was a few months later that I begin to picture Lilly, the protagonist, sitting in a bare bedroom with ravens at her window. And that was it… I just HAD to write the story from then on!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
That’s a tough one! I like to write in a simple enough style so that everyone can read my books… from children to adults. I love it when a book has such broad appeal!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Raven just seemed the natural title. I don’t think I agonised over it at all. It was always just there.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I guess it’s the usual message that love conquers all, evil doesn’t have to win… and you never know what’s lurking in the shadows…
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
No… none of it is realistic. It’s very much a combination of urban life meets the supernatural.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No characters or events are based on anyone I know either, I’m afraid!
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Just before my teens, I was very much influenced by authors like Jilly Cooper, Jackie Collins, etc. I was probably a little young to read them but they taught me a lot! On a more serious note, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood was one of my favourites and I do believe that book inspired me somewhat. Later on though, it was most definitely Harry Potter and Twilight that gave me the most inspiration to write in the YA Urban Fantasy genre.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
JK Rowling, without a doubt. I love the way she writes… I just recently re-read Harry Potter and was still blown away by it. The manner in which she draws you in and makes you forget the world around you is just awesome. She’s amazing.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading the Pravus series by Poppet, its a scary supernatural adult story with vampires! Its fantastic though!
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Oh there are too many to list but a few are Becca Fitzpatrick, Kiersten White, Shalini Boland, Johanna Frappier, Samantha Towle, Megg Jensen, Cidney Swanson, Patti Roberts, Suzanne Collins. All terrific authors whose books I’ve devoured!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m working on a brand new series called The Morgan Sisters. I’m super excited about this one as I’ve set it partly in London and Andilyse Island just off the English coast (no… it’s not a real island!)
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I’d have to be a bit vague and say the blogosphere… if it wasn’t for some of these awesome book bloggers and authors, I probably wouldn’t be where I am now.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. I’m not earning massive amounts of money though, so I’m very lucky that I have a very supportive husband!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My latest book is The Lost Soul (book III in The Raven Saga). Hm? Would I change anything? Possibly… it would have been fun to do more with the character of Nick Pryce but in the end it just wasn’t meant to be.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I remember being encouraged by an English teacher when I was about 13 or 14. I’d written a short story and she told me that it was really rather good. Perhaps, subconsciously, that’s where it all started.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! Please be aware though that this is a rough draft:
The Morgan Sisters
The wind picked up temporarily and with it came a gentle sound. It sounded like someone calling her. Turning to look up towards the very top of Carlton Point, Lana could see no-one. Its just my imagination, she thought. It’s just because my heart is beating like God knows what. But the sound continued persistently: ‘Laaaanaa….. Laaaanaa…. Laaaanaa…’
Standing, Lana did a full circle squinting her eyes before chuckling nervously, ‘Very funny, Scottie. I know it’s you. You can come out now!’ she yelled, but nobody appeared. She fidgeted with her fingers and stood quickly. Her plan was to climb back on her bike and cycle away but her legs moved in another direction: towards the summit.
No, she thought, no…
It was no good, she had no control over her body as she continued walking until she reached the pinnacle of Carlton Point. Lana was terrified. She had always had what she thought to be an irrational fear of heights. Just like Emma had an irrational fear of water. There was no explanation to either phobia. Then why was she here? How had I climbed up here?
At the very top of Carlton Point was a small circular patch of ground surrounded by an ancient stone wall. One side was the way she’d walked up… although steep, there were no scary edge as such. The other side was an altogether different story. She’d seen it in pictures, and from afar, but never had she seen it up close. Standing dead centre, Lana closed her eyes just for a second. I’m not here, she thought, I’m in bed having a nightmare. But the gentle breeze told her a different story. She gulped hard and opened her eyes, her limbs incapable of moving further. She was no longer in the centre of the circle but was now looking down at a sheer drop hundreds of feet below.
She could hear her heart beating, feel it thudding in her chest. She couldn’t open her mouth; it was too dry. All she wanted to do was scream but she couldn’t even do that. Please God don’t let me die, she thought. Emma, if you can hear me, I know we’re not really flesh and blood but you are my sister and my best friend. Live your life for the two of us. I love you, Em.
A massive gust of wind took her feet from beneath her and she was forcefully pushed from the top of Carlton Point, falling silently and peacefully to the rocky hills below.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I guess it would be the editing process after the first draft has been written. You have to read through it so many times that it can be hard going.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have just one favourite, I have so many! I loved the way JK Rowling created such a bright visual image of Hogwarts, for example. I love the way Cecelia Aherne incorporates a little bit of magic into her chick lit novels. The way Margaret Atwood made me cry in The Handmaid’s Tale. The awesome vision of Medieval times by Ken Follett in The Pillars of The Earth. Oh, and I mustn’t forget Jean Auel’s awe inspiring tale of Ayla in The Clan of the Cave Bear… a pre-historic world that literally comes to life when you read it!
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet but I hope to one day! Let’s just say I do a lot of virtual travelling instead 🙂
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Emma Michaels literally just re-designed the covers for The Raven Saga. The Morgan Sisters is designed by Ravven. Both are truly amazingly talented women!
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The editing as I get easily distracted.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Over the course of writing three books, I believe I’ve learned so much about how to create a visual world on paper. That you should always try to incorporate sights, smells and feel so that the reader is drawn in. That you should ‘show’ more and ‘tell’ less, but that there are always exceptions. And the biggest thing? That rules can be broken and readers will still love what you’ve written.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Make sure you have perseverance and motivation because you’re going to need them! If you have both of these qualities then you can easily write a book.
Don’t take negative reviews to heart. It can be heart breaking when someone slams your work, but you just have to remember that not everyone has the same tastes, not everyone will love your writing. And when someone is just plain nasty, well that’s their bad, not yours! Just remember that there are more good people out there who will love it 🙂
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
THANK YOU!!! I wouldn’t be where I am now were it not for you guys. You are truly awesome and I will be forever grateful. Oh and, put a note in your diaries. The Morgan Sisters Book I comes out 14th November 🙂
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done ?
If you’d have asked me this early this year, I would have said to work behind the scenes on movies / TV. But in April I was given the opportunity to do just that. I worked as the Script Supervisor for a Brit Com movie (The Right Juice) being filmed entirely in the Algarve. It was the most awesome experience but boy was it exhausting! Working 12 hour + days wasn’t easy. It was difficult for my husband too, who wasn’t used to me being away so long! So, I’d reconsider that! In recent months I’ve massively changed my diet to improve my health and I’ve become so fascinated by it all, so I’d go for Nutritionist… that’s what I’d do.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? if so what is it?
Thank you so much for this interview, it’s been a lot of fun!