– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘The Sentinel’s Alliance’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but b
About the Author :
Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.
She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.
Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.
She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.
Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.
As the island of Kalaya and its people recover from civil war, a new threat surfaces. Invaders from the island of Elkena hunt the seas, butchering those who possess magic. Their scar-faced captain seeks the Fire Mage who it has been foretold will kill him and Tei and her people are in his warpath.
Tei and a band of Kalayans travel to Stone Haven, the home of their new allies, planning to restore magic to the dead island. But the Stone Haven Council have abhorred magic since their people were massacred by Elkenan invaders twenty years before. Commander Farrell must persuade his people to accept magic again, but his plans expose them to their biggest fear and he risks leading Tei and her people into danger, and jeopardising the safety of both their islands.
Under Farrell’s guidance treaties are forged, but is the newly formed Silent Sea Alliance enough to defeat the invaders and stop their bloodthirsty quest to destroy magic forever?
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I am an author of epic and heroic fantasy, and I have just published my 4th fantasy novel. I’ve always loved writing and publishing books has been my dream for many years. I’m an impatient person, so when I found out I could publish my own books rather than wait years going the traditional route, I jumped at the opportunity. I haven’t regretted it for a moment.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
When I was younger, I would read anything but I especially loved books with animals and the Choose Your Own Adventure series as well.
Now I love fantasy, but also thrillers and romance. I especially love books that transport you to places you might know something about but with a fantasy twist like many of my favourite David Gemmell’s books; The Rigante series which is based around the Celtic/druid era, The Lion of Macedon duology – based around Athens and features Alexander the Great, and the Troy trilogy which is a reimaging of the Trojan wars.
Is there a writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would love to chat with David Gemmell to ask him how he could be so prolific (he wrote over 30 fantasy books) whilst creating so many wonderful but flawed characters. He wrote such compelling novels and I want to know the magic formula so I can emulate his master works.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
A character from my Silent Sea Chronicles books would have to be Garrick. He’s such a friendly, lovable guy and is always joking around so we would have a great laugh. Plus he has a big appetite and we could chat for hours about food. He would also probably eat anything I served him without complaint, unlike my children!
I thought for a long time about a character from someone else’s books I would like to have tea with and strangely the one that came to mind is actually a wolf. I love Nighteyes from Robin Hobb’s Farseer books. He’s loyal, brave and wise in the straightforward way you would expect from a wolf. I would need to have the Wit to be able to communicate with him – that would be such an awesome superpower to be able to talk to animals. I’m also not sure our appetites would be that compatible as I’m not that into meat. Maybe we could share a steak and chat about how I could incorporate wolves into my future books.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I am a terrible for doodling and if I’m not careful I will fill pages of my notebooks with scribbles – I used to get told off at school for doodling and the habit has never left me.
A ritual I suppose would be to write in longhand when I have a problem with plot, or if I have some exciting scenes to write, or if I am fleshing out an idea that I hope to turn into a novel. Something about pen and paper helps the magic of writing flow. I also like to have a special notebook for each novel idea – picking up the notebook then transports me into that story and instantly helps me feel closer to the project.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I find pictures and places inspirational. Historical documentaries, TV series like the Vikings and music are also hugely inspiring for me. I love to put on music while I’m writing especially for those emotionally charged scenes.
I don’t like to use people I know because my characters come to me as I write them. Plus I love flawed, larger than life heroes and I don’t know too many people like that in real life.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am a mix of plotter and pantser. Mostly I start with a character in a situation and write some scenes and see where it leads. As the characters come alive for me, the plot normally starts to fall into place. I can then work out the story from there and hopefully start to understand the end I want to reach. This can be a very difficult way to write as you don’t really know what’s going to happen, but it’s worked for my last 4 books, so I don’t think I will change the formula yet.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do make friends in the writing world, whether that is online or in person. It helps to know other people who love writing, who understand the highs and lows involved and who can support you.
Don’t put off writing as you can’t edit a blank page. Don’t try for perfection, just get the ideas down and edit later.
What are your future plans as an author?
I have a few ideas I’m working on that will probably become standalone fantasy books. I also plan to write the prequel to the Silent Sea Chronicles, and I have some short story ideas based on my favourite characters from the series as well, which will be really exciting to write.
Last, but not least: Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
A teaser from the start of the book.
The ship ploughed along, bouncing through the waves. Tei’s stomach was empty, though the feeling of sickness was unrelenting. Her fear of the River Avalene was nothing compared to the expanse of rolling, turbulent sea. Sometimes it sparkled blue, sometimes it appeared grey and menacing, but it was always rocking the ship and turning her insides out.
She’d never been so ill and, through all of it, when she wasn’t vomiting up the morsels of food she attempted to consume, she focused on her anger at Callisa. She had forced Tei to leave Kalaya, to leave Brogan. Tei hadn’t even said goodbye to him; he was already on his way to Newington when she’d found out Callisa’s plan.
What if she died on this voyage?
What if she died from seasickness?
Thanks very much for featuring me and sharing in the launch of The Sentinel’s Alliance.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Suzanne Rogerson.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!