Author Interview with Suzie Tullett

Welcome back to the Author Interview Series! I’ve been mixing in some more personal blog posts, and book reviews, but the interviews are just too much fun to put aside! I hope you love them as much as I do!! It’s like going out for coffee with a writer and picking their brain for trade secrets! I love to hear how writers work and how they go about creating things and I always learn something for my own creative process.

Please welcome the lovely Suzie Tullett and her hilarious and down to earth work!

 

Featured Author Snapshot

Author’s Name: Suzie Tullett

Author’s Genre(s): Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Comedy

Featured Title or Work: Going Underground

Author’s website: http://suzietullett.blogspot.com

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Suzie-Tullett/221204154583599

Twitter Account: @SuzieTullett

Publisher: Mirador Publishing

 

 

About the Author

Suzie Tullett is a Contempary Women’s Fiction/Comedy author living between the UK and Greece with her husband and dog, Roma.

 

Meet and Greet

MF: Welcome and thanks so much for sharing your work and experiences with us! Can you tell us a bit about your latest project?

ST: Going Underground is about three men on two scooters (a vintage Lambretta and a Vespa) heading down the country to Brighton… Three women and a heavily pregnant belly in hot pursuit – all squashed into a classic, Union Jack roofed mini… with an off duty Police Officer bringing up the rear… and with musically themed chapters, it even has its own soundtrack.

 

 

MF: What are you working on right now?

ST: At the moment, I’m working on my second novel – Little White Lies and Butterflies.  It’s about a woman who’s come to a standstill in her life; but rather than admit to the wider world that she’s in something of a rut, she invents a whole new, more exciting persona for herself… Unfortunately, it isn’t long before her little, white lies start to catch up with her and the consequences for telling them start to go from bad to worse.

MF: How would you describe yourself as a writer?

ST: Hilarious! Then again, I wouldn’t be a comedy writer if I didn’t think that, would I?

 

The Writing

MF: How would you describe your work?

ST: I like to write about ‘real’ people; stories with characters that everyone can identify with.  And I love to fuse both comedy and tragedy to demonstrate how very often one stems from the other, something ‘Going Underground’ is full of!

MF: Are there themes that come up again and again in your work? What are your core themes?

ST: I think there are, yes. In both ‘Going Underground’ and ‘Little White Lies and Butterflies’ the storylines revolve around a secret that’s being kept; secrets that impact on everyone around them, whether the protagonists want to admit it or not. And let’s face it, we as individuals often portray one thing to the outside world, when what’s actually going on inside of us is something else. There are things we struggle to come to terms with (both big and small) in and about ourselves that we don’t want anyone else to know, so we pretend they don’t exist. However, in both real life and fiction we do eventually have to deal with these things, of course. We just have to hope there isn’t too much fall out.

 

The Writing Story

MF: How did you start writing?

ST: Years ago when I was teaching at a local college, I was telling one of the performing arts tutors about an idea I had for a short story. He suggested the premise would make for a great sitcom and as a result, I sent it off to a production company to see if they agreed. For a while they did and although in the end it actually came to nothing, it led me to studying a Masters’ Degree in Television and Radio Scriptwriting and my career went on from there – firstly, as a scriptwriter and now as a novelist.

MF: Was there a moment in your life when you decided that you were a writer?

ST: This happened when I gave up my ‘day job’ once and for all. At the time, I was managing a Training & Advice Centre and trying to juggle this with writing wasn’t easy. I had one of those ‘now or never’ moments where I decided that in order to succeed in my writerly ambitions the ‘day job’ would have to go… I’ve been a writer ever since.

 

The Writing Process

MF: Stephen King talked about situations as being the starting points for his novels, and author Lois McMaster Bujold talked about building situations around what she wants to show about a particular character. Is there a pattern to the way a story starts in your imagination?

ST: For me, it’s always character first. I’m a great people watcher and often I’ll hear someone say something that triggers my imagination. From just a few words I’ll find myself building a whole new persona, warts and all, and it’s from here that the situations start to develop.

MF: Do you listen to music while you write? Anything you would recommend?

ST: Never. I remember doing homework as a child, insisting I needed music in the background to help me concentrate. Of course, this was just an excuse to listen to my favourite bands at the time, but now I’m older and wiser, I’m able to recognise that for me it really is just a distraction.

MF: Do you use an outline when you write or does the story evolve as you’re writing it.

ST: I always use an outline, even if it’s just a basic one to give me an idea as to where I think the story should go. Of course, this often changes once I get going with a particular project – especially when the characters start speaking for themselves, which does happen. But to start with a character and blank screen in front of me would be a bit too scary… And besides, I find the initial character building and story development processes way too exciting to want to miss out on any of it.

MF: Do you prefer to compose on paper or on a computer?

ST: To be honest, I do a lot of my writing with a pen and paper, especially when I’m at the first draft stage. For some reason, I’m able to consider what it is I’m trying to say in more detail; plus I like the romanticism of it… And even though we have laptops, netbooks and i-Pads etc these days, a trusty pen and notepad are still a lot more portable; so you’ll quite often see me scribbling away at our local coffee shop, engrossed in my latest imaginary world.

 

New Era Writing

MF: How do you feel about e-readers? Do you have one yourself?

Obviously being a born romantic I have a thing for actual books. As a reader, I love the smell and feel of them and as an author it’s always nice to see my name in print. But I don’t have anything against e-readers either, as long as people are reading books that’s the main thing. And yes, I do have an e-reader myself, I have a Kindle. I find that living between the UK and Greece it’s ideal for keeping the weight of my luggage down. And as I often say, it’s like having a library in my handbag.

MF: Would you rather see your own work in print or in an e-format?

ST: I’d rather see my work in both. As a debut novelist, I want to build the widest readership possible and that means making my novels available to the whole of the book reading public, not choosing one over the other.

 

Romance and Sexuality

MF: How do you handle sexual content in your work?

ST: With a lot of humour!

MF: Which authors are your greatest influences when it comes to romance?

ST: I’m guaranteed to enjoy anything written by Marian Keyes. She manages to combine romance and some quite serious subject matters with such a down to earth humour that you really are taken on a roller coaster of ups and down… You know the phrase ‘if you don’t laugh you’ll cry’? Well for me, that’s at the heart of all her novels.

MF: What is it you hope your readers will get out of the romantic elements of your work?

ST: That romance doesn’t have to be all undying love and red roses. In my view, romance can also come through in the most insignificant of circumstances, through the smallest of gestures and it can certainly include a lot of fun.

 

Parenting

MF: How many children do you have and how old are they?

ST: I have two absolutely gorgeous sons, aged 20 and 22. One is a Senior Style director for Toni & Guy, living out in China with his lovely girlfriend; the other serves in the Royal Air Force and is based in the south of England, living with his equally lovely wife… Yes, I did say wife, but with me and their Dad having gotten married at ages 18 and 21 respectively, who am I to argue! And besides, it’s worked for us so far so why not them?

MF: When you write, do you ever worry about what your kids will think when they read it later?

ST: Not at all. In my experience, when it comes to certain relationships we’re very often put in boxes where we’re expected to behave and think in a certain way. This can be especially so when it comes to being a parent. I think in reading my writing my children have the opportunity to see me outside of that box, so to speak. It enables them to learn a bit more about the way I tick not just as their Mother, but as an individual in my own right.

MF: Do your children read your work? What do they think of it?

ST: They do read it, yes. In fact, my youngest very often reads through my writing as I go along – he tells me what he thinks is and isn’t working, what’s not quite on the page the way I think it is and he’s an excellent spell checker. Whereas my oldest tends to wait until it’s a bone fide book before he picks it up…  As to what they think of it, from what they say they do enjoy my work. They’re very enthusiastic and laugh in all the right places, which is good. And going back to the last question, learning something about their old Mum along the way.

 

Connections

MF: Who has helped you along the way to becoming a writer? Is there a family member or friend, perhaps an agent you’d like to mention?

ST: Professionally, I’ve had a fabulous mentor in Romance Author Margaret James. She’s been a fantastic help throughout my novel writing career. Starting out as my tutor when I did a novel writing course with The London School of Journalism, she’s been continuing that support ever since and is always on hand whenever I have a question or need a bit of help or advice. Non-professionally, I have to give a special mention to my other half. He’s been wonderful throughout this journey, supporting me both mentally and financially along the way… and believe me, that hasn’t always been easy!

MF: Who’s your favourite author or authors and briefly, what is it you love about them?

ST: Like I’ve already said, I do like the down to earth humour found in many of the Marian Keyes novels, but I also like the quirkiness of character demonstrated by the Australian author, Liane Moriarty, especially in The Last Anniversary. And I found the situation comedy that Karen Quinn brought to her novel, The Ivy Chronicles, absolutely hilarious – many of her scenes still making me laugh to this day… In fact, it would be nice to think I’ve managed to bring just a little bit of each into my own writing.

MF: Thanks so much for stopping by here Suzie! It was great to meet you and learn about your journey!

Please let us know if you have any other questions for Suzie or myself, and we’d also dearly love to hear your comments or your own experiences with writing in the Comments below. To read more of our great host of Authors, here’s a link the category Author Interviews!

Some comments from the old blog we didn’t want to lose!

A bit thank you!

I’d just like to say thanks for having me today, Michelle. The interview was great fun and I hope everyone enjoys reading it x

Great interview ladies. Love

Great interview ladies.
Love that your children are involved with your reading. Going Underground sounds like a book for me.
It’s great meeting you,Suzie.
Neecy

Thanks, Neecy, what kind

Thanks, Neecy, what kind words and how lovely it is to meet you too.

I loved doing this interview – the questions from Michele got me to think about more than just the writing process and where I fit into that.

Glad you enjoyed it x

Wonderful Wonderful Interview

Suzie
What a great interview… Your book is right out of a British Comedy shows that we get over here in Canada.. Which I just love them. Some of my favs are Last of The Summer Wine… Those Octogerians have me laughing till I cry.. I will be putting this book on my tbr list for sure.. I love books that I can laugh out loud while reading..
Good luck with this book.

Thank you, Kathleen. That’s

Thank you, Kathleen. That’s such a compliment.

Going Underground certainly had me in stitches when I was writing it and as I consider myself your typical reader, I’m sure it will you too. Would love to hear what you think of it once it reaches the top of your TBR pile x

Lovely Interview

I think it takes a certain amount of courage to write comedy. Like a stand-up comedian–what if no one laughs? Yikes!
Working for television must be fun–and hectic.
Your sons sounds like wonderfully motivated guys and I like that they read your work. I know that must make you feel very happy.

Author

Loved your interview Suzie. I could identify so much with your comments regarding characters and finding inspiration from overheard conversations and (in my case) the look of someone often sets my mind racing. I find humour in the weirdest places and scribble odd things down to refer to later. Like you I like to make notes even though the computer is wonderful in getting things down fast, it still helps to have a piece of paper with scribbles all over as a character/plot develops and changes. I used to listen to music as I did my homework as well….so I think we have lots in common….I do tend to murder my characters though I do write comedy (ish) stories which I think I might class as a little bit romantic, no love or anything but I think I get your meaning. I am so happy you are getting a lot of exposure and want to thank Michele for this really interesting and informative interview. Good luck to you both. It has been great.

Hi, Jane. Going off your

Hi, Jane.

Going off your comment we most definitely have a lot in common and you’re so right when you say humour can come in the most weirdest of places! Situations can be so funny without ever intending to be x

Hi, Sarah. Thanks for

Hi, Sarah. Thanks for stopping by.

I think like most things in life, a sense of humour is very subjective and because of that, I do feel nervous when sending a book out into the big wide world. But I would imagine all writers feel the same at this stage – hoping people will react in the way they want them to, regardless of genre.

I also love that my sons read my work… then again (and call me soppy) they’d make me happy even in they didn’t x

Great Interview!

Nice interview, Suzie. I think that’s great that your sons read your work and the one even provides feedback as you write. What about your husband? Mine rarely reads my stuff, and I’m fine with that. i belong to a writers’ group; they give me unrestrained crits – which is good. Do you belong to a group?

Hi, Laura. My husband does

Hi, Laura.

My husband does read my work, yes, but he’s a better spell checker than a critique partner. Typically, he thinks everything I write is good!

I’m not a member of a writers’ group, no. Where I’m based in the UK there doesn’t seem to be one nearby – or at least there isn’t one advertised. And when I’m in Greece there most certainly isn’t anything like that. You’re lucky to have access to that kind of feedback x

Excellent Interview

Great interview, Suzie. I love the fact that one of your sons actually helps you, and that they both read your books. One of my daughters has never read ANY of my books!

Thanks, Paula. Maybe your

Thanks, Paula.

Maybe your daughter just wants to see you as her mum, a bit like I mentioned in the interview. Although I’m sure she’ll get round to reading your books at some point x

Doubt it!

Doubt it, Suzie! She’s grown up with the knowledge that ‘my Mum writes books’ (because of my early published books when she was about 2 or 3) and has never shown any interest in reading them. At least that’s balanced by my other daughter’s interest. But I’m still envious that both your sons take an interest in yours!

I still think she’ll read

I still think she’ll read them at some point, Paula x

Well, maybe someday! Can I

Well, maybe someday! Can I make it a condition in my will? LOLOL!!

By | 2014-09-06T04:24:24+00:00 June 13th, 2012|Author Interviews|

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