Awe-Struck Publishing is "Perfect Score" and I can tell you it's a wonderful book. I won a copy at a blog where Susan was a guest, and though I'd never read a m/m romance before and wasn't sure if I'd like it, I found myself falling in love. Susan has created characters that we want to cheer for.
So, without further ado, here's Susan.
Jana: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Susan: Like so many other writers, the answer’s forever. I can’t confess to writing plays for my little playmates at a tender age because I believe they’d have bashed me up and stolen my trike, but I did adore writing for myself. I was that nerdy kid in English class who, when everyone else groaned, jumped for joy when a written composition was announced for homework.
Jana: Where do you get ideas for your stories?
Susan: Good question. I wish I knew. My brother was my muse. He was so talented and imaginative, creating amazing artwork and wonderfully wicked stories. At the age of 14 he gave me the basic idea for a short book and I wrote it. It won a school prize but I cringe when I think of it now. Over the years he also helped me on to win art-prizes. Unfortunately my beloved brother is no longer with us and it has left me bereft. However, every now and again I get an idea that spins in out of nowhere. Could it be that he’s still around somewhere? I like to think he is. In any case those flash ideas are the ones that work.
Jana: Where did the idea for your latest Awestruck release come from?
Susan: I’d better just say that I’m a pantser not a plotter (sounds like Michael Jackson’s “I’m a lover not a fighter” LOL). That means I write flying by the seat of my pants. In the very first version of “Perfect Score” my main characters were male and female. But I realized that the character who eventually became Sam, and was the female, could never have survived the childhood – and continuing - trauma. So the character changed sex – no pain involved, I promise. Seventeen versions later “Perfect Score” was finished. So the ideas flew in like bees – and often flew out again – until the story evolved all by itself.
Jana: Do you have any strange writing quirks?
Susan: I think the answer to the previous question just about sums this one up! I’m a very “nervous” writer too. I get up, wander about, sit down, go for a walk, cut my nails, procrastinate big time before I finally settle down and write. Once the flow comes, though, I’m glued to the screen and time whizzes by – three hours can seem like a minute. That’s probably not much of a quirk because many authors experience this. But still, my husband thinks it’s weird.
Jana: How do you deal with rejection?
Susan: I’m going to answer this one and get a little personal, perhaps, so forgive me. Obviously I’m not referring to Awe-Struck for whom I have the utmost admiration and respect.
When I first had “Perfect Score” out on submission I received a few rejections, as everyone does. Each rejection hurts but, as writers, we should shrug our shoulders, stick the letter in a drawer and just look to the future. What I’m going to say now is a little message to publishers/agents: Please remember that there is a human-being going to receive your very impersonal, form rejection. Try to be just a tad understanding (i.e. be nice). Because I received a form rejection on the day I received the diagnosis of breast cancer.
(I’m very well now, thanks to the wonderful care I’ve received – and this was over two years ago).
Jana: I'm so glad you're well now, Susan! Can you tell me about your Awestruck release?
Susan: I’m always ready to do this one, because I’m quite proud of “Perfect Score”.
"Perfect Score", set in mid West USA in the 1960s, is about family relationships, corruption, growing up, integrity, responsibility, and being a man of worth in a society of the worthless.
Alex Finch, who lives with a wealthy uncle, is a blend of musical genius and stubbornness, and firmly believes in his fantasy that his love for Sam Barrowdale is reciprocated. Sam has more direction in his little finger than Alex has in his whole body. He’s strong, yet of small stature and has developed a tough outer-coating after the knocks of a traumatic up-bringing which left him homeless. His one aim in life is to earn enough money to look after his disabled sister. He has no time for a spoiled, rich, guitar player. Sam also stutters and has what is probably a severe form of dyslexia.
When Sam unexpectedly disappears, Alex begins a somewhat bungling quest to find him, only to discover that Sam has a fearsome enemy: Alex's powerful and influential yet sociopathic uncle.
As Alex spirals downwards towards alcoholism, many questions need answering. Just why did Alex's evil uncle adopt him at age eleven yet deny him any affection? And what's the mystery behind Alex's father's death?
“Perfect Score” which is becoming an acclaimed novel can be found: http://www.awe-struck.net/books/perfect_score.html
Jana: What’s next for you? Tell me about your next or newest release.
Susan: I have a couple in the pipeline. I’m ready to start submitting a 40k word novel (or novella since it’s on the cusp in terms of word-count). This one is so different to Perfect Score, as you’ll see:
Sorrows Pass. When heroes die they go to Heaven. Right? Wrong.
Nowadays when the champions of Society are on the point of death they’re lured by their fantasies to an enigmatic place called Hewhay Hall where evil Slater’s ready to greet them. His way. Slater’s entered a portal to Earth thanks to the meddling efforts of a couple who knew nothing about black-magic. They were only chanting a fertility spell but they unwittingly brought forth the Prince of Envy.
Now he’s here, Slater’s delight is to torture stalwart heroes because they suffer more keenly, their fear and suffering is so much tastier.
Jana: What are you working on now – your current WIP?
Susan: Called When the Moon Fails. Set in Alaska, in Norfolk UK and in Portugal. There’ll be male and female main characters who have to deal with corruption and injustice (one of my recurring themes it seems). There’ll be a very bad female bullfighter who makes life hell for the local fishermen.
Jana: A bad female bullfighter, eh? Sounds intriguing! How can readers connect with you online?
Susan: I love hearing from readers and fellow-writers. You can find me on my blog:
I’m all over the place.
Sue’s biography: Sue Roebuck was born and educated in the UK but now lives in Portugal with her husband. She’s a teacher and her interest in dyslexia dates from way back. Nowadays she’s mostly involved with creating e-learning courses which, she says, is “teaching in your pajamas – as long as no cameras are present.”
Her novel, Perfect Score was published as an e-book by Awe-Struck publishing in September 2010 and reissued as a paperback in May 2011.
Sue’s determined that very soon, writing will be her full-time occupation.
You can find her blog here: http://lauracea.blogspot.com/
Thank you for joining me today Susan. It's been wonderful having you at Jana's Journey.
Next week my guest will be Christine London. For a complete schedule of all my guest bloggers and all my guest appearances on the Awe-Thors Blog Tour, please go to http://www.janarichards.net/