Morning lovelies. This time next week it will be Boxing Day – I really need to do some Christmas shopping! Anyway….today I’m delighted to welcome Susan Willis to Meet the Author. We’re chatting about which of her books is her favourite, which author we all should read a book by, what she enjoys reading, her most recent book, The Bartlett Family Secrets and more….
Contemporary Family Fiction / Psychological Suspense / Cosy Crime
What inspired you to start writing and where do you get your ideas?
I live in Co-Durham surrounded by a big family and dear friends. I worked as a food technologist developing new recipes. I began storytelling and weaving different aspects of my job into my early work.
My last two novels have been psychological suspense set in the North East. My latest is a contemporary family story set in Dorset. Readers who left reviews on amazon love my books because they are realistic with everyday people in situations that can happen. I’m now writing Cosy Crime Short-Reads. I’m incorporating up to date issues: poor mental health in a kidnap scene, the perils of social media, and an intruder on Skype. Next year I’m hoping to publish these stories into a collection.
How many books have you written and published?
I am a published author of five novels, seven novellas, a collection of love stories and six cosy-crime short reads.
How long does it take you to write a book?
If I’m not working and can write every day, approximately six months. If I am working and my writing is confined to weekends only it can take up to a year.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
His Wife’s Secret https://amzn.to/22DDhlci
We hear about domestic violence from a man to a woman regularly in the news but from a woman to a man is rare. However, in my book this does happen. When David meets old school-friend, Erin again he falls head over heels in love. He leaves his wife and their sixteen-year-old daughter to marry Erin. But, in a small village people have long memories and they move south for a fresh beginning. David is just a typical guy and for two years is deliriously happy until the move down to London. This is when everything changes, and his wife begins to act out of character in a strange way. Unbeknown to him, it was whilst packing to move that Erin finds her mother’s diary in an old trunk. What is written in the diary to make her lash out at her husband? David wonders if she is punishing him for something he’s done?
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go and why? (Backwards or forwards!)
Forwards and Italy every time. I love the culture, food and architecture. I’ve travelled throughout Italy but only flying visits to Verona and Florence. I’d love to return for a longer stay. Oh, and I haven’t been to Turin yet.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
All I can say, is NEVER give up. If you have a story that you think has merit, then tell it. Someone somewhere will want to read it.
Name one book you think everyone should read and tell us why?
Any Agatha Christie novel. She was one of the golden age detectives. And Then There Were None, is my favourite. Hopefully, next year I’m going to visit Burgh Island where the story was based.
What is your favourite genre to read and why?
I love to read crime stories, especially stories from Harlan Coben. He is my favourite American crime writer. His characters and plots make my head spin in awe. He is also the master of the twist at the end which I love. Every time I read the last line of his story, I think, goodness, I didn’t see that coming!
What is your favourite time to write, and why?
My day usually consists of an hour of social media at 7am then I write. I have a word count in my mind that I’d like to achieve for the day. Sometimes this works – sometimes it doesn’t – all depending on the flow of words.
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
In one of my short-read cosy crime stories, ‘An Author is Missing’ I created a lady who suffers from poor mental health. She had a torturous childhood and in later life her obsessional fantasies become a reality.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
The Bartlett Family Secrets https://amzn.to/3iCH73N
The Bartlett family are close. Thirty-two-year-old, Jessie has two younger brothers and a sister. Her biological father, Allan, died when she was five and her mum Kathleen remarried. Jessie’s stepdad, David has been her anchor and although now confined to a wheelchair he still rules the roost. Jessie has celebrated her second wedding anniversary and up until now has been deliriously happy. But when the cracks appear in her marriage she turns to her life-long friend, Sally for support. These cracks turn into huge craters when secrets in the family are revealed and Jessie wonders if this will this tear her family apart.
All my books are here on Amazon.
Thanks so much susan for coming to chat with us! I love a cosy crime so will definitely check this out!
Any questions or comments for Susan, make sure you get in touch lovelies.
Enjoy the week leading up to Christmas!