BACK FOR THE SECOND OF THREE VISITS
SUZANNE ROGERSON PROVES SHE’S MADE OF HIGH FANTASY HEROINE MATERIAL BY AGREEING TO BE INTERROGATED ON ANOTHER WORLD
The Interrogation Room here at Another World has remained unoccupied for far too long. Today, for your viewing pleasure, this oversight will finally be rectified as I have secured my latest
To mark the imminent publication of her new novel The Lost Sentinel, Book One of the Silent Sea Chronicles, I have brought in indie author Suzanne Rogerson to face twenty probing questions to gain some insight into her new book, herself, as an author, and (of course) to examine his geek credentials.
Enjoy the interview, and be sure to keep an eye out for the review of Suzanne’s book this coming Friday.
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01. Your upcoming second novel, The Lost Sentinel, is the first part of a trilogy. What was the inspiration for the story?
When I was younger, I thought a lot about how man abuses the world and the animals that live alongside us. As a race, we seem hell bent on self-destruction and that has always depressed me. In The Lost Sentinel, I wanted to tell a story of an island dying under man’s neglect and how a few exiles strive to save their magical home before they all perish. I used man’s ignorance as the catalyst and created a world where perhaps the outcome can change when enough people fight for what’s right.
02. For marketing purposes, many writer’s will describe their story as “this title, meets that title.” Using the same template, how would you pitch The Lost Sentinel to potential readers?
The reason for my choice is, apart from the fact they are amongst my favourite books, Legend is all about heroes and impossible odds, while in the Rain Wild books there is the lost city of the Elderlings and their forgotten magic.
03. It’s hard to stand out in a genre as competitive as fantasy, so how would you persuade fence-sitting readers to add The Lost Sentinel to their To Be Read list?
The Lost Sentinel deals with issues that are current in the world today and will hopefully resonate with readers. Issues like the division of people in their own countries, and people forced into exile.
I write accessible fantasy that will appeal to fans across the genre spectrum. There are elements of quests, heroes, mystery, self-discovery, friendship and heartache in this series. And although I believe it is adult fantasy, I know it has been enjoyed by young and older readers alike.
04. What would you say distinguishes you and your writing from the rest of your peers? Don’t feel obliged to be modest!
I think my greatest strength is my characters. I’ve created characters that readers connect with. They might not like or root for every character in every book, but I’ve found readers usually feel passionately about at least one of the characters. In my previous book, Visions of Zarua, I found some readers loved Paddren and hated Varnia, and vice versa. It proves how subjective reading can be. I’m just pleased my characters have brought out these emotions in people.
05. As one of an increasing number of writers electing to pursue self publishing rather than go the traditional route, what has been the best thing about being an indie author?
I really love being in control of the whole process, even if it is time consuming and I’m not sleeping much right now! I’ve chosen a cover I love, kept the title I wanted and have a book I’m proud of. Getting my book in front of readers is definitely the best thing about self-publishing. If I’d waited for an agent and publisher, my books wouldn’t be being read right now!
06. What, if anything, have you found to be the biggest disadvantage of your decision to be self published?
It’s very hard to find the time to market and promote your books, and I don’t have the budget to advertise with the big companies like BookBub and NetGalley. This makes it so hard to get discovered, but at least I am starting to build my own fan base now.
07. Drawing on your experience thus far, what advice would you give to aspiring authors thinking of going the indie route?
Make contacts now, don’t wait to get your first book published. The more social media contacts and connections you build up, the easier you will find the whole process. The blogging community is full of help and support, and it’s good to know you’re not alone in your struggles.
08. Which book that you read as a child was ultimately responsible for your journey to becoming an author?
I don’t know what book from childhood made me realise I wanted to be writer as I read widely growing up and fell in love with writing stories in my English lessons.
The book that really stands out to me is Dream Weaver by Jonathan Wylie. It was the first proper fantasy book I read at the age of 17. Something in me clicked as I read it and I knew fantasy was my genre, although it took me several novel attempts to find my voice.
09. Who or what would you say have been the biggest influences on your creative writing?
I could say my husband, because he was the one who introduced me to fantasy all those years ago. He also introduced me to David Gemmell – the master of fantasy. My creative writing tutors have taught me a lot as well, and I wouldn’t have done any of this without the support of my beta readers.
10. Which prestigious literary award(s) would you most like to be nominated for, and win?
The one with the biggest prize pot so I can write in peace without having to worry about the bills!
Of course I’d love to win the David Gemmell inspired awards as well.
11. There is a tendency for new authors to be likened to established authors. Which author(s) would you most like to be compared favourably to?
Definitely my two favourite authors – David Gemmell and Robin Hobb. They both create characters you root for and form an emotional connection with. Gemmell created characters I’ll never forget, while Robin Hobb creates the worlds I never want to stop reading about.
12. Which book(s) penned by any other author(s) do you wish had been written by you?
Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Her description of the magic was beautiful and absorbing, and the threat of the dark, enchanted forest was really well portrayed.
Blood Song by Anthony Ryan. When I read this I felt Iike I’d found the new David Gemmell and that’s exactly how I’d like people to think of me! Plus Blood Song was Anthony Ryan’s debut and launched his career.
13. If you could resurrect any deceased author in history, who would you choose to bring back?
This is probably predictable, but again my answer is David Gemmell! His books were a big influence on me and it’s so sad to know I’ll never read another of his fantasy creations. I did get Rhyming Rings for my birthday in May though. It’s a never before published thriller by the great man, so I’m saving that read for a time when I’m not going to be distracted.
14. What would you be doing with your life if you weren’t pursuing your writing ambitions?
I’d probably be stuck in an office job I resented. Although if I could turn back time, I would have loved to have been a gardening apprentice at Kew Gardens. Unfortunately, I didn’t discover my passion for gardening and plants until I had my two children and then I couldn’t afford the childcare costs on an apprenticeship wage.
15. Which unfulfilled life ambition do you most want to accomplish before you pass away?
To design and build my own home. I love watching house design shows like Grand Designs and dream of being able to afford such an ambitious project one day.
16. When I was a child I tried to get to Narnia through my wardrobe. Which fictional setting from a book would you most like to visit?
The city of Kelsingra in Robin Hobb’s Rain Wild Chronicles. The city sounds amazing and I’d love to meet the dragons!
17. Comic book hero, Green Arrow, was stranded on an island for 5 years. If you were in his place, which fictional character would you want to accompany you?
That is a very difficult question. It would have to be a character I was attracted to and could make me laugh…
I think I’d have to cheat and say Undren from The Lost Sentinel. He’s handsome, strong, knows how to survive in the wild and is my ultimate definition of a hero. Plus he has issues from his past and every girl loves the idea of helping a wounded soul find happiness again.
18. If you were the owner of a time-travelling DeLorean car, what time period would you like travel to?
I do enjoy the medieval / middle age period of history, but only the romantic view of it without the death, wars and poverty. I also loved the Viking era – but again without the savagery.
19. In the 1982 film Tron, Jeff Bridges was sucked into a video game. Which video game would you like to be sucked into?
I always remember a game my husband used to play on Playstation – Maximo. It was a platform (hack and slash) game and fun to watch, especially when Maximo was on his last life and had to run around fighting enemies in his boxer shorts!
I’m not into gaming, but the graphics on games like Dark Souls are amazing, a visual feast for a fantasy author!
20. If you were granted three wishes by a genie in a bottle, what would you wish for?
1. More hours in the day.
2. A huge book deal.
3. A house on the edge of a forest with a river running through the garden and mountains in the background. I’d have nature on my doorstep and wolves in a massive enclosure next to me – there’s nothing more magical than listening to howling wolves.
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I would like to take this opportunity to thank Suzanne for her participation in this interview, as well as to wish her every success with the launch of The Lost Sentinel. And just one final reminder that you can still pre-order the Kindle edition from Amazon for the special price of 99p / 99c before it reverts to full price next week.
If you want to know more about the author and her work check out the links below for her website and various social media hangouts.
Promoting the world of self-published fantasy and science fiction, through interviews, book reviews, trivia, previews and more.