Author Suzanne Snow worked in financial services and was a stay-at-home mum before retraining as a horticulturist and planting redesigned gardens. Instead, she now designs stories in the form of contemporary, romantic and uplifting fiction connecting the lives of her characters in myriad ways. I may of course be biased (I am) but her books are also inspired by the landscape of lovely Lancashire where she lives. If you can’t find her, she is probably in the garden reading. Here she shares her writing story and some top tips..
10 questions with Suzanne Snow..
- What’s your name and where do you come from?
Hello! I’m Suzanne Snow, from Southport originally. I live in Lancashire and am most at home in rural places.
- Do you write fact or fiction and in what genre?
I’m so thrilled to write contemporary romantic fiction. It’s a joy to create characters who fall in love, like so many of us do, and to write about their lives in beautiful settings with lively communities at their heart.
- Are you traditionally or self-published and which route do you consider best?
I’m traditionally published, after being offered representation from the Susan Yearwood Agency and then subsequently signing a publishing deal with Canelo. This opportunity came via the Romantic Novelists Association’s annual conference, something which is a real highlight in the Association’s calendar. The opportunities to indie publish now are really exciting and I believe you have to work hard, learn and find the route that suits you best as a writer. This might be traditional, indie or a hybrid of the two.
- What’s your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I start each day writing around 6am. It’s my favourite time to work and I also think more clearly and write faster in the mornings. When I have a deadline, then I’ll write through evenings and weekends and in every spare moment until I feel happy with the manuscript.
- What advice would you give to budding writers?
To persevere and finish the draft. I’d also say learn about the business of publishing, whichever route you intend to take. If you plan to indie publish, then make sure you find the best editor and cover designer for your work, they’re such an important part of the process of publishing a book. Be as professional as you can.
- Who/what are YOUR favourite authors/books?
I read everything by Karen Swan, who is my favourite author for crafting love stories between characters with no obvious place to go. I love biographies about writers and historical fiction, most especially C. J. Sansom, S. J. Parris and S. G. MacLean. I love their skill in bringing characters and settings to life from so long ago, and as a reader, being able to picture how that might have felt.
- Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Definitely a plotter, although I don’t use post-it notes or have a clever system for planning. I like to have most of the book in my head before I start, and I always know the ending. I use Scrivener to write drafts, and it’s so brilliant for creating scenes and being able to move them around if the story changes as I go on.
- What helps you focus?
Music and time to think. I usually have a playlist for each manuscript. Eric Benét’s Spend My Life with You inspired a scene in my second book, The Garden of Little Rose, and as soon as I hear it, I’m right there with the characters. Time to think is so important in writing and I listen to music when I’m out walking, combining the two!
- How long did it take you to write your book/books?
My first two took a couple of years as I was just starting out with full length manuscripts, and I spent a long time thinking them through before writing. My third took around nine months and I finished a draft of my fourth in four months during lockdown. I think six months for a first draft is a sensible length for me.
- Where can we find your books?
The Cottage of New Beginnings is out now as an eBook and the paperback will be available from 17th December. My second book, The Garden of Little Rose, will be published in February 2021.
Thank you for the opportunity to take part in your blog, Nicola, I’ve really enjoyed answering your questions. Suzanne x You are welcome! Nic
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