Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sort of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Today I’m chatting to Suzy Shearer about her writing and books. Welcoming to the tearoom, Suzy. My first question to you is what refreshment would you like?
Thank you so much for your invite, Paula. I love to drink black Chinese White tea, thank you.
Now our refreshment have arrived, I’ll started by asking you When you first begun your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
A dare. My soul-sister dared me to write a story after I’d complained about a book in the genre that I said I could write better. I wrote it, she loved it and said I should submit it to a publisher. I did and it was accepted. That was it and I’ve been writing ever since. I’ve since changed publishers but not genre.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
My latest WIP is one I started early last year but put aside. I kind of got bogged and it wasn’t working so I shelved it and wrote two other books instead. Now I’ve pulled it out and not far off writing ‘the end’. It seems to be flowing well and I’m enjoying writing it.
How many unfinished projects do you have on your computer?
Mm… unfinished projects. Er, um…. Yes well. I think there’s about 14 sitting waiting patiently for me to finish them. Trouble is I keep getting new idea and have to get them down (sorry WIPs).
Do you write a synopsis first or write the first chapter, or let the characters lead you?
No planning for me. I call myself a ‘butterfly panster’. I have this idea for a story and just start writing. Sometimes I might write the first few chapters then race off to write chapter 20, maybe then 35. The characters dictate what I write next – I don’t really have much say. And yes we argue all the time, but they always win. I’ve even been known to write the final chapter just after writing chapter one.
Were any of your characters inspired by real people?
My heroines always have part of me in them. I think if you were to read all my books, one after the other, you’d know exactly who I am – or maybe who I wish I was (and perhaps even what I look like). My heroes are another story all together. I usually find some yummy hunk on the internet and use him as inspiration.
Oh I have killed off an ex – twice actually (the same one).
What did you learn when writing your book? In writing it, how much research did you do?
Always researching. I don’t think I’ve ever written a book that doesn’t have some amount of research behind it. One of my books had an indigenous lead (Perfect Three) and I spent weeks and weeks researching language & customs to make sure it was accurate.
In another book (Ash) the lead male was from the Indian sub-continent descent and I was fortunate enough to find some lovely people who gave me lots of insights and even translated phrases for me.
Is there anything about you your readers might be surprised to find out?
Apart from the fact I’m a white-haired old lady who writes erotic romances? Maybe that I have tattoos, don’t have a partner, and I hate TV (haven’t turned the set on for about 6 months).
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I tend to write from early morning until maybe 2 in the afternoon. As soon as I get up I turn my iPod on shuffle and let it blast out until I got to bed at night. I’m an artist as well and more often than not go to my studio for a few hours to work after writing. In the evenings I can usually be found curled up on a chair reading murder mysteries.
Do you set yourself a daily word count?
No. I did for a while then felt guilty if I couldn’t meet it. Now I write however much I feel like. If it’s flowing maybe I’ll get 5 or 6 thousand words, if it’s not I’d be lucky to get 50.
How do you select the names of your characters? Do you know everything about them before you start writing their story?
Character names are always hard. When I first started I went through my family tree and named my characters from my ancestors. Now I’ve used them all so the last dozen books I’ve had to delve into baby names lists for the years my characters were born. Until I submit to my publisher all names are not set in stone so I often find the names I give them simply don’t suit. I’ve even run a couple of contests to let readers choose a name for a new book when I got really stuck.
I have a new paranormal ménage romance about vampires coming out January 6th.
Thank you for joining me in the tearoom, Suzy. Here a list of Suzy’s links to find out more about her books and writing.
Suzy’s recent book is Sweet Things (available worldwide from any online bookstore an publishers links) – https://www.evernightpublishing.com/sweet-things-by-suzy-shearer/
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.