Suzy Turner has been writing YA fantasy novels for years. Somewhere in there she also found time to found the Fiction Dream blog (http://www.fictiondreams.com) – a blog dedicated to female writers of all genres. And now she has turned her own creative mind to crafting chicklit novels, recently publishing Forever Fredless.
I’ve been lucky enough to snag the busy Suzy for an author interview. She’s also been kind enough to allow me to post an excerpt from her new novel, Forever Fredless.
Although Suzy is a Yorkshire lass at heart, she left her home town of Rotherham, UK, to move to Portugal with her family when she was ten.
The Algarve continues to be her home, where she lives with her childhood sweetheart husband Michael and their menagerie of cats and dogs.
Suzy’s career began soon after completing her A levels when she was offered the position of trainee journalist for a local English newspaper. Her love of writing developed and a few years later she moved on to become assistant editor for the region’s largest English language publisher. Since then she has also worked as the editor of one of the Algarve’s most loved monthly lifestyle magazines. Early in 2010 however, Suzy began working as a full time author. She has since completed her first trilogy, The Raven Saga, as well as written two full length novels and a novella in a brand new YA series, The Morgan Sisters.
Shortly after her twenty-eighth birthday, however, she inherits a fortune from an old family friend and becomes something of an overnight celebrity. Can her new-found fame lead her to him after all this time?
Thank God for anti-perspirant, I thought as I sat on the couch and waited for the countdown to begin. I clutched at my hands until they were white and looked across at the two people sitting opposite, both completely at ease in front of the cameras.
Five, four, three, two, one…
‘Welcome back to this morning’s edition of Good Morning GB,’ announced Ireland Rothschild, the blonde-haired, blue eyed darling of morning TV.
‘I’m here with Fergus O’Reilly and we’ve a special guest with us this morning. None other than Britain’s love-struck multi-millionaire, Kate Robinson.
Welcome, Kate,’ she said with a dazzling smile aimed more towards the camera than at me.
As my cheeks began to heat up, I was so grateful to the make-up artist, who had insisted on caking on the foundation before the show had started. In fact, I had so much make-up on that I was hoping once I’d removed it, nobody would recognise me when I headed to the airport in my now rather stupidly chosen car. I couldn’t exactly blend in driving a pink Mini could I?
‘Good morning,’ I whispered shyly.
Fergus grinned back at me, tilting his head as if he was about to speak to a child. ‘Now, tell us, Kate dear, how does it feel to never have to worry about money ever again?’ he asked, his toothpaste advert teeth twinkling beneath the heat of the studio lights.
‘Erm, well, I guess it’s… erm, kind of… erm,’ I felt so bloody stupid. Great time for my brain to stop working. ‘I – erm. Great,’ I nodded. ‘Great, really great.’ Idiot.
Ireland glanced across at her grey-haired colleague and pouted before nodding. ‘Tell us how you knew this man. This,’ she glanced down at the iPad on her lap and continued, ‘Samuel?’
I cleared my throat and lifted my head, feeling like my brain was back in action. ‘He was a very good friend of the family, some years ago,’ I answered.
‘Just a friend? Why did he leave you all his money and his property?’ asked Fergus.
‘He didn’t have any family and I guess you could say that my mother and I were the closest he ever had to a family.’
‘Isn’t that lovely?’ pouted Ireland. ‘You certainly are a lucky woman. But what about your mother? Didn’t she receive any of his inheritance?’
‘No,’ I said before swallowing hard. ‘My mother lives a rather… nomadic lifestyle, in Africa. She doesn’t want any of it. All she asked of me was to donate a sum to charity which, of course, I have done.’
‘She lives in Africa? A nomadic lifestyle? That sounds intriguing. Perhaps we should interview her one of these days,’ laughed Ireland and Fergus together.
‘Have you splashed out on anything since receiving your inheritance back in June?’ they asked, leaning forward eagerly awaiting my answer.
‘Yes I have actually. I bought a car and a new house.’
‘Well good for you, Kate. But now, most of us are curious about this boy you lost. Tell us about him?’
Oh no. Why did I agree to this?
Taking a deep breath, I knew I had no choice. Several articles had been printed since the one in Liberty; everyone wanted to know more and nobody was going to leave me alone until I told them everything.
‘He was just a boy who I had a connection with when I was much, much younger. It was at Skegness. At an afternoon disco for kids. I was dancing and I felt someone touch my back and when I turned around there he was. The most beautiful boy I’d ever seen,’ I said, stopping and smiling as I reminisced. ‘It was one of the happiest memories of my life.’
Sighing, I continued, ‘We just looked at each other and it was like everything else just disappeared into the background. We stood staring, for what seemed like ages. I could barely move. And then, almost as soon as it had begun, my dad appeared and took me away. I couldn’t do anything as we walked to the car. I looked around for the boy but he was gone. And then, just as we were driving away, I turned around in my seat and there he was. He had a daffodil in his hand. I always assumed he’d gone to pick it for me, but that’s just a childish fantasy, I guess. The whole thing is probably nothing but a childish fantasy, really.’
Ireland was very carefully dabbing at her eyes with a tissue, pretending to be moved, while Fergus smiled sadly.
‘What a beautiful story, Kate. I don’t believe for one second that this is a childish fantasy. It’s romantic and beautiful,’ Ireland said.
‘Now, tell us, Kate. Why did you call him Fred?’ asked Fergus.
Smiling, I explained about the Right Said Fred song, just as the music began in the background.
‘What a wonderful tale. Thank you, Kate, for joining us today. It’s been a pleasure having you with us to share your story,’ said Fergus.
‘Thank you,’ I whispered before the camera moved back to Ireland as she straightened her skirt and looked alluring. ‘Do you remember this moment in time?’
she asked. ‘Are you the elusive Fred? We’d love to hear from you. You can contact us at…’
Before I could hear anything else, I was ushered off the couch and back behind the scenes where Jo stood, waiting patiently for me, with open arms.
You’ve written quite a few YA fantasy novels. What prompted you to move into chicklit?
Chick lit has always been my first love. I grew up reading it and learning all about life, love (and sex!). It was only when I was in my mid twenties that I also discovered a passion for YA fantasy.
Of the two genres which do you prefer to write?
At the moment I’d probably say chick lit – purely on the basis that I need to finish my latest YA book but I can’t because I’ve got this fab idea for my next chick lit novel that just won’t leave me alone. So it looks like chick lit is winning over!!
I love your blog and your passion for female writers. Are there any female authors that you particularly admire and if so, what is it about them that inspires you?
Thank you! I’ve always preferred female authors. Not sure why, probably because I can relate to them better, I guess lol! There are tonnes of amazing women authors out there that I absolutely adore. Shalini Boland, Melissa Pearl, Patti Roberts and Poppet are just a few of my favourites – and they’re also really good pals, very supportive and just all round brilliant lasses! I’d love to get the chance to finally meet them all in person. But not just that, they’re all so talented. I love reading their books.
How did you come up with the idea for Forever Fredless?
It actually came from something that happened to me as a kid. I was in the middle of a caravan holiday with my family when I saw this beautiful boy at a kid’s disco. He brushed up against my back and was staring at me. I never forgot him… although I can’t remember what he looks like! Luckily, I’m not like Kate (the main character) and didn’t obsess over him for years!
Do you have any more chicklit novels that you are working on? And if so when can we expect to see them?
Yes! I have tonnes of ideas and I’m hoping to start working on the next one soon. It’s just really hectic at the moment because I’m about to start shooting a mini movie based on one of my YA books! We’re just a group of amateurs having a go ourselves. It’s very exciting but I’m pretty nervous about it.
What is your long term goal as an author?
World domination? lol! I’ve always been very ambitious when it comes to my books and I do believe I will become a huge success (a girl can dream, can’t she?!)
So now for some questions designed to allow us to get to know you better:
Train, plane or automobile?
Plane – because that means I’ll be going somewhere far, far away
The gym of the couch?
I’m a total couch potato – I love my TV so much
Apple juice or apple cider?
White bread or multi-grain?
Neither, I’m gluten intolerant
Italian or Asian?
Asian – we eat Indian food ALL the time!
Tea or coffee?
I’m trying to be healthy, so it’s Rooibos tea during the week and coffee at weekends
Cake or cheese?
Cake! But gluten free if possible
Speaking of cake – do you think you can have your cake and eat it too?
If you were on a plane which was going to crash and you had time to make one phone call, who would you call and what would you say?
Oh gosh that’s probably the weirdest question ever! Erm… Well, my husband would be with me so there’s no point calling him. I’d call my dad to tell him I love him and to pass on the message to my brother and sister too. I’d say I’m finally going to see Mum again
If you could spend a month in any country which would it be and why?
The USA. I visited in 2008 and fell in love with it. I’d love to do a month long road trip across the country. That would be amazing!
What’s one thing you wish you were brave enough to do?
Surfing. My husband surfs and so do our close friends but I have a fear of the water and the waves. It would be nice to be able to just get in there and hang out with them all!
For more details about Suzy and her books, visit:
Chick Lit Blog: http://www.fictiondreams.com
YA Blog: http://suzyturner.blogspot.com
Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/suzyturnerbooks