Su, what has been your biggest influence on becoming a writer?
My family. They believed, and still do, in my talent and creativity. Their encouragement and flexibility to accommodate my schedule has been a great help. Even my eight-year-old son is supportive and offers to give me monsters whenever I’m stuck in a scene. How a monster would help anyone is beyond me, but I’ve learned not to argue when he’s helping. Seriously, bad idea! :)
How do you categorize yourself: pantser or plotter?
I’m a bit of both, I’m afraid. I start off by plotting for no other reason but my fear of forgetting the events, their sequence and the twists. A gold fish’s memory is better than mine. As the story progresses, I start changing details impulsively, as long as the main events of the story remain unchanged.
What makes a book great in your eyes?
1. Suspense is an important element. If the readers don’t speculate, then they will not care and will put the book face down on the first picnic bench they find.
2. Plausibility is another factor. JK Rowling created a magical world loaded with mythical creatures, magical spells and unbelievable obstacles. A realistic magical world!
What influences your writing? And why?
Unfortunately, my mood influences my writing schedule and the writing itself. I think the answer to the why bit lies in the stars. I’m as typical a Taurean as they come. 8-D
Who is your favorite all-time author?
Indisputably, Kresley Cole. Her Immortals After Dark series is a must read.
Do you write in one genre or several different ones? And why?
Besides the paranormal romance, I write in the horror and thriller genres. Why? I guess I’m drawn to the darker side of the fictional world. Of course, His to Possess, though paranormal romance, is sweet, and that’s the work of my characters. They held me down and forced me to do it :)
To know more about my writing check out my website: http://www.su-halfwerk.com/Books.htm
If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
At a cottage on a beach. If you’re going to grant this wish, please make sure there is electricity in the cottage—for my laptop.
How do you deal with the dreaded writer’s block?
I don’t get writer’s block. On the other hand, I suffer from total addiction to writer’s procrastination. I handle it the same way I handle everything else in life, I tempt myself with a reward if I do get off my %$# and go to work again. No work, no reward.
Do you have another career besides writing? What is it?
I paint, here’s a link to some of my paintings: http://www.su-halfwerk.com/Paintings.htm
I also design book trailers, here’s the trailer for His to Possess: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiiL_ettk6A
To date, which is your favorite story? Which one did you have the most fun writing?
His to Possess. Its details fit in place as tight as a jigsaw puzzle pieces. I had no difficulties with it—the characters were easygoing and the ending surprised me as much as the next person. In simple words, it was exciting, suspenseful and engaging.
You can read more about His to Possess here http://tinyurl.com/3xdm56f
How do you go about developing your characters and setting?
Usually, the sequence is like this:
1. I get the idea for the book.
2. Then I sit and decide on the characters’ personalities, concentrating on their flaws and strengths to decide on their background and their occupations. Lots of research goes here.
3. Finally, I decide on the location of the story—again, loads of research—to give the characters the best environment for conflict and climax.
However, for His to Possess, Stacy’s job was the first thing that came to my mind, even before the idea of the book. Go figure!
Thank you for these challenging questions. I would like to leave you with one thought:
Don’t give up hope no matter what challenges life hurls at you. There’s always a way, might not be an easy one, but give it a try. You might be surprised.
I hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as I enjoyed answering its questions.