Tuesday, November 28, 2017


   Good Tuesday all today is my last day of interviewing victims for the NOVEMBER TO DISMEMBER over at READING ZOMBIE on facebook . Today our victim is Suzanne Sussex and her SAFE ZONE  books

Good morning Suzanne thank you for joining us today
Thank you for having me

 Tell us a little about yourself 
I live in the UK, in Wales but right on the border to England with my boyfriend and slightly neurotic cat. I've worked full time for the same company for over 20 years.  When I'm not working or writing I love being outdoors, preferably in the hills. Over the last couple of years I've done a number of walking events, including walking 106km around an island in one day. 

Tell us about your books 
I have two books published at the moment with a third in progress. They are a trilogy called Safe Zone. The first is Safe Zone: The Greater Good and tells the events following a zombie virus outbreak in the U.K. The second is Safe Zone: The Descent, which is set twenty years after the first book. 

How do you select the names for your characters 
It varies, sometimes they just name themselves, which sounds odd, but the name just pops right on to the page. Others I've ended up using baby naming books to get inspiration. 

 Do you hide secrets in your books that only a few people will know and understand 
The antagonist in the second book actually makes a very brief appearance in the first. I'm not sure how many people have spotted that. There is also quite a lot of myself in Chloe, the main character from the first book. Only people that know me would understand which bits are more me or intentionally the opposite of me. For example Chloe hated climbing Snowdonia (highest mountain in Wales) whereas I love the whole mountain range.

 As a child did you have a favourite book 
So many! But the one that stands out that I've read time and again is called The Tower of Geburah by John White. It's very similar to the Chronicles of Narnia, but as a child I loved it so much more. 

If you didn't write what would you be doing 
I only started writing in 2016, yet already I can't even remember what I used to do at weekends and in the evenings before. As I still work full time my life would just be where it was 2 years ago. Working all day then binge watching box sets in the evenings and at weekends with the odd bit of Call of Duty. 

 What is your favourite part of the writing and publishing process and the least favourite thing 
My favourite part is that very rare moment where the words just spill on to the page and events take place that I hadn't planned or even thought of but they just work. For example in The Descent the characters find something (I'll avoid spoilers) relatively early on in the book which changed the entire direction of the book and was so far away from what I thought the story was going to be.

My least favourite part is coming up with the title. Firstly because there are millions of books out there so originality can be a challenge, but also because of the pressure of getting the right title. The cover and the title are what readers see first. My cover artist Claire is incredible and can translate my ideas into amazing covers, but the title is all on me. 
if you could do one thing differently as a child or tee to make you a better writer what would it be 
Write!  I used to start the odd story as a teenager but I never committed to actually finishing any of them. 

 Do you read reviews  on your books and what do you do when you have a bad review
I read every review (and over analyse every word.) I've not actually had a bad review (yet) although I've had a few low ratings on Goodreads, I'd like to think that if the criticism is something I can learn from then I'll take it on board as in future work. If it just along the lines of not liking zombies or the lack of guns in the books, then I guess I'll just shrug my shoulders and move on with my life.

 When you were writing Safe Zone how much research did you do 
I researched as I went rather than plot out the book. I suspect my google search history is a bit questionable. 

Do you believe in writers block 
That's a really difficult question and I can only speak from my experience. There are times when it is hard to think of the next thing to write, this results in procrastination and ultimately loss of motivation. I've developed my own ways of dealing with this and found that getting away from the laptop, sometimes just a few minutes doing something else helps. Other times, I'll shut the laptop and leave it for a day or two. On the odd occasion when self doubt also creeps in, I'll re read what I've written and this generally gives me new ideas.  


Coffee. I am addicted to it

I have a couple of times but I don't get many results

I'd be able to slow down time so that I could get more done in a day

Big Mac. I never have anything else from McDonalds.

Last but not least 
What would you tell any aspiring writer out there . 
Do your own thing and don't worry about the 'rules.' Obviously basic spelling and grammar is important, but there are so many different opinions out there about every aspect of writing that you can tie yourself up in knots. Do what feels right for you.

I have a website http://suzannesussex.com/ on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/suzannesussex1/  or on twitter @suzannesussex


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