Friday, 14 December 2012

Winter Solstice Event ~ Suzanne McLeod interview & Giveaway


Welcome to another fantastic instalment of my author interviews for the Winter Solstice event. I would like to welcome Suzanne McLeod. We've got an interview with Suzanne, then I'll share some information about her books and finally we have a giveaway for you (end of the post). Suzanne is a UK author & I'm a UK blogger so it's a great meeting :-)

An interview with Suzanne McLeod!

Please introduce yourself and your books.

Hello, I’m Suzanne McLeod, and thanks to Jenny for having me here for her Winter Solstice event. I write the Spellcrackers.com urban fantasy series about Genevieve Taylor. Genny is a sidhe fae and she works as a magical trouble-shooter in present day London; but it’s an alternative London with witches in Covent Garden, goblin workers on the Underground, trolls in the police force, celebrity vampires in Leicester Square, and other fae such as naiads, dryads and satyrs. Book four – The Shifting Price of Prey – is the latest book out in the series (UK only so far, but it’s available from the Book Depository with free worldwide delivery *inserts obligatory self-promo* :-D)


Why did you decide to become a writer?
When I realised my five to eight book-a-week habit was getting more and more difficult to sustain - I just wasn't finding enough of what I loved to read in the bookstores anymore (this was back in 2003; sadly bookstores seem like they’re becoming an endangered species just now L ), and my favourite authors where taking too long to write their next books ;).  

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I always knew I wanted to write a series with a character who got involved solving mysteries and murder.  From there it was finding my main character, Genny, and working out her back story and the world in which she lived; and how both had shaped her. Then I wanted her to have a job that would bring specific problems to her, problems that it would be logical she would deal with. But I didn’t want her to be police [too many rules and regulations to take into consideration] or a PI, hence Spellcrackers.com where her job is to clear up any nasty or dangerous spells. As for more everyday inspiration that comes from anywhere and everywhere: walking the Hound, documentaries, history, books, overheard conversations, visiting places, meeting new people, TV, books, and of course, the internet. :-D

Can you talk us through the process you go through when you write a book.
I'm a plotster (which is a combo of outlining a plot and writing by the seat of my pants). I start with the ‘baddie’, the character who is behind the book’s problem (usually a murdered person) that Genny, my main character is going to end up dealing with. I work out what the ‘baddie’ wants and why, and what he’s done/is prepared to do to get it. Then I work out how Genny is going to come up against the ‘baddie’ so she can thwart his nefarious plans, and how everything is going to go down the big (hopefully exciting) climax of the book.

After that I work out where’s the most appropriate and interesting place to start chapter one, and then outline where I go from there in a list of one-line (or sometimes one-page if my imagination gets carried away) chapter summaries until I get to The End. Then I start writing, which is where the panster bit comes in, and things/situations/characters which I never imagined appear. At which point I have to decide if they fit with the overall story, and if they do, how. Then it’s write and repeat until I get to The End, which sounds way simpler and less full of self-doubt than it actually is. :-)

If you could have dinner with one of your characters who would it be and why?
Hmm, that’s a hard one. Ricou (he’s a naiad – one of the water fae) would be a great choice as he’s into one of my favourite foods: sushi (a tad cannibalistic, I know, but hey, some fish are like that). But then dinner with Finn and the rest of the satyrs would be a wild time. (Everyone knows what they say about those Bacchanalian evenings they have. *wink*) I’d love to have some alone time with Tavish – not only is he a good couple of millennia old so he’s got lots of tales to tell, he’s also got quite a few personal secrets that I’d like to tease out of him – only trouble is he’s a soul-tasting kelpie so I’d have to make sure dinner was nowhere near water. And, of course, there’s Malik, but while he would be perfect company, I’m not sure I’d be comfortable eating when my dinner companion isn’t able to satisfy his own hunger, especially when he’s a vampire and I’m the evil creator of all his problems. *g*

If you were not a writer what would you be?
I’ve come to writing after having a lot of other jobs so I’ve already tried a lot of things that I thought I might like to do (and enjoyed nearly all of them), and really, it doesn’t get any better than writing. Though, I would love to learn to play the saxophone; sadly I’m tone deaf.

What is the best thing about being a writer?
Doing something that I love and actually getting paid for it is fab, obviously, but having people tell me they love my books and my characters, has to be the absolute best. 


And the worst?
Deadlines is one. No matter how distant they are, and how well you plan, they always jump out and surprise you like a manic, cackling Jack-in-the-box. But I think the main one is worrying that, no matter how hard I work at it, the story isn’t going to be good enough, and that I’m not going to do my characters justice, and that I’ll disappoint  those readers who love my books. I try hard to make sure that doesn’t happen.  

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
As I was a total bookworm I had lots, too many to mention really but here are some: CS Lewis, Elinor Brent-Dyer (The Chalet School books), Lucy Maud Montgomery, Noel Streatfeild (Ballet Shoes), John Wyndham, Tove Jansson (The Moomin books), Enid Blyton, Elyne Mitchell (The Silver Brumbry), Louisa May Alcott, Susan Cooper (The Dark is Rising), and Alan Garner.

What do you do in your free time?
Read! Read! And read some more! Bake cupcakes and biscuits. And sew. Watch TV. Visit graveyards. Oh, and maybe the odd bit of online window shopping *looks shifty*.

You can visit one place in the world right now, where and why?
Somewhere hot and sunny, with a heated pool, a buffet restaurant, tea and time-turners on tap, and a slave-driving muse. That manic Jack-in-the-box deadline is cackling in my ear.

Can you give us an odd fact about yourself?
I love anything pickled. Well, nearly anything . . . stop sniggering in the back there! . . . eggs and onions are the exception.

A few quick fire questions:
Coffee or Tea? Tea. I love the scent and taste of coffee but caffeine hates me.
Summer or winter? Summer. (Though not too hot. Picky, I know.) It’s great to have the windows open and lots of fresh air in the house.
Physical book or ebook? Ebook (90%. My absolute favourites still have to be in print). I love having hundreds of books for the space of a paperback, the instant reading, and the ability to change the font size (my eyes get tired now I’m *cough* years old). It all makes me glad I read in the future. :-D
Wild night out or cosy night in? Cosy night in. With a book, chocs, maybe some pickles, and a margarita, of course!

Thank you Suzanne, excellent interview which gives us a real insight into your authors world! It's great to meet a British Urban Fantasy author, I love the London settings of the Spellcrackers.com books!

About Suzanne McLeod

Suzanne has been a cocktail waitress, dance group roadie, and retail manager before becoming a writer. She was born in London (her favourite city and the home of Spellcrackers.com) and now lives on the (sometimes) sunny South Coast of England, about a mile away from the sea, with her husband Mr Mc, and Bella the Hound.

Suzanne’s website: Spellcrackers.com
Suzanne on Twitter: Suzanne_McLeod


Suzanne's Books
(Links to Goodreads)

The Sweet Scent of Blood (Spellcrackers.com #1)
The Cold Kiss of Death (Spellcrackers.com #2)
The Bitter Seedof Magic (Spellcrackers.com #3)
The Shifting Price of Prey (Spellcrackers.com #4)

About The Shifting Price of Prey

Sometimes a bit of magical help might cost more than you bargained for . . .

London is hosting the Carnival Fantastique, and Genny's job has never been busier or more fulfilling. Only not everyone is so happy. Genny believed she’d cracked the fae’s infertility curse . . . but the fae are still barren. It’s a devastating plight to which the mysterious Emperor may have the solution – if Genny can find him.

She needs help.

She turns to the vampire Malik al-Khan, only to find he’s wrestling with his own demons and, when the police request Genny’s assistance with a magical kidnap, her own problems multiply too. Is it all unconnected, or can the Emperor help her solve more than the fae’s infertility? Soon Genny is hard on his trail, so it seems she’ll have a chance to ask . . . but will the answer cost more than she’s willing to pay?


Giveaway

Win a copy of one of Suzanne's books (anywhere the Book Depository ships to!) - Winners choice which book

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 comments:

  1. My favortie part is : What do you do in your free time? because my answer is read and read too :)

    thanks for the giveaway, hope can win Suzanne's book

    ReplyDelete
  2. My favorite interview part - the odd fact, and the quick fire questions. Good questions! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. شركة القائد من الشركات الاوله فى الدمام والرياض
    شركة القائد
    حيث تمتلك شركتنا عمالة فنية ومدربة جيدا على الاهتمام بتنظيف الشقق والفلل والمنازل كما تهتم بأدق التفاصيل للوصول الى الصورة المثالية التى يبحث عنها العميل فهدفنا الرئيسى هو ان نوفر لعملائنا الاعزاء الراحة النفسية كما تمتلك شركتنا
    افضل المعدات الحديثة وادوات النظافة العامة المطابقة للمواصفات لنصبح افضل شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض كما نكون حريصين على استخدام افضل الخامات والمواد التنظيف التى تجعل منزلك نظيفا وجميلا والتى تمت تجربتها ومطابقتها للمواصفات اكثر من مرة للوصول الى الهدف المنشود .
    شركة تنظبف منازل بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجازان
    شركة تسليك مجارى بجازان

    شركة تنظيف بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف بجازان
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بجازان


    شركة مكافحة حشرات بجازان
    تعتبر شركه القائد من افضل الشركات فى تنظيف الخزانات بجازان فنحن نقوم بتقديم الخدمات المميزه التى تتحدث بالجوده والتميز دائما وتعمل الشركه جاهده على توفير المال والجهد للعميل فتقدم له افضل الخدمات فىتنظيف الخزانات والتى نؤديها بمهاره عاليه ودقه جيده ترى نتائجها من التعامل الاول مع الشركه فاذا كنت تشتكى من تسريب الخزان او كسره فان شركتنا عندها خبره وافيه فى هذا المجال ولها القدره على تنظيفه وتصليحه والتخلص من الروائح الكريهه والتخلص من مسببات التلوث الموجوده به وجعله كانه يبدو كالجديد تماما.
    شركة تنظيف بجازان
    نحن افضل شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام نحن نمتلك الخبرة الكبيرة جدا فى الرش ولدينا احدث الاجهزة الموجودة فى الاحساء والجبيل والخبر والقطيف والدمام نحن افضل شركة رش مبيد بالدمام نحن نعمل على مدار 24 ساعة يومين ولا نمل من الرش او المكافحة .رش المبيدات يحتاج الى شركة كبيرة جدا فى الرش ولديها خبرة كبيرة جدا نحن لدينا خبرة كبيرة جدة ولدينا اجهزة حديثه جدا فى الرش
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
    شركة القائد من الشركات الاوله فى مجال تسليك المجارى بالرياض شركة القائد هى الشركة التى تعمل على تسليك المجارى باحدث الاجهزة الحديثة المتعدده فى مجال التسليك بالرياض نحن فى شركة القائد نعمل على تسليك المجارى بالرياض من قبل الاجهزة الالكترونية والعمال الذين يبدعون فى مجال التسليك المجارى بالرياض.
    شركة تنظيف بجدة
    شركة نقل اثاث بجازان

    شركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض
    اتصل بنا الان على افضل شركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض نحن الافضل فى الرياض

    ReplyDelete

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