Interview with Sue Duff

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Twitter and Facebook support has been outstanding. There are so many groups out there that support Indie authors, and many do it for their love of books and reading. They are driving us to keep them entertained with new and fresh material, and when we do, they support us 100%!
Describe your desk
Organized chaos! I've come to appreciate that one of my strengths is my visual and physical memory. I may not always remember where I put something, but my eye and hand seem to look and reach for the correct pile. I also write notes for myself. I often lose them, but the act of writing out the note helps me to, sort of, remember things later.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Chicago, IL but we moved to Phoenix, AZ when I was quite young. I remember the sweltering afternoons, before we could afford air conditioning, and my mother's expectation that we all take naps. I wasn't much of a nap taker, and I often peeked in her bedroom. She always had a novel in her hands. As soon as we were old enough, she'd take us to the local library and we'd pick out books for our afternoon, bedroom reading hour. It was her way of passing on her love of books, and reading, to us. It's a gift that keeps on giving, even to this day!
When did you first start writing?
I had a skiing accident that messed up my knee. I had surgery and was laid up most of that summer. At the time, a radio host in Denver was writing a series of YA novels and shared his stories on the air. I was inspired to turn on the word processor to combat the boredom, and found that I loved it!
What's the story behind your latest book?
When I sat down in front of the computer to write this story, my life had taken a sharp turn, and it blindsided me. The story is about what happens when our children don't turn out as expected. Just because they don't present as we want them to, does it really mean something's wrong? It takes a lot of strength to let go of expecting our children to live the life we envision. As parents, it's hard, painful to let them be free to forge their own path. But bumps in the road, doing things harder than they need to be, isn't always a bad thing. In the case of my protagonists, they eventually figure it out on their own and in their own way.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had this epic story that was going to span several books! When talking to publishers and agents, their initial responses were always based on trends, market potential, revenue, etc. I didn't have faith they would allow me to tell the story the way I intend to. If fans stick with the series, they will go on an amazing ride with this vagabond group, and hopefully come to love them as much as I do.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It's given me the avenue to make my book available to a much wider audience! It also allows me to control every aspect of the book's release, from what the teasers and cover copy write up looks like, to controlling the prices and offering coupons. I love how easy it is to tweak and make changes to the manuscript and cover. I appreciate how Smashwords supports Indie authors in formatting the manuscript for a wide variety of devices and in ways to promote our books on a wide and varied scale.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love living in a world of my own creation! As twisted as that may seem to psychiatrists out there, I love creating characters I want to hang out with, go on adventures with and, if I was in peril, I'd want my protagonists to be the ones carrying me to safety. I love that they are flawed, yet heroic. That they are human, yet superhuman. Aren't we all? Through my writing, people live and die, love and fall out of love, make mistakes and triumph if I feel like it. Writing is better than therapy any day!
What do your fans mean to you?
There are so many out there that share my deep love for books and reading! I see it constantly across Twitter and Facebook and other social media sites. If I can inspire others to stay up late one night, wanting to turn the page and start just one more chapter before going to bed, then it's my way of offering a piece of my world to them. Books take us to places we can't often go in this physical world. I hope more than a few will choose to visit my world, and like hanging out there as much as I do!
What are you working on next?
I hope to publish Book Two in the series within six months from Book One being released. In this day and age, patience is not anyone's virtue, especially mine! Just because I know where this is going, and don't feel rushed, I don't want the fans craving for the next phase in Ian and Rayne's journey to have to wait too long!
Who are your favorite authors?
I'm not so much of a fan of specific authors as what books I've read. Nowadays, unless I'm hooked on a continuing saga series, I rarely repeat authors. I like a variety of voice, genres and story telling. Growing up, I couldn't get enough of Nancy Drew or Agatha Christie for the mystery, Frank Hebert for the world building, Anne McCaffrey for the fantasy. In my current genres I've liked what I've read of Thea Harrison, Kevin Hearne and Nalini Singh. I still have a place in my heart for Robert A. Heinlein, Orson Scott Card and Ursula K. Le Guin.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My octogenarian dachshund. Don't laugh, she's like over a hundred in dog years and her bladder is shot. I usually comply without complaint, though. I often wake up in the wee hours of the morning, when my mind is much more alert than my eyelids, with my latest scene dilemma resolved thanks to my dreams. I have to get to the computer before I forget it!
Published 2014-09-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.