Interview with Suzie Louis

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up, like Clive James, in the southern suburbs of Sydney but near the beach where I hung out with school friends. We had a small house on a quarter acre block with fruit trees, chooks, a cat and a dog. One of my two older brothers also tried to keep a fat old pony in the backyard but he had to move it when it got stuck one day and put a hole in the side of the house and my Dad hit the roof. I must have been quite small when it happened but I remember the pony and the hole in the house quite well. Having older brothers meant there were always a lot of cheap paperbacks in the house which I devoured without really knowing what they were about but I'd read anything, including the labels on jam jars. Our life there and my father's upbringing was the basis for my first novel, Deepwater.
When did you first start writing?
I've always written but it was 2000 when I started my first novel. I had no idea what I was doing and was trying to fit it in with my working life as a lawyer. Since then I've written fiction off and on when time and inspiration allowed. Professionally I had to write a lot and was published in various ways as a legal writer for many years. In the last three years my output of fiction and non-fiction has increased dramatically as I've learnt more about the craft and feel my writing has improved. Blogging has been great for me and I recommend it as a discipline for writing every day and putting your thoughts down in an organised way.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, which will be published by September 2013, is the third in the Archie the Royal Hot Water Bottle series. The title is A Mere Pawn where a young man obsessed with the princess Crystal is used in a much wider game of revenge. It's a development in the series in that the plot is driven by the actions of one villain, rather than a number of incidents which populated books 1 and 2. I like a Mere Pawn, it seems to be an effective and entertaining mix of the fantasy of Archie and the reality of the craziness that surrounds and threatens royal families.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Rejections from agents and publishers. They're fair enough and I know some of the rejections I received were deserved but as I've written recently in my short story, 'I became a Bestseller', much publishing these days is driven by celebrity or the success of the last bestseller publishers and agents managed to stumble upon as they, like us, grope their way through the dark trying to find out what readers want to read.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I become so involved with the characters and where they take me. Often I have no idea what's going to happen next as I don't plot a novel before I start. I have endless enjoyment from finding out how things turn out. I'm a writer at heart because I like to be alone with the manuscript and no-one else. Seeing a story finished and whole is my greatest joy.
What do your fans mean to you?
I have very few but believe me I cherish every show of support and feedback I receive.
Who are your favorite authors?
Nancy Mitford who I suppose a lot of young people don't read now, for her sheer exuberance and teaching me to write what I know about. That was the secret of Mitford's success, she wrote about her life and class and sold millions. I have many more but where do you start? With Stephen King who said, always write the truth? With John Donne's poetry?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a family and I run Exeter Village Market in the Southern Highlands.
How do you approach cover design?
This is a new thrill for me, designing covers. Over the last year or so I've learnt to build websites because the market needed one and that has given me confidence with cover design. I have a love of art so many of my covers feature a public domain artwork which I manipulate in Pixlr, recommended to me by Smashwords. What I try to convey in the cover is the essence of the story with an image that is beautiful. Some works need something more contemporary, then I use a simple image and manipulate it. I did this for Diary of a Novice Market Organiser and I Became a Bestseller. In every case I'm trying to say something with the cover. I also try to brand the books with a font style and harmony of images. Because book covers have to sell the story I do my best to make them catch the eye, have clear type and not become muddled in too much imagery or information.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
What success I've had to date has been helped by Mark Coker's published advice and the Smashwords' fabulous distribution network.
Published 2013-08-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

How to Set Up & Run Markets Fairs & Fetes
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 41,770. Language: English. Published: February 10, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Handbooks and Manuals, Nonfiction » Career Guides » Business Management
Everything you need to know and a step by step how to guide to setting up and running your own market, fair or fete from the nuts and bolts of dealing with local authorities to attracting stallholders and advertising in the age of social media. The book was written by a novice market organiser who applied her ability to absorb and understand the unfamiliar to small events management.
is Publishing Success Inspiration? Perspiration?
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,400. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing, Essay » Literature
Is there a shortcut to publishing success? Will that one brilliant idea translate into bestseller status or does a writer's success owe everything to hard work? Good questions which are discussed in this piece by an experienced indie author.
A Mere Pawn
Series: Archie the Royal Hot Water Bottle, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 54,130. Language: English. Published: August 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Jeff and Crystal's triplets are nearly two and Crystal is receiving increasingly disturbing letters from a young Romanian diplomat who's obsessed with her. He eludes the British police and becomes a pawn in a much larger game of revenge played by a devious and ultimately ruthless Russian who comes out of one of the royal family's retainer's past to threaten the institution of the monarchy.
How I Became a Bestseller
Price: Free! Words: 3,470. Language: English. Published: August 21, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
The greatly desired publishing contract eludes a young author with a growing collection of rejection letters and an obsessive belief in the quality of her work. Despising vanity publishing and never daunted she and her stage mother will go to any lengths to see her published and have in place a program of regular, if expensive, events designed to promote her fortunes.
Archie the Royal Hot Water Bottle
Series: Archie the Royal Hot Water Bottle, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 75,590. Language: English. Published: April 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Archie was plucked from the obscurity of a chemist shop to lead a life of service in a palace. His noble but immature owner is an orphaned princess with immediate problems she can't manage and a future that holds many surprises including a realisation that objects like Archie have lives and loves of their own.
The Litigation Junkie
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 37,240. Language: English. Published: April 4, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire, Nonfiction » Law » Litigation
Written by a wig and gown litigator this is the how to avoid disaster in litigation. Every year thousands of innocents become enmeshed in what is misleadingly called the 'Justice System'. For some their experience becomes an obsession, even an addiction which can only end in disaster: our hero, a hapless cove of epic proportions, loses it all and ends up living in his car.
Deepwater
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 71,500. Language: English. Published: March 11, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
Harry, Louise and their illegitimate baby are trapped in the poverty and violence of the Sydney slums where Harry lives by his fists, collecting debts for a bookie. When a neighbour, Prue, befriends them the world she left behind many years before provides them with an opportunity but it will be how Harry responds to a threat that will define him as a man. Includes an extract from Book II, Prue.