Interview with Susan F Roberts

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in small rural Montana towns located on the Rocky Mountain Front and the Hi-line(along the Canadian border). Montana's big sky landscape, its people and history have definitely influenced my writing. My book, "Silenced," is an anthology of short stories written around the Montana landscape.
When did you first start writing?
My first short story was written at twelve or thirteen years of age. I recall the concept of crafting a story with a beginning and end. Prior to that I wrote in journal form, writing thoughts and poetry.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My lastest book, "Ida Hawkins P.I. Eight Days," actually began with the concept of writing a serial detective novel like the kind seen in magazines in the 1940s and 50s. I began with Ida Hawkins, a detective in New York City who ends up in Montana. I wrote six episodes and wrote a query letter to Montana Woman magazine asking if they would be interested in the idea. A few months later I was informed by letter that I had won a fiction contest, that I never entered. The six episodes of Ida Hawkins were published each month for six months. I keep a framed copy of one of the episodes on my wall. In 2003 I took the six episodes and made them into a full length book.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was motivated to become an indie author because of frustration, a file packed with rejection notices and an all around desire to have control of my own work. I realized up front that it was still a lot of work, but I love the independence and challenge.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I haven't sold a lot of my books, but it is steady as she goes. I have definitely learned a lot of things since first publishing on Smashwords, and often encourage other writers to give it a chance. I find Smashwords to be an extremely well thought out program in many different ways and am very appreciative for the opportunity to publish.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is my greatest joy because it is natural to me. I write everyday, sometimes for hours and never tire of it. I have wanted at different times to create a more structured writing time, but find that inspiration is my best companion.
What are you working on next?
I am blogging the sequel to Ida Hawkins. I just started the beginning of August. It is interesting for two reasons. It really is a replication of how the Ida Hawkins story began, and it is a way to engage new readers.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I have to say that coffee is my inspiration to get out of bed every day....good strong coffee. But generally I am writing about half of the way through the first cup!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Frankly, I am always writing, even when I am walking my dog or visiting with my neighbors. I have two blogs going and am in the middle of several novels, several screenplays and free-lance investigative reports.
Published 2013-08-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Madam Delacriox's Diary
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,600. Language: English. Published: October 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult
Colette Delacriox dies leaving a diary that detective Henri Bernard takes home to read. Colette was his first love and he wants to know if she has written about him. Jeanne, his wife, finds the handwritten diary in her husband's den. She also begins to read it. The diary changes their relationship in ways neither of them could have imagined.
Life in Montana
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 15,330. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2013. Categories: Essay » Sociology
Essays from the blog, Western Gal Speak, on contemporary life in Montana. This series of blogs was published on wordpress this year and include essays on a wake, bull riding, and everyday life in a small reservation town in western Montana.
Silenced
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 18,050. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
Contemporary and historic fictional stories that take place in the Montana landscape. Silenced is the story of a Native woman who ends up in a white settlement and finds an artistic talent that saves her life and leads to love.
The Other Side of Dead
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 32,150. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literary collections » American / General
An eclectic array of short stories ranging from a ghost who helps solve her own murder, to a woman who finds the perfect relationship after losing a shoe down a man hole cover.
Simple Contentment
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 17,640. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » History » American
In 1910 the U.S. Government opened the Flathead Indian Reservation to white settlers. A flood of immigrants made their way to the Little Bitterroot Valley in western Montana. This is their story.
The West Old & New
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 19,350. Language: English. Published: February 27, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » History & Criticism
Contemporary essays on life in western Montana as well historical stories based on true events.Articles about museums, people and events past and contemporary.
Ida Hawkins, P.I. Eight Days
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 74,810. Language: English. Published: February 27, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Ida Hawkins has a good life and enjoys her profession as a private investigator in New York City. On a Monday in May a series of events and mishaps changes the direction of her life forever. Within days she finds herself in the wilds of Montana embroiled in a murder investigation. Just when she thinks everything is solved a secret is revealed that alters her life forever.