Author Susan Dayley
Book Bug: Welcome to the Book Bug, Susan!
When and why did you begin writing?
Susan: Before I remember—by third grade I was turning reports into poems. Through the years I had teachers who encouraged me to publish, but never even attempted until my children were grown and I was an old lady—the eccentric type who sticks her tongue out at disjointed clouds and walks around the garden barefoot.
Book Bug: What book(s)/author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
Susan: I love the humor of Jane Austen, the passionate beliefs of Ayn Rand, the black and white / right and wrong of Sir Walter Scott and the brilliance of Tolkien. But this list morphs constantly.
Book Bug: I love Jane Austen and J.R.R. Tolkien is my favorite!
What is your favorite genre to read / write?
Susan: I love classics and romance. Only recently have I read more contemporary books, and I always go back to Dickens and company.
My first book was the biblical story of Jonah. I am fascinated with the details of ancient times. I have shelved the story of Hezekiah, but have plans for it. By the time I researched these stories, I not just loved and respected the people who lived then, but in my head I could walk the ancient trade routes or streets of Jerusalem.
Now I write mystery / suspense filled with romance. I guess it’s a chick thing.
Book Bug: A woman after my own heart!
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?
Susan: I outline extensively and several versions. Then, research, write up characters, research, tweak, and begin writing. And research as I go. I rewrite a couple more times, send out to readers, rewrite, rewrite and stifle a scream into my pillow. Then I take a big breath and send to an editor. Then rewrite some more.
Routine? Definitely a good idea.
Book Bug: Do you ever suffer from writers block? If so, what do you do about it?
Susan: Not really. I don’t have time to not know what I’m going to write. When I’m not working on my works in progress, I am blogging or writing articles. One thing that helps is extensive outlining. Also, whenever I can, I’m thinking about what I’m going to write next. I go to sleep thinking about the next few scenes. I also think ahead to the next story. I have a trilogy in my head and another potential one that I pushed aside. I finally started to outline my next project (not the first one conceived) so that I could stop the mind chatter long enough to finish the rewrites on my current project. The only time I get stumped for what to write about is my blog. When I have a calendar, those come easy too. Last year I calendared a whole year of blog topics—3x’s per week—this year has been more difficult. Time to make my list again.
Book Bug: I think you are the first author I have interviewed that said that! Good for you!
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Susan: Since it’s a multiple ending mystery—keeping track of all the clues and what happened in each possible plot line. Even with an outline I had to go back and reread often.
Book Bug: What do you think are the most important elements of good writing?
Susan: Characters that the readers will become involved with so that they want to know what happens next in their lives. A good plot sequence is essential, as is bringing the setting alive, and a theme that touches the core of a person’s beliefs, but if the readers don’t like the protagonist, it doesn’t really matter.
Book Bug: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Susan: Hiking. In a perfect world, I’d hike every day. Or lie on my back in a meadow of wildflowers and find shapes in the clouds.
Book Bug: What book are you reading now?
Susan: Dr. Zhivago
Book Bug: What are your current / future projects?
Susan: Next year I have two multiple ending romance stories coming out. The first is a mystery and the second is suspense. I have begun outlining a trilogy that is also loaded with romance (single plot line), and filled with mysteries, but the twist is . . . wait! I’m not going to give it away yet! But it’s going to be intense!
Book Bug: I cannot wait!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Susan: Keep learning. Don’t get discouraged. And it doesn’t matter how old you are, what you look like, or who you know. What matters are the words you put on a page.
Book Bug: Thanks so much for being at the Book Bug today! Looking forward to more great books from you!
Walnut Springs Press Book
by Susan Dayley
Author: Susan Dayley
Release Date: January 2010
Publisher: Walnut Springs Press (Facebook | Twitter)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase the Book