A couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure of reviewing The Girl Who Lied by Sue Fortin, published for kindle by HarperImpulse on 19th May (just 99p), with the paperback to follow on 28th July. You’ll find my review here: I really enjoyed it, well written, character driven romantic suspense, with a strong sense of place and family, great pace, and some real surprises.
To close Sue’s blog tour, I’m delighted to welcome her as my guest on Being Anne…
Hello Sue, and welcome to Being Anne – would you like to introduce yourself?
Hello Anne, thank you for inviting me on your blog, it’s a pleasure to be here.
So, about me, I live in West Sussex with my husband and four children. I write mystery, suspense and romance and am published by HarperCollins under the HarperImpulse imprint. I’m also part of the online writing group The Romaniacs.
So, fifth novel – is it getting easier, or does the pressure of expectation make it more difficult?
Ooh, good question. Both, I suppose. Like any craft, the more you practise, the better your skills become. Also, by now, I have quite a good idea of how I work, the process I go through to reach the end. Of course, this is countered by the fear that what I’ve written isn’t as good as before. On the other hand, writing without fear or knowledge of the rules when I drafted my first book, was wonderful. I could indulge myself totally, ignorant about what was expected of me or my manuscript. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that freedom since then.
And where did the idea for the story come from?
It came from the premise of the ‘what if?’ question as to how far you would go for your child or, indeed, your loved ones. I took that question and weaved it into the first draft which was at about 30k words and had no sense of purpose.
And I’d love to know more about Rossway. Based on somewhere you know? What made you choose an Irish setting?
Rossway is a fictional village set on the east coast of Ireland in County Cork. I needed to use Ireland to make a particular part of the plot to work and as my husband’s family all live in and around Cork itself, it was an obvious choice.
I know you describe your writing as “mystery, suspense and romance” – a perfect mix, I always think. Which element do you enjoy writing most? Could you write a simple love story? Or a mystery without the romance?
That’s a hard question. I thoroughly enjoy writing both elements and being able to combine them is great. My first novel was a contemporary romance but gradually in each book the romance has played a lesser role and the mystery and suspense have taken over. I would like to write a crime book one day but I would find it difficult not to drop in a bit of romance.
Is your latest book always your favourite – or do you have a soft spot for one of your books in particular?
The latest does tend to be my favourite. Probably because it’s still new and fresh, whereas the others have been there a lot longer and I’m probably guilty of not paying them enough attention.
Would you always want to write contemporary fiction? Do you ever hanker to try something different?
I would LOVE to write a historical. I’ve had an idea burning away for several years but apart from the first chapter, I haven’t been able to do anything else with it. There would need to be a certain amount of research carried out which always seems daunting.
How do you fit your writing around the demands of a family? What’s a typical writing day?
At the moment, very badly. I’ve had an extremely busy month or so and my writing has been the first thing to suffer. However, after a little break, I’m starting a new regime. After I’ve dropped my daughter to school, I’m going to head to a coffee shop where there are no distractions, ie Internet, and I’m going to write 2k words before I go home. I have a new novel shouting to be written, plus my agent and publisher waiting to see it.
And I just have to ask you about The Romaniacs (you know I’m a proud Sparkler, on your street team). What does being part of that group of writers mean to you?
And it’s lovely having you in the Sparklers too! Being in The Romaniacs means so much both in terms of writerly support and personal support. They are excellent sounding boards and fantastic cheerleaders. We’ve all become family friends too which has cemented our foundations further still.
What writers do you admire? if someone said “your writing reminds me of…”, who would you really like them to mention?
I really admire Liane Moriarty and Emily Barr. I love the mystery and suspense in their books and the social commentary in Liane Moriarty’s books is just brilliant. A recent review of one of my books said it reminded the reviewer of Liane Moriarty – I was of course delighted, although I have to say I consider it a great and generous compliment.
What’s next for you? Number six already underway?
Number 6 is on its way in so much as it’s taking up a lot of space in both my head and notebook. It’s been brewing for about a year now so I’m really excited about knuckling down now and writing it.
Thank you Sue – I hope that coffee shop idea works, and we can soon be looking forward to the next book…
You can follow Sue on Twitter and Facebook, and find out more about her and her writing through her excellent new website, which also includes her blog.