Today we sit down with Australian author (by way of Wales) Suzanne Bowditch. She is going to share her work, inspiration and a bit about herself with us. Please enjoy this installment of 20 Questions.
Q1) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I won a poetry competition at school. It was a poem about a wild horse, and had lots of alliteration. It gave me the encouragement to want to write. After that, I started to write in my diary and read a lot of books. Writing took a back seat when I had my family, but I have returned to writing over the last eighteen months.
Q2) How long does it typically take you to write a book?
The first book Elen, took about three months to write, but the sequel to that book, entitled Alice’s Secret took me at least five months.
Q3) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I write in the mornings. My routine usually involves taking my daughter to school and then walking my dog. I am usually at my computer by ten at the latest.
Q4) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
The TV has to be switched on in the next room. The mundane background noise somehow soothes me to write.
Q5) How are your books published? (traditional, indie, etc.)
Elen was self-published onto Amazon. Alice’s Secret will be the same, although I am thinking of putting it onto Amazon Scout, where it will be free and ‘Hot and Trending’ for 45 days. It gives reader’s a chance to nominate it, so will benefit all.
Q6) Where do you get your ideas for your books?
For Elen, my inspiration came from my love of the convict era in Australian history; I studied this area as part of my English and History degree.
Q7) If you don’t mind sharing, when did you write your first book?
Elen is the first book that I have written, although I have written numerous short stories (unpublished as yet) for over thirty years.
Q8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like to walk my dog and spend time with good friends and family. I also read a lot, for pleasure and for ideas.
Q9) What is your favorite book?
Last year, it was Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, but I have since read The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert and absolutely loved it.
Q10) What do your family and friends think of your writing?
They are very encouraging. My family know when to bring cups of tea and when to leave me alone, and my friends have supported me by reading anything I show them.
Q11) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How much I love writing. That may seem strange to say, but there is a real difference between having ideas in your head, and writing them down. I love creating characters, and describing settings, places and situations.
Q12) What do you hate most about the writing process?
I hate it if I feel that my character is ‘stuck’ in a situation and I can’t get them out. When that happens I leave it and read a book to get inspiration.
Q13) How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written two books, and am in the middle of the third. The books are part of a trilogy I’m writing, called A Celtic Trilogy. The stories span the convict era through to the First World War and involve different generations of the same family.
Q14) Do you have any suggestions to help us become better writers? If so, what are they?
My best advice would be to read as much as you can; from classics to newspapers and magazines. It is then that you can get inspired.
Q15) Do you get feedback from your readers much? How and what kinds of things do they say?
Yes, my reader’s usually message me on Facebook or email me. The feedback is good; they tell me that they are looking forward to the next book, which is always positive feedback.
Q16) What is your preferred reading audience?
I like to aim for mature ladies who enjoy a lovely historical story with some romance.
Q17) What do you think makes a good story?
A good story involves an interesting plotline with well formed characters, especially the protagonist.
Q18) As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to teach English
Q19) Where can we find your books?
Q20) Will you give us an excerpt from one of your favourite works?
This is an excerpt from The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.
‘Well, if you must know, I believe that most people are quite fragile. I believe that it must have been a dreadful blow to man’s opinion of himself when Galileo announced that we do not reside at the centre of the universe – just as it was a blow to the world when Darwin announced that we were not specially crafted by God in one miraculous moment. I believe these things are difficult for most people to hear. I believe it makes people feel insignificant.’
About Suzanne Bowditch
Suzanne Bowditch writes historical fiction. Originally from Wales, she has lived in Australia for the last ten years. Her first book Elen tells the story of a Welsh woman who is sent as a convict to Van Diemen’s Land with her young daughter for a crime she did not commit. Alice’s Secret carries on the saga and is set in Tasmania and Melbourne. Her books have themes of family relationships, hardships and adversity set against the backdrop of Australian history.
The books form A Celtic Trilogy of three books written about different generations of the same the same family.
Alice’s Secret Will be out in July of 2016.
Her third book of the trilogy will be out Christmas 2016. She lives in Queensland with her family and enjoys reading, baking and spending time with her family.
Elen A Celtic Trilogy by Suzanne Bowditch
Find it on Amazon.:
Alice’s Secret A Celtic Trilogy by Suzanne Bowditch
Coming out in 2016.