-Author Interview Series-
Catching up with Suzanna J. Linton
by Shannon Leigh Rivera
Suzanna J. Linton is a fantasy author. Her published works include Clara, Clara’s Return, and Willows of Fate. I caught up with Suzanna earlier this month to find out how she has been since the release of Clara’s Return back in May.
It’s great to have you back on the Fantasy Fix, Suzanna! Tell us your latest news?
Well, as you mentioned my latest novel, Clara’s Return, came out May 13. It is the sequel to my debut novel, Clara, and continues her journey as she realizes her abilities and faces a new foe. It has been pretty hectic since the release and I have been trying to enjoy the hard work I put into writing, editing, and marketing my latest book.
Putting out a new book is a lot of hard work. Does that mean you are taking a break right now or are you working on any new projects? Any ideas in the pipeline?
I don’t really have a new project. I tried to work on the second book of the Lands of Sun and Stone Series but that stalled. I ended up taking the summer off to regroup and really just enjoy time with my husband. I’m playing with the idea of trying again or writing something completely new.
I understand taking breaks. I recently took the summer off after I graduated and it did wonders for my writing. Do you feel like you gained any particular insight during your time off? Try anything new? Go anywhere inspiring?
I don’t know if I gained any particular insight. I tried to get some balance back into my life and find projects to bring a little more money into our household. It was actually really frustrating. I did try to get to the gym more regularly but wasn’t quite able to do so! I did focus on reading books on the writing process and learned a few new tricks of the trade.
I spent a good deal of summer reading anything I could get my hands on. Have you been reading anything new in your time off? Maybe a classic or favorite or new author that might have grabbed your interest?
I’ve been re-reading the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Right now, I’m reading Fire Touched, which is the latest book. I have a couple of new authors on my reading list but I haven’t read anything that’s made me go, “Whoa! Amazing new author! I must read everything they’ve written!” However, I’m also really picky, so that probably has something to do with it.
Thanks for telling us how things are going with you. I know readers who have had a chance to learn about Clara and Clara’s Return were excited to pick up a copy. One of the things, however, that we talked about recently were the difficulties that you have been facing as an Indie author. I think that you brought up a lot of good points about the publishing industry and were candid about the struggles that you have faced getting reviews and readers to find your work. A lot of young writers aspire to be picked up by big publishing houses, however ,the non-traditional markets, to include Indie and Self-published books, are growing in popularity. Since you have experienced some good and bad with the Indie publishing world, do you have any advice for those writers who are looking to go small, rather than big? Can you share some of your experiences with Indie publishing (costs, finding an editor, etc.)?
First, I would tell them that patience is required. There is no such thing as an overnight success. It only looks like that to an outsider. But, in reality, that so-called overnight success took years of hard work. Secondly, they need to decide what they want out of it. It’s highly unlikely that they’ll become rich or extremely well-known through non-traditional markets and they need to understand that going in. Third, I would suggest building an online presence through social media, perhaps also a blog, before they actually publish. That will help with marketing and sales. Finally, I would suggest using an editor, a proofreader, and a professional cover artist. If you’re going to go into this, going into wholehearted.
What has been the hardest part of writing your books?
Finishing it. It sucks, finishing a novel. It takes stamina and commitment. It becomes like a marathon. And then the actual writing of the ending! I always agonize over the last sentence. I want to create an image that lingers in the reader’s mind and I think I’ve only pulled that off twice.
Marketing is a difficult thing, especially for Indie writers. Do you have any sage wisdom for those just starting out in the market, or maybe those looking to go Indie?
I suggest finding someone who knows more than you and learning from that person. Kate Tilton has been one of my teachers, for example.
Speaking of marketing, a good cover is a must today and you have amazingly lovely covers on your books! Tell us a little about the artist and how you work with her to get the artwork you do.
I work with Fiona Jayde of Fiona Jayde Media. She’s a great artist and a wonderful person. When I’ve got a new novel, I email her a short synopsis, along with the title. If I have an idea of the cover, I describe it to her, along with any example covers or reference photos. She’ll make a cover, send it to me, and I respond with my thoughts. Sometimes, I don’t like an element or I point out some weird anomaly. I remember one time, when we were doing the cover for Clara, there was a weird looking face in the mountain behind Clara. Once I saw it, I couldn’t un-see it and it was the same for her when I pointed it out. It was a little funny, actually. I don’t think we’ve gone more than three revisions. For the both of us, Willows of Fate is our favorite cover.
Thank you, Suzanna. My readers and I have enjoyed your books and we know it’s been an emotional rollercoaster since Clara’s Return was released. We look forward to your future works, but for now we applaud all your hard work! Thank you for stopping by to have a chat with us.
Interested in learning more about Suzanna and her works? You can follow her at:
Don’t forget to check out a copy of her books on Amazon, Nook, etc.