Talkshow Thursday: Meet Suzie Waltner
Suzie: One of the rules given for authors is “write what you know.” I live in the Nashville, TN, area, and what’s more known in Nashville than country music? So, while I wrote about a place I know extremely well, I did have to do some research on the music industry side of things.
LM: You wrote several novels, then took a break before coming back to writing. How is your process different? The same?
Suzie: My first novels were more hobby writing. At the time I first started writing, I didn’t know there were such things as writing groups, writing rules, critique groups, and marketing. I found those things after I’d written my first couple of books. Then I took a break from writing and spend a few years in the reader world as a book blogger. I got to know other readers, what they like in books, what they don’t like in books, and what helps connect them with authors. I’ve poured a lot of that information into my more recent writing and, even though I’m still not quite there yet, I am developing the habit of writing every day. Even if it’s just a page or two.
LM: Research is an important element in writing. What did you do to research for Midnight Blue and was there something you found you knew had to be included?
LM: How did you develop your characters, and how did you decide on their names (Are you a Gone with the Wind fan?)
Suzie: I am not a Gone with the Wind fan. In fact, I’ve not ever even watched the entire movie. I usually find my character names using a baby names book. I’ll browse until one seems to be the right fit. I have gotten halfway through a book a time or two and decided the name I was using for a character just wasn’t the right one, though. As far as developing characters, I love using character interview worksheets. I have one which is some basic information like appearance, likes and dislikes, family, etc. and another that dives into some more emotional and heart-deep issues of the characters.
LM: What is one thing you wish you knew how to do?
Suzie: Play the piano. I can pluck but getting both of my hands to work together just never clicked for me.
LM: What was your favorite childhood book?
Suzie: It was an obscure little book called Nobody’s Fault? by Patricia Hermes (I believe it’s out of print now). It was the first book I ever read that made me cry and tugged on my emotions.
LM: What is one piece of advice you have for fledgling writers?
LM: What is your next project?
Suzie: I’ve turned in the follow-up book to Midnight Blue to my publisher and am currently working on book three. There will be four books total in this series, and each one will feature members of the band readers will meet in Midnight Blue.
LM: Where can folks find you on the web?
About Midnight Blue:
A series of heartbreaking setbacks behind her, Scarlett Sykes is now focused on creating the best life possible for her daughter. One where innocence and joy is not colored by rejection or loss. While finances are tight and Scarlett’s job isn’t ideal for a single mother, her child will always know she’s loved. Especially since Harmony’s father wanted nothing to do with them.
As lead singer and the face of a successful country band, Jake Turnquist’s closest friends depend on him, but life in the spotlight is quickly losing its appeal. At a party celebrating another accomplishment, he’s stunned to discover Scarlett assisting the caterer. Almost ten years have passed, but he’s never forgotten his first love. In the hours after a surprise revelation, Jake scrambles to orchestrate a way to spend time with Scarlett and Harmony—the family he’s always wanted but never knew he had. He once gave her up to pursue his music. What will he have to surrender to win her back?