The Writing Life of: Suzanne Snow
This week I am thrilled to be interviewing author Suzanne Snow. Suzanne will be sharing with us details of her writing life, telling us all about her new book ‘A Country Village Christmas‘, which was released on 2nd September 2021 and answering a few fun questions too. This post contains affiliate links.
Suzanne Snow writes contemporary, romantic and uplifting fiction with a strong sense of setting and community connecting the lives of her characters. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found in a garden or looking to the landscape around her for inspiration.
1) Did you enjoy writing when you were a child?
Yes, I loved it and began by being an avid reader. Eventually I knew I wanted to create my own stories and I was always drawn to romance.
2) Which author shaped your childhood?
Enid Blyton, from the adventures of the Famous Five to the magical Faraway Tree series, which was my favourite. Her stories opened a world of possibility and helped my imagination take flight.
3) What motivated you to begin your first novel?
I had a picture in my mind of my two main characters in The Cottage of New Beginnings, and out walking in the Yorkshire Dales I discovered Littondale, parts of which became the inspiration for Thorndale.
4) Do you plot your book, or are you a pantser?
Definitely a plotter. I always know the ending and for me the process of writing the book is drawing the characters to that point.
5) What is your average writing day?
I begin writing around 6am as I am at my best creatively first thing. I usually write for a couple of hours and then go for a walk and come back to my desk until mid- afternoon. If I have a deadline then I write for longer to make sure I am on target. I usually begin a session by going over what I have written the previous day and I do some editing as I write.
6) What is the best thing about being an author?
The opportunity to create stories and a world that brings happiness to readers. My characters and their settings feel completely real in my head, and I hope I can bring a sense of that reality to my readers.
Welcome to Thorndale Book Four
Publisher – Canelo Escape
Pages – 304
Release Date – 2nd September 2021
ISBN 13 – 978-1800325470
Format – ebook, paperback
Can the magic of Christmas and the community of Thorndale bring two lost souls together in love?
Olivia doesn’t have time for Christmas or for romance – she’s got a demanding career and has been burned before when it comes to love. This year, she’s spending the festive season in her dad’s old house, packing it up now that he’s moved out. Her dad failed to mention she wouldn’t be spending her time there alone…
The last thing Olivia expects is for her surprise guest to be the very man who literally ran from her after an evening of mutual flirtation. But Tom has nowhere else to go and Olivia is determined to forget the disappointment she felt at his abandonment and instead help him find his way again.
As heavy snow keeps them inside the cottage, will their enforced confinement spark romance once again – or will it push them further apart?
Purchase Online From:
7) How did you go about researching the content for your book?
As it’s set in December with activities that you’d expect in the holidays, my research was a little more straightforward for A Country Village Christmas. Tom is an actor, and I created a backstory for him that included a successful career with a very famous role, and that was fun to devise.
Olivia’s job as a property finder was interesting and I got to look online at lots of lovely houses! Creating the old bookshop around which the story is set was a pleasure, and I researched different Christmas books and authors to decide which ones would fit for my characters’ narratives.
8) How long did it take to go from the ideas stage to writing the last word?
Around twelve months from the very first ideas; I usually have the whole story clear in my mind before I begin writing.
9) What made you choose the genre you write in?
I’ve always loved reading romantic fiction and have never wanted to write anything else. Writing about couples falling in love and finding their happy ending around a beautiful setting is a joy.
10) How did you come up with the name(s) for your lead character(s)?
All of my heroes have three letter names, which wasn’t a clear intention when I wrote the first book, but the concept has stuck. It’s very often a case of searching names to find ones I think will suit my characters and their lives, although some can just pop up and I know they’re right from the start, as with Annie in The Cottage of New Beginnings.
I wanted something timeless for Olivia that could be shortened by those who know her well. For Tom his name just always seemed to suit him and it’s one that I think works at any age.
11) Can you give us an insight into your characters?
Olivia has become preoccupied with a successful career and is coming to realise what that means to her family and her own place in it. She is drawn back into the Thorndale community when her dad needs her help and begins to reassess her priorities after meeting Tom. She’s a loyal and loving mother, daughter and friend and spending time with Tom is showing her that maybe there might be more in her life.
Tom has learned to live with success after overcoming difficult circumstances, and in one sense he and Olivia are opposites when they meet. He has a public persona which he has become used to presenting to the world, and as he begins to reveal his private self to Olivia, she finds a way to help him accept his past and look to the future.
12) How did you feel when you had completed your book?
Pleased because it was finished, and I had got the idea from the very first thoughts and words through to a complete manuscript. It was also a little sad because I was no longer living with these people every day in quite the same way. I always look forward to the next story and having new characters to create.
1) Do you have a favourite quote you live by?
I do like
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.” By John Wesley
2) Do you have any pets?
Yes, we have an English Pointer dog called Piper, who is 13 and very sweet. She loves to lie in the sun and had her own little fan club in the playground when we used to walk to school to collect my son.
3) What’s on your current reading list?
Sarah Maine’s Alchemy and Rose, Karen Swan’s The Hidden Beach, Susan Hill’s The Various Haunts of Men, Emma Gray’s My Farming Life, Michelle Obama’s Becoming, Kate Field’s Finding Home and Mansions of Misery by Jerry White, about the Marshalsea Prison. I love historical crime and Antonia Hodgson’s Thomas Hawkins series, of which the first book was set in Marshalsea, is a favourite.
4) Your book has been made into a feature film, you’ve been offered a cameo role, what would you be doing?
I’d be singing in the choir or looking after a stall at the Christmas market. Maybe I could do both!
5) If you could travel to the fictional world of any book for the day, which would you choose?
Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. The Tudor period of history is my favourite and I’d love to be on the fringes of the Court, able to peep in at what was happening around Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII without attracting too much attention to myself.
6) There’s a penguin sitting in your writing chair, what is the first thing he says to you?
I don’t need a hot water bottle ☺–
I would like to say a big thank you to Suzanne Snow for sharing with us details of her writing life and for a wonderful interview.