Getting To Know Our New YA Fiction Author

Join us as we chat with author Susan Marshall, the newest member of the Blue Moon Publishers family, about her writing and upcoming YA novel NemeSIS!

Have you always wanted to be a writer? 

I’ve always been a voracious reader and am a huge fan of many authors. Until recently, I never actually thought I had the wherewithal to finish a manuscript but once I started writing, I literally couldn’t stop. I wish I had discovered this earlier about myself, but better late than never.

What inspired you to begin writing NemeSIS

I attended some writing for children classes, thinking I would try my hand at picture books. Most of the other students were focused on young adult novels, and as they read excerpts from their projects, I became intrigued, especially since writing picture books looks easy but is really, really hard, and I personally found that putting yourself back in high school is really, really fun.

It’s human nature that you might incorporate some of your experiences into your characters and plot. NemeSIS is about a sister as bully, and I do have sisters, and we had a decent amount of conflict that at times crossed the line. I’ve witnessed, and participated in, schoolyard bullying, and I’ve seen it with my kids, too. All of these experiences made it easy to imagine what might happen if you had one sister with a propensity towards bullying, paired with another who was an easy target, and then added a family meltdown to the mix.

Can you describe your revision and/or editorial process?

I usually just focus on getting the story out and once I finish a section, I go back and edit, mostly removing unnecessary words, adding some description and tweaking the dialogue. I do have a few people who read and offer comments along the way, which is really helpful and gives me an opportunity to further polish what I’ve written and tackle problems with pacing and character development.

Do you have any quirky writing habits?

I love coffee, and even though I’m a morning person, I cannot even speak until I’ve had a strong one, preferably with steamed milk. I always make another one to drink when I start writing.

What have you learned through your writing?

That it’s really all about the editing, so don’t fuss too much, not at the beginning, anyways. And also that having a notebook and a pen handy can keep you productive, when you find yourself with some idle time. Lastly, and this is a popular piece of advice but it can’t be stressed too much, read all your dialogue out loud as you write. The guy who’s fixing your dishwasher or your kids might think you’re crazy but you’ll be able to hear if the conversation sounds natural, so who cares.

 

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What have you learned through your writing?