I was fortunate enough to have a Q&A session with Suzanne Rogerson, author of Visions of Zarua. A huge thank you for filling out my extensive questionnaire!
- What sparked the idea for your debut novel “Visions of Zarua”
Visions of Zarua started with a single scene that came to me as I scribbled in my notebook. A young woman was hunting in the woods with her two hounds, when her prey disappeared without trace. The whole story evolved from that point.
- Were there any key people in your life that inspired any characters in your novel?
I didn’t have any real life people to inspire the characters in this book, but I did once base an antagonist on a rather smarmy boss.
- When you write, what are your essentials?
All I need to write is a notebook and a nice pen, though I do love my little pink laptop.
- What would you tell aspiring writers that are trying to find time to write?
Aspiring writers need to grab every free moment to help them get immersed in their ideas. Write whenever they can, even while waiting for the kettle to boil. The more the ideas grow, the more time they’ll want to spend with their characters.
- Your go-to snack for writing, what is it?
One of my favourite snacks whilst writing is a cup of tea (when I remember to take the tea bag out) and wheat free ginger biscuits.
- If you could only choose one literary figure to meet, who would it be and why?
I would love to have met David Gemmell. He was my introduction to fantasy. Before I read his books, I drifted between genres never knowing what I wanted to write. David Gemmell was a master at writing characters, and I’ve read few authors than can match his skill. He gives me something to strive towards.
- Do you have muse-music? If so who is it?
I love Ben Howard’s first album Every Kingdom, and his two EP’s Oats on the Water and Burgh Island. The music is so atmospheric and his lyrics are beautiful. I could listen to his tracks on repeat all day, especially when I’m writing an emotional scene.
- What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working through the edit of my next fantasy, which I hope to publish later this year. The working title is Bloodlines – Search for the Sentinel, and it’s book 1 of a planned trilogy.
- How would you finish this sentence: Alberta placed a hand over her mouth and her eyes widened as it dawned on her…
she had seen the man before in a past life.
- If you could get away to a destination in one of your favorite books where would it be and why?
I would visit the magical city of the Elderlings, Kelsingra, in Robin Hobbs Rain Wild Chronicles. It sounds so perfect, and to be surrounded by dragons!
- Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
I was 100% certain that I wanted to be a writer from about the age of 8. I even dropped out college because they wouldn’t let me take A Level English. Nothing else interested me and I went through various office jobs for 10 years before giving up work to raise a family. That’s when my passion for writing was really ignited.
- Where did you begin writing? Some people start off on Smashwords, Wattpad, Forums, Nanowrimo…
I started writing stories at school to share with my friends. I even wrote my first novel at the age of 12.
- What would you stress the most to aspiring writers?
Aspiring writers need to learn their craft as soon as possible to make the job easier for themselves. Places like creative writing classes are ideal. Also before they submit anywhere, pay for an edit, or at least a critique. It’s worth the money, they’ll help make the writing shine.
- Do you have a favorite spot to write?
My favourite spot to write is the summer house in my garden, though living in the UK means it’s more of a summer spot. I’ll write anywhere I get the opportunity.
- One item that you cannot live without
I couldn’t live without my laptop.
- And lastly, what do you wish for your readers to gain from “Visions of Zarua”
I want my readers to have enjoyed the journey with my characters and come away satisfied with the conclusion. And of course I want them to have enjoyed the book enough that they’re looking forward to my next novel. That’s all I can hope for.
Suzanne lives in Middlesex with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.
She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.
Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.
She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.
Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.