Monday, 30 November 2015

Suzie Tullett - A Life of Humourous Contemporary Fiction and Romance

I had the opportunity to ask the successful author Suzie Tullett some questions about her life as a writer and her books. Suzie has a Masters Degree in Television and Radio Scriptwriting and worked as a scriptwriter before becoming a full-time novelist.
Suzie Tullett, Author

Did you always want to be a writer? The simple answer to that is ‘yes’.

You write humorous contemporary fiction and romance. What drew you to these genres?
For me, these genres best suit my voice. I like to write about real people, living real, everyday lives, but who are eccentric enough in their way of thinking to be different. Of course, this leaves them making choices their peers wouldn’t necessarily make, but I like to celebrate these differences, not shy away from them. I also like to make readers smile and what better way to do that, than by writing humorous fiction. And because relationships are a part of all our lives in one way or another, why not throw in a bit of romance from time to time?

If you think about the days before you became a writer what has changed about your life?
I think the biggest change is the amount of freedom I now have. As long as I have a keyboard or a pen and notepad, I can work anywhere and at any time. I’m not tied to someone else’s desk, or clocking in and out according to someone else’s timetable. Although, I have to admit I do work more hours as a full-time writer. Even when I’m not planning or writing a novel, I’m thinking about planning and writing a novel.

Were you able to use any of your life experiences as inspiration?
 I think, for most fiction writers, it would be hard not to draw inspiration from real life in one way or another. For example, it was my husband’s love of all things Mod that inspired my first novel, Going Underground. After all, there’s only so many times a woman can wake up to The Jam’s A Town Called Malice before putting the experience to good use. My second novel, Little White Lies and Butterflies, is set on a little Greek island called Kalymnos, an island on which I lived for six years. And the idea for my third novel, The Trouble with Words, was initially sparked by my role as a mother.

Has your script-writing helped you in the transition to novelist?
Definitely. Scriptwriting taught me how to write visually from the very beginning of my career, without being excessive on the word count, or too obvious in what it is I want to say. And although the two forms of writing are different in many ways, there are some similarities that I was able to carry over from one to the other.
For example, when it comes to anything I write, I always begin with my characters. So for me, one of the biggest similarities between writing scripts and writing novels, is the need for strong characterisation, characters that a reader or viewer can identify with or care about on some level. Good dialogue is also important for both, it needs to be clever, saying a lot without actually saying much at all. Be it a book or a TV show, bad or out of character dialogue screams out at the reader/viewer, something we writers definitely don't want. Scriptwriters and novelists also have to do the same amount of research. If we don't know our stuff, our audience/readership will certainly tell us.

If you could swap places with just one of your characters who would it be and why?
That’s a really difficult question. It’s not that I don’t like my characters because I adore all of them, they’re quirky and fun. It’s just that, as a writer, I like to fuse both comedy and tragedy, demonstrating how very often one stems from the other. This means if I traded places, I’d have to experience both of them too. As you can imagine, it’s the tragedy element that’s putting me off.

What are you currently working on?
I’m currently writing my fourth novel, The French Escape, a story about an abandoned wife, an abandoned chateau and a gorgeous, yet mysterious, chainsaw artist.

Suzie Tullett's third novel

The Trouble with Words
Promises – easy to make, hard to keep 
Having long made a promise to her husband, young widow, Annabel, has no intentions of breaking it. What she does plan to do though, is have a baby. Not the easiest of tasks for a woman with a deceased other half and having explored all the options, her only choice is it to take the unconventional route. Setting out to find her own donor, Annabel meets Dan. Single, fun-loving and definitely not looking for commitment, this unruly blonde haired, blue eyed man seems perfect for the job.
Dan wants nothing more than to find his dream woman. But with a mother intent on sabotaging his every relationship, he can’t help but think he’s destined to remain single. Of course, he knows his mother doesn’t really want him all for herself, why else would she keep insisting he meet Maeve? Why else would she insist Dan promise to find himself a wife before she meets her maker?
Forced to negotiate matters of love, life and death, Annabel and Dan seem the answer to each other’s prayers. But will they really be able to keep the promises they made? And is having a baby really the solution?