Today I have the pleasure of joining in with Sue Bentley’s #WeOther blog tour 🙂
With thanks as always to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources.
Interview with Sue Bentley…..
About myself and my books? I began by writing for adults – most of those early books are out of print. I’ve also written for existing children’s series under a number of pen names. My own magical animal series, under my own name, still sells around the world. I’m currently writing for YA/Adults. We Other is the first in a new direction – it’s part thriller, part para-normal romance – with pitch-dark fairies you wouldn’t want to meet while walking alone at night.
My ideas? They come from all around, from everyday experience, things I hear or read or people tell me. I’m influenced by books, Art, Film, TV, talking to friends and generally keeping my eyes and ears open. I always have a notebook with me to jot down stray thoughts and scraps of dialogue. I ask myself lots of questions and try to come up with unusual answers.
My characters? Are compilations of everyone I know, have ever met, or encountered in any medium over my lifetime. I like to give them interesting ambitions, interests, hang-ups, problems – so I enjoy writing about them. They’ll be with for a long time, certainly for months, perhaps years while they’re journeying through my books. I suppose there’s a little bit of me in every one of them – although I’m not always aware of it until someone points it out. I’m not telling you which bits. You can judge for yourself!
Characters names? Sometimes just pop into my head. Other times I work hard to find the right one. It’s important that they feel right. I check for names online, or if my eyes need a rest, I’ll skim down lists of actors in TV and Film mags. If I hear a lovely name, I’ll make a note of it for later use.
My writing process in a nutshell? Get up, quick wash, dress – or put fleece over PJs, stick my feet into slipper-boots and put the kettle on. Take tea to my desktop, work on WIP in the morning, try to avoid social media. After lunch, answer emails, go for a walk or to a café (with book and notebook) Evening social media, writing business or TV, socialise with friends. Read in bed. It doesn’t always work out like that.
My top 5 favourite authors? There are so many, but here goes. Frances Hardinge, Holly Black, Philip Pullman, Hannah Kent, Susan Cooper.
If I could meet any author? It would be Susan Cooper. I took part in a Twitter Readathon of ‘The Dark is Rising’ over Midwinter 2017 to New Year. It was perfect for how I was feeling as I love winter and snow, but the Christmas commerce-fest? Not so much. I’d love to talk to Susan about this book, as I feel we have a lot of interests in common.
Was I a big reader as a child? Absolutely! And then some. I never had my head out of a book. I worked my way through the entire children’s section of the public library. Fabulous.
When did I start to write? Not until my own children started school. Before that I was growing up, living life, incubating my talents, while exploring good fiction. Reading is the best apprenticeship for any budding writer.
Re-writing the ending to any book? It’s never occurred to me to want to do that. The ending is whatever the writer intended and I’m happy with that – even if it leaves me feeling sad or disappointed, that’s fine. Life’s full of ups and downs.
Any book I wish I’d written? Oh yes lots. Every time I read a page of beautiful prose or an insightful, well-observed chapter, I wish I’d written it. But I really believe that you can only write the book that’s within you, not focus on passing trends or try to be like anyone else. We all have our own voice, which is as valid as anyone else’s.
The title of my autobiography? If ever I write one? ‘Burrowings of a Bookworm.’ Or maybe ‘A Life in Words’. I’d have to give it a lot more thought.
Inviting a fictional character for coffee? I’d take Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon, disguised as a moth, to Starbucks. She’d have a milkshake and we’d talk about her adventures and I’d be very jealous that I didn’t have a daemon of my own to accompany me. If I had one – it would be a grey cat with orange eyes.
What I’m working on right now? I’ve just delivered Second Skin to my agent. It’s been 3 years in the writing and is another para-normal romance/thriller and quite dark in places. Second Skin asks, what is the shape of love? Aledra is a Drakkoni, a conquering race of twoskins, people able to transform into winged beasts. Jubal is a Native Esran, who hates the Drakkoni for slaughtering his people. The book explores what happens when two races collide and gets quite dark in places.
Do I have a release date? Not yet – Second Skin is doing the rounds of publishers. While I’m waiting for it to be placed, I’ve begun writing Scar You – a sequel to We Other, which can also be read as a stand-alone. We meet many characters from We Other, and continue with some of their stories. I’m also introducing some strong new characters, too. Very excited about these!
How do I celebrate publication day? Well I might dance around the kitchen grinning inanely and whooping, while hugging a copy of my book. I might go out to lunch with writing friends or my agent. I might have a book launch/signing in my local Waterstones. I’ll probably announce how delighted I am and post pics on all my social media. Then I might have a special meal and eat too much chocolate.
How can readers keep in touch with me? I’m working on that one. My website needs a major update and I intend to add a blog and a facility for people to leave their details. Until then, readers can ‘like’ my author page on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, Goodreads, and Instagram – just click on the links provided. I love interacting with readers and I’m always grateful when someone who enjoys my books takes the time to write a review.
Thanks very much for hosting me on the We Other blog tour, and for the interesting questions.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Sue 🙂
Family secrets, changelings, and fairies you never want to meet on a dark night.
Jess Morgan’s life has always been chaotic. When a startling new reality cannot be denied, it’s clear that everything she believed about herself is a lie. She is linked to a world where humans – ‘hot-bloods’ – are disposable entertainment. Life on a run-down estate – her single mum’s alcoholism and violent boyfriend – become the least of Jess’s worries.
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Author Bio –
Sue Bentley discovered a love of books at an early age. She worked for Northamptonshire Libraries for many years, while teaching herself the craft of writing. She is the author of the worldwide bestselling Magic Kitten, Magic Puppy, Magic Ponies, Magic Bunny series for age 5-9 years. She also writes for children and adults under various pen names. A lover of English Folklore, her books often contain elements of the otherworld and the darkness within the everyday. Her books have been translated into around 20 languages. We Other is her first book for Young Adults.
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Follow the rest of the blog tour for reviews, and more, with these awesome book bloggers…..