Interview with Suzanna J. Linton   3 comments

Today’s interview is with Suzanna J. Linton. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself. 

Suzanna J Linton headshotI live in South Carolina and have nearly my whole life. I’ve always loved books and telling stories. My mother likes to say I would scribble on anything I could get my hands on. I’m married. My husband has been very supportive in my desire to write, which has been a serious blessing. As well as writing fiction, I also do a little freelancing on the side.


At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer? 

I don’t know if there ever was any one point I knew I wanted to be a writer. Writing has always been something I’ve wanted to do; it’s as natural as breathing. I remember trying to write a story at around age 9 but I mostly wrote poetry until high school. That’s when I started writing novels.



Do you have a special place where you write?

I do have an office that I use. It has my reference books, my to-be-read pile, a white board, a board covered in notes and pictures, and other odds and ends. My desk is one of those you can readjust so that you’re standing at it. I don’t use it like that nearly as often as I should but it’s good for those days when I need to stretch.

However, I don’t always stay in that office. I love going to a café in my town. For some reason, when I’m surrounded by the bustle of life, it’s easier to write.


I’ve found that too. Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

I’ve noticed that I keep writing about desire versus duty. Sometimes, what our heart wants and what we should do are two separate things. While there are times when our duty is wrong, I think there’s too much emphasis today on “do what feels right”. What feels right isn’t necessarily the right thing to do and our society has suffered for that philosophy. I don’t know if I’m looking for an answer so much as I’m trying to say what I think and work it out in myself at the same time. Yes, duty is important but it’s hard to say no to the heart.


Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

Suzanna Linton Clara-FJM_Low_Res_500x750I think I’m a bit of both. Character is really important but you can’t shape character if things don’t go terribly wrong. I try to balance the two.


I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?


I am such a practical person that my immediate thought was “a gun”! I have always wanted to go to Alaska, by the way, so this scenario might become something of a reality one day. Besides the necessary firearm (because bears and moose), I would bring plenty of notebooks, pens and pencils, my favorite coffee, a camera, good hiking boots, and books. The books I would bring would probably be from my “to be read” pile because this sounds like an excellent time to catch up. Also, religious books to help me meditate and pray.


Wow, you are the first person to come up with the primary Alaska hiker’s accessory. Very practical, since our cabin comes with a neighborhood grizzly bear who thinks humans might taste good with katsup! Talk about your books individually.


As of this interview, I have three novels published.


CLARA and CLARA’S RETURN belong to the Stories of Lorst Series. <a href=””>CLARA </a> follows the story of a young woman freed from slavery but burdened with the gift of Second Sight. A civil war grips her kingdom and, to survive, she must discover the horrifying truth behind the war.


Suzanna Linton ClarasReturn2_Final-FJM_Low_Res_500x750<a href=””>CLARA’S RETURN</a> picks up not long after the first book. Clara is on a quest to learn about her past when a new threat to the kingdom appears in the form a traitor who is closer to Clara than she could ever imagine.


<a href=”>WILLOWS OF FATE</a> is the first book of the Lands of Sun and Stone Series. Desdemona sees strange creatures and knights in armor, things no one else sees. She fears she’s crazy but when her mother dies, Des uncovers letters and journals that suggest what she has been seeing is real. That’s when the man in gold appears, telling her that if she doesn’t come with him to his world, then she and everyone she loves will be in grave danger.


Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

I try not to go into a story with a specific message or morality in mind. I know if I do that, then I’ll just “preach on it” and it won’t be a story any longer. The message develops as I tell the story, so it’s almost like my subconscious working quietly in the background as I consciously write the story. I never know what a story is really about until I’ve written it.


What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

I want them — both women and men — to feel empowered and ready to face the challenges in their lives. I don’t really think about it beyond that. Each book is different and I would want them to feel different things. I definitely would want them to think, “Hey, I should buy more of her books!”


What influenced your decision to self-publish?

Suzanna Linton willowOfFateFinal-FJM_Low_Res_500x750 (1)I tried to get an agent or trad publisher interested in my first book, CLARA. When that didn’t happen, I self-published almost on a whim. I was tired of being told no one was excited about my work, but then not telling me why. I think it was frustration with the whole process that influenced me the most.



I represent that. There are people believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?

I think that traditional publishing has a lot to learn from self-publishing if it wants to survive. If trad publishers don’t recognize the niches and audiences they’ve been ignoring for years, then, yes, it will go the way of Blockbuster. However, as long as self-publishing doesn’t offer consistent quality, then traditional publishing will keep on going because, at the end of the day, that’s what readers want. They want to pick up a book they know is good and well edited. I’m sorry to say that with self-publishing, it can be a little like literary Russian roulette.


Very much so. What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?

I think the greatest advantage is that no one tells you, “this isn’t salable”. Good stories aren’t always salable. I think writers should be willing to go against trends and fashion, but mainstream publishing is powered by that! If you don’t fit into the mold the Big Five says you should fit into, then you’re just out of luck. With self-publishing, you can just bypass all of that.


Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?

I think self-published authors miss out on a feeling of credibility. There’s still a stigma about self-publishing, as if only untalented hacks ever bother with it. Many writers already struggle with imposter syndrome. Being traditionally published helps to mitigate that. And, it’s easier for your books to be in brick-and-mortar stores if you’re traditionally published.


Wow, that is some deep insight about the credibility issue. I see it with quite a few of the people I interview. Your covers were what attracted me to your books when I saw them on Twitter. Who designed your covers?


My covers are designed by <a href=””>Fiona Jayde Media</a>. Fiona is a phenomenal person to work with. She wants to know as much about the books as she can and she wants to hear ideas from the writer. And she has this amazing ability to take ideas from someone not as artistically inclined and then interpret them in a beautiful way. I highly recommend her.


Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?


I definitely think that we can. The first thing I think we should do is get away from the idea of quantity over quality. I see so many advice articles written saying that you have to put out as much content as you can as fast as you can because that’s the only way to get people to notice you. Enough people have done that to where the market is saturated by low-quality books that wouldn’t have gotten a B in a high school creative writing course. This helps keep alive that stereotype of “only bad writers self-publish”.


Once we’re away from that, then it feels safer to invest in good cover artists, good editors, and good proofreaders. It can take up to two years for a book to be traditionally published because of all the rounds of editing. If a trad writer goes through that much trouble, shouldn’t we? I think once those two things are done consistently, across the board, then more readers will come.


 How do readers find you and your books?
Looking for a good read?
Clara’s Return:
Willows of


3 responses to “Interview with Suzanna J. Linton

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  1. Reblogged this on Stevie Turner, Indie Author. and commented:
    Enjoyed this interview of Suzanna J. Linton by Aurorawatcherak.


  2. Reblogged this on Daermad Cycle.


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