My daughter was diagnosed with Grade 4 cancer. Whilst dealing with my own emotions, I found myself intrigued with how she handled it, how her friends handled it, and how some didn’t handle it all. There is no right or wrong way. Each person’s emotional makeup is individually wrought and their reaction is their reaction. I wrote about all of this so each character has genuine life within this story. And this story is written with humour, too, because even in the darkest times, there is humour.
What motivated you to become an author?
Living so far from my family in New Zealand, I wrote long letters and detailed my little family’s day to day experiences in Kenya. When I was youthfully ignorant, I had sailed the Indian Ocean in a 28ft yacht and finally settled in Kenya. I thought I was invincible, and discovered I was not.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to express myself and my thoughts without judgement.
What is your writing process?
All over the show. I generally have 3 or 4 books on the go at one time. So I can add in current emotions if they suit a particular character. Or a description of a particularly atrocious dress or meal.
What do your fans mean to you?
My hope and my inspiration to keep writing.
What are you working on next?
The Book Tour. This will be a very familiar journey for most young and aspiring writers. I’m not saying I am ‘young’. I just seem to be stuck at around 32-ish. It’s a humorous take on my journey.
Who are your favorite authors?
Doris Lessing, Louis de Bernieres, Joseph Heller, Steinbeck. Of course, Steinbeck. Who would not love the simplicity in his work?
How do you discover the books you read?
By recommendation. There are some stunning works out there now, but to find them…? I value a good recommendation.
Describe your desk
Room for a coffee or two, some emery boards, nail polish, my cell, post-it notes and pens. And a red stapler, though why that is there, I have no idea. I certainly don’t recall using it. And a double hole punch, also in red. Perhaps these red items are there to create an atmosphere of professionalism and hard work?
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Always use an editor after you have already edited your own work a dozen times or more. Don’t rush, because you have such a wonderful opportunity if your work is presented in a professional manner. The hardest part is being objective when it is your own baby. And also leave room for friends and family. They don’t always get the emotional intensity a writer works under. But you need this balance.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Oh, dear. Wuthering Heights was required high school reading. It made absolutely no sense to me. Years later, I discovered a copy among my other older books, and I read it again. What amazed me was how my reading taste had matured. And then I saw the movie… Oh, wow! The bleakness, the moors, and the hardships.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
SEACLIFF a Regular Boy Within, republished for the international market as PHENOMENA the Lost and Forgotten Children. I was selected for the New Zealand Creative Arts Award 2011. This spurred me on and encouraged me no end in my writing. No turning back.
Author, Editor, Beta Reader, and Proofreader
eNovel Authors: http://enovelauthorsatwork.com/susan-tarr/
PHENOMENA: the Lost and Forgotten Children (USA)
Seacliff: a Regular Boy Within. (Tauranga, Oceanbooks.)
Miranda Bay (NZ & USA)
JACK just an ordinary dog in the dog house (USA)
When the ROLLER COASTER Stops (USA) Latest release.
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