I'm a HUGE Sue Watson fan. It all started with my guest review of Younger, Thinner, Blonder. It was one of the first novels assigned to me, and I absolutely loved it! I've read nearly all of Sue's books, looking forward to the zany characters and fun plot lines that only she can conjure up. Not to mention the delicious sweets and treats quite frequently featured in her writing. I've learned to always keep a brownie close at hand, when I'm reading a Sue Watson book.
Sue started out as a journalist, working for various tabloids and women's magazines, which parlayed into a TV Producer position with the BBC. After much soul searching, she left her job and wrote her first Kindle bestseller, Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes. For her latest endeavor, Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams, we read about a woman's journey from the couch to the dance floor, going from one disastrous Zumba class to a National Dance Festival. Will she be able to follow her dreams and make life happen? It's the central theme to all her books, making it hard not to be a fan and absolutely adore her! A big thanks to Sue, for sharing her thoughts on writing with us, today. It comes from the heart, with lots of love. And desserts!
Visit Sue at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Thanks to Bookouture, we have TWO e-books of Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams for readers anywhere in the world! (US and Canada winners have the option of a print copy.)
I love the various characters in your novels. I feel as though they are real-life people! Where do you draw your inspiration for creating such amazing characters?
Thank you! Sometimes my characters are based very loosely on people I know or have known – they start out as pretty ordinary characters but like in real life there’s always something that makes a character different or special. Mandy the ‘vajazzling’ beauty therapist in ‘Love, Lies and Lemon Cake,’ came to me from reading an online blog written by a girl who enjoyed a party lifestyle and didn’t apologise for it. I just thought ‘you go girl,’ and Mandy was born.
What is your favorite compliment, as well as your most helpful constructive feedback you've received about your writing?
The nicest thing a reader can say is that my books have inspired them. I get so many lovely messages on FB and Twitter from women who have taken on new challenges after reading ‘Love, Lies and Lemon Cake.’ And readers are now making contact to say they thought they were too old/too fat/ not fit enough to change their lives and when they read Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams, they felt inspired to put on their dancing shoes. The dancing is of course metaphorical – it can be about anything, I just want women to feel empowered by my stories and know that you can do anything if you try... except of course, zumba!
Playing off your title... do you have your own dance aspirations?
Sadly I gave up ballet dancing having attended classes from being 3 to the age of 13. I became a little chunky and the tutu didn’t look so cute anymore so I abandoned dance to enjoy teenage pursuits like boys and parties. But writing this book has definitely made me think about dancing and the passion and possibilities of dancing the Argentine Tango on a hot Latin night with a sizzling man. Not sure what my husband would say though... ;)
So many of your novels are written deliciously; I'm always craving desserts! What is your absolute favorite dessert, hands down?
Oh why stop at one? Peanut butter cheesecake, chocolate fudge cake, Black Forest Gateaux would all be on my lifetime list of delicious desserts... but quite honestly I’d eat pretty much anything if you threw warm salted caramel or hot fudge sauce over it.
Tell us about your writing process. What rituals and habits help you to stay focused?
I have to confess I am, on the whole a disorganised, rather unfocussed person which isn’t ideal for a writer. You need to be self-disciplined and have lots of will power which I just don’t (my greedy consumption of warm salted caramel sauce is testament to this!) But once I begin a novel and become involved with the characters I have to see it through. I want to know where their story will take them and who and what we’ll meet along the way. So my only ritual is to spend the first couple of days at my computer with copious cups of coffee - and once the characters emerge the book kind of writes itself.
So far I think I’ve identified with all my main characters at some level as I’m with them every step of their journey. Sometimes at the end of a day writing my latest book I would feel physically exhausted like I had actually been leaping around a dance floor... as if! I particularly related to Laura in Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams, because she’s in her forties, she doubts herself and feels it’s too late to change herself or her life. I was in my forties when I gave up my job as a TV producer with the BBC to chase my writing dream, so mine and Laura’s lives are parallel in some ways. I also loved the way Laura’s emotional and physical self is altered by her new passions - and I would love that kind of ‘makeover,’ particularly a leaner, fitter body!
Thank you so much for having me on the blog! I loved your questions and now I’m off to dance... or perhaps I’ll just throw some warm caramel on a dessert, sit on the sofa and eat that instead!
Thanks to Sue for chatting with us and to Bookouture for sharing her latest novel with our readers.
~Introduction and interview by Sara Steven
**For some fun dancing inspiration, check out this video of Ansel Elgort taking us through the past century.**
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