In the hot seat today I would like to welcome:
Hello , thank you for letting us have a peek behind thescenes. Your sun sign is ARIES.
- Aries is the first of the zodiacal signs and as such represents new beginnings and action. Despite this desire to be the ‘front-runner’, boredom can set in quickly. Writing is a long creative journey. Do you lose interest quickly in writing projects? Does there need to be something specific to hold your interest?
I usually have more than one projecton the go at the same time. I’m also extremely focused on my writing ambitions, so that keep me ‘turning up at the page.’ I am to complete first drafts as quickly as I can, so if I’ve got a finished piece of work, even if it is a rough as a badger’s bottom, I will carry on until I’m happy with it.
I’ve got Libra as my rising sign, soI think it tempers down a lot of the traditional Aries impatience. (I do expect things to be done yesterday though!)
- Enthusiasm and confidence are a part of the Arian energy. Would you consider this to be a strength in your writing?
Yes – it certainly is. I aim to have forty pieces of workin circulation at any one time so that if one gets rejected, it’s one of alarger number and doesn’t dent my confidence as much. I also keep positiveaffirmations in my workroom and in my notebook + lovely emails I’ve had fromfriends and writing students.
- It is said that there is no new thought or action in the world that hasn’t been thought of or tried before. Arians are pioneers in thoughts and action. Do you agree with this statement?
No – because we are all individuals. I was told bytwo college lecturers not to bother writing ‘Fable’s Fortune’ because theydidn’t think the idea would work. I have lots of other ‘forbidden’ ideas thatare working their way towards the light.
- Arians can tap into an immense amount of energy. Would you say this has an effect on your writing schedule? (explain your schedule)
I do have a lot of energy – and I feel that creativeenergy and positive thinking keep on building. The more you do, the more ideasand strength you develop. I tend to write in short ‘bites’ of anything fromfifteen minutes to an hour and a half. I intersperse writing sessions withhousework, teaching, yoga and walking – when I can allow ideas to ferment. I’moften awake at 3.00 a.m. writing.
- Objectivity is a word common in the Arian vocabulary. How do you get into the soul of your characters/project to give them depth, make them come alive ……… so your readers believe in them?
The sort of person my characters are will depend on thetype of story. I usually begin by visualising as much of the story as I can,looking for the initial situation that sparks the story. Then I write down asmuch as I can remember about those characters – what they wore, how they spokeand moved, what they did. I then look for old photos or magazine pictures thatlook like them and create a storyboard and full biographies for them. It helpsme to know what sort of childhood they had – even if that information doesn’tappear in the novel. As I go through my day, I think about how my characterswould perform the same actions and make careful notes about it.
Q. One of the negative Arian traits is an irritation atslowness. When you experience a lull inideas, something is taking longer than planned or is just not working out toyour satisfaction, how do you deal with that?
If I’m being held up for some reason with one project – Iget on with something else and hope that I don’t end up with several peoplewanting me to do something at the same time!
Q. To progress and grow in any sphere of life it’s important that wetake note of other people’s advice. Arians are loathe to do this, especially if they disagree. Do you take note of anyone’s advice inrelation to your writing, or do you disregard it?
I do take notice of advice if it is constructive. Forinstance, I had a couple of very good ideas from the person in the RomanticNovelists’ Association who critiqued ‘Fable’s Fortune.’ A number of years ago Idisregarded a University lecturer’s advice to rip up my story and start again.I sent it to a competition organised by Midland Exposure who were agents formagazine fiction. It didn’t win but they took me on as a client and the story(with quite a few amendments) was published in Woman.
Thank you for an honest interview Sue.
Sue is a showcased author with Loveahappyending which is an interactive reader/author website. Visit Loveahappyending to find out more about this brilliant project and how you, as a reader, can support them.
SUE JOHNSON – BIOGRAPHY 2011
Sue Johnson is a writer, artist and musician. She ispublished as a poet and her short stories have appeared in a variety of women’smagazines. Her first novel ‘Fable’s Fortune’ is published by Indigo Dreams inAugust 2011.
Sue is a Writers’ News Home Study Tutor and a member of theRomantic Novelists’ Association. She has judged ten national short storycompetitions and enjoys giving talks to local groups.
She runs her own brand of writing courses and hernon-fiction book ‘Creative Alchemy: 12 steps from inspiration to finishednovel’ will be published by HotHive Books in October 2011.
Sue’s website www.writers-toolkitgives details of her writing courses and competitions, as well as monthlywriting exercises.
- Paperback: 282 pages
- Publisher: Indigo Dreams Publishing (1 August 2011)
- ISBN-10: 1907401466
- ISBN-13: 978-1907401466
Fable Mitchell is born under a roof of stars in a Kentish plum orchard, and her early childhood is spent in a house called ‘Starlight’ where she lives with her mother Jasmine and Gangan the Wise Woman. However, her life is not destined to remain like a fairytale.When she is ten, she is abducted by her estranged father Derek, now a vicar, and taken to live in his austere vicarage at Isbourne on the banks of the River Avon. Fable is unable to escape. When she is sixteen, she falls in love with Tobias Latimer but he dies in mysterious circumstances and Fable’s happiness is once again snatched away from her.She tries to rebuild her life and marries Tony Lucas because she thinks the omens are right. Fable soon realises he is abusive and controlling, but is trapped because she fears losing contact with her daughter. Nearing her 40th birthday, Fable hears Gangan the Wise Woman’s voice telling her to ‘be ready – magic happens.’This is certainly true, but does Fable have the necessary courage to finally seize her chance of lasting happiness?