My guest this week is British author Suzanne McLeod
. Her first book in the Spellcrackers series called 'The Sweet Scent of Blood' was a wonderful read and you can read the first chapter here
and my review here
I hope you all enjoy the interview and spend the time to enter the contest! Suzanne is giving away a lovely prize and I am sure there will be alot of interest!
--------------------------------------Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It great to have a Brit here as a guest! I hope you will start things off by telling us a little about your Spellcrackers series?
Suzanne – Amber, it’s great to be here, and thanks for inviting me . Spellcrackers.com is a dark/urban fantasy series which features Genevieve Taylor. Genny is a sidhe and she works as a magical trouble-shooter in present day London; but it’s an alternative London with witches in Covent Garden, goblin workers on the Underground, a troll police force based at Old Scotland Yard, celebrity vampires in Leicester Square and various other fae such as the naiads, dryads and satyrs. In The Sweet Scent of Blood, [book 1] when one of the celebrity vamps is accused of murdering his girlfriend, an old debt forces Genny into proving his innocence and plunges her deep into the heart of London’s secret vampire society.
Amber - How did you come up with the idea for the series? Was it a slow process or something that just happened?
Suzanne – I always knew I wanted to write a series with a character who got involved in mysteries and murder and had to solve them. From there it was finding my main character, Genny, and deciding on both her back story and the world in which she lived; and how both had shaped her. Then I wanted her to have a job that would bring specific problems to her, problems that it would be logical she would be able to deal with. But I didn’t want her to be either police [too many rules and regulations to take into consideration] or a PI, hence Spellcrackers.com where her job is to clear up any nasty or dangerous spells. The process of the idea wasn’t and isn’t so much slow, as ongoing; I’m still discovering/creating parts of Genny’s world as I write more about her and the other characters.
Amber - Genny is a lovely character and I really liked her. Is she anything like you? Or someone you know?
Suzanne – Thank you. Genny isn’t based on anyone, she’s her own character *g*. Although, like all the characters I create, she has some of me in her [my liking for liquorice and bacon sandwiches, plus she gets to wear cool clothes – although that’s more wishful thinking for me *g* – but in the main she thinks and reacts as I would imagine someone brought up in her world and with her experiences might actually do so. She’s a great believer in honour, and keeping her word [something drummed into her by her father] and watching out for her friends, but she also has a cynical side to her that means she doesn’t trust easily; this makes it difficult for her to rely on others and can be a bit of a blind spot with her.
Amber - Did you have to do a lot of research for 'The Sweet Scent of Blood'?
Suzanne - My research tends to fall into three categories: the first is where I cuddle up on the sofa with hubby and my two dogs, close my eyes and daydream, sorry, think *g*. [usually when there’s football on the TV!] This sort of research covers everything from characters and their backstories and paranormal abilities; plot - i.e. who gets killed and why, and who might the murderer be; and worldbuilding. The second type is where I get a spark of an idea and then chase it down through books and the internet to see if it will work. One such spark was the health warning on the back of a packet of liquorice. There's a substance in liquorice [glycyrrhizin] which if taken regularly in the right quantities can cause hyptertension – high blood pressure which is due to increased blood volume – a fascinating fact [fascinating to me anyway] that led me to all sorts [sorry!] of ideas to do with the vampires and ultimately to Genny's liking for liquorice torpedoes. The third aspect of research is the practical one, where I get to spend time walking round London, sourcing places to go into the books – frex Covent Garden which works out great as the witches’ market – and investigating and photographing the locations so I can get the geography, distances and descriptions accurate.
Amber - Did you always want to be a writer? Did you pick the paranormal genre or did it pick you?
Suzanne – Writing is something that I’ve only come to recently – about five years ago now, partly due to becoming self-employed and having a bit more time and partly because I decided to give it a go. Before that I was a reader first and foremost [with a habit of at least 5 or more books a week] and although writing had crossed my mind a couple of times, I didn’t even keep a journal. And as one of the things everyone tells you to do when you write is to write what you love, I think in that respect the paranormal genre picked me.
Amber - Do you write full time? What jobs have you had in the past?
Suzanne – I’m lucky in that I’m self-employed in my ‘day jobs’ [I’ve got a couple – bookkeeper, and managing some rental properties]. They’re not the sort of jobs that are nine to five, but are more sporadic in the time they take up. This all means that some days I can be a full-time writer which is wonderful. In the past though, I’ve worked in retail, pubs and nightclubs and even a short stint in a call centre selling insurance.
Amber - How many more Spellcrackers books will there be and when can we expect them? Any other projects you are working on?
Suzanne – My publishers [Gollancz] have bought the first three Spellcrackers.com books. Book 2 – The Cold Kiss of Death is out in July 2009, Book 3 – The Bitter Seed of Magic is the one I’m writing now, and that one is due out in 2010. I’ve got plenty of ideas for more adventures in Genny’s world for the future, so I’m hoping if the publishers like how the first three books go, that I will get the chance to write more of them. Currently Spellcrackers.com is the only project I’m working on but that could change in the future.
Amber - So where are all the British paranormal writers? Or have I missed them? I know of Simon R. Green and now you are on the scene but shouldn't there be more? Or are we Brits too busy watching Dr Who and Torchwood to write anything? ;)
Suzanne – Mike Carey [of Marvel and DC Comics fame] is another; I’m a big fan of his, and his Felix Castor novels about an exorcist working in London are wonderful and have a very interesting take on werecreatures. Then there’s Natasha Rhodes. She writes about Kayla Steele; a supernatural crime fighter [her books are in on my TBR list, which gets longer every week ] Liz Williams is another author on my TBR list. I’ve read her science fiction and thoroughly enjoyed it, but she also writes a series of paranormal books called the Inspector Chen mysteries which I’ve heard great things about and am itching to read. Oh, and nobody should be too busy to watch Dr Who and Torchwood *g*.
Amber - What have been the good and bad times of being an author? Any advice to anyone out there working on their first novel?
Suzanne – Doing something that I love and actually getting paid for it, and then having people tell me they’ve enjoyed reading my book, have to be two of the absolute best. And of course, the opposite is true when I hear that someone hasn’t enjoyed my book. Even though objectively I know that not everyone will like my books [there’s plenty of books out there that aren’t my cup of tea] it’s still *my* book-baby and that can be a bit of a downer. Oh and advice to anyone writing – write as regularly as you can so you keep those writing muscles exercised, and finish the book! Don’t spend time going over and over the early chapters looking for perfection because by the time you get to the end, the beginning will always need a re-work, one that’s not always possible to *see* until you do get to the end.
Amber - What books do you read when you have the chance? Any must have authors or series?
Suzanne – I read as much as possible in my own genre; it’s my favourite [otherwise I wouldn’t write it] But I also read crime, historical, thrillers, romance, SF or anything else that takes my fancy. Must have authors have to be Patricia Briggs, Rachel Caine, Jim Butcher, Kelly Armstrong, Laurell Hamilton, Ilona Andrews, Kim Harrison and the list goes on – my husband always says Amazon is likely to go bust if I stop reading *g*
Amber - What music, TV series or films do you like and do any of them influence your work?
Suzanne – TV series are Moonlight, Blood Ties, Being Human, Torchwood, Blade, Underworld and all the usual, likely suspects. I’m really looking forward to seeing True Blood when is hits the UK in July. As for films I’m a bit of a wuss, so I don’t usually watch any really scary films like Halloween or Friday the 13th , and Unbreakable still gives me nightmares, so I prefer ones like Hellboy, Underworld or Transformers. A couple of my all time favourites are The Lost Boys and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I tend not to do music too much, [I write and think in silence, so there’s not much time left for music] and I think probably everything I watch, read, see or listen too influences my writing in some way, even if on a very subtle level.
Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature. Which one would you be and why?
Suzanne – Umm, good question! I had to think about this one. I think being some sort of shapeshifter would be really cool; that whole walk in something else’s shoes thing with the ability to see and experience the world through a different perspective would be amazing.
Amber - You are stuck on a desert island. What 5 things do you hope to have with you?
Suzanne – A computer with internet access [probably cheating with that one!] A generator so I can run the computer. The underground smugglers’ cellar complete with booze out of Pirates of the Caribbean one, oh and Johnny Deep to go with it *g* and something to keep any nasty/scary insects away!
Amber - Thank you so much for answering my questions! Keep in contact and let us know when the next book is out!
Suzanne - Thank you!
Suzanne said to me -
I'd be delighted to offer a signed copy of The Sweet Scent of Blood to go along with the interview for your blog readers, along with a magnet featuring the cover art :-)
Now you know about the prize now you need to know how to enter! This week all you need to do is post here letting us know the which actor or actress you would take with you on a desert island ;)
No name = No entry!
Earn another entry for each place you link this contest on the net. Make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries!
You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.
The contest will stay open until Sunday March 22nd 2009 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.
If you are claiming a prize, have emailed me and have not heard back before the 7 day limit is up then post a comment here on the blog. Your email may get sucked into my spam filter.
Labels: Author Interviews, Contests, Suzanne McLeod
posted by Amber Katze at Sunday, March 15, 2009 |
At 15 March 2009 at 12:31, Mishel
I've really wanted to read this book (= I really like the cover art.
Any celeb? That's a toughie... I think I'll go with Johnny Depp. For obvious reasons (= But I'd think he'd be an interesting person to be stuck with.
I also posted a link to this contest on my sidebar that can be found on my blog : http://creativitygone.blogspot.com
thanks so much for the opportunity,
mishtakes AT gmail DOT com
At 15 March 2009 at 14:57, Pissenlit
If I were stranded on a deserted island, I'd be fine with any actor or actress who could get me off the island! Heh heh! However, since I need to throw out a name for this to be an entry, I guess I'll go with Hugh Laurie. :)
At 15 March 2009 at 16:06, Kytaira
I sat here trying to think of who I'd take. I'm not really big on celebrities. I asked my hubby and he said Kate Beckinsale. In his words - she's hot. Immediately that reminded me of the guy that play Booth on Bones. That's who I want!!
Suzanne - your book sounds great! I really love the German cover!
At 15 March 2009 at 16:42, Judi
Yes, you can call me a cougar, but I'd totally take Robert Pattinson! LOL I don't care that he's younger than me, he's just way too hot, funny and interesting.
I've been wanting to read Suzanne's book for a while now. :)
At 15 March 2009 at 17:05, Brooke Reviews
Ha ok seriously, I would take the guy who plays Sawyer on Lost. He already knows his way around and island and he is HOT!
bacarleton at gmail dot com
At 15 March 2009 at 17:46, Nancy
Amber and Suzanne, what a wonderful interview! I'll be in line for your Suzanne - your world and characters sound like great fun!
An actor with me on an island? Gotta be Cary Grant. I don't care if he's in the beyond, he's my guy!
La Vida Vampire
Last Vampire Standing
At 15 March 2009 at 17:47, Nancy
Uh, that should've read: I'll be in line for your books, Suzanne.
Proof read, Nancy, proof read!
Have a good week!
At 15 March 2009 at 18:10, Debs Desk
Please include me in your drawing. I would have to say I want Johnny Depp or Simon Baker from tThe Mentalist.
At 15 March 2009 at 18:22, ckbabyj
Hi... I would have to say Wentworth Miller (Prison Break) or Simon Baker (The Mentalist). Wow.... hot just thinking about the possibilities... LOL. Thanx for the moment to dream!
At 15 March 2009 at 18:43, Poppy
This book looks really good.
I don't really want to go to a desert island but if I had to and then had to choose an actor or actress...while
there are so many tempting choices I think I would take Nathan Fillion.
I posted a link over here in my blog...http://wyrdkat.blogspot.com/2009/03/contest-link.html
At 15 March 2009 at 18:45, Brittany
Hmmm I think I'd take Ewan McGregor with me. He's got a great voice, and he's a hottie! I don't think I'd ever get bored on an island alone with him LOL....http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=88;t=25862;r=1
Created a thread on Kelley Armstrong's site to help get the word out on this new series! It looks great!
At 15 March 2009 at 19:06, olympianlady
Geesh, that's a tough one. Well, Robert Pattinson would be a good choice, and he's the same age as me, unlike a lot of celebrities, who are so much older (or younger) that it'd just be weird, even if they look really good for their age. So, I'll go with Rob. ;-)
At 15 March 2009 at 19:17, Stacie
I would take Josh Holloway who plays Sawyer on LOST. He is so goodlooking and he would be used to being stranded on an island just like he is in the show.
At 15 March 2009 at 20:15, Lori T
I would have to take Josh Holloway, too. He is pretty used to being stranded on an island and quite handy. On top of that he is absolutely HOT!
Suzanne, The Sweet Scent of Blood sounds really interesting and I am looking forward to reading it.
At 15 March 2009 at 20:38, scottsgal
Not a great actor but Matthew McConnaughy will look great on a deserted island!
Enjoyed the interview
msboatgal at aol dot com
At 15 March 2009 at 22:56, Dawn M.
I think I would want either Jensen Ackles or Jared Padalecki (Supernatural) with me. I'm not picky. *grin*
Great interview! :0) I've added The Sweet Scent of Blood to my wish list.
At 16 March 2009 at 00:15,
johnny depp, he is funny, sexy, and it sure would not be boring
At 16 March 2009 at 05:50, Helen Scott Taylor
Interesting interview Suzanne. Your book sounds intriguing with all the fairy characters. Lovely to read about another British paranormal author. There aren't many of us around!
I'd take Richard Armitage (shh, don't tell my husband!) but as he's just won the Romantic Novelist's Association sexiest man contest, I think I'd have a fight on my hands.
At 16 March 2009 at 08:01, Vickie
If I could pick any actor or actress to be stuck with on a desert island.....I'd choose Jack Black. I have the craziest crush on him. I prefer laughter over hottie looks. I love his smiling eyes. And greatly expressive eyebrows.....
At 16 March 2009 at 11:29, Suzanne McLeod
Wow! Everyone's coming up with some great actors to take with them to their desert island, maybe Johnny Depp [particularly if I manage to type his name correctly *sigh*] wouldn't mind some company - alhtough I expect he'd prefer Kate Beckinsale to any of the other suggestions LOL!
And thank so much everyone for the wonderful comments about The Sweet Scent of Blood and the interview :-)
At 16 March 2009 at 12:47, Rita M
I'd have to go with Will Smith... he has the "tall, dark & handsome" thing down pat, plus he seems to have a great sense of humor!
At 16 March 2009 at 12:58, Tanya
Great Interview!! As always :)
Hmmm Who would I take with me on a desert Island? I wold have to say, Gary Dourdan (he's beautiful) he also sings so at least they'll be some music to listen too...and he's great eye candy..so that doesn't hurt!
At 16 March 2009 at 18:08, Taylor Z
Either Ben Mckenzie from the O.C.
Or any character that hasn't died ('cept for Locke) on Lost! They would be awesome in helping me survive.
At 16 March 2009 at 18:46, Caitlin Hoy
I would chose Eric Bana to be with on a deserted island especially if he was wearing one of his outfits from the movie Troy.
At 16 March 2009 at 19:38, MOMFOREVERANDEVER
ok not on the island for sex- on the island need to survive and need someone with a sense of humor so i would say ellen degeneres- she is a survivor in many ways-
hey if I need a guy and need release there is always a hand seriously
At 16 March 2009 at 19:38, Annie
Firstly; great interview, I really enjoyed it! The book looks fantastic!
I know most people will think I'm nutsy with my male actor choice but I've had a crush on Mickey Rourke for years, but Angelina Jolie is a close second!
At 16 March 2009 at 19:40, Annie
greeeneyedwhwomhttp://tinyurl.com/cnpo6g Win The Sweet Scent of Blood!!
greeeneyedwhwom is my twitter name
At 16 March 2009 at 19:54, Indigo
An Actor I would want with me on a deserted island...would be Jonathan Rhys Meyers. He's got the most intense eyes.
Thanks for the opportunity! Indigo
At 16 March 2009 at 23:48, Valorie
At 18 March 2009 at 00:20, Cynthya
I'd be happy with just about anyone already mentioned, but since I have to narrow it down to one I'll go with Viggo Mortensen.
Love the idea of the Spellcrackers series. Sounds like the kind of books I'd really enjoy. Thanks for the contest!
At 18 March 2009 at 02:08, Suzanne McLeod
Hey, this island's getting crowded *g* and just look at all the hot, handsome scenery *fans herself*
Thanks to everyone for your comments, I'm having great fun reading about which actor you'd take with you and the reasons why!
And thank you all again for your interest in TSSoB and Amber's interview with me :-)
At 18 March 2009 at 14:46, Kathy
I will have to say George Strait. He did star in ONE movie, Pure Country :)
I posted a link to the contest on my blog : http://kathyschaos.blogspot.com/2009/03/book-give-away.html
At 19 March 2009 at 19:46, Carolyn
Ok, this is weird, but I would go with either Sean Connery or Vin Diesel. I love their voices, and I don't think either would be boring.
thanks for sharing
ceashark at aol dot com
At 19 March 2009 at 20:54, donnas
Sounds like a great book. I would love to read it.
I would take Matthew McConaughey if I had to get stranded on a desert island.
bacchus76 at myself dot com
At 20 March 2009 at 07:29, Chris J.
Hi Amber! Great interview and Thank You for introducing me to a new author!
The book sounds really good.
As to the Question:
If I was stranded on a desert Island I would have Johnny Depp by my side if it has to an actor! He is Gorgeous and we could talk...plus put him in his pirate get up and yeah!! lol
But in reality it would be my hubby, he is a true survivor type man and he would make sure we were happy, fed, all our needs met and then some! :)
At 20 March 2009 at 07:32, Chris J.
Loving everyone's choices, I mean my goodness every girl would be flocking to these deserted islands!! Johnny Depp, Vin Diesel, the Rock!!!
Fanning self!! lol
This is a fun one Amber! Have a awesome day!!
At 20 March 2009 at 08:36, maggiemay
Without a doubt it would have to be Kyle Schmid. I was so blown away by his portrayal of Henry Fitroy on Blood Ties that I'd love to ask him all kinds of questions about the show. He's a young star on the rise and I'd love to know what roles he would like to play, should they be offered to him. I would like to know where he sees himself in 5 years. I've been lucky enough to meet him once and I can honestly say that I've never met anyone as nice as he is, whether they were a star or just a "normal Joe". Star or no star he is incredibly nice to his fans and deserves all the success that comes his way. That and last, but not least, he's not that bad to look at either, lol.
At 20 March 2009 at 13:12, Soni
Definitely I'd have to say the actor I would take would be Kyle Schmid (he played the Vampire Henry on Blood Ties - which by the way comes out on DVD on June 2nd).
Kyle is not only gorgeous but by all accounts a gentleman. ;)
At 21 March 2009 at 06:19,
Is it too late to enter? I just found this site. Great interview. I would have to say Johnny Depp. He's gorgeous and sexy! firstname.lastname@example.org
At 21 March 2009 at 07:48, Genea
I would have to say I would bring either Jonathan Rhys Meyers (as king henry VIII) or Jared Padelecki from super natural.
At 21 March 2009 at 19:20,
Well let's see, I would want a manly man. Mel Gibson would suit me just fine.
jwright (at) iowatelecom (dot) net
At 21 March 2009 at 20:40, okibi-insanity
Hmm. I say definitely Jensen Ackles from Supernatural. Yum.
I posted about this contest at my LJ:
At 22 March 2009 at 06:06, lilyk
I would take Tom Hanks with me since he's got lots of experience in that department, hanging out with Wilson and all. ;0P
At 22 March 2009 at 12:07, Jean F
I'd have to say Keanu Reeves-then the Paparazzi would promptly show up and we'd be rescued (or at least shown on TMZ), since he can't get away from them...
At 22 March 2009 at 15:19, SC1
Call me shallow, but I would take Russell Crowe to a deserted island. :)
jeana (dot)rich (at) gmail (dot)com
At 23 March 2009 at 06:42, Suzanne McLeod
Thanks to everyone who dropped by and for all your fun comments, and for all your fantastic choices about who you'd take to a desert island with you [there's not one I didn't agree with, even if my heart belongs to Johnny *g*].
And thanks again to Amber for being such a great host!
At 17 December 2009 at 10:40,
buy levitra online
Performance anxiety and other related side-effects with other drugs can affect your taking Levitra especially for the first few times after taking it.
No prescription is needed!
Erection problems? Let Levitra resolve that problem, which is a popular choice among men, next to Viagra,
Let me share to you some insights about Levitra.
http://www.granhermano09.com/ - generic levitra online
Dosage administration are as follows: вЂў 10 mg of Levitra must be taken approximately 25-60 minutes before the sexual activity.