By Liz Everly
As a part of this weekend’s online Romance Festival, the Lady Smut bloggers are interviewing some of Harper Impulse’s authors. If’ you’ve not been to the festival yet, check out the Twitter feed on our side panel, @romance festival #romance14; the Facebook page here, and the blog here.
In this post, we’re interviewing Sue Fortin, whose latest Harper Impulse book is “Closing in.”
From Sue Fortin’s blog: “Lover of cake, Dragonflies and France. Hater of calories, maths and snakes. I was born in Hertfordshire but had a nomadic childhood, moving often with my family, and for a time I did actually think my name was ‘The New Girl’. However, having lived in West Sussex all my adult life, it does feel like home and, these days, I know what my name is! I am married with four children, all of whom patiently give me time to write but, when not behind the keyboard, I like to spend my time with them, enjoying both the coast and the South Downs, between which we are nestled.”
Q: If you were a drink, what kind of drink would you be? And why?
A: If I was a drink, I’d be a cocktail because we are all multi-layered. There is always more to a person that what’s just on the surface, dig deep, get to know a person, take your time with them and all their dimensions gradually reveal themselves.
Q: Who do you read who makes you laugh or cry? Or both?
A: To make me laugh, always Chris Manby, she’s very funny and it appeals to my sense of humour. To make me cry, something by Jojo Moyes or David Nicholls, can really tug at the heart strings.
Q: This is stolen from the Harper Impulse author bio form—but please tell us about your worse date ever. Don’t spare us the gruesome details.
A: Believe it or not, I haven’t got much in the way of worst date stories but I distinctly remember a first kiss with a boy when I was about 15 years old. It was a complete kissing disaster from the word go. Both tipping out heads to the same side at the same time, then trying to switch, only to find the other had done the exact same thing. So after a bit of head bopping, reminiscent of Status Quo and Rocking All Over the World, we only narrowly avoiding a nose clash before finally locking lips. This is where we discovered the next obstacle. Teeth. Scraping of front teeth is something I can only liken to chalk on a blackboard – the sound is enough to set your teeth on edge without teeth to teeth contact. Then it all went horribly wrong when he decided now was a good time to bring the tongue into play. It was at this point I beat a full retreat, mumbling something about needing to finish my maths homework. Anyone who knows me, is fully aware this was a drastic diversion measure. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that a second date never happened.
Q: What brought you to Harper Impulse – what was happening when you “got the call” that they wanted your book?
A: I heard about Harper Impulse through social media and when I looked into it more, I really liked their ethos and they had a sense of normality about them, they seemed to be able to connect with their audience and authors.
I didn’t actually get a ‘call’ as Charlotte Ledger’s phone wasn’t working, so she sent me an email instead. I was sitting at home with just my dog for company. I did a few laps of happy dancing around the kitchen before hugging my dog enthusiastically, whilst telling her how I had a book deal. Funnily enough, she was underwhelmed by the whole thing so I had to wait for my daughter to come home before I could share the news with someone. My daughter’s reaction was rather more appropriate – she’s pretty good at happy dancing too.
Q: Where do you dig deepest in your writing – what’s the theme in your book that you feel the most passionate about?
A: I dig deepest when I’m under pressure for time and when I’m trying to convey the feelings and emotions of my characters at a crucial turning point in the novel. I really want my reader to feel what my character is feeling, to totally understand their reasoning.
The theme in ‘Closing In’ is one of control. Control in all its forms, whether we are doing the controlling or fighting against imposed control. Control can be a positive as well as a negative.
Q: I LOVE the premise of your book–sounds very suspenseful. I love to play with that line in my own work–you know, who is really the guilty one? What’s really going on here? (Especially in domestic situation.) Very murky! What is it about that kind of plot that intrigues you?
A: What really intrigues me or hooks me with that sort of plot is that, used in the right way, anyone can be guilty or innocent. I like to throw in elements of doubt as to who is telling the truth or who is doing certain things.
My current WIP explores the actions people take in, what they believe, are another’s best interest. Those actions may not necessarily be acceptable to others but to the person carrying them out, there is no alternative.
Thanks for stopping by, Sue!
For more of Sue, check her out here: http://suefortin.wordpress.com/