Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Morning Chat: #Interview with @SuzyAyers

John Satisfy:  Today I'd like to welcome Suzy Ayers onto Erotic Satisfaction.  She's a wonderful author, a good friend, and a strong supporter of indie writers.  Can you please tell me a little about yourself and what you write.

Suzy Ayers:  I am currently a stay at home mom, but I am looking fiercely for a job. I cannot believe how tough it is to find something quite honestly. Anyway, I have a BS in Business Management, a minor in Psychology and I love to work. I guess you could say I have a lot of drive in everything I do. I set my goals high, but achievable and writing has always been a dream. I write almost everything free hand and then type it into the computer.

My style has been compared to Stephen King by a few different people (no not what I write). I write, I don't plan it just flows and the characters are there talking within me. I never outline or plan. Which is odd, because I am normally a planner, someone who loves lists, Type-A in a lot of my life. But perhaps that is where my passion comes in. Writing is my sanity and like reading, it brings me into this other world. The other way I have been compared to the great Mr King is how I construct my sentence strings at times. Repeating words on occasion, to draw attention in a certain situation.

Initially, when I started on Twitter my bio said, "I'm all over the place", which I think speaks to who I really am. My blog is a perfect example of this where beyond my genres in Romance: erotica, fantasy and paranormal books, I also blog about food. Cooking is another passion of mine.

JS:  I've noticed on your blog you've had some steaming recipes to share, not just hot stories.  In fact you've even hosted one or two of mine in the past.  What type of cooking are you known for/most proud of?

SA:  I cook on a budget and with health in mind. I love Italian food and perhaps that is what I cook the most at home. I cook almost anything. I don't like seafood, but I will make it. I am Swedish so I make special things around the holidays as well. One is called a pepperkaukker, which is pronounced like pepper -cocker.  (Dirty, dirty minds you have.) It's like a ginger cookie with a lot more spice to it. Overall, I would say my cooking is home style and healthful.

Just recently I added a budget and coupon post. So many people in my everyday 'real life' like to hear about the savings I rack up at the grocery store, so I thought I would add a post about that.

Soups are really my biggest money and time saver. Because honestly, I hate dishes. lol I like spending time in the kitchen for two reasons cooking and...hmm, well I write about the other quite a lot. ;p

JS:  Yeah cleaning dishes aren't always the most fun, especially considering how they constantly pile up.  It's one of the never ending chores.  One thing that never seems like a chore is reading your stories.  Is writing ever a chore to you?

SA:  You have no idea, especially with two is in fact, never ending. Writing is never a chore. Often I have too many stories in my head that I cannot keep up. It's all that other stuff that takes a lot more time (editing, marketing, etc)

JS:  That's a tough balance to find, writing and marketing.  Not only are you constantly marketing yourself, but you're also always helping others promote themselves.  How do you strike that balance?

SA:  I find myself constantly hopping from FB, to Twitter, blog and so on. I really enjoy marketing and helping others. I am what you call a people-pleaser. And in the very beginning I had a little help from other authors, I like to pay it forward and help others. Especially those I see with talent and those that put out a good product. I believe that we are all in it together; each of us has our strengths that we should lend ours out to each other and lean on each other if we can.

A balance well sometimes I don't meet my deadlines, but honestly I have no set blog post dates (except Because I want your sex...Stories which is once a month, on the 3rd Sunday of the month.). I don't set up a specific release date for a book until the editing is almost complete. I am very anal with my editing and sometimes I am just not feeling it. ;) So I go through the entire book again.

I have a life, like everyone else. And just because I don't work at a place, it doesn't my mine any less crazy. Trust me. Sometimes I think authors add unneeded stress to themselves with deadlines and a daily blog posts or whatever. It is then that I feel it would be a chore for me. I like to write, it is my safe place, my sanity saver, and a dream that I am so happy to have been able to share with others. I am beyond thrilled with the acceptance within the community and readers alike.

JS: Yes, this indie community is a fantastic place.  Has anyone in particular done something that surprised you in a good way?

SA:  I'm always overwhelmed when people want to buy my book. I'd be happy to give them away, but then I guess I'd never make any money. I am still nervous when they tell me they've bought it and can't wait to read it. I always feel like I need to issue warnings, especially about my erotica books because they are so explicit. As I have said many times before, these books are our babies and a part of us.

JS:  Yes, if you give away the books, you're less likely to make money, at least short term.  But that's kind of the beauty of the digital book sales, you can reward loyal tweeters or friends with a gift of a book, without having to dip into your own pockets.  People seem to really enjoy your books, based on the reviews, but everybody has some negative reviews.  How do you deal with that?

SA: Yes, thank you. I feel extremely lucky for my positive feedback and reviews and I think/hope it has to do with my crazy editing. Ok, perhaps it might have a little to do with my writing, lol. Negative reviews? Sometimes a 3 is actually a positive when they say. "It was really too short, but super hot." or when they write things like "it had too much sex" I mean that to me is not negative.

Overall, I take it all in stride. There are trolls with people just wanting to bring you down. I am an optimist and as a reader I see the one star reviews on Goodreads and sort of ignore them. It's the well written and thought out reviews that mean something.

JS:  Reviews do mean a ton to us indie authors, they really can be the difference between a sale or not.  Getting back to your stories, where do you find your inspiration?

SA:  So my inspiration comes from ideas that I have floating around in my head. As I mentioned I don't plan my stories. Many are dreams or from that time right before falling asleep. Sometimes they could be daydreams and honestly music does often inspire me.

I listen to certain music when writing scenes. The Torn Series for example I cite "Clarity" by Zedd, it was Max and Serena's song. If you've never heard it you should check out the lyrics. Other songs for that book were "Stay the Night" also by Zedd, as well as Bound to You by Christina Aguliara a lot during writing and editing them.

Turbulent Heart is an emotional book and Christina Perri's Arms was a huge inspiration, pretty much all of her songs on that album. There was such melancholy and I hoped to portray it in the right places.

Additionally, Fantasy Encounter with a Dom, I wanted to cite lyrics from "Shelter" by Birdy, as a character sang them, but I learned it would be infringement. So I had to delete them. But again I used that for Keira's moment of clarity and awakening in that book. Where she realizes that another man will have to touch her, not her husband. She fights with that internally.

I hope to figure out how to create a playlist for my books and share that with my readers, there are so many things to learn and I have to pace myself.

JS:  So music is a very inspiring force in your stories.  Does it ever manifest it in your writings in a more concrete way then just inspiration?

SA:  Not in anything I have published..yet.  However, I do have at least one up my sleeve.

JS:  You little tease...  Well, I am sure it will be a fun little story when you finally do share.  So, your second book in your fantasy world is about to be released.  Tell us about this universe you created.

SA:  Tease? Yes I am.  I am super excited about my fantasy series ELEMENTS - The Before World there is so much more in the second book, Miranda's Amulet. More love, deception, heartache, poisons, magic, sorcery, battles...just more. Oh yes, and more heat in the sex department. But I want people to realize that it's not explicit like my erotica. Sometimes I wonder if perhaps I should have made another pen name, but oh well.

The Before World is the time where things were normal, similar to our time, but it is set in the future. A British Monarchy, The Rosen Family, has taken over for the failing democracy and things are looking up. Then a shift in the environment occurred, with multiple catastrophic events. People were to preoccupied to notice that it might have anything to do with magic. Even in the The Before World there were magical beings and many lived along the shorelines.

JS:  So this is completely a fictional world?

SA:  It’s based on our world.  Sara grew up in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, not too far from where I grew up. Wellfleet is a small fisherman's town and her father is a fisherman.

So, after the multiple land altering events, the masses of people run toward the one power, the one place they know for help--The Rosen Family castle. These once super technologically dependent people, find themselves live without electricity in the woods surrounding The Rosen Family castle in Virginia. The castle, however, does have electricity and many other luxuries.

Sara and her family have been living outside the castle walls in the woods…and then Sara see's this handsome man one day, when her family needs to replenish their stipends (monies provided to certain families). She tries to keep reading her book, but finds herself drawn to him.

JS:  Sounds intriguing.  This is world is obviously created with mix of influences.

SA:  Yes!  In the books there is an medieval feel with a blend of more current things, meaning there are: corsets, horses (no cars), as I mentioned the castle has electricity and there is mention of armor/swords, etc. I insert playful things from movies and books that I love. And I normally always have music and dancing in my books. They, to me, provide so much emotion to moments and the characters.

It is written so that the characters names and things in the book are not difficult to understand, which puts it in the low fantasy category. Many who have read it have admitted to me that they aren't fantasy readers and loved it. In fact one of my beta readers was begging me for more. When you beta read you send chapters at a time, and each time I would come back to my computer there was an almost frantic request for more. So I took that as a good sign, since she was one of the people who had never read fantasy before.

JS:  This first book is out now, and the sequel has just been released, will there be more?

SA:  Yes, Miranda's Amulet was recently released and I am already typing up the third book, The Sixth Element. Yes, I said typing. I write almost all of my books free hand. The first round of editing begins when I type them into the computer. Then I read and edit, print and edit. Next, I send my CPs/Betas, then read edit again and lastly listening edits. So lets say editing for me is a lengthy and tedious process. Especially since each one of these books is about 275-350 pages long.

I am also going to be putting all 4 of these books into print using CreateSpace. I am pushing for the end of March for that. The last one, well, I am keeping that title a secret for now.  My next big issue will be figuring out a cover for the third book. I am also going to attempt to get my fantasy books into the local library.

JS:  Great, so we have two more stories in this series to look forward to.  It's great to hear that you hand write the first draft of your novels.  I think that's becoming rarer and rarer.  Do you have a favorite pen or pencil to write with, or just use anything you have lying around?

SA: Always mechanical pencils and 5 subject notebooks. I actually left one out in the rain.  Luckily it was salvageable.

JS:  Probably the same couldn't be said if you left a laptop out in the rain, so that is one advantage to old fashioned techniques.  Do you erase a lot while you write, or do you wait til you transcribe it into the computer to make your changes?

SA:  I don't erase a lot. Oddly the story flows pretty naturally and the editing is the same, I don't edit a lot out. People have compared my writing style to Stephen King in that respect where I just write. Characters and stories constantly bombard my brain, some say they would love to have this problem, but it can be hard to keep up.

JS:  Are there any writers who's style you greatly admire and/or try to emulate?

SA:  I truly believe that no one should be compared to others work. Each author should stand on their own merit.  I admire plenty of writers, Stephen King is actually one of my idols. I write nothing like him though. But I like writers that can make you feel.

Gemma Halliday was the first writer that catapulted me into thinking, hmm maybe I could self pub my stuff. Her High Heel mysteries had me laughing, crying and wanting to through my Kindle. I dare not start to name names of all the authors I love, because I don't want to leave anyone out.

Shoshanna Evers is my mentor and has helped me immensely, her down to earth attitude is something I admire and she and Stephanie Haefner have made me want to pay it forward to new authors. I have learned so much and I like to help others and promote them, which can be seen everywhere.

JS:  Quite the range of influences and mentors.  If my readers would like to keep up with you and follow you on social media, where can they find you?

SA:  I am everywhere!  I have a special Facebook page for my The Before World series ELEMENTS. Besides that I have a Facebook, Twitter, Blog/Website and Goodreads account.  Of course, you can also find me on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Nobles.

JS:  Well people certainly won't have a hard time finding you with all those sites to choose from.  Is there anything else you'd like my readers to know about?

SA:  I will be entering my book, Saving Lady J to the BDSM writers contest. So hoping everyone will cross their fingers for me.

JS:  Well I wish you luck!  Well Suzy, thank you so much for sitting down with me and opening yourself up for my reader's pleasure.  I urge them all to check out your works and follow/like you on your various social media identities.

SA:  Thank you kindly, Mr Satisfy.  I appreciate it as well.

This post includes affiliate links.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for giving us more insight into Suzy's naughty mind! Fantastic interview!