Interviewed by: E.E. Kennedy
Interviewer's note: It was around the turn of this century and I had just started my writing journey when I happened to make the acquaintance of the very talented and generous author and eBook impresario, Susette Williams. Over the years, she has been so gracious in helping me navigate the treacherous waters of the publishing world. Currently, I'm honored to be included in her latest eBook anthology (see below) and other earlier ones.
I treasure her friendship.
1. Susette, how long have you been writing?
I began writing when our twins were only around ten months old. They’re twenty-one years old now. So… over twenty years. (I’m not as old as I look… Okay… I’m older.)
2. When did you know you wanted to write/publish?
When I was in 7th grade, I began reading Harlequin romances. My mother read them. After reading around fifty of them in a year, I felt like I could write one. I never attempted to write romance until around sixteen years after that.
I did start writing poetry in 7th grade and in high school, I had a poem accepted for an anthology.
3. I know you’ve written a huge number of books. Tell us how many and in what genres? What are your favorites?
Honestly, I know a lot of authors who count how many books they’ve written. I’m not one of those authors. When I started writing, I wanted to have over a hundred books published in my lifetime. I know I’m not there, so I will keep on writing. J
I love writing humorous stories the most, no matter what genre. Most authors write in one or two genres, I love writing in various genres. I write everything from mystery, suspense, inspirational romance, historical western romance, and children’s books.
4. Tell us about your children’s books. How did you find an illustrator?
I looked to see who the illustrators were on some other books I liked, and contacted the illustrators. One thing I have learned about illustrators is that they each have their own style of illustrating, just like authors have their own style of writing.
5. You have a large family. How have you had time to write?
I think it is hard for most authors to get their families to understand that even though they’re working from home (to write) they are working! When my children were younger, it seemed easier to write with all the noise and activity. Now, I feel like I need more peace and quiet to focus.
For me, writing is like getting into the head of my characters. I see the story play out in my mind, and write it from there. I think that is why people say my dialogue is so realistic, because I am hearing their voices in my head.
I mainly write during the night now, while hopefully everyone else is sleeping. One of our twins likes to be up all night too, so when he is home, as long as were in different rooms, we don’t disturb each other. J
6. How has your Christian faith impacted your writing?
I like to have a ‘light’ message or thought to give readers something to think about. Hopefully, my writing encourages people and makes them smile, or think.
7. I consider you a computer genius. Where did you learn so much about E-publishing?
My husband is a computer genius, not me. E-publishing does take some computer knowledge, depending on how much of the publishing side of things you want to handle. Not all software programs are user-friendly. Photoshop is one example. If I hadn’t learned a couple minor things to help my husband with his work, I would have never have been inspired to learn more to create my own book covers.
I honestly hadn’t realized how much was involved with self-publishing until I offered to help a couple friends. Then I realized how much I really knew, and had learned over a relatively short period.
The best way to learn is to join online writing groups and read—learn from others mistakes, research what advice they give, and track your results to see what promotions work best for you. I always tell people that your friends and family are your network, not your market. Don’t hound people you know to ‘buy your book’ or you’ll find them turning and walking the other direction when they see you coming. A lot of people I go to church with don’t even know that I write! To me, the world is my audience and I want people to read my books because they want to, not because they feel compelled to. I love to entertain people and I’m thrilled when they enjoy my stories as much as I enjoy writing them. J
8. How do you find the authors for your anthologies?
I’m more prone to using authors I have critiqued with, so that I know the quality of their writing. I also try to give a few friends who are less established a chance to build a following, so I invite them into some collections. On a few occasions, I have used authors I am in Christian writing groups with that I haven’t read their work before.
9. What did you wish you knew when you first started all this?
I wish I had completed more stories, instead of primarily doing proposals for traditional publishers. I feel like I lost a lot of time because of that. I’m thank that I did move toward self-publishing because I am in control, and I’ve found I can make a better living at it than writing for traditional publishers.
10. Have you any advice for would-be writers?
Study, learn, revise your work, don’t be afraid to let others read your work, and don’t take criticism personally. You have to be willing to make your stories better. A lot of new authors are afraid of criticism. Learn from the feedback given and make your stories better. Eventually, you’ll learn the rules (grammar, storytelling, using the five senses in storytelling, etc.) and then you’ll only need to focus on editing what you’ve written.
11. Tell us about your current project(s). Where can we learn more about them?
My newest release is a story in THE MYSTERY OF CHRISTMAS 2. You can find it here:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSusetteWilliams/
Amazon Author Page: http://ow.ly/URIY30gIeaP
Subscribe to my Newsletter: http://ow.ly/JHac30gIebO
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Book copy of THE MYSTERY OF CHRISTMAS 2! She's giving away 3!