I am extremely excited to welcome the wonderful Sue Watson to my blog today. I ADORE Sue’s books and I can’t wait to get started on her latest release, Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams (released 3rd July by Bookouture, click here to get hold of your copy). Sue gives us the low-down on her latest novel, talks Christmas in the heatwave and grabbing life by the glitterballs…
Hi Sue, a big warm welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! I’m thrilled to have you on the site, thank you so much for participating in this interview. Would you like to start by introducing yourself…?
Hello Holly! Thank you so much for inviting me to take part. I’m Sue Watson, writer of (I’m told) ‘hilarious and heartfelt’ books – 5 up to now. I’m 5 foot 8, weigh 9 stone and I have long legs and a flat stomach because I work out all the time (apart from the writing bit, the rest is a lie – but I like the way it sounds, and I’m all for dreaming! 🙂 )
Can you tell us a bit about your new novel, Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams (published 3rd July by Bookouture)?
Yes it’s a story about Laura a single mum who works as a cashier in a supermarket. She’s always been satisfied, but when her daughter goes off around the world on an adventure, Laura wonders about an adventure of her own. She wears a green overall, has no boyfriend and no-one ever seems to see her behind her till, so in an attempt to improve herself she attends a zumba class. This goes horribly wrong but in another way it’s the beginning of a new, exciting journey for Laura which brings her the glamour and fun she craves, and uncovers some secrets from the past.
I absolutely love your books and I am so excited about reading Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams. What inspired you to come up with the storyline?
Thank you! I wanted to write about someone who has a dream that seems impossible – I want readers to be inspired to take chances as many were with Love, Lies and Lemon cake. But this message is different because it’s about finding yourself and discovering the talents you never knew you had. It’s still about taking chances and embracing life and laughing at the crap bits – but most of it’s about grabbing life by the glitterballs!
Have you ever done any ballroom dancing yourself?
I haven’t but after writing this book and hearing how wonderful it is and how it can change you physically and emotionally I think I might. I have friends who dance and I also spoke to two wonderful British women who learned Flamenco in Spain. Their stories about life and dance in Spain are magical and I hope I’ve captured some of the feelings, the sheer liberation and the emotion they feel when they walk through the streets of Granada or dance Flamenco.
Are the characters in the story completely fictional or are they based on anyone in real life?
The characters are fictional, but I have a very good friend who worked on Strictly Come Dancing and when we met for afternoon tea recently I was still writing the book and asked him to explain some of the dancing. He was the major inspiration for Tony and before we said goodbye at the train station he showed me some moves for the Argentine Tango, in front of everyone – which is so very Tony!
How long did Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams take you to write?
The first draft took about 6 weeks, then the book goes through the editing process so in total about 12 weeks.
What advice would you give to any aspiring authors out there?
It’s such a cliché – but never, ever give up. Some writers have overnight success, but for most of us it’s a long, hard and very painful slog. You put your heart and soul into something and send it to an agent or a publisher and the rejection is almost unbearable and irrationally it feels so personal. But if you are committed to writing you will have to get used to the rejections and even friends and family won’t always understand why you are chasing this ‘crazy’ dream. Stay with it, believe in yourself and your writing and one day there will be a chink of light – it might be a reject email from an agent that isn’t a stock response, it might be a writing teacher who says you have promise or you might be shortlisted for a writing competition. Whatever it is – grasp that chink of light and hold it close, because it will keep you warm when you get the next rejection. Know it’s just a process you have to go through to succeed and just get back to the writing. In many ways ‘Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams,’ could just as easily be ‘Summer Flings and Writing Dreams,’ because it’s all about self-belief, commitment and not listening to the doubts that might sometimes enter your head.
This is your third book with Bookouture but now I’m going to put you on the spot…Do you have any favourite Bookouture authors or books?
Ha ha. You have put me on the spot! All the Bookouture authors are brilliant – the books and ebooks are high quality, the writing is excellent and the covers are all delicious. Many of us support each other daily, share our ups and downs and console when there’s a bad review and cheer when there’s a good one. We all love each other so much that Publicity Manager Kim Nash is arranging a get-together soon – which is why I can’t possibly choose one or two authors as favourites from all the wonderful ones there!
Can you share with us some of the books that are on your ‘To-Be-Read’ list?
I have just read Renita D’Silva’s ‘A Sister’s Promise, which is truly wonderful and so evocative – for holiday reading I’m taking ‘Kelly Rimmer’s ‘The Secret Daughter’ Jenny Hale’s ‘Summer by the Sea,’ Rebecca Pugh’s ‘Return to Bluebell Hill’ and Mandy Baggot’s ‘Truly Madly Greekly,’ Nigel May’s ‘Scandalous Lies’ Teresa Driscoll’s ‘Recipes for Melissa,’ and Holly Martin’s ‘Fairytale Beginnings.’ I also like darker, grittier reads so have downloaded Tamar Cohen’s new one ‘First One Missing,’ along with Angela Marsons’ ‘Evil Games,’ and Caroline Mitchell’s ‘Don’t Turn Around – all dark and delicious – I can’t wait!
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re up to at the moment?
Yes, I’m currently writing my Christmas book which isn’t easy during this mini-heatwave. I’ve got Michael Buble on the ipod and a cinnamon scented candle burning while trying to conjure up a snow scene in 90 degree heat!
A huge thank you to Sue and to Kim at Bookouture. ♥
Don’t forget to grab your copy of Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams which is at the bargain price of £1.99 on Kindle!