Welcome Susan and thank you for joining us today.
What made you decide to become a self published author?
My first children's book was published in English, in Germany when I lived there in 1985. The publisher was a friend who believed in my work. At the time, I planned to illustrate the book with my batik art. At a dinner party one evening I met Doug DuBosque. Unbeknownst to me he was a talented artist and illustrator. Once we got to know each other, he offered to illustrate the book and I was grateful knowing new, fresh ideas would infuse the project with new vitality. When Doug and I decided to become partners in life and business, we bought back the rights to our first book, moved to the coast of Oregon, and became a small press publisher of children's books. When my memoir, The Lullaby Illusion, was ready for publication, I considered going with another publisher but Doug convinced me that Peel Productions was the best match.
If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers
to know what would it be?
I listen to and trust my still small voice. It speaks my truth.
What are you currently reading and why did you choose it?
I'm reading Margaret Atwood's, Alias Grace. Since my memoirs are based on real events in my life, I thought it would be interesting to delve into a book that is considered a fictive memoir.
Now Susan lets talk about your books and your writing.
How long have you been a writer?
Since the 4th grade of elementary school. As a child I had dyslexia and when I talked my words came out all mixed up, sometimes backwards. People laughed at the way I said things. My mother worked very hard to teach me how spoken words are made up of individual sounds that fit together. She created a game of alphabet riddles in rhyme and I practiced spelling and speaking words until I knew them well. I became fascinated with words and started making up stories and acting them out. In the fourth grade I wrote a story about my dog and his bad liver breath. When the story won first place in a state-wide school competition, a writer was born.
Do you have formal writing training?
Yes and no. I believe in on-going education and have taken a variety of classes over the years. The experience that taught me the most about writing was working as a volunteer in a local theatre. As I watched the curtain open, scenes unfold, and the final curtain close, I realized my style of writing was stream of consciousness narrative—depicting the flow of countless impressions, dreams, and feelings which pass through the mind allowing deeper patterns of order to emerge.
What genre do you write?
Memoir. Inspirational. Educational.
Is there an author you'd love to be compared to?
Penelope Lively or Richard Bach
My husband Doug. He's my greatest critic and cheer-leader. Always encourages me to be my best.
Is there one book or author that has inspired you more than any other?
Illusions by Richard Bach. It's a stream of consciousness book that flows and energizes the reader.
Do you have a favorite time of day for writing and why?
Early morning, long before the world around me awakens. When the birds serenade each other with calls of “Buenos días! Buenos días! ” Early evening is also a good time when the “meow-meow” frog sounds fill the air with the heavenly music of nature.
What would your ideal writing environment look like or consist of?
My sweet spot is where I sit now, in my office with a view of nature all around me including my cat purring in his basket next to my desk.
Do you have a writing aspiration that you would like to share with us?
I want to write a screenplay or two.
Do you have a review from any of your books that you would like to share. Please give the reason for choosing it.
Long after the book ended, I kept thinking about it. … I wish it would go on forever, a fantastic read. .. you have now touched my life and have changed the way I look at life, the world, and where I am going in the future. Thanks for sharing.--Jim
To connect with a reader and touch their life is the ultimate compliment. It's what I expect a good book to do.
How important are reviews to you as an author?
Reviews are very important. They help readers choose which books speak to them.
Do they influence your development as an author?
They encourage me to keep writing.
How do you engage with your readers?
Through personal experiences, vignettes, and anecdotes.
What inspired the title of The Lullaby Illusion?
A dream where I saw myself sitting in a rocking chair, singing a lullaby while rocking a child to sleep. The next morning the words spoke to me again and I wrote the poem down on a strange star-shaped piece of paper.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Many years. My life and events that happened to me during this turbulent period of my life was a puzzle to me. I needed time to sort my thoughts and put the pieces together. I finally felt freed to write my memoir after my ex died in 2005.
Who is your target audience for this book?
Readers who want to escape the limits we place on ourselves and want to ultimately explore dreams, and their own path to true happiness.
What are 3 of your favourite lines/quotes from The Lullaby Illusion?
Page 204. “Yes,” I said, flashing back to earlier events. “I lost a child, but
found myself. Went through a coup and a war. Lost everything I
owned, but got rescued. Ship rammed a coral reef in the Indian
Ocean, but I got saved from the sinking ship. My marriage died.
But I survived.” I sighed.
Page 233 I stopped for a moment, and thought about that unlikely event
in my life. “I swear,” I said, “sometimes I think parts of my life
are just my wild imagination. Like maybe they didn’t really
happen. But the governor gave me a souvenir, which I still have.
An ‘Official First Day Cover, 1975 Seashore Plants’ envelope. I
take it out and look at it, from time to time, to remind myself
that this amazing adventure really happened to me.”
“A reality check?”
“Yes.” I smiled.
Page 316 "You've come a long way baby!"
When is your current work in progress estimated to be released?
I'm busy working on my next book, Out in the Indian Ocean Somewhere. It's about crossing the Indian Ocean from Sri Lanka to the Seychelles in a private yacht in monsoon season. Publication is planned for end of 2015.
What are your thoughts on the whole eBook revolution?
I think it's wonderful. I read print books and e-books and enjoyed the technology that makes this possible.
Do you have a blog? Where can we read it?
My author website is: http://www.lullabyillusion.com/
My children's books can be found at www.peelbooks.com
Thank you Susan for taking part it has been a heart warming experience chatting with you. I hope you enjoy the awards ceremony and I wish you every future success.
Thank you, Sarah Jane.
Author and book links:
Twitter handle: @SusanLullaby https://twitter.com/SusanLullaby
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/788947.Susan_Joyce
Where to buy Susan's book: