Meet Suzie T. Roos. Here are a few words from the Amazing Suzie:
I’m YA/NA author Suzie T. Roos.
Besides writing about first love, first kisses and first boyfriends I divide my time between my family and orphaned animals. I am a mom of two children, a girl (25 yrs old) and a boy(16 yrs old), but I’m also an animal foster mom.
I’ve settled back in St. Louis, where we are from, but I’ve lived in Philadelphia, PA to out west in Santa Monica, CA. Yes, we tossed our snow boots out for sand between our toes. When we lived in Santa Monica, we lived 11 blocks away from the ocean and our condo balcony faced the Santa Monica Mountains!
I married my high school sweetheart and count my blessings everyday.
If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll probably see I’m a Disney fan. I could talk about Disney all day. (I worked for them when I lived in LA.) I love music, but I will admit…I’m very picky. I love going to concerts and movies. Favorite food is sushi and favorite drink is a Cosmo with a twist. I consider myself a partial vegetarian, and that’s just my preference.
I’m guilty of people watching, but you will find me out on the dancefloor! So if you ever see someone who dances like Elaine (from Seinfeld) with a Cosmo spilling all over the place…make sure to come over and say hi to me!!
Contact, social media link–
Email me at email@example.com
Amazon Author Page, http://www.amazon.com/…/B00XZK0…/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Goodreads author page,https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13868000.Suzie_T_Roos
Youtube book trailer, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydm7pta4Hxo
Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers? No, not yet. But I may with an author friend in the near future on an erotica novel. That would be hilarious! We shall see.
Why did you do decide to collaborate and did that affect your sales?
When did you decide to become a writer? The month after my daughter left for college—October 2008.
Why do you write? I have something to say!
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? Writing found me. When my daughter went off to college I didn’t go through the typical sad, depressed Mom feelings. I was a teenage mom, a young teenager, and for years so many said I wouldn’t amount to anything. I’d have to drop-out of school—I refused, and I didn’t. I even graduated with a trade, I’m a Missouri licensed Cosmetologist. Many said I would have to marry, I didn’t. Daily banter was my life. When my daughter went off to college, I celebrated. I did everything they said I couldn’t do. Well…I don’t care for when people try to discourage me. Let’s leave it at that.
Do you write full-time or part-time? Full-time
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I’m a bit all over the place. After the release of Girl Spoken For in May 2015, I decided it was time to treat this as a business. So I try my best to “work” M-F, off on weekends. But when you give yourself a ridiculous deadline to write, edit and publish a book within 5 months, during the Holidays, and while you’re the Co-Chair for a Humane Society of Missouri Foster Trivia Night, you work every chance you get.
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? No.No. No. For one, word count means nothing to me. Because to me, I could write 70,000 words of crap. I can’t think of it as numbers. I go by scenes or chapters.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Computer. Desktop. On my father-in-law’s enormous lawyer desk.
Where do your ideas come from? Originally, my one idea came from being a teenage mom. They always say, write what you know. Well, I know how hard it is to be a single, teenage mom. Then characters took over and made sure I told their story. I have other book ideas. One popped in my head during a shower. The shower, lying in bed trying to fall asleep, sitting at the doctor’s office, grocery store, driving…great plotting places.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? Both. I’m one who will get an idea and then once I get the story beginning, middle and end, I would need to plot out the kinks. Other than that, it’s all in my head. I do keep a book “diary”, though.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? Oh wow. I’m more organized. Although, there is something to just blindly writing what’s in your head.
What is the hardest thing about writing? Clutch words. I swear, if I use one word, that same dang word will appear twice in the next five sentences. It’s a talent!
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? With Girl Divided Two, others saying there wasn’t enough motivation for a particular character. I think I took care of that problem!
What is the easiest thing about writing? Dialogue. When my characters talk to me, I suffer from multi-personality dysfunction. Beginnings. Middles. Endings. (That’s more than one thing, but those are pretty easy to me.)
How long on average does it take you to write a book? I would like at least 8 months to write my books. Only happened for the first novel—Girl Spoken For.
Do you ever get writer’s Block? Once so far when writing Girl Divided Two.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block? Put your headphones on with music that inspires your book, theme and time period and take a long walk. For example: Spoken For series takes place in the late 80’s through the 90’s. I play music from those decades.
If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it? Yes. All 6 of my books in this series are part of the Spoken For Series. Young Adult Trilogy & New Adult Trilogy.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series. I think they’re GREAT! LOL! But seriously, I do prefer reading them. So it only makes sense I’d write them.
Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors. I try not to read when I’m actively writing, but I do. I’m a bit on the mainstream side. I like Simone Elkeles, Pittacus Lore, J.K. Rowling, Charlaine Harris… just to name a few.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books? I switch back and forth. I prefer to take a print book when I’m around town because the kindle is heavy in my purse. But if I’m in bed I prefer the Kindle because of the light.
What book/s are you reading at present? I just finished (see I’m not supposed to read when I have an insane deadline, but I do) Marie Meyer’s, Can’t Go Back.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you? I have assembled a small team. I should never be allowed to edit my own material.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit? I let it stew for a day, or two, nothing more. A month would be great if I didn’t have other responsibilities and deadlines.
Who edited your book and how did you select him/her? I have Marlo Berliner (Chimera Editorial Services) for my content editor. I found Marlo through YARWA (Young Adult Romance Writers of America) group. Marlo and I found each other for book #2, and worked well together, so she’s sticking around.
Amanda Sumner (Careful Copyediting) for copy editor. Found her through a referral. This will be our third book together! She’s a keeper.
Then Dana Waganer is my proofreader. Dana is a critique partner of mine. We met through our local RWA chapter.
Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. For the Spoken For YA trilogy they’re all my original vision. I had an idea of what I wanted and knew a model (my cousin, Tiffany Diamond) who could be Tatum. Her fiancé, Leroy Roper is a backdrop painter, among other things. Since they’re family, I’m familiar with his backdrops and knew which one would work brilliantly for the first book. I asked if they would shoot them the way I wanted and they agreed. For the first cover, I actually flew down to Dallas, where their studio is. It was an awesome experience. I found out how much I loved being an art director.
For book covers #2 & #3 they, again, shot what I asked.
Then the Killion Group formatted and did the graphic design for the front, spine and back covers for all 3 of my books.
Who designed your book cover/s? I did.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? I originally didn’t think so. But time has confirmed for me, people do judge a book by its cover.
How are you publishing this book and why? I’m self-pubbing all of my books. I tried the traditional route for one year. Meaning I sought after an agent and/or a publishing house. For months there were a handful of possibilities and requests, but then nothing. I got tired of the games and believed in my material enough to know someone out there would like the story.
(*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? To me, the main difference, and it is a disadvantage, is the marketing/promoting–built in followers. There’s something to having a sizable house behind you. But in my opinion, nothing more. I’m a control freak!
How do you market your books? I’ve worked with Barclay Publicity Team doing Blog Tours and advertising on blog sites and ads. Social media as much as possible.
Why did you choose this route? I needed someone who had connections for exposure and reviews.
Would you or do you use a PR agency?
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Geez. Marketing is the hardest to me. Advice would be; try different avenues. Because what may work for one author, won’t for another. Just be persistent.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? Typically an hour when I’m “working.”
What do you do to get book reviews? Getting book reviews is like pulling teeth without anesthesia. But my publicists has gone through NetGalley
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? It’s been okay, but not as much as I’d hoped.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? I wish I did, but no.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? Oh well, what I did for my first book is have my husband read all of my reviews for me. I made a point of not looking because I had to write book #2 and didn’t need anything negative to distract me. For the bad reviews my thought is; well, I said this book isn’t for everybody! (But the amount of time people put toward trolling is impressive. I figure just leave them alone, they must have bigger problems in life than I do.) For the good reviews, it makes my day!
Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?
What’s your views on social media for marketing? Hit or miss. Again, what works for one author may or may not work for the other.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do? Do NOT give up! Do NOT put all of your coins in one pot. Do be nice to everyone, even the negative trollers!
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? Did a press release through Barclay. I would say it worked fine for book #1, Girl Spoken For.
Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch? No.
Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? Dropping the price for book #1. Boom. Boosted my sales on a book that had been out for over 5 months.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? This is a tough one… I found that once people hear “Giveaway” that’s all they are there for.
Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell? No clue. I have an author friend who is an excellent, creative, funny writer and things haven’t gone as planned for her. I honestly wish I knew.
What do you think of “trailers” for books? I LOVE them. We are such a visual world and I do think the book trailer for my first book helped sales
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s? I need to create a trailer for my second book. I have a book trailer for my first book, Girl Spoken For. An author friend, Linda Gilman, put it together. My husband and son created the music for my trailer—my husband recorded the rhythm guitar, lead guitar and bass. My son recorded all of the percussion. It was a family collaboration. I loved every minute of that process.
(* please provide a link to trailer if you have one)
Do you think that giving books away free works and why? Unfortunately, no. I’m not sure why it doesn’t work. But I have found, again, so many are just out for free stuff. Once in a while you’ll find that person who is actually looking for a new author.
Did you format your own book? Oh no way. I had the Killion Group format. I hire them as much as possible. Great ladies to work with.
In what formats is your book available? Right now, I’ve put both of my books on Kindle Select.
If formatted by someone else, how did you select them and what was your experience? Great experience with the Killion Group and I found them because Kim Killion & Jennifer Jakes are MORWA members, a group I’m in as well.
How do you relax? Watching a movie with my husband, going to dinner or going to a concert.
What is your favourite motivational phrase. “If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started by a mouse.”~ Walt Disney
What is your favourite positive saying? “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us,”~ Helen Keller
What is your favourite book and why? Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban. I liked the route the book took in that story, Sirius Black is my favorite Potter character.
What is your favourite quote? “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!”
What is your favourite film and why?
Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
What is your favourite movie and why? I seriously cannot pick just one. Favorite family movie~Mary Poppins. I landed a job with Disney when I lived in LA by answering the same question using Dick Van Dyke’s voice and saying, Mary Poppins. No joke. Otherwise, the Godfather, part 2. Sideways. Star Wars, Return of the Jedi.
What advice would you give to your younger self? Don’t be in such a hurry. (I really sound like an old fart!) Okay, maybe I would advise, commit yourself to academics, not a boyfriend or girlfriend.
But I do think this is an important life lesson; no matter what you do, some people just won’t like you, and that’s their problem.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? How about, persons?! I would love to talk to Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt & George Harrison. Why? Because they were brilliant minds, pushing and challenging boundaries.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? To Kill a Mockingbird. Timeless.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Write what you know, and don’t be afraid. Anyone can write a story.
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? One of the most important tools I use to write—Music. Since my Spoken For series starts in 1989 and continues on I can easily go back in time by listening to the music from that era. If I have a sexy scene, I will put on something from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack or Pretty in Pink. Other favorite movies of mine.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Suzie-T.-Roos/e/B00XZK0M3W/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1450152693&sr=1-2-ent
Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.)
(* Any order you like and if I’ve missed anything, just type it in.)
With having two different book covers for the same book (one cover for print, one cover for digital), it has created a firestorm of controversy.
Which is your preferred cover? Guy? OR Girl?
Thank you BB’s Book Reviews for having me! Happy Holidays to everyone.
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.