An Interview with Suzie T. Roos

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Meet Suzie T. Roos. Here are a few words from the Amazing Suzie:

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Hello!
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–
www.suzietroos.com

Email me at suzietroos@yahoo.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

Twitter, @SuzieTRoosbooks

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/SuzieTRoos

Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/suzietroos/

Youtube book trailer, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydm7pta4Hxo

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The full interview with Suzie T. Roos
Welcome all.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing (Suzie T. Roos) author of (Girl Spoken For & Girl Divided Two)
 
Hi (Suzie T.), thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a Mom of two children, a girl (25 yrs old) and a boy (16 yrs old). They really are my pride and joy. I married my high school sweetheart and we have lived in several different places raising our children. I am passionate about animal rights and an active volunteer at the Humane Society of Missouri. I’m a foster parent and also the Co-Chair of the bi-annual HSMO Foster Program Trivia Night—benefiting the foster program & the Cinderella Fund. I’m certified by FEMA in IS-00011 .a Animals in Disasters: Community Planning. Before writing and fighting to give animals second chances in life and rights, I was “doing hair,” as a Missouri licensed Cosmetologist. Enough about me!
 
What were you like at school? I was rather quiet. Shy. I felt a bit lost at school. Our junior high and high school were combined. So, in 7th grade I had lunch with seniors. Very intimidating. The upside is you could become friends with upper classmen. But overall high school is something I’d prefer to forget. In college I was quiet as well. I didn’t finish my program because I became pregnant with our second child.
 
Were you good at English? Uhh, no!
 
What are your ambitions for your writing career? I would love for my books to at least pay for themselves. Anything more is icing on the cake. And I want to write until the stories don’t come to me anymore.
 
Which writers inspire you? J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer originally inspired me to put this idea down on paper. Now, Janet Evanovich and any of my critique partners.
 
So, what have you written? I had originally planned to write 12 books. Now that I have a plan and know a little more about the biz, writing 6—2 trilogies in different genres—YA & NA contemporaries.
(*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
 
Where can we buy or see them?
Girl Spoken For~ http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Spoken-Suzie-T-Roos-ebook/dp/B00WRZO33G/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1450134542&sr=1-1&keywords=girl+spoken+for
Girl Divided Two~ http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Divided-Two-Suzie-Roos-ebook/dp/B015QTD8XU/ref=pd_sim_351_4?ie=UTF8&dpID=51XtW9keB9L&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR104%2C160_&refRID=0C69HKPFKGYNMFTXT8R6
 
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? One thing I like about Tatum Duncan, my protagonist, is that no matter what happens to her, she keeps a positive attitude. She overcomes many obstacles adults would have a hard time facing. She always wants to do the right thing. She finds out no matter how much you try to be the best person possible, life has other plans.
 
What are you working on at the minute? I’m working on Girl Departs Three. The third, and last, installment in the YA Spoken For trilogy. The story will continue in a New Adult trilogy.
 
What’s it about? (*if relevant) Girl Departs Three completes Tatum’s story in her younger years. You will find out what happens with Tatum, Zach & Nigel after they all graduate high school.
 
What genre are your books? This trilogy, Girl Spoken For ~ Girl Divided Two ~ Girl Departs Three are my only YA Contemporaries. I will have a New Adult trilogy. And then maybe I’ll write a sensual Contemporary Romance.
 
What draws you to this genre? YA is a major turning point for people in their lives. As much as I want to forget high school, my experiences are still fresh. First loves, first kisses, firsts…I’m hooked on those feelings.
 
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? I could see Amanda Seyfried playing Tatum Duncan.
 
How much research do you do? With what I write, very little. I lived through that decade and I have an Italian Aunt!! What research I’ve had to do, Google satellite does the job. I’ve traveled some, but not to Italy. Then I use Google translate a lot. Once I had to confirm Zach’s mobile phone model, because of the year—1989. Other than that, not much.

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.

(See Below)

 

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?

Website: www.suzietroos.com

Blog:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SuzieTRoos
Twitter: @SuzieTRoosbooks
Lnkedin:
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/suzietroos/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Suzie-T.-Roos/e/B00XZK0M3W/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1450152693&sr=1-2-ent

Smashwords:
Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.)
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25446646-girl-spoken-for?from_search=true&search_version=service

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26877049-girl-divided-two

 

(* 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?

http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Divided-Two-Suzie-Roos-ebook/dp/B015QTD8XU/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1450297676&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Divided-Two-Spoken-2/dp/0996294228/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1450297676&sr=1-2

 

Thank you BB’s Book Reviews for having me!  Happy Holidays to everyone.

SuzieTRoos_GirlDividedTwo_HR

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

 

Reviewer and Book Marketing Promotions Specialist of romance and erotica ebooks including paranormal/supernatural

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