Sunday, June 26, 2011

Interview With YA Author Sue Owen

As part of the REPLAY Blog Tour festivities, Sue Owen stopped by to answer some questions about her writing life and her book, THE SWORD'S JOURNEY, Book One of the Chasing History series. On July 2, one blog tour follower will win a copy of this ebook as part of the grand prize!

Me: What's the story behind your title and cover?
Sue: When I first thought of this idea, I knew I wanted to do some kind of epic adventure where the good guys had to fight monsters, magic, and each other to either find something or keep something from destroying the world. There are all kinds of books out there like that, so I needed a new spin. I’ve always been a fan of history and time lines and the time vortex theories of relativity and all that so I thought, wouldn’t it be fun if someone just went back in time and stole our national treasures before they were needed? How bad would that mess things up! Chasing History seemed the perfect name for what they were doing.
Me: What was your favorite part of writing your book?
Sue: I don’t know that I had a favorite. I loved writing this book and truth be told if I left in all the parts that I wanted to it would be about 40,000 more words! I tore a ton of stuff out after I got it done to move the story along. Someday, I may make that a book, too!
Me: Do you have a special writing place or routine?
Sue: On days when I get to write, I like to start first thing in the morning. I’ll write for two or three hours, take a break, do housework, walk, whatever, and then go again in the afternoon. I can usually get about 10,000 words in on a good day. Most days, however, work interferes so I don’t get much time to write. Sometimes an idea will strike me and I just have to write it down, so I’ll write a bit in the late evening.
Me: Who has influenced your writing the most?
Sue: The epic writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Anne McCaffrey. Even a story such as Harry Potter, for me, is an epic, and I’m envious of those that can keep story lines straight after writing that many books with the same cast. I’d love to follow in their footsteps.
Me: What were the last five books you read?
YA Author Sue Owen
Sue: This isn’t really a fair question. I do reviewing for my web site Pink Phoenix, so the books I read are ones that I’ve been asked to review and not indicative of the books I would choose for myself. Although the books I read are sometimes great books and ones I would have chosen to read, most are not my typical reading style. That being said, of the last ones I read that I actually liked, they are: THE DARK ONES by Demetrius O. Davis, SYLVIANNA by Keryl Raist, BLOODLINE OF A KANE by Bobby Dennis, and ACROSS THE SEA by Eric Marier … all Indie authors, by the way.
Me: What do you order at your favorite coffee shop?
Sue: White chocolate mocha with caramel … iced in summer, hot in winter.
Me: Please open a dictionary, pick ten random words, and write a sentence using all ten.
Sue: Oh, you want me to work! Okay … I don’t own a dictionary so I just opened a web site and picked some words off that: indubitably, lewd, lovers, pigeon, and gentle. "Indubitably, the lovers were given lewd looks, which they returned with the gentle, forgiving, and understanding eyes of pigeons."
Me: If you could be in your dream critique group, which five authors would you choose?
Sue: Janet Evanovich, Clive Cussler, J.R.R. Tolkien, Gene Roddenberry, and Christopher Paolini. The style I seem to write in is indicative of Tolkien, although I love the history of Cussler and how he weaves that as the story. Evanovich has the ability to add humor like no other, and both Roddenberry and Paolini have the sci fi styles that I love … just enough real life to put you in the story. It would be an honor to see what they thought of my work.
Me: Pick two characters from your book and tell us a little about their lives.
Sue: Remember my remark about the 40,000 more words … most of it was character study. Since this book is mainly Josh, let’s talk about him. Josh is a typical teen. He’s considered handsome by his peers, popular and liked by the ladies. He knows this, but it doesn’t make him arrogant. He lives with his mom and her revolving boyfriends in a run-down trailer park. He’s working as a cook at a local diner to buy a car and get out of "Dodge." He has a girlfriend, but they are barely to the kissing stages yet. He’s full of promise, but life keeps trying to tug him down. He’s on the verge of something, but at the point he enters the story, it isn’t clear which way he is going to go: follow his friend Charlie into a life of crime or follow his dream of leading a normal life.
In contrast to Josh, there’s Digger. Quiet, confident, strong Digger has grown up on the streets, always moving and never trusting anyone or relying on anyone but himself. He’s done some things that wouldn’t be considered mentionable in polite society, but where he comes from, stealing to live is acceptable as long as you don’t get caught. He sees way more than the normal person as he’s honed his observation skills to a fine line. Nothing gets past him. Always a loner, when he’s tossed into this group, it is hard for him to trust, let alone work as a team member.
Me: If you could rewind time, what would you change in your life?
Sue: I would spend less time working and more time with family. I missed watching my kids grow up because I was a single parent and felt I had to work extra in order to meet our family needs. I think some of the needs I should have been meeting were family time. I regret that.

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