We welcome debut YA author Suzanne Lazear to YA Fresh today, to talk about her release, INNOCENT DARKNESS! One lucky commenter will win a signed copy!
Hello, Suzanne! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?
Suzanne: I've wanted to be a writer pretty much my entire life, but I didn't make the correlation between being published and having to actually sit down and write a whole manuscript until 2007. INNOCENT DARKNESS was manuscript #10, and the 4th I actually queried (It took quite a few manuscripts to figure out writing basics, like books need plots, not just a bunch of explosions linked together with character development). In 2010 I was querying agents with INNOCENT DARKNESS and someone in my RWA chapter told me that Flux was looking for steampunk and they took unagented submissions. So, I sent off my manuscript. At the same time, my now agent asked me for the full manuscript. A few weeks later, I sold INNOCENT DARKNESS and the sequel to flux and was signed by my agent hours later (I was in McDonald's when I got the call from my agent).
Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.
Suzanne: Between having a family and a day job I've learned to write when and where I can, I often do social media from my phone when I can, and write at lunch and after my daughter has gone to bed. Since I get maybe 1-2 hours of writing time a day (and that's if it's not gobbled by blog posts or other things authors fund themselves doing) I've learned to really focus, turn off that internal editor, and get those words down on the page (unless, of course, I'm revising).
Please tell us about your novel, INNOCENT DARKNESS, and what we can expect from your characters.
Suzanne: INNOCENT DARKNESS is what I call "fairytale steampunk" - it's a mashup of steampunk, faeries, and classic fairytale lore. It's a story of wishes, bad bargains, flying cars, huntsman, evil queens, and (of course) cute boys. You can expect adventure, kissing, a sassy Victorianesque heroine, a brooding antihero, and a hero who likes books.
What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.
Suzanne: I love steampunk and faeries, but I've also been attracted to Elfpunk, ever since I discovered it in the 90's. Elfpunk is a bit like urban fantasy only the "punk" element is played up more and you use actual mythological creatures and their established mythos. I've been dabbling in some elfpunk. I'm also fascinated by cyberpunk. Basically, I like to write things with the word "punk" in them.
Fun! Would you like to close with a writing tip?
Suzanne: Write every day -- even if it's for 5 minutes, even if you don't want to (especially if you don't want to). If you want to be a writer you need to make it a habit, especially because there will be some days where you don't want to write and you have to, because you're on deadline. So, start making it a habit now.
Thanks so much, Suzanne! Now, to be entered to win a signed copy of INNOCENT DARKNESS, I thought we could follow her lead about loving words with "punk" in them. Leave us a comment telling us (or making up) a word with "punk" in it. Like steampunk, elfpunk, catpunk... And check back on Monday to learn the winner!