My first guest of the new year is a familiar face – she’s my good friend and fellow writer Suzanne Ross Jones. She’s here today to tell us something about her new release, a short story collection called ‘The Baby of the Family’. As a short story writer, Suzanne has been remarkably successful and in recent years has been regularly published in various periodicals in the UK, particularly during a time of shrinking markets. Suzanne also writes romantic fiction as Suzanna Ross and is a member of the influential Minxes of Romance, who recently released the smoking hot ‘Blaze’ anthology. Suzanne had a story in ‘Blaze’ and recently had her first romance novel ‘Trust In Me’ published by E-Scape Press.
1. Suzanne, you recently released your first novel TRUST IN ME as Suzanna Ross. I know you’ve had a lot of success as a short story writer over the past few years. This new book THE BABY OF THE FAMILY is an anthology of some of your already published short stories. Can you tell us something about the book?
There are twelve short stories in this collection and all have been published previously in the UK in The People’s Friend. I’ve included my favourite out of all the stories I’ve ever written – Football Crazy. (Am I allowed to say I like one of my own stories? It seems a bit big-headed.) It’s based on something that happened when my daughter was younger – and she was the inspiration for the character of Polly.
2. You’ve shown that you have it in you to write long as well as short fiction. Did you find it difficult to write novels as opposed to short stories of only 2,000 words or so?
At first I did find it more difficult to write longer, but it’s getting easier. I’ve sold three fifty thousand word stories now, and the third one was written much faster than the first. I think, the biggest hurdle was to come to terms with the fact that a longer story isn’t more of the same – although you do have to have more plot, you also have to delve a little deeper into the characters’ lives.
3. Now that you’re established as a novelist as well as a short story writer, can you tell me which is your favourite type of fiction? Long or short?
I do like writing short stories very much. I like that you can convey a taste of a character’s life in only a few words. And I like how quickly they can be written – and how quickly they can be read when you only have a few spare minutes. And there’s no feeling to beat seeing your story nestled in the pages of a favourite magazine – with a gorgeous illustration. But I also like the longer stories – where I can live with
my characters for months and find out all their secrets. And I especially like when I see a new cover for the first time.
4. Do you hope to continue writing short fiction as well as novels in the future?
Yes, that’s the plan. My writing has stalled a bit in recent months and this meant 2012 ended with me in the very frightening position of having nothing at all ‘out there’. But I have plans for 2013 and I hope I’ll soon have some more stories written.
5. There’s been a feeling among writers of short fiction that print markets are drying up and that digital publication is the way to go in the future. What do you think?
It is very sad to see how few print opportunities there are for short story writers these days, but those existing markets seem to be going strong. And I like to think of digital publishing as an exciting addition to those existing print markets, rather than as a replacement. E-publishing is a very good way for writers to bring previously published work to a new audience.
6. Can we expect to see more anthologies of your short stories in the future?
Possibly more collections of my own stories – and another Minx anthology hasn’t been ruled out after the success of ‘Blaze’.
7. Can you tell us something about your current works in progress as well as your future releases?
As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t written anything new for a while, but the ideas are bubbling away – and that’s sort of writing, isn’t it? I have plans for more short stories and also for a new pocket novel.
2013 is going to be a good year for me in terms of releases: I have a My Weekly Pocket Novel (Hidden Heartache as Suzanna Ross) coming out on the 18th January and a People’s Friend Pocket novel (currently ‘Sean McIver’s Return’, but that might change) in April. The large print version of Trust In Me (ex My Weekly Pocket Novel and currently available as an e-book published by E-scape) will be out in the summer. And I’m waiting to see some of my sold short stories in print, including two with My Weekly (the first will be out in the issue dated 12th January) and some with The People’s Friend (including one for the 2014 Annual, which I’m very excited about as The People’s Friend Annuals are always extra gorgeous).
Thank you so much for having me here today, Maria. Visiting your blog is always so much fun.
Thank you Suzanne! Readers, Suzanne has very kindly agreed to give away one copy of ‘The Baby of the Family’ to one lucky commenter. So please make sure to leave a comment before you go to be in the draw for the book.
Suzanne on the Web:
Amazon (as Suzanna Ross)
Goodreads (as Suzanna Ross)
The Baby of the Family & Other Stories
A collection of short stories by Suzanne Ross Jones, about life, love and other things.
The Baby of the Family: Emma is determined to be taken seriously as an adult – despite her family’s attempts to baby her.
The Accidental Smile: When a woman whose natural resting expression is a smile meets a man with the grumpiest face in history, nobody expects romance to be the result.
Football Crazy: Young Polly’s love of football is at odds with her ability to kick a ball. Mum, Faith, is determined to find out why.
The Cantankerous Mr Christie: Nurse Sandra meets a variety of patients on her rounds, but Mr Christie has to be the grumpiest.
Loving Mark: When Heather marries a man with a thirteen-year-old daughter, an awkward moment or two was expected, but she hadn’t thought the difficulties would be caused by his mother.
A Taste of Home: When they have to relocate, Alexander is worried Flora isn’t happy in their new home.
Domesticating Edward: 50-year-old Edward has resisted domesticity all his life – until he meets Mary.
Snowbound: Unable to get home for Christmas, Sylvie has to make other plans.
Arachnophobia: Penny moves into her dream home and is horrified to find she’s not alone – a number of eight-legged guests are determined to keep her company.
Cake Worth Coming Home For: Her mother’s chocolate cake is definitely that, but Sarah finds it’s not the only attraction when she moves home to the village where she grew up.
A Blossoming Friendship: Widowed Rachel misses her husband and the neighbours who have moved away. Can she overcome her worries and make new friends?
Building Dreams: Annie’s married to a builder, so surely she won’t have to wait long for a new house on the plot of land her father gave them as a wedding present.