Wednesdays with….is back! And to kick off its return, I’m thrilled to have author Suzie Johnson join us today with her newest release, A Fair to Remember. If you love suspense, Suzie is sharing with us about this book, her first real dip into writing suspense. She’s also sharing advice for those of you who long to write but have so many balls in the air you’re not quite sure if you can fit writing into your life. With no further adieu, may I introduce to you….Suzie Johnson!
A fair that will never be forgotten…
Clara Lambert attended the Pan-American Exposition as a Kodak girl, never dreaming that she would end up photographing the attempted assassination of President McKinley.
James Brinton, a disgraced police officer now working security at the Expo, wants only to redeem his good name…and perhaps earn a new position with the president’s security.
When Clara is accused of being involved in the assassination attempt, James has to put aside his own ambitions to try to prove the innocence of the young woman who has captured his heart as surely as her camera captures the world before its lens.
But in the face of investigations, arrests, and mounting danger, they must do the hardest thing that could be asked: forgive.
CL:What inspired the idea for A Fair to Remember?
SJ: I was already working on a book set at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle. My father gave me a miniature pewter fluted vase. It had 1901 Buffalo inscribed on it. I asked some of my friends if they knew where this might have come from, and I learned it was a souvenir from the Pan-American Exposition. I remembered something from the genealogy I had done a few years prior to that. My dad’s grandmother lived in Buffalo for a short time. I wondered if she’d been to the fair. And – well, you know what happens when a writer starts thinking. The series was born.
CL: Tell us a little bit about your writing process. Do you outline before you begin to write or are you a pantster?
SJ: Oh my goodness. Is it possible to be some strange hybrid of both? I always think I’m a plotter, but I’ve found my plots have to stew around in my brain for a while and then ideas come. They come when I’m researching, too. In fact, I get more excited and come up with all sorts of new ideas when I research. Research is one of my favorite things to do, actually.
CL: What was the most difficult part of writing A Fair to Remember?
SJ: Probably the most difficult thing was the suspense. It was my first real dip into suspense writing. I had a teeny bit in Sweet Mountain Music. But not anything that amounted to much. There was quite a bit more in A Fair to Remember. I really love suspense, and it needed to be in the book. I just wanted to be certain the pacing was right. And that it all made sense.
CL: Tell us a little bit about your journey to becoming a published author.
SJ: I’ve been writing for many years. I finished one historical novel and two contemporary novels. One of the contemporaries was requested by Love Inspired. They asked for revisions. I was thrilled. Then the rejected me. Before I could pick myself up and try again, some things happened in my life where I had to put my writing aside. It was always there in my heart and in my head, but I wasn’t in a position where I could actively work on it. Fast forward a few years, and I pulled the books out and decided to submit No Substitute to Pelican. That was the beginning. Before long I sold Sweet Mountain Music to WhiteFire, and Northern Lights to Pelican. Though Sweet Mountain Music was sold before Northern Lights, Northern Lights was actually published ahead of it.
CL: What advice would you offer aspiring writers on the writing business?
SJ: I caution people against sharing too much with critiquers before you’re ready. Know your story-line and where you’re headed before you seek critique advice from others. Make sure you’re able to handle criticism, but also make sure you don’t try to rewrite your book to everyone’s advice. Take what works for you and leave the rest – politely, of course.
CL: Any special tips for writers who are juggling writing with raising a family, working a day job or just life in general?
SJ: Oh, I wish. I need that advice for myself. It is very difficult to work full time and write. Add in the most important thing – family – and it really is tough sometimes. No one wants to neglect their family so they can write. But I truly don’t know the answer other than to always have a pad of paper in your purse. Never stop writing your ideas down. Keep a pad of paper on your nightstand. Work a little on the book before you fall asleep. Never give up!
Thank you so much, Christina, for having me here today! I really appreciate the chance to talk about A Fair to Remember.
Suzie Johnson lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest where she loves to write novels that she hopes will bring joy and uplift the hearts of readers.
Her first two novels, No Substitute and True North, are published by The Pelican Book Group. Sweet Mountain Music, her first historical novel, is set in 1896 in the Cascade Mountains, and is available from WhiteFire Publishing. Her newest historical release, A Fair to Remember, is the first in a new series and is an October 2015 release from WhiteFire Publishing.
Readers can connect with Suzie Johnson at:
You can purchase A Fair to Remember through the link below:
A big THANK YOU to Suzie Johnson for stopping by Wednesdays with….today! I am so looking forward to reading A Fair to Remember