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Author spotlight: Susanna Rogers

11 March 2019

We’re featuring a wide range of Australian authors participating in ARR2019 in venues across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. 

Today we’re having Elevenses with Susanna Rogers, author of six contemporary romances (and four young adult books). She will be attending ARR2019 in Perth.

When did you first realise you wanted to be an author?

Always. The desire to write books that move people has been part of me for as long as I can remember. Problem was, I didn’t come out of the closet until well after I was married (happily, by the way) with a small child. I took six months long service leave on half pay to give myself a kick start with the writing, finally told my husband I wanted to be an author, started a page with ‘Chapter One’ at the top and haven’t looked back since.

Why romance and not a different genre?

Actually, I do write in another genre as well—young adult—perhaps because I have a split personality or maybe because my heart is in two places. Romance is special for lots of reasons. It gives readers hope and a happy ending. As a writer, it gives me scope to delve deep into my characters’ deepest desires. There’s also an added bonus because romance readers and writers are such a lovely bunch of people.

What was the first romance you read and why did you love it?

I can’t remember the first romance I read but Gone with the Wind was the first one that truly moved me. The novel transported me to a different place and time, into the lives of the characters, and out of my teenage bedroom where I’d lock myself with the book. I know Gone with the Wind doesn’t have all the elements of a traditional romance, but frankly the book made me give a damn.

What is the single most important characteristic for an aspiring author wanting to be a published writer?

It’s like anything else in life—you have to want it badly enough. There are lots of other elements hanging off that seemingly simple concept. You have to start somewhere, stick at it, keep practising and improving, and you have to do it your way. Perseverance. Practice. Professionalism. I just created a tagline!

What is your favourite part of creating a story?

I love creating characters who are bigger than real life and who are real at the same time. I have to know them before I start writing and then I get to know them even more as the story begins and their personalities develop further. I love their struggles, the things in their lives that have shaped them, their strengths and weaknesses, their aims and what drives them.

What is your best tip for fighting writer’s block/writer’s fear?

The Nike slogan is my life motto, so if anyone is struggling with writer’s block, the answer is just do it. There’s no easy way and no shortcuts.

Pick a favourite (bold your preference)

  • series or stand-alone?
  • ebook, paperback or hardcover?
  • first person or third?

Who has been an inspiration to you, in life or your writing career?

I can’t possibly name just one person, but I can tell you who was an inspiration for my latest series of rock star romances—my husband. He’s a guitar player and songwriter, and we spent our youth seeing bands every weekend so I know a bit about the grungier side of music. My other inspiration would be Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters because he’s such a cool guy.

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less 

Holler and Howl is about a singer in a huge rock band who comes home to find out he didn’t have to travel the world to find exactly what he wanted—because his first love is still at home. Problem is, she knows him all too well and there’s no way she’s going to let him break her heart all over again. There might be a tiny bit of Dave Grohl in there. 🙂

What else will you be working on in 2019?

I’m thinking of a romantic suspense series, but nothing is set in stone yet.

Please recommend an Aussie romance you read recently

I can’t possible mention only one. I loved Claire Boston’s romantic suspense, Nothing to Fear, and also Juanita Kees’ Secrets at Wongan Creek. I’m a bit of a fan of Jaye Ford too. So I must like a bit of crime and murder mixed in with my romance.

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2019 yet, you can buy one here.

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