Good morning Sue and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?
Good morning, Jo and thank you for inviting me onto your blog. I always enjoy reading the Tuesday Talk Interviews so feel very honoured to be here.
So, about me … I’m married with four children and live in West Sussex. I write mystery, suspense and romance and am published by HarperImpulse, HarperCollins. I started off as an Indie author before signing with my publishers, although I still self-publish my novellas.
I’m part of the on-line writing group The Romaniacs (www.theromaniacs.co.uk) where I blog regularly and am also a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? How did your journey begin?
I’ve always had a love for books, as a child I was a real bookworm so I suppose it was a natural progression to want to write stories of my own. Throughout my childhood and early twenties, I started many a novel which never reached further than a few chapters. However, when I had my youngest daughter, I decided if I didn’t try then, I never would succeed in writing ‘The End’.
My aim was just to complete a whole novel. During the process I discovered the Romantic Novelists’ Association and their wonderful New Writers’ Scheme. I was very lucky to get a place and this fuelled me to finish the novel. The first draft was truly awful but the following year the next version received really positive comments and a second read. This inspired me to self-publish ‘United States of Love’ and a year after that, I submitted it to HarperImpulse who offered me a three book deal.
Your first book ‘United States of Love’ was a contemporary romance. You now write romance, mystery and suspense. What made you decide to widen the genre?
I’ve always enjoyed reading thrillers and mystery books. My first love was Enid Blyton’s ‘The Mystery of …’ series. Likewise, I’ve enjoyed reading contemporary romances, Jilly Cooper and Sue Moorcroft being amongst my favourites. After ‘United States of Love’ was published, I really wanted to merge my two loves together and from that my writing has developed into a more romantic suspense style. I thoroughly enjoy blending the romance and relationship side of things with the mystery and suspense.
Are you a plotter or a punster?
Plotter. As my writing has evolved and brought more and more mystery and suspense into it, my books have been very much plot driven. With lots of twists and turns, red herrings and surprises, I really do need to plot heavily otherwise I would end up writing myself into a complete muddle.
Who are your favourite authors and why?
The list is endless but my go-to authors, where I wouldn’t need to read the blurb to buy would be Jilly Cooper, Sue Moorcroft, Liane Moriarty and Emily Barr.
Jilly Cooper and Sue Moorcroft because I always fall in love with their heroes. Even if their heroes aren’t particularly conventional, they always come good in the end. Liane Moriarty and Emily Barr because there is mystery and suspense in their novels. Liane Moriarty makes great social observations and there is often a touch of humour in her writing too.
Chris Kuzneski, Dan Brown, James Paterson and I’ve recently discovered Rachel Amphlett. I like these because of the conspiracy theories, the mystery, the thrill and the great adventure you have as a reader with each book.
You spend some of your time in France. Is there a particular area you love? Where do you stay when you are there?
We’ve spent many years holidaying in France and bought our own cottage thirteen years ago in Southern Brittany. It’s in a tiny commune where the road is busiest when the cows go down to the lane. My husband is in the building trade and has been renovating it over the years. It’s a great spot as it’s relatively easy to get to from the UK and yet provides a great gateway to explore the western side of France.
You’re organising a dinner party and can invite four historical figures. Who would you choose and why?
Oh, gosh, who would I invite?
Emily Pankhurst – to find out what drove her to fight so hard for women to get the vote? Did she really believe it would happen? What would she think to women’s position in society today?
Jackie Onassis – an icon who always appeared so in control and gracious. What was it really like being married to JFK? What was Jackie O really like behind the public mask?
Violette Szabo – A Special Operative Executive agent during the second world war who was executed by the Germans and received the George Cross posthumously. Her story was retold in the film Carve Her Name With Pride. I would love to know what drove her to carry out this line of work? Did she feel it was worth it? Did she think she made a difference?
Jane Austen – How could I not invite someone who wrote such enduring romantic novels?
MORE ABOUT SUE
Published by Harper Collins’ imprint Harper Impulse, Sue Fortin writes romance, mystery and suspense.
Her originally self-published debut novel was awarded the INDIE Brag Medallion and later when published by HarperImpulse was short-listed for the Joan Hessayon Award (2014). Sue was also short-listed for the Festival of Romance, New Talent Award (2013). Her second novel, Closing In, reached number one in the Romantic Suspense Kobo chart at the end of 2014. Sue blogs regularly with the on-line writing group The Romaniacs (www.theromaniacs.co.uk).
Lover of cake, Dragonflies and France. Hater of calories, maths and snakes. Sue was born in Hertfordshire but had a nomadic childhood, moving often with her family, before eventually settling in West Sussex.
Sue is married with four children, all of whom patiently give her time to write but, when not behind the keyboard, she likes to spend her time with them, enjoying both the coast and the South Downs, between which they are nestled.
You can catch up with Sue at
Facebook Sue Fortin Author
Website & Blog www.suefortin.com
5 thoughts on “TUESDAY TALK chats to Writer Sue Fortin about her love of mystery and some interesting celebrity dinner guests”
Great interview 🙂 I smiled at the plotter or panster question. Sue is one of the best plotters I know 🙂 xx
Thanks, Laura. Maybe one day when I’m feeling brave, I’ll try being a panster – it’s a scary thought!
Fascinating that so many authors fall in love with Enid Blyton’s books and that she has influenced so many writers. I too love James Patterson, not too keen on Dan Brown however. It is wonderful that you can still publish your own novellas as well as write for your publisher. Enjoyed your interview Sue and wish you continued success. Thanks JO for hosting Sue. 🙂
I’ve often thought that about Enid Blyton too – maybe there wasn’t such a wealth of books to select from ‘back in the day’. Thank you for stopping by and your kind comments.
I suppose you are right about the lack of choice back when. I loved her books however, and all the adventure writers I grew up with. All had a huge influence on me. Great to connect. 🙂