About Susan Ann Wall:
Big dreamer and certifiable overachiever Susan Ann Wall embraces life at full speed and volume. She’s a beer and tea snob, can be bribed with dark chocolate, and the #1 thing on her bucket list is to be the center of a Bon Jovi flash mob.
Susan is a national bestselling, multi-genre author of racy, rule-breaking romance and women’s fiction. Her bragging rights include the Fighting Back for Love series, Puget Sound ~ Alive With Love series, Superstitious Brides humorous romance series, Sunset Valley women’s fiction series, and Devon Taggart Suspense series. She also likes to boast about her three perfect children, two amazing rescue dogs, and a happily ever after that started while serving in the U.S. Army and has spanned two decades (which is crazy since she’s not a day over 29).
In her next life, Susan plans to be a 5 foot 10, size 8 rock star married to a chiropractor and will not be terrified of large bridges, spiders, or quiet people (shiver).
What inspires you to write?
One of my biggest influences is music. I often hear a line in a song and think, “wow, that’d make a great title,” or “ooh, I can build a story on that!”
I also like to pull from real-life situations and experiences, putting a fictional spin on it. For example, in my recent romantic suspense, Broken Strings (part of the Love Notes country music- themed collection), I was inspired to write about a morning radio show host in love with a country music superstar because I enjoy the radio show I listen to every morning.
Another example is For the Love of Chocolate, book 2 in my Superstitious Brides humorous romance series. The opening scene takes place at a fitness center (aka, gym) with the heroine using a rowing machine and a hot, shirtless guy teaching her how to use it properly. This was inspired by my time at the gym a couple winters ago, where there was a hot shirtless guy we liked to gawk at, and one of the trainers taught me how to use the rower. Fortunately, the trainer was a woman, otherwise I might have blushed as much as Maddie in the book!
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a hybrid, part plotter, part pantser. Some stories I plot the heck out of, particularly for NaNoWriMo. Other stories just flow so organically that I don’t need to plot them.
Stories I’ve plotted include The Sound of Circumstance, Broken Strings, and Whisper to Scream.
Stories I’ve written by the seat of my pants include For the Love of Chocolate and The Sound of Deception (which, interestingly enough, were two of my favorites to write!).
Marrying for Love and The Sound of Reluctance were stories that were a bit of both. I started writing by the seat of my pants, but plotted as I went to keep me on track.
I use Scrivener writing software to plot and write my stories. It’s a fabulous tool, allowing me to set word count goals, label and color code my scenes, make notes outside the document but still within view, rearrange at whim and will, house all my research, and export in different file formats. I divide the “documents” up by scene and that keeps me focused on what I need to write. When I used to write in MS Word, I would get distracted because all the scenes were together. What’s also great about Scrivener is you can view all the documents as a single unit too, just as you do in Word. Sometimes that is handy, especially when you need to see how one scene ends and the next begins.
I’m a prolific writer, so once my first draft is complete, I go back through and revise, adding in details such as setting, physical responses that show rather than tell, descriptions, transitions, and more. Once that is done, I export the file to Kindle and make editing notes in the Kindle version as I read. I look for readability, excessive use of words, places where I tell instead of show, etc. Once the notes are complete, I’m back in Scrivener, making the changes. I can write a 50-70K word novel in a month, and it takes me about a month to get through the editing and revising process.
Then I ship it off to my editor and do my best to keep myself distracted while it is in her very capable hands. I love my editor because she challenges me to be a better writer. I’ve grown tremendously since I’ve been working with her.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen to my characters. I often wake up in the morning with characters jabbering away in my head — and often it is characters from a story I’m not currently working on!
When the voices are loud and persistent, I sit down and write or at least make notes. I have a great memo app on my phone and I have AquaNotes in the shower, so I can take notes anywhere! It’s also not unusual for me to take my laptop wherever I go. I’ve been known to write during halftime of my kids’ soccer and basketball games!!
What advice would you give other writers?
WRITE and/or read every day!! You don’t have to write a lot and it doesn’t have to be good, but it is important to keep the words flowing. Writers write!
Don’t make excuses! TAKE the time to write. It’s easy to get sidetracked, and often we let that happen because we’re afraid or it is difficult. PUSH through, ask for help, keep writing!
Also, join a writing group! I don’t know where I’d be without my NHRWA sisters! They are so supportive and wise!! I’ve learned so much from them.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wrote my first novel in 2011, Relay For Love, as a fundraiser for Relay For Life. I was very involved in Relay at the time and wanted a way to raise money and awareness for the cause. I had only intented to self-publish that one book, but I loved the experience so much, I stuck with it and as I write this (March 2016), I’m getting ready to publish my 12th and 13th books. I like the control I have over the fate of my books, from publication date to cover art. I’m lucky in that the technical aspects of publishing are easy for me. Marketing is a challenge, but I’d face that whether I self-published or traditionally published.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think opportunities will continue to grow. Self-publishing isn’t just about getting your books out there; it has opened the doors for author collaboration (look at all the multi-author box sets out there!) and creative outlets like serials and Kindle Worlds.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: contemporary romance, romantic women’s fiction, romantic suspense, and as Ann Victor, erotic ficion.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.