About Susan Count:
My grandmother was a librarian and she introduced me to The Black Stallion series. The imaginings began there. Play time became riding my own black stallion stick horse everywhere.
As an Army Brat, my family was blessed to be assigned to Hawaii. While my friends were at the beach, I was riding horses through the cane fields on the side of the mountains of Oahu.
Today I am owned by three equines blessing. The only thing more fun than riding might be writing stories.
What inspires you to write?
I write at an antique secretary desk with secret compartments which belonged to the same grandmother who introduced me to books. The desk occupies a glass room in the forest. Bunnies and cardinals regularly interrupt my train of thought. As do the horses grazing in a clearing. Scenes are inspired by memories and experiences, and sometimes I embellish the truth.
Tell us about your writing process.
I read what I wrote before and keep going, but just like real life; I don’t know how it ends.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I hear my characters talking to me. I know them so well I forget to describe them to the reader. You can hear them too. Right? How could you not know Selah is adorable, wants a horse so bad her heart hurts, and prefers everything to be pink?
What advice would you give other writers?
I took every chapter of Selah’s Sweet Dream to a brutal critique group. I learned how that critical analysis can make the story the best it can be. Then it went to a GREAT editor.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’d submitted the book to an agent and she was over the moon about how much she loved it. I never knew why she didn’t send the contract she offered. But, after a month, I got furious at the whole traditional publishing process. Because of that agent – I knew the book was great and proceeded with confidence to self-publish.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
My book feels like a tiny dot in the middle of an ocean of books. Discoverability is my biggest hurdle.
My biggest concern with the overall industry is type of content that is being published for children. For instance: Hunger Games – Wow! intense, well written, scary – scary, horrible premise for children. It escapes me how this book was in the Choice Awards on Goodreads for middle-grade. Yes, I live in the woods and I try to never leave home.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: middle grade / tweens
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.