Suzanne McKenna Link works for a family of newspapers that cover events in and around the South Shore of Long Island, New York. She lives in the town of Sayville with her husband and two children.
What inspires you to write?
Life inspires me to write. The what ifs, the how abouts… I love to show my characters learning about themselves; learning to love life and all its endless possibilities. Emotional reactions, whether they be intense and serious, ‘aww’ moments or making people laugh and smile, are my main goals.
Tell us about your writing process.
Stories come to me at the least likely times, waiting at the doctor’s office, a long car ride somewhere, laying in bed waiting for sleep to settle down upon me. I used to just write scenes as they came to me, but in an effort to be more productive, I make myself write a synopsis, then a loose scene or two. Often as I write, I have to get up and walk away, tackle a mindless chore, like laundry, to let the scenes further evolve in my head. Before I fully invest in the story, I do a whole character sketch, including a psychological outline, considering how my protagonists will react to varying situations, including what their deepest secrets might be.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
When I am in the midst of a story, my characters become real to me. I live and breath them. I run the gambit of emotions I put them through. I struggle, cry, laugh and triumph with them. I feel densely emotional during most of the first draft writing.
What advice would you give other writers?
My advice to other writers would be to go for it. You’ll never be any younger than you are today. Along with a love and drive to write, editing is of utmost importance. Self-editing is an vital step, but if you want to publish your writing, you must hire a professional editor. This is so crucial, I cannot stress it enough. There are too many poorly edited novels out there. I fear the public is getting leery of new writers because of the inadequacy of decent editing. A good editor will question your characters motives, make seemingly painful cuts, but will make your work shine. Simply a must for any serious writer!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When my novel was complete, edited to satisfaction, and I’d had a few Beta readers give me glowing reviews, I queried writing agents. As my novel was my debut, I was unsure how to sell myself or the book. Needless to say, I didn’t have any success in swaying agents. After a few months of repeated rejections, I decided to look into the world of self-publishing. There is a plethora of information and support out there for Indie writers. I learned that listing an eBook with Amazon is free. I decided to give it a try and see how the public received my work. I figured I could ‘tweak’ the manuscript if I got any cries of errors or glaring short falls of structure. They never came. In fact, most of the reviews were terrific!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Self-publishing is such a great option for writers, especially new ones, but along with wonderful new voices, also comes many sloppy, undesirable works. It would be great if publishers could work with writers to figure out a way to keep costs down, but still make a profit. This way, a certain level of professionalism could be upheld for most book publishing. While I’d encourage anyone who has a dream to write, to write, I feel that unless a writer expends a great deal of time, and in most cases, money, a sweet story or erotic day-dream just isn’t worthy of publishing a book.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Upmarket and literary fiction, New Adult, Women’s Fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print