Q&A with Susan Roebuck... and a giveaway!
"Perfect Score" was published by Awe-Struck Publishing on September 21st 2010 and is receiving great acclamation from reviewers which my publisher assures me is unusual. But some of their comments sum up the book perfectly: “my God this book has the best ending I’ve ever read in this genre” (Rainbow Reviews), “Reading ‘Perfect Score’ was quite a moving experience for me. I brought to mind several life lessons, especially one in particular: whatever you sow, you reap.” (Lena Grey from Queer Magazine Online.
Its genre is very difficult to say because it's a mix of non-erotic Romance/Suspense/M/M/Literary. It’s set in mid West USA in the 1960s and is a story about family relationships, corruption, growing up, integrity, responsibility, and being a man of worth in a society of the worthless.
The two main characters are Alex and Sam. Alex is a blend of musical genius, stubbornness, a fantasy obsessive and a general ditz. He’s living with an extremely wealthy uncle (who’s the baddie in the book). Sam has more direction in his little finger than Alex has in his whole body. He’s strong, yet he’s of small stature and suffers the trauma of a terrible up-bringing. His one aim in life is to earn enough money to look after his disabled sister and he has no time for a spoiled, rich, guitar player. Sam also stutters and has what is probably a severe form of dyslexia.
2. Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?
Oh! That’s a nice easy question! I think it’s when Alex is trying to find the love of his fantasies – Sam - who has disappeared.
Alex goes to Sam’s sister, Amy, to find out if she knows where he is. Despite suffering from cerebral palsy, Amy has a terrific – and naughty – sense of humor. When she introduces Alex to one of the nurses, she tells her that he’s French so the nurse speaks to him in French and says that it’s nice to meet him.
“How do you say, ‘Nice to meet you too’?” Alex whispers to Amy.
“T’as une tête a faire sauter les plaques d’egouts,” she replies.
And he shouts this up the corridor to the nurse (who up until then had fancied him). “The temperature fell to 20º below,” says Alex.
3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
All my life and, like many writers, I’ve been writing stories since I could hold a pencil but I didn’t really want to live a starving life in a cold garret so I earned my living as a teacher. Given the choice, though, I’d make my career as a writer and I wish now I had lived in that freezing garret.
4. Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?
I always said my brother was my muse and it’s true. I won competitions for writing and drawing when I was a kid thanks to him. I’d just say, give me an idea and he’d give me one which I’d develop. He was so creative. Unfortunately he passed away ten years ago and I was in a kind of “no-man’ land” for a long time until I felt that he’s still around somewhere because – to answer your question – I’ve no idea where my ideas come from, they get dredged up somehow!
5. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
You are so going to regret asking that question. It’s that I go against all the writing rules that exist. “Perfect Score” has a prologue, an epilogue, alternating chapters with third POV and first POV, and I’ve never been to the area it’s set in (I’ve been to the States but not the mid-West). But critics have said that it all works. There must be a moral in there somewhere.
6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How quickly the time flies. How I dreamed, lived and ate with the characters for almost a year. How I couldn’t get my mind off the plot and how to integrate all the different ideas that repeatedly popped up. I love all that. Better than drugs any day.
7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
My husband’s incredibly supportive of the time I take on the computer and encourages me so much. He’s as delighted with good reviews as I am. Other than him, I suppose it was my brother – he could make a story out of an old sock. And I hope no-one ever gets their hands on the drawings he did of me as a child.
My elderly mother can’t get her mind around e-books and what they are (she lives in Britain). She keeps telling me that she’s looking in the newspapers every week at the book reviews but she hasn’t seen me yet. I constantly tell her she’ll never see it there, but she still looks, bless her.
9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
I really love getting together with my friends and having a great laugh. But otherwise, I’m a keen conservationist and, at the moment, I’m campaigning against the destruction of the unique laurel forest in Madeira (that’s why my blog’s called Lauracea). I swim, I walk. I have a very eclectic taste in music – it depends what I’m working on as to what I listen to. With “Perfect Score” I listened to Damien Rice and David Gray all the time.
10. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?
It’s called “The Deepest Secret”, it’s not M/M (yet!) but it’ll be full of weird characters. There’ll be romance, suspense, corruption and …ahem…injustice (I think I write about issues that disturb me, don’t you?). It’s not set in the US this time, it’ll be located between the UK and Portugal. And there’ll be a female bullfighter in it who is very very bad indeed.
11. How can readers connect with you online?
There’s my blog: http://lauracea.blogspot.com/. It really concentrates on becoming a writer, the issues of publishing and e-publishing. I interviewed an editor about her day the other day and wrote about it. I also review books. And I love getting new followers. “Perfect Score” is for sale on http://www.awe-struck.net/books/perfect_score.html (the blurb and everything is there too.
Thank you so much for letting me share this with you today on your blog.
Thanks for visiting us!
Susan has generously donated a download of PERFECT SCORE to one lucky winner. To enter, just pose a question for Susan and I'll announce the winner in a few days.