Susan M B Preston
What are you working on right now?
Hold the Faith has been published recently, the next book in the series is in draft form. Between the blogs and the website I am ‘time poor’ on the next book, although I started and my editor ‘passed’ the draft. Still a long way to go though.
What inspired you to create this book?
An incredible Bible study series on the Apostle John. (Credited in the Thanks section.)
What draws you to this genre?
How much research do you do?
One of my complaints… the research takes much, much longer than writing. Because the setting of the book is the first century AD, discovering weather patterns, diet, clothing, homes, how long it took to walk… all these questions took so much time, and sometimes a lot of frustration to discover.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
Other then the research, finding the time. J
The most rewarding?
Seeing it develop.
Are you a plotter / planner or do you prefer to dive right in?
Basically, dive right in. In Hold the Faith I had a time frame to fit within… the Holy Days they kept, so I ended up with charts. When they were and what the characters had to do between. I also had diagrams of some of the places in the book… the farm layout where the book commenced and the home of the Apostle John and his family.
How much dialogue do you have with your readers?
An early reader did me a huge favour. He noticed a typo and wrote to me. That was the best favour anyone had done and I ended up with a total revision from deciding I had better re-read it.
What kind of support groups do you have to help get the book across the line?
We are pretty isolated here. I have a couple of ‘beta’ readers but my husband is my main support.
Do you work with an editor? If so, how much input do they have?
Again my husband is my editor. He has a lot of input. I have the entire story – three and a half books, in my mind. He reminds me where I have forgotten to put it on the pages.
How are you publishing this book? (e.g. Indie, traditional) And why did you chose to go this way?
I chose Indie because my niche (Early Christian fiction) is very narrow.
Your thoughts on book series.
I love reading a series. It isn’t always possible though and I guess, as an author, you have to know when to close the series.
Originally my book was not a series. But as I did more and more research and the characters ‘lived’ it became too long for one book. The first book in the series ‘Hold the Faith is around 130,000 words. Smashwords describe that length as an epic. The next two are in draft form on my computer. Book four is an idea that has not made it to draft.
Your thoughts on serialised novels.
I don’t like them. By mistake I bought an interesting eBook only to find that it was the start of a serial.
What advice would you give toyour younger self?
Trust. Life takes you there. (Hard to believe when you are in the midst of some trauma but it is true.)
Favourite book or film / why?
Favourite book… probably Lord of the Rings because it is very well written and there are no loose ends.
Do you have or plan to have a book trailer and what are your thoughts on them overall?
Finally worked out how to do it. It is now live on YouTube…