Mastodon The Writing Desk: Special Guest Interview with Author Susanne Dunlap

11 December 2019

Special Guest Interview with Author Susanne Dunlap

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

I'm pleased to welcome author Susanne Dunlap toi The Writing Desk

Tell us about your latest book

THE SPIRIT OF FIRE is book 2 in my trilogy, THE ORPHANS OF TOLOSA. It’s about two orphans trying to find the secret of their identities and their destiny during the final years of the Albigensian Crusades in 13th-century Languedoc.

What is your preferred writing routine?

I used to have a good routine, before my day job went away! LOL! Then I’d get up at 5am and write for about 2 hours on weekdays. Now that I’m working from home, I don’t have as much of a routine. I’m crazy busy doing my editing and book coaching work, and seem only able to work on my own writing when I go to community writing sessions. These are where a group of writers gets together and writes in a quiet space for an hour or more, then sometimes shares what they’ve written. The cooperative energy is great for generating new work.

Otherwise, getting out and going to the library to write is also good. Somehow I’ve managed to do quite a bit of my own writing even with everything else going on.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

There’s no right or wrong way to go about it. It’s important to get used to writing whether you feel the presence of the muse or not, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t write every day. Find other writers to hang out with—no one else will understand how hard it is and what you’re working toward. And get beta readers who aren’t family members. Listen to constructive criticism, and keep working on your writing. It’s the only part of the whole process that’s entirely in your control.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?

If I could answer this I’d make a ton of money, LOL! I think just being present, posting on social media all the time, and not just saying “Buy my book!” (Although you have to do that), but taking part in conversations and encouraging other writers, sharing great books I’ve read etc. I do targeted Facebook ads and some Amazon ads. But the thing that works the best is a price promotion, honestly. And doing things like this virtual book tour, too!

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research.

I did the research for this trilogy many years ago, so it’s hard to think back. Perhaps the biggest thing I discovered, truly, was about the women troubadours and their lost art. Nowhere else in Europe that had a troubadour tradition had women practicing the art at such a high level. They were poets, composers, and performers, and they came from the upper echelons of society.

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?

I can’t tell you without a spoiler, unfortunately. A lot of bad things happened when the Catholic Church eventually drove the Cathars completely underground. It’s painful to recreate it all.

What are you planning to write next?

I’m working on the third book in a different series, my 18th-century YA historicals with a young violinist as a sleuth. It’s called The Versailles Betrayal. I’m also soon going to start editing book 3 of the trilogy, which I hope will be out next fall.

Susanne Dunlap

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About the Author

Susanne Dunlap is the author of six works of historical fiction. Two are for adults (Emilie’s Voice and Liszt’s Kiss, both published by Touchstone books of Simon & Schuster). Four are for young adults (The Musician’s Daughter, Anastasia’s Secret, In the Shadow of the Lamp, and The Academie, published by Bloomsbury). A graduate of Smith College with a PhD in Music History from Yale University, Susanne grew up in Buffalo, New York and has lived in London, Brooklyn and Northampton, MA. She now lives in Northampton with her long-time partner, Charles, has two grown daughters, three granddaughters, a grandson, a stepson and a stepdaughter, four step-grandsons and one step-granddaughter—that’s a total of four children and nine grandchildren! In her spare time she cycles in the beautiful Pioneer Valley.  For more information, please visit The Orphans of Tolosa website. You can follow author Susanne Dunlap on Facebook and Twitter @Susanne_Dunlap

1 comment:

  1. Loved the interview! Thank you so much for hosting Susanne!

    HF Virtual Book Tours


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