I'm totally honoured to have Karen Saunders, the author of Me, Suzy P, on To Another World today as part of the We Love UKYA blog tour, which has been organised by Lucy @ Queen of Contemporary and Project UKYA.
Hi Karen, welcome to To Another World! Tell my readers and I a little bit about yourself and your books!
Hiya backatcha, and thanks so much for having me! I’m Karen and I like reading, cheesy 80s pop, potatoes, chocolate, goats and guinea pigs. Oh, and cheese. I’m a total disaster area, and have spent a lifetime managing to humiliate myself in weird and wonderful ways, which is mainly what inspired me to write Me, Suzy P. It’s about 14 year old Suzy Puttock, a girl with an embarrassing surname, embarrassing family and altogether embarrassing life. She’s always making a total donkey of herself, but luckily she’s got a great group of mates to help her out. She’s also got a fab boyfriend, Danny, but she’s starting to have wobbles about their relationship…and these wobbles get worse when a hot new boy, Zach, starts at Suzy’s school and she realises she has feelings for him. Yup. Big fat uh oh!
How and where do you write? Do you have a certain process for writing, or do you just do it however you want to at the time?
I have set days when I write, which are the days when my son’s at nursery. I settle myself into my study at the PC, and once I’ve done my procrastinating for the day (check emails, Facebook, Twitter, repeat, repeat, repeat once more for luck…oooh, and maybe just ONE more time) I generally unplug the internet and get to work. I’ve just finished working on the second Suzy book, and once I’ve finished these questions, I’ll have no excuse but to begin the third.
What’s your favourite book of all time? You can have two if you really can’t decide, because I’m nice…
AAAAAAHHHH! Only TWO?! I can never choose a favourite, I always have to have several options. I might choose three, because I’m nice too. That’s okay, right? Pleeeease? *puppy dog eyes*
I’ve read Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin, loads of times, I just think it’s fantastic. VIII by HM Castor is a brilliant historical novel about the early life of Henry the 8th and explores the events that might have turned him into such a tyrant. And I LOVE the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I got a tweet from Ann Brashares a couple of weeks ago, and nearly passed out with the excitement.
How long have you wanted to be an author, and was there anyone or anything that particularly made you want to write?
I never actually thought I could be an author, to be honest. When I was growing up I was a complete bookworm, but enjoyed reading much more than the writing part. I struggled to settle on a career after I graduated, and eventually went back to university to do an MA in Writing for Young people in 2004. I’ve been writing in one form or another since then and I love it, I’ve finally found a job I like doing! I don’t know that I’ve been inspired particularly by anyone, but the authors that had a huge impact on me when I was younger were Enid Blyton, Judy Blume and Paula Danzinger. I also adored the Sweet Valley High series. I remember thinking authors were these amazing, god-like beings, which is why I didn’t think I could actually be one myself.
Do you have any strange habits or hobbies inside, or outside, of writing?
I always wear odd socks, purely because it irritates my husband. I tend not to have long running hobbies, I flit from thing to thing. Past obsessions include mosaic making, attempting to learn to knit (fail), painting and I’m currently learning to sew.
Now for a bit of a killer (?). If you were on a desert island, what three items would you take? And they can’t help you off, because I know what you creative types are like!
A huge bookcase full of books I’m going to enjoy.
Enough food to keep me going.
A bus with all my friends on.
(Ed's note: Very good answers, grasshopper)
Pen or paper? Paper
Cake or crisps? Crisps!
Reading or writing? Reading (writing is hard work! Reading means someone else has done the hard work for you…)
Thanks so much for having me, these were great questions. Just so y’know, Me, Suzy P, is available to buy now online and from all good book shops. If you’d like to find out more, do come and visit my website at www.karensaunders.co.uk, ‘like’ me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/karensaunderswriter, or say hello on Twitter @writingkaren. There are also tweets from Suzy Puttock @suzyputtock, so do follow her too. Look forward to seeing you around!