Here's the scoop on Raven:
After the inexplicable disappearance of Lilly Taylor's parents, she has no choice but to move to Canada where she unravels some frightening yet intriguing family secrets...
Raven is a fantasy novel for children and young adults set in the beautiful province of British Columbia.Welcome to Unwritten, Suzy! I see from your website HERE that you are UK born, but have lived in Portugal since you were a child. Tell us a little more about your life there and what you do when you're not writing.
Thank you for inviting me, Mysti! Well, when I was 16 I met the man who would eventually become my husband. In fact, we recently celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. We live in a house at the foothills of the Monchique Mountains where I spend most of my time writing. When I'm not writing, editing or promoting my books, I've usually got my head in someone else's book (always on Kindle!). At weekends when my husband isn't working, we often go for a drive, sometimes to the summit of the mountain, to have a cup of coffee and enjoy the views. But when I'm home, I just can't resist my laptop, which always ends up with me either writing again, or social networking! I do enjoy spending a couple of hours curled up on the sofa watching TV though.
Are you fluent in Portuguese or any other languages besides English? How do you think your writing has been influenced by living in Portugal as opposed to the UK?
I do speak Portuguese but I've gotten a bit lazy with it lately. Everybody tends to speak English here so I just go along with it. I think living in Portugal has made me a very different person to who I would've been had I grown up in England. I was introduced to so many different cultures when we moved here. It was a world away from the life I'd had up until aged ten. I can't really say how it's affected my writing because I was so young when I came here.
Tell us about Raven. What inspired you to write this novel, and how many more can we expect in the series?
Raven came about after a visit to western Canada in 2009, specifically, a small beach in Powell River, BC. I was sitting in this small bay that was scattered with huge pieces of driftwood, watching fish hop in and out of the water, with islands off in the distance and the Pacific Ocean lapping at the shore. It was dramatic and stunning... yet somewhat eerie. I was mesmerised. That was when the ideas started to develop. I've almost finished book II, entitled December Moon. There will be a third and final book in The Raven Saga and then I think I'll be moving on to something else.
Lots of authors wonder whether they should try to publish traditionally or go the self-published route. How did you decide to self-publish? What are the pros and cons in your opinion?
After receiving nearly 20 standard rejections from agents, I just felt like enough was enough. When a friend suggested that I should try Amazon & Smashwords, I looked into it and was dumb-founded. There was no reason why I shouldn't try it... it didn't cost anything and it meant that my book would finally be read and that's all I ever wanted. I honestly can't give any cons about self-publishing. Had I not done it, chances are that I'd still be sending off letters to agents and publishers hoping that one would eventually say yes. Whereas this way, I've sold quite a few copies to people who have loved it! Many have given it 4 and 5 star reviews which is absolutely thrilling.
What genres and authors do YOU like to read?
I adore YA urban fantasy and chick lit but I do tend to read a wide variety of books (some favourites include The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden and Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel). Other authors whose books I've loved are Stephenie Meyer, JK Rowling, Becca Fitzpatrick, Cecelia Ahern, Belinda Jones and Sophie Kinsella. But these days I tend to read more self-published authors and I've found some real gems like Shalini Boland (Hidden), Johanna Frappier (Fairy Circle) and Patti Roberts (Paradox). There are so many fabulous writers out there, I could easily keep going!
Now, for your random question. If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
Ooh that's a tough one! Sneak into Area 51 and see all those aliens for myself, maybe, or sit in on a night in with the Queen and see how she really chills out!
Now, Ms. Turner, would you be so kind as to share an excerpt from Raven? Absolutely!
The summer months were coming to an end when my parents disappeared. Although the day had begun like any other, it became one that I would never forget.
That morning, as usual, I sat at the kitchen table listening to the noises drifting up from outside - traffic, police sirens, people laughing and shouting - while I struggled to swallow the piece of dry bread that was shoved in front of me. “Eat,” commanded my mother.
A small glass of milk just about helped it go down before she snatched the plastic tumbler from my hands, pulled me to my feet and shoved me out of the front door of our London flat without another word. Turning around to search her eyes, I attempted a smile in the hope that she might return it. But the door was shut in my face. A deep ache filled my stomach. I needed something that I had never experienced. I needed to know that she loved me.
Leaning against the door, I heard the familiar sound of her footsteps walking into the other room. She closed the door and locked it behind her. My mother and father had locked themselves in the spare room once again, just like they had done every day for as long as I could remember. I had always assumed they worked from home.
Thanks so much for visiting us on Unwritten, Suzy! I wish you tons of success!
For more information on Suzy Turner and her work, please visit her blog: http://suzyturner.blogspot.com/
And her website: http://www.suzyturner.com/