Saturday, October 08, 2011

Meet Author Susan Roebuck

Let's Meet Susan Roebuck!

Well, everyone, we are in for a treat today. Susan Roebuck, author of “Perfect Score”, published as an e-book by Awe-Struck Publishing in Sept 2010 and as trade-paperback in May 2011, is stopping by today to share her thoughts on writing with us. And, congratualtions are in order. Susan's novel 'Perfect Score' has been nominated as a finalist in the Mainstream category for the 1012 EPIC eBook Awards. Nice Work! Let's keep our fingers crossed for her.

Hi Sharon. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today. This tour is proving excellent in getting to know other authors and their books. I love to hear from fellow authors and also readers – it’s rather lonely just sitting at the computer J

1. Are you a plotter or a spontaneous writer. Why does your chosen method work for you?
Sharon, that is a million dollar question. But I do know the answer and that is – I’m a pantser. I fly by the seat of my pants in other words. All the plotters in this world will now turn their noses up at me. But pantsers aren’t so rare – almost 50% of writers work like I do. And how do I work?
When I have a story in mind, I do know quite a bit about it before I start. I have bits of paper and “post-its” stuck all over the house with little snippets I don’t want to forget. Ten minutes ago I was checking through my diary and found a page covered in bits of inspiration that I’d completely forgotten about!
When I was writing “Perfect Score” (my first novel) I tapped gaily away for hours; went back over what I’d written; deleted most of it and wrote it all over again. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and the days sped by. But it might explain why it took so long to write. By the time I’d finished, “Perfect Score” had seventeen versions!
Nowadays I’m more organized (for a completely disorganized person, that’s an incredible thing to say). I have another novel out on submission and I did plan it better – although there were still multiple versions by the end. My current novel is underway and I’m so looking forward to getting down to version number three.

2. What genre and which authors do you like to read for fun and relaxation?
Fun and relaxation! What’s that? When I’m not reviewing, I do so look forward to just settling down to read without having to consider the plot, characterization etc., etc. I’ll read anything wacky and out of the ordinary and tend towards more literary genres perhaps. My favourite novel of all time is the Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake. Now that’s a weird one, but I just love the characters. And since I’m a character-driven writer, I think that’s what attracts me. Let me tell you what’s on my Kindle at the moment: The Morville Hours, Katherine Swift; The Stranger’s Child, Alan Hollinghurst; An Irish Country Christmas, Patrick Taylor; Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, Fannie Flagg,; Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs; Breath, Tim Winton.

3. What would you like your readers to know about you?
I’d like them to know that I’m open and ready to have contact with all of them. If they like my stories, then I’d dearly love to know. Likewise, if they hate them, I’d also like to know – because I believe authors can evolve to suit the reading-public.

Susan's Bio:
I was born and educated in the UK (I am British!) but now live in Portugal. I've been an English teacher for many years with the British Council and also the Portuguese civil service where I developed e-learning courses.
My first love is, of course, my husband, my second writing, and my third painting. And now I have time to be able to indulge in all three.
My debut novel, "Perfect Score" was published by Awe-Struck Publishing on Sept 21, 2010 and the paperback was launched on May 11 2011.

Blurb for “Perfect Score” :
"Perfect Score" is 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, who lives with a wealthy uncle, is a blend of musical genius, stubbornness and firmly believes in his fantasy that his love for Sam is reciprocated. Sam has more direction in his little finger than Alex has in his whole body. He’s strong, yet of small stature and has developed a tough outer-coating after the knocks of a traumatic up-bringing which left him homeless. His one aim in life is to earn enough money to look after his disabled sister. He has no time for a spoiled, rich, guitar player. Sam also stutters and has what is probably a severe form of dyslexia.
When Sam unexpectedly disappears, Alex begins a somewhat bungling quest to find him, only to discover that Sam has a fearsome enemy: Alex's powerful and influential yet sociopathic uncle.
As Alex spirals downwards towards alcoholism, many questions need answering. Just why did Alex's evil uncle adopt him at age eleven yet deny him any affection? And what's the mystery behind Alex's father's death?

Two short excerpts:
Here’s a bit of ditzy Alex (from the beginning):

Bongo drums. How the hell did a guy like me, with straight As in
acoustic guitar and piano studies, end up on a stage playing bongo drums
for chrissakes? I had a reputation to maintain and being wild, woolly, and
wicked just ain't easy with those things wedged between your legs.

“It'll be a blast,” Jamil, who came from Arabia or someplace, had
said. “We'll conjure up the spirit of the shifting dunes, the limpid oasis.
We'll sock it to the judging committee—they've never seen anything like
this before. We'll be a first in the Academy's history.”

Damn straight. I'd been in half a mind to do something more
traditional along the lines of Floatin' Cornflake followed maybe by The
Lady Came from Baltimore with some pretty nifty acoustic guitar riffs.
But Jamil had pouted and lifted irresistible soulful eyes.

“You got great rhythm,” Jamil winked at me now, and I flashed a
bright grin back.

“If you reckon that's good, wait 'til you see my rhythm when the
action really gets started,” I sparkled. He raised his dark eyebrows in reply
which made me shiver in expectation.

While I slapped the drums with the knuckly part of my palms in an
attempt to sound like a lumbering camel, I admired his dopey, dark beauty
and his arm muscles rippling as he picked away at the strings on his oud.

He half closed his eyes and looked sultry. “Come on Alex, you're a
nomad, constantly on the move in mesmerizing, undulating, never-ending
sand.” He upped the plucking and created a sound like a pebble in a tin
can which was anything but mesmerizing. The vibration unhooked the
banner hung over the stage and Verdigris Music Academy—Graduation
Talent Contest wafted delicately to the ground where it lay in a heap.

Yeah, we were nomads all right, dressed like fatheads in tunics and
towels. We hadn't rehearsed, we weren't in harmony, and we had no idea
what either of us was doing. Jamil said improvisation was the name of the
game, that's how they did things where he came from, that's how they
captured that special tone. Special tone, my ass.

And here’s a bit of Sam:

“So, what do you want to hear? I can play anything,” Alex said.


“Well, how about something by Simon and Garfunkel?”
“Garfle and...?”

Alex strummed a chord. “Never heard of them? I thought they were as
famous as Jesus Christ. Never mind, perhaps you never heard of him
neither. Okay. Let's try someone else.”

He tried out a couple of chords, his head down, concentrating and
then settled in. The drifting lyrics and melody sent Sam into a dream. He
watched Alex's fingers stroke the frets, captivated by his long slim fingers
and neat nails on the strings.

Wasting time.

As the last chord echoed and faded, Sam blinked. “Did you w...write
that? It's good. Time w...w...wasting time.”

“Yeah right. And the fact nothing's ever gonna come my way. That's
not my song, old buddy, that's by Otis Redding, died a few months ago.
You not heard it?” He strummed a lower register. “Now if you want to
hear something by me, here's just some music—no lyrics yet. But this is
mine. Listen.”

He started out with a lazy scale, descending, tumbling and then
swelling. To Sam, who knew as much about music as he knew about the
Swedish Royal Family, the sounds that shimmered through the night air
were stunning, a kaleidoscope of notes that rippled rainbow-like, sparkling
into his mind.


Sam blinked and realized Alex had stopped with his hand in midair.
He was looking at him curiously.

“What?” Sam asked, his mind a dazed fug.

“You looked like you were focused somewhere between here and
there. Like you were watching something. What was it?”

“The pattern in...intri...cate?”

“Intricate pattern?” Alex took his hands from the instrument and sat
straighter. “Where?” He looked at the sky.

Sam sighed. He'd goofed up again. “No. I didn't see any...” He started
to get to his feet.

To Read More:
Another excerpt can be found on the Awe-Struck site:
My blog:


Sue R (Lauracea) said...

Thank you Sharon for the interview! :)

Anonymous said...

Great interview Sharon. Susan, your characters sound really original. I liked the brief glimpse I got of both of them here. If I have time I'll definitely check out your book.

Anonymous said...

Pretty insightful. Thanks!

My blog:
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Jana Richards said...

Hi Sue,
It's great to hear that you had such a good time writing "Perfect Score". I think my books go through seventeen versions sometimes as well, especially the ones that just won't come together. Glad you're much more organized now!