Suzanne D. Williams is a native Floridian, wife, mother, photographer, and writer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes a monthly column for Steves-Digicams.com on the subject of digital photography, as well as devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors.
1. Welcome, Suzanne. When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing nonfiction. For a number of years, I wrote how-to articles on digital photography as well as devotionals and journaling. Then in 2007, I went through a trying time in my life and afterward, had it on my heart to share how God’s grace set me free. I didn’t want others to struggle needlessly as I did.
I got into writing fiction in 2011 through the encouragement of a friend. I shared with her an idea I had for a story, and she said I should write it. I have never looked back.
2. How did you choose the genre you write in?
It chose me. The first book I wrote turned out to be a romance, which surprised everyone who knows me because I have never been big on romance in any form – books, television, or movies. Now, I’m a romance fanatic, something I find amusing about myself.
I write both historical fiction and contemporary fiction romance for various ages from adult to young adult. Historical fiction comes naturally to me because I’ve always loved history. Contemporary fiction gives me an outlet to include more modern circumstances and situations. It requires less research and so often comes as a great relief to me. I actually enjoy writing both.
3. How did you come up with the title?
When I was about halfway into my first draft, I realized this would be a series of books. I wanted the titles to all reflect the same format, so I chose Love & Redemption, Life & Deliverance, and Faith & Forgiveness. There are actually six books in this series. The final three books deal with the children and siblings of the main characters in book one. Only book four has a title, Maire’s Song.
Each title is significant to the story and the life of the main character. Even the main character’s last name, O’Fallen, has meaning as I spelled it “Fallen” instead of the standard “Fallon”.
4. Where do you get your ideas?
I dare myself. Seriously. I wrote a short story just weeks ago saying I wanted the craziest boy-meets-girl storyline ever. A friend and I hashed it out and came up with the idea of a man who flies a hot air balloon falling in love with his passenger. Then we complicated the plot by having them crash in the midst of a group of anti-government activists living in the hills. As crazy as that storyline sounds, it was the most fun story to write. It was, however, very hard to title, but in the end I decided on Flight Risk. It will probably come out later this year.
I am also inspired by historical ideas. My first book, MISSING, came to be after reading about Clara Barton’s body-recovery organization after the Civil War. Love & Redemption was inspired by a television show where two youngsters were forced to marry and they didn’t want to. Everything I see is fodder for a story, and everyone as well.
5. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
Michael O’Fallen in Love & Redemption is by far my most favorite character. I loved him so much I created more and more books based on this one story. Though each of the successive books has other main characters, he is a feature in each one in some part, continuing the story of his life. The reader will be able to read the books individually, but when all is said and done, want to read the entire series to get a grasp of how things fit together.
6. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That God is big and strong and loving and only wants the best for mankind. He’s only a prayer away, one whispered word spoken from the heart. He’s a good God.
I also want the reader to see in my characters something of themselves. For this reason, I write more down-to-earth and emotional. The story must move me first before it will move the reader.
7. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This excerpt is from chapter three in Love & Redemption.
Michael’s gut wrenched. How could they do this? He should speak up, say something.
Ferguson pitched forward, spurting fetid breath. “Here’s your present. Don’t you want it?”
Shadows swallowed his face, so Michael couldn’t read his expression.
Ferguson yelled at Chief. “Bring her here.” When she appeared alongside, he trailed his hand along her bottom, and she shrieked.
A female’s wail shot from inside the house only to be drowned out by the continuing squall of a baby. The boy pulled himself from the floor. “You’ll not take my sister. You can’t do this.” Stumbling down the steps, he pounding his fists on Chief’s back.
Chief glanced at him, his lip curled, and then barely flinching, sent the boy tumbling in the dust.
Ferguson laughed. “I’m afraid this one’s your father’s fault,” he cackled. “He couldn’t stop the game. ‘I’ve got a daughter,’ he said, ‘I’ll bet her.’”
Michael’s blood ran cold.
“Never could hold his liquor, Milton Sawyer. He did many a night’s watch for me during the war after losing at cards.”
Ferguson waved his hand toward Michael. “Give her to him. She’s his anyhow.”
Michael found his voice. “Mine? What are you talking about?” His horse paced restless, and so he gripped the reins tighter.
“Yours,” Chief snorted as he tossed the girl into the saddle.
Her slim form cupped warm to Michael’s chest.
“Now, shut up and take her.”
The girl’s sobs shook her narrow frame. “Papa,” she cried. “Why?”
Her father groaned from his place on the ground. “I’m sorry, daughter,” he called. “They took the farm, and I had nothing else. I thought I could get it back.”
“Why would you gamble away your daughter?” she cried.
Ferguson yanked his horse around, and the group of men followed. Pausing briefly, he glanced at the house. The girl’s father lay unmoving on the earth.
“Pleasure doin’ business with you again, Milton,” he laughed. He gazed at Michael, and his eyes glittered.
“What’s this about?” Michael asked. “And what do I have to do with it?” His horse paced sideways, and the girl slid in the saddle. With a yelp, she reached out for his arm. He wrapped a hand around her waist to steady her. “You gonna tell me or not? I’ve kept quiet ‘til now. I never signed up for this.”
Ferguson’s voice emerged a low growl. “You signed up to save yourself, and ye’ll do as you’re told. This here’s your wife, and we’re about to have us a weddin.”
8. As an indie author, what would you say to a potential reader who has never read anything from an indie author?
Indie authors get a bad rap and I understand why, having read some independently published books that were subpar. That said, some of the best books I’ve ever read are from indie authors and some of the worst through publishing companies. It pays to watch the lists and read samples, also to follow authors’ blogs. There are so many great ways to get bargain priced books and thus dip your toe into the water. It isn’t necessary to go through a major company to be good. Instead, good writing comes through dedication and determination.
LOVE & REDEMPTION
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Take a trip into the past and fall in love with an Irishman.
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Michael O’Fallen simply wants to survive. A poor Irish boy living in post-Civil War New York, the events of one horrible night send him running–far south to unsettled Florida and an unplanned marriage with a girl he doesn’t know.
Now, he must protect her from the lust and greed of evil men and figure out how to make their escape. Will the dangers and perils they face tear their marriage apart? Or will he finally find true Love & Redemption?
View the book trailer for the first three books in the series!
To learn more about Suzanne visit http://suzanne-williams-photography.blogspot.com/ or connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor.