Each Thursday we will be interviewing one of the members of Christian Writers Downunder – to find out a little bit more about them and their writing/editing goals.
Today's interview: Susan J Bruce (aka Sue Jeffrey)
|Susan J Bruce with her greatest supporter - her husband Marc.|
My desire is to write, mainly for the general market (both YA and adult), in a way that encourages and inspires the reader. I want to uplift people, bringing hope where there is no hope and laughter where there are tears. I can't do that on my own but I believe that God can, through me. As authors we have the privilege of going with readers into their most secret places. Places where the troubles of the world are pushed away and where adventures can teach us how to slay our own kinds of dragons.
I have found it hard to define the genre of my writing but animals tend to photo-bomb my pages. My writing group once challenged me to write a story that didn't contain animals and when I read it to them they laughed because I'd failed miserably. That is probably why they asked me to be the editor for our group's short story anthology, If They Could Talk: Bible stories told by the animals (Morning Star Publishing) which was an awesome project to work on.
|If They Could Talk: Bible stories told by the animals|
I've tended to be a genre butterfly (you can read about that here) and enjoy writing all kinds of stories but in the last couple of monthsI've realised that most of my ideas for longer works involve mystery and suspense. I love beautiful prose but a good story is also important to me, preferably stories of overcoming, suspense and intrigue. My WIP is a time slip romantic thriller and I have an idea for an amateur-sleuth mystery which I think will be a lot of fun to write - so stay tuned.
If They Could Talk is marketed to Christians who want to see God's word from a fresh perspective. But as I've said above, I really want to write for the general/mainstream market. Maybe it's that genre-butterflytendency but I'd like to reach both adult and young adult readers who like suspense and mystery, flavoured with romance and hope.
Procrastination is my nemesis. I also have a chronic illness that makes me sore and fatigued most days so I'm not as productive as I'd like to be. I'm working on ways to combat this, like establishing a better routine and really appreciating the good things I have, like my awesome husband, who supports my crazy desire to be an author. It's easy to get depressed when life throws rotten onions your way but I'm learning the value of switching my thinking. Hey, I get to write and paint 😃. What an awesome privilege it is to be a co-creator with God.
There are so many - I can't think! As a newish writer Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird encouraged me and showed me how to persevere. More recently, Story Genius, by Lisa Cron helped me refine my ability to craft story.
|Story Genius by Lisa Cron|
It's not a craft book but late last year I had theprivilege of attending a Margie Lawson writing immersion on the Gold Coast. Margie is an international writing coach and her focus is on crafting awesome prose. If you can get to one of her immersions you will be inspired and empowered.
That would be my friend and mentor, Rosanne Hawke. When I was in Rosanne's classes at Tabor I'd get this glow-in-God feeling as if there was nowhere I'd rather be than in that place, at that time. Rosanne always went the extra mile for all of her students. In the years since graduation Rosanne has remained a good friend and has encouraged me repeatedly not to give up.
To begin with I'd like to find a home for my YA novel and get my website up and working. I'd like to finish my WIP, at least in second draft form, by the middle of the year and indie publish a short story collection. I also want to begin work on the amateur-sleuth mystery that's brewing but I have another YA novel that's been buzzing around in myback-brain so we'll see which one wins.
Reference:J Maritain, Art and Scholasticism - Chapter VIII. Downloaded from
https://maritain.nd.edu/jmc/etext/art8.htm on 02/01/19