MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR SUZANNE JENKINS!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
HI, I’m Suzanne Jenkins. I write all genres but love women’s fiction the best.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My new release from September 25th is Esmeralda’s Happy Time Cabin for Lost Hikers. About five years ago I was talking to my Canadian daughter -in-law about a story I couldn’t get out of my head of hikers who encounter a group of grifters. The characters from Michigan and Manhattan paths would cross and I was debating which location would be the best and she suggested the Muskoka.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I have stories in my head and they need to come out so I can get some sleep.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I immersed myself in hiking forums and Trip Advisor/Wikipedia regarding the Canadian Muskoka 😊
Can you tell me about your Series?
I have four series now! Pam of Babylon – Women’s Fiction/Romance; Burn District – Science Fiction; Detroit Detective Stories; Bittersweets – Steamy and Sweet Romances
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
I love Pam of Babylon, the first in the series of 26 stories.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I was driving along and out of nowhere, imagined what I would do if I discovered my husband was cheating on me. Lol!!!! We’ve been married for almost 50 years. This husband however, has a heart attack on the train from Manhattan and a Pandora’s Box is opened.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
The research was based on the locations mostly. My husband worked in Manhattan for many years and Pam’s husband, Jack’s office was in my husband’s old office building. My children both went to college in Manhattan and their apartments are familiar spots in the series. Some of the characters have AIDS and I did a lot of research on the AIDS Task Force in New York.
Was it always meant to become a series?
No! It’s was really serendipity. I decided to do a free promotion through KDP. This about seven years ago, before Book Bub submissions were difficult to get. Before I knew it, I had over 30,000 downloads. A friend called me and said she saw it on Book Bub. The next day, I got an email from them, asking me how their gratis promotion went and I was like, Whoa! Afterward, I was flooded with emails from readers who loved Pam and wanted more.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I work constantly, from the time I get up until I go to sleep. When I’m writing, I sometimes use the timer method Chris Fox suggests in his books and boy, what a difference. The past year was horrendous with goals set and met and I’m starting to slow down now.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
My next release is Portrait of Marriage, which is the 18th full length Pam of Babylon novel. I also have two stories in process, Apollo’s Other Daughter, a mystery, and Wicked Game, a murder mystery.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Names are difficult for me.
Where do your ideas come from?
I get them from song lyrics, people’s stories, and my crazy imagination.
Is there a genre that you’ve wanted to experiment with?
I’d like to write more paranormal stories.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Patience. I’m a panster, but it’s easier for me to write if I take the time to outline a little bit. That’s so hard!
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I love them. I have two that are professionally done. Since I write so much and so fast, I started making my own on Animoto, which I love!
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Wow, that’s a tough one. Probably my best book is The Savant of Chelsea, but the Pam series is the best accomplishment. It’s so far reaching and covers so many important topics – childhood AIDS, loyal friendships, marriage fidelity. It’s really a soap opera.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Everything. I can’t imagine my life without writing.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope I’m still alive. I’ll be almost 80 in ten years. Lol!!!!
Have you always liked to write?
Yes, always. But I didn’t really have the freedom to do so until 2010. I had rough manuscripts ready to go by then, but having to work all my life like everyone else didn’t really allow me to finish anything. Then, the hospital where I worked (I’m a retired nurse) went on strike in 2004 and I started feeling my way along. I spent four years in a yarn shop, but once I was rescued from that, then I could write!
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write! Just keep writing. Write, write, write.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Been there, done that.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I never respond, but I do in my head. It’s really not a good thing to read them. Most reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are often not helpful if they’re critical. They tend to be mean spirited in some instances and who needs that? It’s just a reader’s opinion. Critical reviews from places like Readers’ Favorite are really helpful. Also, the criticism of beta readers is helpful.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
What are you working on now?
I’m in a group of authors who write romantic suspense. We have a boxed set coming out soon called Love Under Fire. My contribution to it is called Running with Horses. Romance and intrigue are interwoven with the protection of wild horses in the desert. I had an interest in the topic and more I read, the more excited I got about writing the story.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
This was my year of romance. I set a goal to write a certain number of stories for boxed set opportunities. It was so hard! Happily Even After is not my forte, and I really learned a lot.
Where did your love of books come from?
I have always loved reading. My love of books is from childhood. We didn’t have a lot of books at home so it must have been the school library.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Oh, yes. Joyce Carol Oates, Haruki Murakami, Patti Smith, Pearl Buck, Daphne Du Maurier, Maeve Binchey, PD James, Barbara Michaels, Barbara Delinsky, and all the modern women’s fiction authors like Anita Shreve, Sue Monk Kidd, and on and on. Love.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
I love Pam Smith from Pam of Babylon.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Other books! Probably why it’s so important for authors to read.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Right now that is a battle I’m having after having to write romance with the happy ending. Some of the sets required steamy, some sweet. But it was a good experience because I know now I can do it.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I wouldn’t survive without my author friends. There are a group of us who talked all day long online. I’m so grateful to them, especially for their ideas and support.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
It’s not over till it’s over.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Lol! This was just fine. xo
Where can your fans find you and follow??
I love talking with readers!
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️