Today it's my pleasure to welcome author Suzie Tullett to the blog to find out a little more about her and her latest book Six Steps to Happiness. Welcome Suzie.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how your writing journey started?
I started writing when I signed up for an MA in Television & Radio Scriptwriting at Salford University. From here I was chosen by the BBC for their New Writers Scheme, which led to an opportunity to write for their long running series, DOCTORS. I’ve always loved prose though and am now a full-time novelist penning romcoms.
What would you say are the essential ingredients needed for a romantic comedy novel?
For me, the comedy element to a romcom is important. I’m a typical reader who loves books that make me laugh out loud and if I find myself laughing as I write it’s usually a good sign that I’m creating something fun. Of course, romance is equally crucial, and I want to fall a little bit in love the hero when I’m reading and writing. Another essential ingredient is the Happy Ever After. Readers should finish a romantic comedy with a smile on their face.
If you had to give an elevator pitch for your latest book Six Steps to Happiness, what would it be?
When Ronnie’s husband, Nick, leaves her for their next-door neighbour, Ronnie does everything in her power to get them to move. When her daughter and mother-in-law stage an intervention, she’s forced to become more devious in her actions. But just how far will Ronnie go?
You certainly put your character Ronnie through the wringer by having her life next door to her ex Nick and his new partner Gaye, were there any situations that you omitted as maybe a step to far in her desire for revenge?
Writing Six Steps to Happiness made me realise just how dark my sense of humour can be and while I didn’t omit any scenes, I did have to keep lightening them. I also realised that if I’d chosen a different point of view, Six Steps could have easily turned into a psychological thriller!
In Ronnie’s defence, I’d like to add that in the beginning she isn’t seeking revenge, she just wants Nick and Gaye to move away. Ronnie’s desire for revenge kicks in later in the story, when she experiences one knock down too many.
If any of your books were to be made into a film, which would you choose and why? And who would you cast in the main roles?
Having started out as a scriptwriter, I write visually so all my books could easily adapt to the screen. As for choosing just one novel, that’s a bit more difficult. Little White Lies and Butterflies is a romcom set in Greece and The French Escape obviously takes place in France, so as locations go these would be fab. The Trouble with Words has romance, humour and heartbreak so would be a real emotional rollercoaster, while Six Steps to Happiness is packed with comedy.
As for who’d make up the cast, Charlie Hunnam would fit the bill for all my leading men, who despite being a range of ages, tend to be tall with blonde wavy hair. My heroines vary in appearance, so it’s difficult to pin them down to one actor. Although readers have already suggested Emily Blunt would make a great Ronnie from Six Steps to Happiness.
What was the first book that you read that made you think 'I would like to write something like that one day'?
I think this every time I read a book by Marian Keyes.
What would you say is the best thing about writing? And on the flip side, what is the hardest?
For me, the best thing about writing is being able to develop a crumb of an idea and turn it into not just a whole book, but a book that readers enjoy. It’s rewarding to know that something that came from my imagination makes readers laugh or smile and enables them to escape the madness that exists in today’s world. On the flip side, the hardest thing about writing is the isolation. Once all the research and planning has been done, I can lock myself away at the keyboard for days and days without seeing the outside world.
If you could give some advice to your younger self about the whole writing/publication process, what would it be?
Don’t wait, start writing. Have confidence, you’ve got this. Enjoy the journey.
If you could write in a collaboration with another author, who would you like to write with and why?
Without doubt Marian Keyes. Imagine how much fun that would be.
What novel(s) have you read recently that you wish you had written?
I’ve read a few books recently that are all so good I’d have loved to have written them. Stand outs would be The Girl at the Window by Rowan Coleman, which stayed with me between reading sessions, and 59 Memory Lane by Celia Anderson, which had a fabulous main character in May at 110 years old.
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