Friday, October 10, 2008

In the Spotlight--Suzanne Perazzini

Presenting Suzanne Perazzini
Welcome my latest guest, a multi-published author who creates exciting worlds of drama, action and romance.

Rough Justice - Danger, Niki, danger!
When Niki's partner, Logan, is kidnapped by poachers in Zambia, she tumbles into the sordid underbelly of a world where survival reigns and animals are sacrificed for financial gain. In order to rescue her man, she will fight all the way to the top and be stunned by what she finds there.

At the airport, the army were everywhere. Trepidation and confusion were palpable. People rushed about, seeking tickets to leave the country, dragging hastily packed belongings. Logan pushed his way through the crowd and directed me to a medical centre where my arm was cleaned and bandaged, and my other injuries checked. He then consigned me to an airport assistant who was to see me safely on board the next plane.

“I have to leave you now. I think I’ll pack up the centre and get out too. It’ll take a couple of days to tie up loose ends, but I want you gone first so I can concentrate on the job.”

His worried face gazed down at me and I felt a sudden vacuum at the thought of leaving him. We had spent less than two days together, but the bond forged by our shared experience was not so easily broken.

His warm hand reached out and his fingers closed around my chin. “Niki, you did well. You’ve got grit.”

“You did well too.” I smiled, but my eyes were heavy with unshed tears.

He leaned forward and kissed me – gently and quickly, his lips brushing mine, then pulled back. But I wasn’t leaving him like that – it wasn’t enough. I put my hand behind his head and brought his face back down and this time, his mouth closed over mine, forcing my lips apart and I could feel his passion glide down through my chest and sink into my pelvis, where it flooded my nerve endings and set my skin alight. I pulled away gasping.

“Wow. Nice.” I pushed my hair back off my forehead and grinned. “Can we do that again sometime?”

Logan smiled and brushed his own hair off his forehead. “I guess we’d better. I know where to find you.” He turned and I watched with a dull ache of longing inside as he disappeared into the crowd.

More about Suzanne
Please introduce us to Suzanne Perazzini. Give us a little bio J
Suzanne: Since a child, I have been driven to explore, look beyond and search out change. This took me to the Fiji Islands on Volunteer Service Abroad at eighteen and after university to Italy, where I stayed for the next decade. I had been out to conquer the world but instead met the man who was to become my lifelong companion. While he studied and did military service, I taught English and travelled.
But the settling down bug caught up with me. I returned to New Zealand, husband in tow, bought a house, started up a business in the fashion industry and had a baby.
For many years we worked, worried, renovated houses and homeschooled our son.
However, the need to chill out came back and now we still work, while our son finished his education at school but we worry less and enjoy life more.
Roll on the next fifty years.

C: Your books range in topics from war correspondents amid action and violence to poachers in Zambia to a prison ship in a futuristic setting. Can you tell us a little about each book and what inspired such wonderfully diverse tales?
S: I have traveled extensively and love to set my books in exotic locations. Beneath the Surface, my first book out, is set in a fictional country based on the old Yugoslavia. Rough Justice, my second, is set in Zambia where my uncle owns a fishing lodge on the Zambezi River. When I visited the southern countries of Africa, I was blown away by their vastness and beauty and knew I had to write about it. The third book, Crash into Darkness, which will come out soon, is set on a prison ship in the Atlantic Ocean and is futuristic and so completely invented.

C: What first motivated you to take up writing as a career?
S: I always got good results in English essays at school. Then I tried to write a manuscript when I was in my early twenties while teaching in Italy and someone who read it said it sounded like a Mills & Boon story so I gave up.
I started again seriously six years ago and immediately caught the attention of an editor with my first submission. And guess where that editor worked? At Silhouette, Mills & Boon’s sister. Well, I wrote four manuscripts for the new Bombshell line at her request but she couldn’t get the senior editor on side and eventually rejected them all two years later with a letter saying that my stories were more issue-oriented than Silhouette and that I should get them published mainstream. Beneath the Surface, is the first one I wrote that caught her attention way back then. I still say that if the Bombshell line had accepted books like mine, they would still exist but sadly they didn’t get the following they thought they would and died a natural death.

C: Aside from writing, what other activities and hobbies do you enjoy?
S: I work full time in the real estate industry so don’t have much time for anything else apart from work and writing. I do read a lot and feel bereft if I am without a good book. I also go to the movies once a week. In the past I have renovated about ten houses, which could be called a money-making hobby. My greatest passion is travel and I have been to forty plus countries. My next destination is China.

C: What books are at the top of your TBR list?
S: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

C: Who are other authors you draw inspiration from?
S: I love Jodi Picoult for her layers and depth of emotion. She always has something to say about the world and people, as I instinctively do. I will also read anything that Nevada Barr writes. Each of her Anna Pigeon books is set in a different National Park in the United States and involves a mystery. I enjoy learning something while getting involved in a life and death situation. When she writes well, she writes very, very well. Read the end of Deep South and see if you can ever forget it.

C: Do you outline your novels or let them develop more organically? How did you develop your working process?
S: I can not outline my books as then I feel as if I have already written them and am too bored to actually do the hard work. I also can’t plan even a scene in advance because nothing comes to me until my fingers are on the keyboard and then it flows. I definitely can not interview my characters despite many writing articles advising us to do so. My characters evolve along with the story. This has always been my writing process and I have now put my heart at rest that this is what suits me despite many articles saying I should be plotting before writing anything.
As you can guess, I no longer read any articles on writing as they give me a panicky feeling that I am not doing it right. I know now that there is no right or wrong way to write a book.

C: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
S: To write and write and write and read and read and read. Then submit and submit and submit. Determination and hard work are far more important ingredients of success than talent.

C: If you could eliminate one word from the English language, what would it be?
S: “But” as in “We love your book but...” Rejections are part and parcel of this business and it’s necessary to toughen up and take that “but” like a soldier or crumple into a dejected heap believing one is a failure.

C: Finally, how do your friends and family feel about your writing?
S: They are all supportive though that dreaded word ‘hobby’ does come up every now and then. Or ‘but you enjoy it so it’s not really work.’ Ugh!! Writing is definitely work!

Coming this month from Wild Child Publishing -
Crash into Darkness

Amber and Jaden, who both possess extraordinary psychic gifts, are thrown together when the prisoners on a prison ship rebel and an explosion breaches the hull of the ship during a storm. Together they battle the elements, a new, cold-eyed prisoner who has Amber in his sights and their traumatic pasts which sent them to the ship in the first place.

Suzanne, thank you so much for being my guest this week and sharing your amazing books with us. Wishing you much continued success! And I absolutely agree, writing is hard work. ~Cindy