Thursday, February 09, 2017

Author Interview - Susanna Beard

Welcome to another Always Trust In Books Author Interview! I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to do a Q&A with Susanna Beard. Susanna's latest release Dare To Remember (Published via Legend Press) is an outstanding psychological drama focusing on grief, guilt and trauma.

I am doing this Q&A as part of the Dare To Remember Blog Tour so please make sure that you check out the other posts available this week (there will be links at the bottom of the page). I will share Susanna's bio and book synopsis below and then straight onto the questions.

Official Author BioI studied Linguistics before embarking on a long and fruitful career in PR and marketing. I've helped a multitude of clients promote everything from tourist destinations to cuddly toys and I've written in a myriad formats - news stories, articles, speeches, websites and blogs.

Having decided to become a novelist, I went to the wonderful Faber Academy in London and completed three courses: Start Your Novel in a Week with Louise Doughty, Get Going with Erica Wagner, and the six-month course, Writing a Novel, with Shelley Weiner. (see more at

Book SynopsisReeling from a brutal attack that leaves her best friend dead and her badly injured, Lisa Fulbrook flees to the countryside to recuperate. With only vague memories of the event, she isolates herself from her friends and family, content to spend her days wandering the hills with her dog, Riley.

However, Lisa is soon plagued, not only by vivid flashbacks, but questions, too: how did their assailant know them? Why were they attacked? And what really happened that night?
As she desperately tries to piece together the memories, Lisa realises that there’s another truth still hidden to her, a truth she can’t escape from. A truth that may have been right in front of her all along. (Official Legend Press Synopsis)

The Q&A Section!

Thank you to Susanna Beard for taking the time to answer some of my questions for this post. It is always a privilege to have the opportunity to ask authors about their work. Here are the questions I put to Susanna:

What attracted you to the subject/field of psychology?

I have a natural interest in what makes people who they are and how they deal with what life throws at them.

You touch on quite a few aspects of grief management in DTR. It is an important process, are there any other options available that weren't included in your novel?

I’m by no means an expert in grief management, so the aspects I touched on were very specific to my character, Lisa. I worked hard to make her reactions as authentic as possible. 

Could you give us some insights into your writing process? What challenges do you face as a writer?

From initial idea to final manuscript is a mix of planning and spontaneity. I start with the germ of an idea and spend a while mulling it around in my mind. When I’ve got enough to start writing and I think it’s got enough depth for a novel (including a potential ending, or two!) I start writing and see where my mind takes the story. Then I might draw some kind of plot to make sure I have a route through the story to the conclusion. But it might still change! 

The challenge, as always, is to make every single page count, to take the story forward – and to make it as good as it can possibly be. 

Is this the last we will see of Lisa? What was your inspiration behind her story?

This may be the last we’ll see of Lisa – I don’t know yet. If people love her enough to want to see her through the next stage of her life, I would love to write it. There’s certainly potential for more...

2017 looks to be an exciting year for books, have you got any projects we should know about coming up this year?

I’ve just finished the first draft of my second novel, called The Truth Waits, which starts with  the discovery of a young girl’s body on a remote beach in Lithuania...

I’m hoping to finish the editing in the next couple of months – while talking about Dare to Remember at Literary Festivals and other events around the country. Lots to fit in, with the day job too!

Grief is a difficult subject, you handled it with great respect. Did you find it tough to get the right balance of pain and hope in your writing?

I hope I did get the right balance. I delved deep within myself. 

You have an excellent understanding/appreciation of psychology, do you think you may go deeper into the mind in your future writing?

I certainly find it fascinating, and yes, I’ll be continuing to learn, endeavour to understand and bring into my writing.

Could you share a surprising fact about yourself with us here?

My father was in the intelligence service and my mother worked in the codebreaking team at Bletchley Park. So my dad was a spy and my mum was a codebreaker!

Have you read a book recently that you would recommend to my readers?

You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz (will resonate with many women)

Lily’s House by Cassandra Parkin – I’m 90 per cent through (surprising and delightful)

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – wonderful story, wonderfully written

Pick up a copy of Dare To Remember here: Amazon UK (free on Kindle Unlimited)/Amazon US/Goodreads

Thank you all again for checking out this Q&A with Susanna. Dare To Remember is a tense, graphic and emotional piece about dealing with life altering trauma. Check it out and tell me what you thought about it in the comments below. I have big plans for 2017; this year is going to be huge for books. I am hoping to have tons of reviews, giveaways and other quality content for you to enjoy!

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