Another fantastic author nominated in this year’s Romantic Novel Awards has agreed to chat to me on the blog tonight. Her novel, All That We Have Lost, was nominated in the Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers category and went on to win. It’s… Suzanne Fortin.
Sue, welcome to the blog and thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?
Thank you so much for inviting me, it’s lovely to be here. Mine’s a Bacardi and coke – I’m such an 80s girl.
If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?
Probably to my local village pub, sitting near the open fire and having a bar meal of some description. Not very rock n roll, I know.
Well, since in front of the fire in my local is one of my favourite places, I’m not going to argue with you! If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?
Wow, what a question! Let’s see … I think I’d ask Rik Mayall, who I hope would be equally hilarious and outrageous as he always appeared. My other guest would be someone like Sophia Loren, although I’m not sure what she’d make of Rik!
I loved Rik Mayall so much. I rewatched The New Statesman recently and it genius and also scarily realistic now! So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?
So, at the moment, I’m very much juggling different projects. I have two books, both historical dual-timelines, which are at different stages of the editing process and I’m expecting edits to come in from those any time now. I’ve got an idea for a new historical book which I’m running by my agent and editor and I’m also working on a short story for readers. I’m planning on using the short story as a giveaway for existing and new sign ups to my newsletter.
What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?
The proudest moment was when one of my books went to Number 1 in the whole of the UK Amazon chart and Number 3 in the whole of the US Amazon chart. It was a bit overwhelming at the time but when I look back, I’m really proud of that achievement. The biggest challenge has been then trying to keep everything in perspective with the books that followed and not to get hung up on whether the next book is as good, sells as many copies, gets as many reviews etc.
What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!
I used to have a list of things I wanted to achieve pinned by the side of my computer, but over the years, my goals have changed and I don’t have that list anymore. I used to want to be a Sunday Times Bestseller and, I guess, to a degree, that still remains a dream. However, I have different types of things I want to achieve and, at the moment, that is to have a good work/life balance.
What are have planned that you are really excited about?
I have a new book coming out in July called Beyond A Broken Sky. I really enjoyed writing this one. I can’t wait to be able to share the story. It’s another historical dual-timeline where we meet Rhoda Sullivan who is restoring a stained-glass window of a church which has an unusual backstory and a mystery to be solved. The mystery dates back to wartime England and Italian POWs in Somerset.
I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?
My favourite place is France. We have a cottage in Southern Brittany and love to go over there as often as possible. It’s in a very rural and quiet location but not too far to travel for every day needs. We went to Australia a few years ago and I’d love to go back there and explore different parts of the country.
I’d love to go to Australia but I think I might have to wait until the kids leave home now and go for six weeks to see it all, maybe tag New Zealand on too. I think I may only persuade my OH to fly that far once! Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself.
Oh, what to say … erm … I can tap dance. I haven’t tapped for a long time but I learnt as an adult and loved every minute of it. I would like to go back to it one day.
Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?
The perfect couple. The perfect French farmhouse. Plan A is the perfect life. But then there’s Plan B…
Emma adores living in Brighton, but she loves Matt more. When he suggests they buy the perfect farmhouse in the South of France, she reluctantly agrees, even though he continues commuting to London while she looks after their daughter and the builders. But France is not the idyll he promised, and when she discovers the true reason he spends half his time in London the foundations on which she’s built her life start to crumble…
That Emily Barr book sounds so good. So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?
I am the world’s worst drinker. I only have two glasses of alcohol as I can’t handle any more, it just makes me go to sleep. My cure to any kind of hangover is definitely sleep.
After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
Going for a long walk in the countryside or along the beach. I live on the south coast of England, so I’m lucky to have both things very close by. There would also have to be a Sunday roast involved and a few hours reading.
Thank you for a lovely chat over a drink – a perfect way to spend the evening.
Thank you Sue, it’s been an absolute joy to chat to you this evening.
Suzanne’s RONA Award-winning novel, All That We Have Lost, is out now in all formats and you can buy your copy here.
Papa always told us that to be brave doesn’t mean you have no fear.
It just means you can move forwards in spite of that fear.
2019. When Imogen Wren‘s husband dies, she must realise their dream of moving to France on her own. She finds a beautiful abandoned chateau and starts to rebuild her life among its ruins. But she soon notices that the locals won’t come near. A dark web of secrets surrounds the house, and it all seems to centre on the war…
1944. Since the moment German troops stepped foot in her village, the sole aim of Simone Varon‘s life has been to avoid them. Until one soldier begins leaving medicine bottles for her sick brother, and she gets to know the man behind the uniform. Then the Resistance comes calling, and she must choose between love and duty – with devastating consequences that will echo through the decades.
As Imogen restores the chateau, she’s determined to uncover the truth – and set to rest the ghosts of the past.
Suzanne Fortin writes historical fiction, predominantly dual timeline and set in France. Her books feature courageous women in extraordinary circumstances with love and family at the heart of all the stories.
Suzanne also writes mystery and suspense as Sue Fortin where she is a USA Today bestseller and Amazon UK #1 and Amazon US #3 bestseller. She has sold over a million copies of her books and been translated into multiple languages.
Connect with Sue:
Facebook: Sue Fortin Author