In my first interview in a little while, today I talk with Fantasy Author and friend of mine, Suzanne Rogerson about her Silent Sea Chronicles books which is about to go on sale as a complete box set!
GJ: Firstly can you tell me about the world your books are set in and what excites you so much about writing in the fantasy genre?
SR: Visions of Zarua is set in Paltria, a land ruled by royalty and royal wizards who serve the king. But there are secret sects working outside the king’s laws and trouble is brewing for the people of Paltria.
Silent Sea Chronicles is set on magical islands within the Silent Sea, though the main story takes place on Kalaya. As the Kalayan people turn their back on magic they start to lose their link with their home and the island begins to die. Only the exiles, those banished to the Turrak Mountains, can save the dying magic by locating the lost Sentinel.
I love fantasy as the only limit is your imagination. Plus it has magic and who doesn’t want a bit of magic in their lives? The fantasy genre gives you freedom to create anything from a whole new world for your characters to inhabit to the types of creatures they must battle against. One of my favourite things is creating names for my characters though I try not to make them too difficult for the reader to pronounce.
GJ: What inspired you to write your first novel, Visions of Zarua?
SR: Visions of Zarua is actually the fourth novel I wrote. The other attempts may one day get a redraft, but I know it would be a lot of work!
I started writing Visions of Zarua because one day a young tracker and her two hounds turned up on the page. They were tracking something terrifying through the woods and I had to write the story to find out what.
GJ: VOZ has recently released on audiobook. Was it strange listening to someone else voice your words?
SR: Hearing my characters brought to life by someone else was the strangest experience. I didn’t really have voices for them in my head so I had to trust my narrator to put his own unique spin on them. Thankfully Guy Barnes did an amazing job. I have to admit I was very nervous listening for the first time but I shouldn’t have been. I quickly came to love my characters even more and listened to each chapter Guy delivered with mounting anticipation and excitement.
The audiobook is available through Amazon, Audible and iTunes.
GJ: Are you a fan of audiobooks?
SR: I discovered audiobooks a couple of years ago and I love them. I especially love to listen to them whilst cooking dinner and cleaning etc. Everyone knows if I’m listening to a good audiobook because the kitchen is cleaner and tidier than normal!
Since being involved in my own audiobook, I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to listen to others but I hope to rectify that very soon as I have a number of books I’m eager to listen to.
GJ: Are you planning to release the rest of your back catalogue on audio?
SR: Yes I can’t wait to see my Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy in audio. I’m looking to get auditions in now, but it’s hard to find the right narrator. I would have loved Guy to do more books for me but he is busy with new projects and as the trilogy has a bigger female cast I’m thinking a female narrator might suit the books more. Ideally, I would love a male and a female narrator, but my budget doesn’t allow for that at the moment.
I’m excited to start work on the project so if any narrators are reading this, head over to ACX and get your auditions in for The Lost Sentinel.
GJ: If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, how old would you be and what advice would you give?
SR: I would be fourteen or fifteen and I would tell myself to try harder at school to make sure I passed my GCSE English Literature exam with a C or above. If I had been able to take A Level English my whole writing journey would have been very different. But I also believe that I wouldn’t be where I am now without those setbacks and life experiences, so I wouldn’t really want to chance anything.
GJ: Do you have a favourite character from one of your books? Can you describe them and why you like them so much?
SR: I’m going to cheat and pick two.
Whenever this kind of question comes up Garrick always springs to mind. He is a loveable hero in Silent Sea Chronicles and has become a real favourite of my readers.
He’s a protector; a larger than life good guy that you want on your side. He’s a hell of a fighter and would die for those he loves but he also has a softer side and is a romantic at heart.
Paddren has it tough in Visions of Zarua. He starts having terrifying visions from a very young age and is abandoned at the castle to be brought up by the Royal Wizards who show no care for him or the fact he is bullied and abused by his peers. His whole life is built on secrecy and he struggles to trust people. His story is a journey of self-discovery and he grows from a brooding young wizard into a worthy hero.
GJ: Have you set up your mailing list yet!? How can people join?
SR: No, I am very slow at committing to the idea of a newsletter and I want to have a reader magnet ready before I start. I’m planning to write some short stories featuring my favourite characters like Garrick but I’ve been so busy with finishing the trilogy that I still haven’t worked out all the details. For now people can follow me on my blog. https://suzannerogersonfantasyauthor.com/
GJ: What can we expect from your work in 2019/2020?
SR: I will soon be releasing the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy as a boxset which is really exciting. There is a bit of work to be done ensuring all the contents pages and chapters navigate to the correct place.
I want to write the prequel to Silent Sea Chronicles and readers have been eager for me to write more in the series. I would love to see what the future has in store for my characters and I really would like to revisit some of my favourite characters backstories and eventually publish them in a short story collection.
I’m also working on another standalone novel and I’m toying with the idea of whether to make it a dual timeline like Visions of Zarua. Until it’s finished I won’t know the best format, so it’s a case of write it and see!
GJ: A big thank you to Suzanne for taking the time to speak with me together. Her Silent Sea Chronicles Box set is available to pre-order now. It goes on sale 4th October 2019 and will be 99p for 1 week!
You can check out the links to Suzanne’s books here:
The Sentinel’s Alliance #3 Silent Sea Chronicles
The Sentinel’s Reign #2 Silent Sea Chronicles
The Lost Sentinel #1 Silent Sea Chronicles
Visions of Zarua Standalone epic fantasy. (Also available in audiobook.)
If you love a bargain then why not check out IN THE END at the special price of 99p/99c to experience nightmarish settings, reluctant heroes, and action-packed adventures!
Thanks very much for interviewing me, Gareth.
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You’re welcome Suzanne!
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Great stuff, GJ. I hope your friend does well.
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