Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sue Perkins - Spirit Stealer


Today, I interview Sue Perkins about her upcoming release from MuseItUp Publishing.


Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Marva. I'm having great fun with the MuseItUp MG/YA blog tour.

(Q) Thank you for joining us today. Before we begin, please tell our readers where they can find you.

I can be found mainly on my blog but information for individual books are on my website

(Q) Tell everyone a bit about your books including buy links.

Links to my books can be found on my website. Unfortunately the link for my MuseItUp Publishing release Spirit Stealer isn't up yet. Spirit Stealer will be released in October and is for Middle Grade readers.

Fader, an orphan, takes refuge from the weather and sleeps in the library. As the weeks pass he begins to hear noises. Playful phantoms emerge from the bookshelves, but then the Spirit Stealer takes over the nighttime library, stealing the spirits of all who stay after the library has closed.

(Q) Where did the concept for the book (or books) come about?

On a way to a friend who lived in the country, I got lost. The night was pitch black, no streetlights out in the wilds of New Zealand. I began to think of what the darkness could hide. By the time I reached my friend's house I had the first chapter of the book worked out in my mind.

(Q) How long did it take you to finish, from concept to final product?

Some years. I wrote the middle part and sent it off to a competition. The response came back - too short. Other projects took up my time but eventually I came back to Spirit Stealer and wrote a beginning and an end. I looked around for a publisher and found MuseItUp. I knew from the start it was the home for my book. Lucky for me the submissions editor agreed with me.

(Q) Which authors have most influenced your own writing?

Several fantasy authors have influenced me. I love books about dragons so Anne McCaffrey is definitely a favorite. Others are David Eddings and Terry Pratchett. I do like the Harry Potter books but more as an enjoyable read rather than an influence.

(Q) What do you do for fun other than writing?

I love Zumba. Fitness and fun has got to be good, right? Other hobbies are reading and family history. My family history research has had to take a back seat this year due to writing commitments.

Sue Perkins
 (Q) Do you have any favorite place where you feel your Muse is more apt to come and play while you write? Or perhaps you listen to music? If so, what do you listen to?

I have a Stressless chair which is my place to write. I can write without being distracted by the things around me. I don't particularly like music playing in the background. The only thing that irritates me when I'm writing is when someone talks to me, usually when the words are flowing. Trouble is they expect an answer.

(Q)  Do you secretly want to write another genre, but don't think you can do it?

I'd love to write Regency, but there's a lot of research involved and that isn't my strong point. I like to get on with the story, not keep stopping to check things. That's why I think I can't write this genre.

(Q) Plotter or pantser?

Oh definitely a pantser. I find if I plot a story it loses it's sparkle. Plus I'm never sure where the story is going. My characters usually take over and steer the direction of the story.

(Q) Coffee or tea?

Coffee. I cannot stand tea which is strange as I come originally from England where tea is the main drink. I don't drink a lot of coffee, maybe one or two cups a day, plus it's usually decaffeinated so I believe that's not too bad.

(Q) Do you have any new projects that you are working on? If so, what are they? (optional if you don't have a WIP to talk about)

I have several at the moment. Two adult fantasies, a Middle Grade fantasy and a Young Adult fantasy. The YA is about dragons and is a sequel to a novel that's being released in January 2012. The Middle Grade is a similar style to Spirit Stealer but a different setting. The two adult fantasies are set in worlds of my own making.
(Q) What do you do to market your work? How did you start and where do you learn to market?

I find marketing difficult. Not the actual process, but the time it takes. My writing has taken a back seat over the last few months due to editing and marketing. I try to get my name recognized by taking part in blog tours, and several writing lists on Yahoo. My blog stats reflect when I've done a promotion. I recently did an advert in the trade paper I work for and people visiting my blog trebled for about a week. Advertising seems to work for me.

(Q) How about an excerpt to tantalize the readers?

Fader ran. Panic lent speed to his feet, but a glance over his shoulder showed the spirit stealer reaching for him. Could he outrun the phantom now it had become so strong?

He slowed down as he felt a touch on his back. A pain began in his chest, and he knew the phantom pulled at his spirit. He tried to tear himself away. The harder he struggled, the stronger the pain. Fader closed his eyes and gritted his teeth. He gathered all his strength and lunged forward. A loud snap echoed in his head as he shot forward, released at last.

Praying the spirit stealer still couldn’t get to the front of the library, Fader fled. He arrived at the storeroom and hid, not daring to move or sleep. Hunched up in a corner, he stayed there for the rest of the night.

Next morning, Fader stretched up to the window. He’d made up his mind. Books or no books, he couldn’t face the danger of the library. He wouldn’t be back. His calmness transformed into horror as he groped for the latch. His hand went straight through the metal!

Here are links to Sue's books on Amazon.


  1. Love the excerpt. Makes you want to find out what happens next.

  2. Hi Sue,
    Love how the story came to you. You can tell a great story when it practically writes itself. Also found it funny that you don't like tea...especially when you lived in England. Wonderful interview.
    C.K. Volnek

  3. Loved the interview - definitely another tween book for my list, Sue!

  4. Sorry I'm late again. It's difficult to keep up with USA time when I'm at work. Thank you all for your kind comments and to Marva for hosting me.

  5. Sue, I had no idea how prolific you were. Spirit Stealer sounds awesome.