Friday, March 14, 2014

Suzanne at her Peak

Zanna Mackenzie lives on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.

When Faith meets Zane she enjoys his company even though she can’t help wondering why he’s so reluctant to talk about himself.
Then the past comes back to haunt her in the shape of Zane’s business partner Matt, the guy who broke Faith’s heart years ago.

What name do you write as? If it is not your given name why did you change? If it is would you ever write under another name?

I write under the pen name of Zanna Mackenzie. My real name is Suzanne Farmer and I thought that sounded a bit boring so I wanted to change it to something with a more lyrical feel to it!! My mum called me Zanna when I was little so I went with that as my alternative first name and chose Mackenzie as my surname because my husband and I used to live near Edinburgh and I always fancied being Scottish!

What gave you the idea for your book and how long did it take to write?

I love setting my books in my favourite UK locations and have written books set in the Scottish Highlands,North Yorkshire, the Lake District and now, in my latest book, If Only You Knew

Once I had the ‘where’ and the key settings of the café and the extreme sports centre, the characters and ideas just popped into my head. The original outline plot idea and the eventual plot share some similarities but there were a lot of changes along the way!

The first draft probably took about four or five months. Then I read it through away from the computer and filled an A4 notebook with comments about what needed to be changed, what bits needed extra information, which aspects of the characters needed fleshing out etc. I spent another few months working all these edits into the manuscript. Altogether it probably took about 8 months, though not working full time on it.

Do you plan your novels? If you do how long will this take?

I start off with a setting, a plot, listing the key plot points and where they occur in the story, and have detailed biogs for the characters. Then I start writing and inevitably things take on a mind of their own and the plot deviates and characters start behaving how they want to! I remember in one book a man who should have been a minor character suddenly started getting ideas above his station and decided he wanted to compete with the ‘hero’ for the attentions of the lead female. I decided to let him try his luck and see if he won her heart or not!

If you would write a book in another genre what would you choose?

Funny you should say that... I’m in the middle of writing my first romantic suspense at the moment. As a child I was a tomboy and loved racing around playing with guns so I’m thoroughly enjoying writing a feisty female lead for the book who can be just as tough as the guy she finds herself working with to solve the mystery.

What’s next in your writing life?

I’m a little torn in a way. I have the aforementioned romantic suspense novella to finish but I also have three incomplete WIPs in the contemporary romance genre. I really need to pick one project and focus on it!

If Only You Knew : Available in paperback/ebook on Amazon UK

Suzanne's Blog:

Thank you, Suzanne

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