Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Novice To Watch: Meet Susan R. Mills!!!

Hi-Dee-Oh!! Hope ole Mr. Peter Cottontail brought you a basket full of joy!

If your sweet tooth is still hankering for a fix, I've got the perfect treat . . .

Meet Susan R. Mills! She's a very talented writer and stunning blogger who is definitely A NOVICE TO WATCH. Her blog,
A Walk In My Shoes, is one of my favorite haunts. If you've got a thing for shoes, you'll want to click on over and scope out the eye-candy!

Pull up a seat and let's get hippty-hoppin'!!

1) If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

In the ever-changing world of publishing, Susan R. Mills discovers what it means to write well, write for life, and write honestly. With passion, clarity of purpose, and a will to survive, she battles her way through the jungle and faces her adversaries head on. As she stretches herself to new limits, both her triumphs and defeats are met with unmatched enthusiasm and a love for the art. Through it all, she never loses hope.

2) Using three words, describe your voice.

Determined. Hopeful. Passionate.

3) What genre do you write? Which published author would you say your writing comes closest to?

I write Contemporary Young Adult (always with a romantic element). I'm hesitant to compare myself to a published author (maybe it's the fear of not measuring up), but I'll humor you. I aspire to be of the S.E. Hinton caliber, only for a slightly older audience. Her stories are all unique with complicated plots, and she never fails to drive a message home. These messages are timeless and will apply to generation after generation. I read her books, my kids have read her books, and no doubt my future grandchildren will read her books. What more could an author ask for?

4) Give us the 'deets' on your WIP!

My current WIP is entitled Tick-Tock. I'm deep in the revision stage, but the final word count should be close to 70,000. Here's a little blurb about it:

Hillsboro, Kansas--population less than three thousand--is tucked safely away in the heart of America. But sixteen-year-old Laney Bledsoe learns the hard way that danger has far reaching hands. When her best friend is murdered, Laney is faced with the daunting task of sorting through not only her own emotions, but also the dark secrets uncovered by the tragic death. In the process, she falls in love with the victim's brother, Jack Johnson, and unknowingly sentences herself to a life of uncertainty--a life in which each moment could be her last.

Tick-Tock is inspired by my own experiences growing up in the Midwest with a handful of creativity thrown into the mix.

5) Your blog, A Walk In My Shoes, is awesome! (I love how you incorporate a pic of a shoe with each post.) What was your inspiration for getting the site going? Most importantly, do you find the shoe and then structure the blog or vice versa? lol Inquiring minds want to know!

Well, first of all, thanks for the compliment. My blog has been a lot of fun to develop and nurture. I started it in May of last year as a means to connect with other writers. I wanted it to be a place where I could share my journey (thus the title A Walk In My Shoes), and also a place where other writers could share their journeys. Never in a million years did I think I'd develop such great friendships along the way. My blog has been a great blessing to me. As far as which comes first, the picture or the post, the answer is both. Usually, I have a topic in mind and then find a shoe picture to go along with it. Occasionally, though, I come across a shoe picture that I can't resist, and I formulate my post around it.

6) Do you have any advice for all our fellow novices out there on building a platform for their work?

Platforms? Well, never wear them if you are going to be on your feet for any length of time. No, I'm kidding. I know what you mean by platform, and the thought of building one is overwhelming at times. I wouldn't exactly consider my blog part of a platform. My target audience doesn't read my blog. I do have a handful of teenage and twenty-something readers, but for the most part, my readers are other aspiring authors like me. I'm fine with that for now, but I also know that, in the future, I'll have to shift gears and reach out to my target audience. The best advice I can give to my fellow unpublished authors about building a platform is to keep the necessity in mind, but focus first and foremost on your writing. A solid platform doesn't mean diddly-squat if you don't have a solid manuscript to promote. That being said, it's never too early to start developing an on-line presence. Whatever means you choose, whether it's Blogger, Facebook, My Space, Twitter, keep it professional. You never know who might be reading what you write.

7) What are your aspirations for the future?

Well, my obvious and most immediate aspiration is to be published. Beyond that, I'd like to improve with each manuscript. I never want to settle for where I am. I want to keep reaching, keep growing, and keep working hard. If I happen to make millions of dollars in the process, well, I'd take that too.

Thanks, Susan! I appreciate you letting me interview you! Good luck with your writing!!

Thanks for having me. It's been an honor and a pleasure. Here's to making every step of our journeys count!

I'm all for that! (Especially if it involves some of the high heels she features. WOWZA!) I'd like to thank Susan for letting me grill her. Keep your peepers peeled TLN'ers because I know without a doubt we'll be seeing this lovely lady's name on a book cover one day!

To get your week off with a kick, how about some
JASON ALDEAN and his 'get-your-hips-shaking' SHE'S COUNTRY!! Crank it up and enjoy!! Louder is always better, well, at least when faced with a Moanday! lol Catch ya later, TLN'ers!


Amy J Ramsey said...

Wonderful Interview. I will have to add Susan to my, now knee deep, of books to read.

Thank you for sharing.

Amy Ramsey
Ramsey's Reviews

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Susan and Sarah,
Great interview. Ooh a writer with a shoe fettish, that sounds interesting. Best of luck with your publishing endeavours.


neecy said...

I always look for books for my younger ones to read. I'll have to put you on the list. Great interview, good luck with your sales.

Anonymous said...

Great interview, Sarah and Susan! I loved reading that blurb of Susan's book. It sounds compelling. Great advice on how important it is to focus on the writing. Thanks!

Heckety said...

This interview was fun- I think Susan has a very distinctive voice in her writing- it came thorough this interview as well as her blog. Once you've got that its a case of homing skills. And shes fun too! But you know what ? I bet she goes barefoot at home!!!!!!!

Carolyn V. said...

Excellent interview Sarah! Susan rocks! I can't wait to see what happens with her wip! =)

Mrsblogalot said...

Fantastic interview! Susan's blog is one of my favorite places to visit!

Danyelle said...

Great interview! Susan is awesome!

Sara McClung ♥ said...

Fun interview! I stumbled across Susan's blog a while back and was hooked from the first shoe sighting. And THEN I found out that she knows what she's talking about? DOUBLE WIN!

Heather Sunseri said...

Great interview! I love learning more about Susan. She is a terrific writer!

Tara McClendon said...

I loved the platform answer! Thanks for the interveiw. It's always great to see favorite bloggers at new places. :]

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Terrific interview! Good luck on your revisions, Susan!

Susan R. Mills said...

I hope I don't disappoint.

Thanks for the well wishes.

Thanks. Finding things for my teenagers to read is one of the reasons I started writing YA.

Yes, the writing should come first.

Yes, barefoot is the only way to go at home.

You rock too!

I can say the same for your blog. It always makes me laugh.

You are too kind and so awesome yourself!

I hope I know what I'm talking about. That remains to be seen. :)

You are a terrific writer as well. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Thanks again for having me. This is fun!

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

great interview to get to know more about susan (besides her penchant for shoes). :)

The Character Therapist

Janna Qualman said...

Fantastic! Love Susan and her blog, and this was such a good interview.

Thanks, Sarah. :)

Sarah Simas said...

Wow! Susan, you've got quite the party going on here! What a great way to make 'Moan'day fun! :)

I loved your answers. You definitely deserve to circle the bases, because you knocked it out of the park! You're a top shelf bit of goods, my friend. *wink wink*

I'm so glad to have you here today!((hugs!)) And thanks to everyone who has come to join the fun. Hope you enjoyed the visit!

Here's a quick Q for you, Susan: If you could be any shoe, which one would you be and why?

Kaye Manro said...

Great interview Susan, and good luck with your writing career. It sound like you are off and running! And you answered all those probing questions Sarah threw your way! Very good!

Susan Fields said...

Wonderful interview - I've been reading Susan's blog for a while now and she's awesome!

Susan R. Mills said...

Platforms are great (shoes or writing related), but they have their place. :)

Thanks, Roni.

If I were a shoe, I'd be flip flops. Who doesn't love a good pair of flip flops?

Thanks, Kaye.

Apparently all Susans are awesome because I think the same about you.

Elana Johnson said...

Great interview. I especially like the part where Susan said she never wants to be settle for where she is. That is awesome. :) With that attitude, publication is only a matter of time.

Jackee said...

Such a cute interview. I love Susan!

Thanks, ladies!

Suzanne Casamento said...

Great interview. I totally want to read Tick-Tock!

Micole Black said...

Sarah great interview with great questions and Susan great answers!!!! On my way over to your blog now!!! Good luck and happy writing.


Micole Black

Susan R. Mills said...

I hope you are right. :)

Right back at you.

I hope you have the opportunity to read it some day soon.

Thanks for reading.

Susan R. Mills said...

I like to think there is more to me than just shoes. :)

Thanks, and I love you and your blog too!

Nisa said...

Ooh! I love the title! Great interview!

Dawn Simon said...

Great interview! It was fun learning more about Susan! :)

Ginny M. Christensen said...

Love the interview. A gal after my own heart. What woman doesn't like shoes :D Will be tip-toeing over to Susan's blog to see what all the hype is about.

Susan, good luck with your writing.