Saturday, April 15, 2017

My April Guest is... by Victoria Chatham

One of the least expected happenstances of my writing life is connecting with authors everywhere, no matter where they are in the world. One of the first blogs on which I was a guest, was that of Australian author, Susan Horsnell. It is now my pleasure to play host to her. I hope you'll enjoy getting to know her better, as I did with her answers to my questions.

When and why did you start writing? What is it about writing that satisfies you the most?

I started writing when I was back in high school but it wasn’t until I retired 5 years ago that I actually pulled my stories together and started publishing. I love to be able to get my thoughts down on paper and hopefully readers enjoy my work.

What type of scene do you find the hardest to write? Funny, romantic, scary, or sad?

I find it really hard to write funny. I tend to be a bit of a drama queen when it comes to my characters and the more angst they suffer, the better.

How did you feel when you held your first book in your hands?

Amazing. It was a little surreal to be holding something I had written.

Do you read your reviews? If so, how do you celebrate the good and get over the bad?

I believe reviews are someone’s personal opinion and point of view, I never take them to heart but will follow up on errors which are mentioned. I also never consider, or read, reviews when I am buying a book to read. What one person loves, another will detest and vice versa. I like to give all authors a fair go and will judge by the blurb only.

Do you work with critique partners? If so, what do you most like about the process? If not, is this an avenue you would consider in the future and if not, why not?

I have two critique partners and they are extremely valuable to me. If I become stuck on a story, they will guide me through. They are both brutally honest and if they recommend changes, I always take their advice. They have never led me astray.
Have you ever judged any writing competitions? If you have, what about the process surprised you the most?

I judge a writing contest every year, the Junior Category for 13-18 year olds. I love it and the ability of some youngsters is amazing. My only criticism is, they often select current social issues eg: bullying, drug use, etc to focus on and I would love to see more imaginative writing.

What is the most memorable class you’ve ever taken?
History at school. It taught me to develop an enquiring mind as our teacher insisted history is the most disputable subject one could take. He taught us that most history was one point of view and not necessarily an accurate one. He explained, most events are seen from different perspectives and not necessarily factual. He encouraged us to delve deeper and not believe things as they appeared to be on the surface.
Which of the four seasons do you like/dislike the most and why?
I love Summer, I detest being cold which is why I live in Queensland Australia. It’s warm all year round.
If you were marooned on a desert island and could only have one book, which book would that be and why?
Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It is a book I read at least once a year and I have never read a book which brings the words to life as she does.
You are offered a free vacation, one a beach destination, the other a sight-seeing tour, which would you choose and why?
The Beach. I love being near the water, listening to the roar of the waves crashing on the shore.
SPEED QUESTIONS: Straight YES/NO answers, unless you want to add a few words to qualify the answer.
Have you ever:
1.     Lied about your age? No
2.     Danced naked in the rain? No
3.     Called in sick to work when you weren’t sick? No
4.     Won a contest? Yes
5.     Eaten ice cream straight from the carton? No
6.     Locked yourself out of your house? Yes
7.     Ridden a motorcycle? Yes
8.     Taken an enormous risk? No
9.     Gotten lost in a strange city? Yes
10.  Eaten a whole packet of cookies? Yes
11.  Watched the stars at night? Yes

12.  Worn odd socks? Yes

Thank you, Susan! Tomorrow I will be posting several of Susan's titles, so please join us again. As always, your comments are appreciated.


  1. Susan, nice to see you here, all the way from Queensland.
    Victoria asks some interesting questions, doesn't she? And now I'm wondering if SHE has ever danced naked in the rain! LOL!

  2. Yes! During a long hot summer when we had a sudden, tropical-like downpour round about midnight. It was too tempting not to go outside and make the most of it!