Suzan St Maur is a multi-published bestselling (genuinely) author who now works as an author coach as well as writing more of her own books, 35 of which so far have been published. You can read all about her professional
and personal life on her award-winning website, HowToWriteBetter.net, here – https://howtowritebetter.net/best-selling-author-author-coach-publishing-marketing-consultant. Suzan lives in Milton Keynes, England.
Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
A born and bred Canadian who lives in the UK most of the time, I qualified then worked as an advertising copywriter for some years while writing books in my ‘spare time.’
Having reached the end of my inspiration in writing glowing website text about accountancy and plumbing companies, plus having had 35 books published via various different channels, in 2017 I decided to put those book writing and marketing skills together and become an author coach.
Needless to say I am loving it and get as excited about and involved with my clients’ books as I do about my own.
As for my own topics I have done a lot of business books (marketing, writing) plus a number of self-help books as well as humor, which is my first love. There’s a list of my current books here https://howtowritebetter.net/best-selling-author-author-coach-publishing-marketing-consultant/
What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?
In the past, mainly I looked for gaps in the market for books that could fill a hole. Today I am broadening out from my website, HowToWriteBetter.net, into a series of books linked with writing. I get between 1500 and 2500 page views per day on this website. So watch out for http://HowToWriteBetterBooks.com! I am also working on the sequel to one of my Amazon No.1 bestsellers (a genuine No.1, not contrived or scammed) called The Horse Lover’s Joke Book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Horse-Lovers-Joke-Book-Horse-related/dp/1872119395/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+horse+lover%27s+joke+book&qid=1556476627&s=books&sr=1-1
How do you deal with creative block?
Have a look at this article of mine on my website – https://howtowritebetter.net/writers-block-or-is-it-thinkers-block/
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
There are plenty! However the biggest mistake people make when they come up to me and ask for help to write their book, is when I ask them what the book’s about, they say, ‘not sure yet, I just want to write a book.’ That’s a recipe for disaster because unless you have a passion to get your story out there and you just want the kudos attached to being a published author, it really will not work. And that applies equally to fiction as it does to nonfiction.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
See my article on book titles here – https://howtowritebetter.net/your-new-books-title-should-it-be-seo-friendly/
And my article on book cover design here – https://howtowritebetter.net/book-cover-design-key-tips-to-make-yours-work/
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Some bad reviews are just frivolous – like someone left a 1-star review on Amazon for one of my joke books because when it arrived the packaging had been damaged. But genuine, serious bad reviews can be very useful as you can learn from them.
How has your creation process improved over time?
Mainly, as the great Stephen King says, by pruning out the adjectives and particularly the adverbs! These days I read a lot of new authors’ work and so often I see how badly they are ‘over-written,’ as I call it. We’re all guilty of it if we’re not careful and Stephen King’s advice to chop, chop, chop may be painful to follow, but he’s right.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
Dealing with editors who either don’t understand or don’t like what I’m writing about, and who try to force conventional punctuation and syntax on my books which are very much about writing the modern way.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
With my nonfiction – mainly business and self-help books – obviously it’s all about serving the reader. With my humor books it’s more about personal satisfaction (what makes me laugh) but it would appear my readers share my sense of humor!
What are your plans for future books?
Right now I have four new (and one existing) books lined up in the new HowToWriteBetter Books imprint: (URL has been bought but nothing put up yet as I only did this last week! http://howtowritebetterbooks.com/
How To Write Brilliant Business Blogs (eBook and print, already on Amazon) https://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Brilliant-Business-Blogs/dp/1999621301/ref= tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1556478950&sr=8-1-spell
Wedding Speeches For Everyone (eBook due out early May 2019, print book to follow Spring 2020) Preview here – https://howtowritebetter.net/wedding-speeches-for-everyone-new-ebook-out-soon/
Maddening Metaphors (eBook and print book due out Fall 2019)
The Simple Way To Write Your Nonfiction Book (eBook and print book due out Spring 2020)
How To Write Anything Better (eBook and print book due out Summer 2020)
From the Cavalcade Books imprint: 500 Horse Laughs For Human (eBook and print book due out Spring 2020)
TwitchyVerse – more hilariously rude poems about life’s shit (eBook and print book due out Spring 2020)
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
Wow … that sounds ominous! LOL… I have had cancer twice and lead a very progressive cancer charity in the UK which is bringing together the major national charities as well as the UK’s National Health Service at local levels, to the great benefit of cancer patients and their caregivers
I collect rescued dogs and cats
On weekends I help judge dressage (as in horses) competitions
Not very quirky, sorry!