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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MG/YA Blog-A-Thon with Sue Perkins

My guest today is Sue Perkins, who writes YA fantasy and romance. She lives in New Zealand, so I have left her spelling here, since it is her native language. Her book is releasing in October and I am very happy to have her here to tell us all about it.

Sue Perkins' Bio

Sue Perkins grew up in Devon, England. but emigrated
with her young family to New Zealand.
Sue and her husband live on a three acre property at the top of
New Zealand’s South Island. She works as a graphic artist for a
local trade paper. Her interests include writing, reading,
genealogy, zumba and line dancing.

Sue’s first romance novel was released in May 2007 quickly followed
by her Sky Castles fantasy trilogy, available at Whiskey Creek Press.
These books will also be released as a Megabook on 1st September 2011.

A contemporary romance Three Hearts is available from
Desert Breeze Publishing. A free read prequel Broken Heart is
also available from this publisher.
Blitz, a 20th Century Romance is now available
from this publisher. A free read companion book
Santa's Present will be available Christmas 2011.

October 2011 Spirit Stealer, a Middle Grade book,
will be released by MuseItUp Publishing.

January 2012 Reva's Quest, a Middle Grade book,
will be released by MuseItUp Publishing.

January 2012 Dragon Flame, a Young Adult book,
will be released by Desert Breeze Publishing.

Hi Sue. Thank you for joining me with your busy schedule. I can't wait for you to tell my readers all about your new book!

My thanks to you, Barbara, for inviting me to visit your blog today. The MuseItUp Publishing Young Adult and Middle Grade Blog Tour has really taken off and gives readers of this genre an exciting look at many different styles.

I agree. I don't think my blog has seen so many different genres in such a short period of time. You know this is all due to the efforts of Marva Dasef who helped us organize it. You can check the schedule for the tour on her blog.

One of the most important things I think an author needs to do is read. How can I know what my readers like if I never read a book? Lucky for me the only problem I have is whether to read or write.
My mother always said I’d read a telephone book or cornflake packet if there wasn’t anything else to read. I have to blush when I admit she has been proved right. I have resorted to reading both those articles. In my defence the phone book has a rich supply of surnames and some first names too. I seldom use them but an unusual name will kick my thoughts onto a new path for my character’s name.

Which brings me to the subject of this post. The names I use in my books.
If I have difficulty naming a character, I have difficulty writing the book. I may start off with one name, but as the plot progresses a little voice in the back of my head nags me, telling me the name isn’t right.
For instance Fader in Spirit Stealer was originally named Faker. I wanted him to be poor and honest, but Faker sounded like a shifty person who might be tempted to steal. As I drifted off to sleep one night the name came to me. Fader - a person who fades into the background.

Amelia and Tyler - the other two characters in Spirit Stealer fit their names perfectly. Tyler always had the same name, but Amelia answered to Mary at one stage. Or didn’t answer I should say. After a few pages she objected and demanded to be renamed. Amelia fitted the little girl, and the lady she hoped to become.
I’m not going to tell you the real name of the green phantom who the book is named after, it would spoil the story. Suffice it to say I didn’t know until the end the importance of his name. I hadn’t even thought to call him anything but his original titles until a few chapters from the end of the book, but his name fitted in so well to the story.

So what is Spirit Stealer about? The easy answer is the nighttime world of the library. The doors are locked and darkness falls - then what happens? The phantoms come out to play. Fader is the first person to see them. He lives on the streets and the warm library building provides him with a perfect place to sleep. The green phantom arrives and traps Fader in the library but when Amelia is also trapped he tries to help her with disastrous consequences.

The book covers over one hundred years. Tyler arrives later in the book and helps in the fight to get rid of the spirit stealer.

I found Spirit Stealer an interesting book to write with the story developing in its own direction no matter what I did. It will be released by MuseItUp Publishing in October 2011 and I invite you to visit their bookstore to read an excerpt.

Thank you Barbara for hosting me today.

The pleasure has been all mine. Please leave a comment for Sue. She will be letting us know if she is giving away anything. Still, she will be available to answer any questions or comments. Here are her links:

Until the next time, thank you to all who have been reading and commenting during this month-long Blog-A-Thon and thank you to my new follower. As you know there will be a grand prize at the end of the month. Meanwhile, in two days on Friday my first YA novel, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, is going to be released by MuseItUp Publishing. I am going to have a giant party all day Friday on this blog. Come over and help me celebrate and drink virtual champagne. Yes, I will have my virtual homemade chocolate chip cookies too. Maybe there will be a guest or two dropping in as well. I'm giving away a free copy of my book to the person who leaves my favorite comment!!! Also I will be celebrating on Facebook too!!! It has been eight years coming and I'm going to celebrate!!! Come party with me!!!


  1. Hi, Barbara: It was interesting to hear from Sue and find out a little about her books. Thank you.

    Mary Curtis

  2. Hi, Sue! I can't wait to read your new book coming out this week. As to the names of characters, I turn that over totally to my muse. For some reason, I always identify the image of a character in my head with a name. Once I have that, I never change it for any reason.
    In one novel, an editor suggested changing the name of my heroine, and I tried. Each time I came up with a new one, the image of her fuzzed up in my brain. Eventually, I refused to change it and haven't been sorry I didn't take her advice.
    Good luck with your book!
    Pat Dale

  3. My cheeks are burning! Thanks for the mention, Sue.

    I'm excited to see the next two books MG fantasies. Is the MIU January release (Reva's Quest) a sequel to Spirit Stealer?

  4. Hi Sue,
    You know I may never look at my local library the same...What is lurking around the long rows of books. ;-) Great interview and I love the premise of the book. Thanks to Barbara for hosting you.
    C.K. Volnek

  5. Hi Sue!

    I love the plot for this book. It makes me want to read it when it comes out!

  6. Thank you so much everyone for your visit to my post on Barbara's blog. I originally intended to give away a copy of Spirit Stealer from comments on my own blog but now I've decided to included commenters on my posts to others blogs. This is for this tour of course.
    Marva, it was Barbara who made your cheeks burn, but I totally agree with her. You came up with the ides and it's worked wonderfully.

  7. Congratulations on the upcoming release of your new book. It must be a very exicitng time!

    The main characters' names usually come to me with the idea of the book. Lesser characters, I call them walk through characters, I let my kids name them (sometimes). My six year-old twins are still in the Dora and Olivia stage so they always want to use those names!

    Your books sounds great. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Concilium, July 2012

  8. Hi everyone! Thank you all for visiting and commenting! This has been such a day and it was a pleasure hosting Sue. The idea for her book is going to hook kids into reading it.

    My character names come when I'm writing and they always fit. I have had to get rid of characters in earlier work and that was very hard. I had to cut a whole chapter!

    Sorry I didn't get here sooner, but I was doing the happy dance all day. Sue is giving away a free book of hers to the lucky winner.

  9. Sue,

    What a busy writer you have been. How wonderful to have so many books coming out. Yay for you. Great interview and can't wait to read the books.

    And Happy Book Birthday to you Barbara. Yay. Your novel is out.
    C.K. Volnek

  10. Nice to meet you, Sue. Your book sounds interesting. I agree with you that a character's name has to fit the character and sometimes they tell us when we're wrong. :)

    Congratulations and best of luck.


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