I’m joined today by my Australian friend and author of western romance, Susan Horsnell.
About the author:
I grew up in the Western Suburbs of Sydney in the 50’s and 60’s.
My parents are originally from the Newcastle-Under-Lyme area of England and came to Australia in 1952 as £10 poms. It was during the migration scheme to help Australia with workers. The word “Pom” meant English people. Assisted by the government, adults traveled for £10; children traveled for free. My father was a Painter and Decorator and I was the eldest of five children.
I met my husband, Robert, in 1973 and we married in March 1974; we were both 18 years old. We have two wonderful sons, gorgeous daughters-in-law and five incredible grandchildren. We have been extremely blessed.
I was a Nurse, a career that spanned more than 35 years. During my career I specialized in caring for people with Alzheimer’s type Dementia, an area that fascinates me despite how heartbreaking it can be. My dear father-in-law is unfortunately afflicted with this disease and now resides in a Nursing Home. In the not too distant future I am hoping to pen a novel incorporating some of the stories I have heard from these amazing people. Part of my career was with the blind and I also cared for severely disabled children for a while too.
When I retired 4 years ago I decided it was time to get the stories out of my head and onto paper. From there I just hoped my stories were interesting and well written enough to attract readers.
It is difficult being a new author now that anyone can publish a book. I can understand readers’ reticence to read Indie authors but hopefully they will give people like me a chance. I find as an avid reader, you can be pleasantly surprised most of the time. I can’t imagine sticking to just one or two authors and just because an author has a publisher doesn’t make them good. I have certainly read some terrible books which have been published by some of the largest companies.
I do hope readers enjoy my books and would love them to leave reviews.
Thank you so very much, Lyn, for inviting me onto your blog.
I’m delighted you’re here, Susan. May I ask if someone inspired you to write? If so, who and how?
My husband encouraged me to write. I have always had a good imagination and English/History were my favorite and best subjects at school. I read a great deal and had so many ideas for where authors could have taken their books. When I retired 4 years ago I decided it was as good a time as ever to see if I could put together something a reader would enjoy. So far it has worked out reasonably well.
Are you self-published? If so, what made you choose this route?
I am self-published. I chose this route after researching several publishers and deciding I could do everything they offered and more. I get to keep all the profits too. If I wasn’t retired I might have considered a publisher as I wouldn’t have had the time to do what needs to be done.
Do you have critique partners and/or beta readers?
I have a great critique partner, mentor and friend in Margaret Tanner. Her help on my last 2 books has been invaluable and I have turned out much better books because of it. I will be always grateful for her guiding hand.
What book are you reading now? Is this by a new author to you, or an old favorite?
I am reading ‘Where the Rain is Made’ by Keta Diablo. Keta is a lady I met through a forum and she is one of my many supporters and encouragers, along with yourself. I have read one other of Keta’s books and my housework suffered because of it!
LOL! I have the same problem. Do you have a favorite charity that you support?
We support a Moon Bear called Crystal through Animals Asia. Crystal was in a terrible state when she was freed from bile farming. She had no teeth or claws and her general health was extremely poor. She is a high care bear who resides in a sanctuary in China. We are extremely proud of the work this group does and we are also proud to be associated with them.
Poor Crystal! She must have suffered terribly. Bless you for helping to save her! Changing the subject, how do you react to a bad review of your book?
I have had a couple of bad reviews, both were when I was a new comer and I really took them to heart. I hated the thought I had upset readers. Now I have the attitude. I can’t please everybody and even the best of authors get bad reviews.
That is so true. We must grow thick skins. What project(s) are you working on now?
I am working on the sequel to Blind Acceptance. It is called Blind Achievement. Phillip is now an adult and has gone off to college to study Law and Government Politics. It was to be due out at the end of October but let’s just say I am behind schedule and need to get my act together.
Same here, my friend. Life tends to distract. Do you have a favorite quote? Please share it.
My favorite quote is one my grandfather used to say all the time: “Only people who aren’t intelligent enough to think of the correct word to use, swear.”
This has stuck with me throughout life. Another was “You have to have a really good memory to be a good liar.”
Grinning! Your grandfather was a wise man. Now, please tell us about one of your books.
All right, here’s a small sample of Blind Acceptance.
Will Luke accept his son, Phillip’s blindness?
When Phillip is injured in a wagon accident and blinded for life, his father must come to terms with the fact that his only heir will be unable to run his beloved ranch unaided.
He struggles to accept his son is still whole; even the beautiful teacher he employs to help Phillip can’t seem to break down Luke’s walls.
Then, without warning, there is an event on the ranch that will change their lives forever.
…..Less than five minutes later the men spotted something lying on the road up ahead. Luke stood in his stirrups, raised his hand to his forehead to shelter his eyes from the sun, and strained to see what it was that lay on the road.
“Dear God, NOOO!”
Luke’s stricken shout startled Nathan and Smoky and they sat stunned as he spurred his horse into a gallop. They were left in a cloud of choking dust kicked up by his horse’s hooves.
He’d barely brought his horse to a stop before he jumped out of the saddle and landed beside the body of his pale, lifeless son. He dropped to his knees and scooped Phillip into his arms.
He tore the cravat from Phillip’s mouth and flung it away. As he held Phillip close and began to rock back and forth, he lowered his head and sobbed.
Nathan and Smoky rode up and dismounted. “Luke?” Nathan didn’t know if Phillip was dead or alive and tears began to well in his own eyes.
He crouched down and placed his hand on his grief stricken brother’s shoulder.
Nathan attempted to console Luke and get close enough to check Phillip. Smoky dashed over to check on the other two bodies that were lying at odd angles nearby.
“Luke, let me see.”
Nathan didn’t know much about doctoring but he knew enough to tell if someone was dead or alive and he could tell when bones were broken.
He gently moved his hands towards Phillip and Luke held his son out for his brother to check.
He lowered his ear to Phillip’s mouth and rested his hand on his chest. “He’s breathing and his heartbeat’s strong Luke. I think he’ll be okay but we need to get him home and get Doc to look at him.”
Luke gazed at Nathan through watery eyes. He wanted so much to believe Phillip would be okay but his tiny body felt so limp lying in his arms.
Nathan attempted to reassure Luke again. “He’ll be okay I’m sure of it but we need Doc to see him.”
Smoky walked over with a grim look on his face. “They’re both dead. Looks like Marie has a broken neck and the man’s body is at an odd angle; I think he might have broken his back. His head is split real bad too; lots of blood. I’ll go get the undertaker from town.”
“Ask Doc to come to the house and see Phillip.” Nathan reached out and began prizing Phillip out of Luke’s arms. “Mount up Luke and I’ll hand him to you.”
Luke was still in a daze but he handed his son over and stood up. Nathan noticed the blood all over Luke’s shoulder as he took Phillip into his arms. He checked to find where it was coming from.
When he ran his hand over Phillip’s head; it came away red, wet and sticky.
The look of anguish on Luke’s face broke Nathan’s heart and he did his best to reassure him. “He’s cracked his head and knocked himself out but he’s still breathing okay and his heart beat is real strong.”
Purchase Blind Acceptance here: http://amzn.com/B00E333BLU
See all of Susan’s books here: http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Horsnell/e/B00BXR5FMM
Find Susan here: http://susanhorsnell.com/