Saturday 19 April 2014

Author Interview ~ Francesca Suters.

Today I'm happy to welcome Francesca Suters to the blog, author of the recently released novel, Returning.

Tell us about yourself!

Hi, my name is Francesca. I am in my thirties and I live in Australia with my husband and three daughters, aged 7, 4 and 2. I’m a qualified lawyer and I work part-time in a quasi-legal role. I love spending time with my family and I write for fun on my blog.

You recently released your debut novel, Returning. What can you tell us about it?

Writing a novel was something I have always wanted to do and when I had the idea for Returning, I knew that it would be “the” novel. Returning is the story of a young mother who finds herself back in her 16-year-old body, living her 16-year-old life. It touches on themes of regret, tragedy and love. It looks at how our choices lead us to where we are in our lives. It is a “chick” book, but it is more than that. It explores how Rita got back to the position of re-living her life and why things pan out differently the second time around for her. I’m very happy with how it has turned out.

How did you find self-publishing your novel? Was it tough or rewarding? Both?

Initially, I was unsure of whether to self-publish or go to a traditional publisher. I sent the manuscript to a couple of publishers, but nothing came of it. I don’t have a literary agent and I decided not to go to the trouble of getting one, as this is my hobby, not my profession.

Self-publishing has been extremely rewarding, helped by the fact that I used a great self-publishing facilitator (Publicious) who took care of all the technical stuff. Typesetting, cover design and distribution channels were done for me as part of the package I purchased.

Self-publishing has also been tough in a sense, as it has been all down to me. I have learnt a lot doing things this way. For example, since reading the finished product, I now know there are typographical errors in the novel which I didn’t pick up in the manuscript. I am a little disappointed in myself (the perfectionist in me comes out here), but having said that, I didn’t have the resources of a big publishing house, so I can’t expect it to be perfect. On the flip side, being the one responsible and making the decisions has also be very empowering.

Overall, I have found self-publishing extremely rewarding. Being able to hold a novel in my hands which I created – this is a feeling like no other.

What have you been up to since releasing Returning?

Returning was released in late February. I have since been telling people all about it and riding a wave of excitement! I am writing a couple of guest posts on blogs to get the word out and have an article for a local magazine planned in a few months’ time. I also hope that once the first wave of readers have read it, there may be a few reviews and word-of-mouth will spread.

I have written a plan for a sequel to Returning and I am about to get started on writing it.

Tell us about your writing process.

My writing process is, in a word, haphazard! Writing is essentially something which can fit in around everything else. I don't have scheduled writing time like professional writers. I have three young children and a professional part-time job. I run my daughters' weekly playgroup. I taxi my children to activities. I have an unhealthy obsession with ironing. We’re building a house. All of these things take time and writing simply has to fit in around them.

My writing process is always in a state of flux and attempted improvement. Depending on my mood and location, sometimes I will write in a notebook. Sometimes I feel more inspired typing. Sometimes I just type out what's written in the notebook and improve it as I go. Not overly efficient, I know, but it works for me.

With Returning, I let the inspiration take hold and just wrote. It was exhilarating and freeing but it was also difficult to fit all the pieces together and I had to rewrite a lot, or discard large chunks I had written as my ideas changed. I have approached its sequel in a different way - doing a chapter plan first prior to commencing the writing. I think this is only possible because I already know the characters so well. I am also open to the structure changing along the way as I write the story.

Do your prefer ebooks or physical books?

Definitely physical books. I love their smell and the feeling of the pages between my fingers as I turn them.

If you had to empty your TBR list, only keeping three, which books would you choose to read?

Considering I currently have 85 books on my Goodreads TBR list, this is tough!

1. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak – I haven’t seen the movie or read the book, but I have heard that it is such a moving story. I feel that I would need to read the book before seeing the movie.

2. Into My Arms by Kylie Ladd – This has been on my TBR list since it was released last year and I just haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Kylie is an Australian author. I have read some great reviews and I look forward to reading it at some stage.

3. Ralph’s Party by Lisa Jewell – I loved Lisa’s book 31 Dream Street so Ralph’s Party is something I would definitely keep on my list (and a bunch of other books by Lisa Jewell actually). I love her writing style and the way her characters find a place in your heart.

If you had to choose between writing books for the rest of your life or reading books for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

Writing. It is like when people who have never travelled before go on a trip and then get the travel bug. That’s what I am like with writing. Now that I have written a book, I just want to do more! I hope real life lets me.

If you could live in the world of any book, which would that be?

Montalbano books. These are Sicilian detective books written by Andrea Camilleri. I wouldn’t want to live in the crime / murder side of things, but I love the language and surroundings of small-town Sicily, so this would be a great “world” to be in.

Thanks for joining us Francesca!

Francesca Suters is a thirty-something Australian woman who wears many hats (not literally). She has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Newcastle (NSW) and currently works part-time in a corporate setting (lawyer hat). She is married (wife hat) with three children (mum hat) who are her biggest fans. Since she was a child, she has always loved writing. In recent years, Francesca has pursued this interest through blogging (blogger hat), a hobby which is flexible enough to fit around her responsibilities as a working parent. Francesca has just published her first novel (author hat), Returning, which is available for purchase as a paperback and an ebook.


  1. Thanks so much for having me, Sophie :-)

  2. Great interview! Good luck Francesca! And, so agree with you for living in Montalbano world!


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