Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Interview with author Karen Saunders

Today I am delighted to welcome Karen Saunders, author of Me, Suzy P, to The Mile Long Bookshelf! Keep reading to find out about the publishing process of her book, the details on her new book coming soon, and a certain incident she had with some skis...

Hi Karen! Welcome to The Mile Long Bookshelf! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your book, Me, Suzy P?
Hi, Amber! Thanks so much for inviting me on to The Mile Long Bookshelf. It’s fab to be here. I’m Karen, a writer with a fondness for guinea pigs and a rather unfortunate addiction to Haribo. I’m also the author of Me, Suzy, P. The Suzy P of the title is 14 year-old Suzy Puttock, a girl with an embarrassing surname, embarrassing family, and all-round embarrassing life. She’s a walking, talking disaster zone. Luckily she’s got great friends to help her through these mortifying times, and a lovely boyfriend, Danny, too. Problems arise for Suzy when a cute new boy, Zach, starts at her school and seems to like her. Now Suzy’s got to decide what to do – yikes! I've been told it’s funny and romantic.

I agree with that! How long did it take Me, Suzy P to get from inside your head to retailers, readers and reviewers?
A very, very long time! It was several years before it got taken on by a publisher, and people are often surprised how long it takes between an author getting a book deal and the book actually being available to the public. I think in my case Suzy was brought by Templar at the beginning of 2012, and then after the rewrites and the copy edits and the line edits and the cover designing, it was ready to publish at the beginning of 2013. There’s a huge team of people working on each book at a publishing house, and I really landed on my feet with Templar, they've been fantastic.

If Me, Suzy P was offered a movie deal, who would you pick to play the main characters?
I would LOVE Me, Suzy P to be made into a movie, so if any film producers are reading, get in touch anytime! But…I don’t think I can say who I’d pick to play the main characters, because I like people to form their own mental images of characters and settings when they’re reading. So if I give you celebrity names, you’re going to picture them instead of letting your imagination do the work, which to me, is half the fun. (This is why I think you should always try and read a book before seeing it as a movie!)

Reading a book before seeing the movie is definitely the best thing to do. Is there a book by someone else that you wish you had written?
Hmmm, there are some books that have made an awful lot of money that it would be nice to have written, as that sort of bank balance would be nice! The problem is that writing a book is a very different experience to reading a book, so if I’d written a book that I've loved, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of reading it, if you see what I mean. Maybe I need to find a book that’s made a lot of money that I wouldn't enjoy reading, and say that one…

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Read everything you can get your hands on. Write, write, write all you can. And persevere. It’s so important to keep going. Don’t give up!

What is the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you?
Hah! How long have you got?! Just like Suzy, I’m a walking, talking disaster area. I had my nose broken in a tickling fight, broke my arm opening a window, walked into a lamppost checking out a cute boy and not looking where I was going, fell into a snowdrift while on skis, got stuck and had to be pulled out by the ski instructor, gave myself concussion on my birthday this year getting into my car, got smacked in the face by a football while I was watching a school football match… do you want me to go on?! Because I can, y’know…

Haha, oh no! Can you describe Me Suzy P in three words, each beginning with the letter P?
Argh! This is possibly the hardest question anyone’s ever asked me! And, erm, I don’t think I can. I might have to cheat a bit…

Properly funny, heart-warming.

And finally, do you have a new book coming out anytime soon? Is there anything you can tell us about that?
Yes, I do! The sequel to Me, Suzy P, called Suzy P: The Trouble With Three, will be out early next year, and I’m just about to start on the third Suzy book. So watch this space!

Ooh, I can't wait to read that! Thank you Karen!
Thanks SO much for inviting me onto your blog, it’s been ace to talk to you!


  1. I read Me, Suzy P. quite a while ago and I loved it! It was so funny it constantly made me laugh. Great interview! Brilliant questions, Amber! :)

  2. REALLY looking forward to the next Me, Suzy P book!