About suzannerogersonfantasyauthor

I live in Middlesex with my hugely encouraging husband and two children. I wrote my first novel at the age of twelve. I discovered the fantasy genre in my late teens and have never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave me the impetus to take my attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and I'm lucky enough to have a husband who supports my dream - even if he does occasionally hint that I should get a proper job. I love gardening and have a Hebe (shrub) fetish. I enjoy cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feed unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes. I collect books, love going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them my love of nature and photography. I'm interested in history and enjoy wandering around castles. But most of all I like escaping with a great film, or soaking in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

My #SPFBO book buys during November 2018 promo #fantasy #tbr #amreading

I thought I would do a quick post on the books I bought during November’s SPFBO promo. I’m excited to add these to my Goodreads TBR, but I won’t state when I’ll read them as I still haven’t read the books I purchased during the previous sale. My TBR pile keeps growing and has reached 410. That is one of the reasons I only bought 8 books this time around, the other is I’ve spent all my money on ads. Anyway here they are…

Between the Shade and the Shadow – Coleman Alexander

Phoenix Descending – Dorothy Dreyer

The Dragon Song Saga – J C Lang

Sorcerous Rivalry – Kayleigh Nichol

A Keeper’s Tale – J A Andrews

Song – Jesse Teller

The Fire Eye Refugee – Samuel Gateley

Balam Springs – Travis M Riddle

I’m really excited by this collection. I tried to be guided by the blurbs and the covers rather than be influenced by reviews or what I’ve heard through the SPFBO pages. A couple of these I’ve had my eye on for a while so I was really pleased to find them in the sale and be able to support my fellow indie authors.

I can’t promise when I’ll read them, but I will review them on my blog, Amazon and Goodreads eventually.

I think I may have sold a couple of copies of my own 2016 SPFBO entry – Visions of Zarua but with the birthday blitz and a couple of ads running at the same time, its hard to know what sparked the purchases.

What did you pick up during the sale?

Did you pick up any of the books above? Or have you already read them?

Last reminder to pick up 99p bargain #fantasy books by #SPFBO #indieauthors #IARTG

Reminder

Today is the last day of the sale for 100 (ish) fantasy books from authors who have taken part in Mark Lawrence’s brilliant Self Published Fantasy Blog off competition.

spfbo sale banner nov 2018

Travis Riddle has kindly set up a page with book covers, blurbs and to buy links of all the books taking part. Please take a look here and see what you fancy. My book, Visions of Zarua is on the list too!

I’ve been picking up a few bargain books myself and will share those buys and why I chose them tomorrow. For now, take advantage of the sale and help support us indie authors. Thanks very much.

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Visions of Zarua’s Birthday Blitz – Part 2 #highfantasy #fantasy #blogtour

Hello again. Today I will share the remaining stops on Visions of Zarua’s birthday blitz which took place on Friday 16th November. 25 lovely bloggers took part with reviews, guest posts, extracts, Q&A’s and promo posts.

Visions now has a very healthy rating on goodreads – 40 ratings with an adv of 4.33 and 23 reviews. Amazon UK has 21 reviews and Amazon US 14. If you have read it, would you consider leaving a review too?

Yesterday I shared the first 13 blogs that took part in the birthday blitz, here’s the page if you missed it.

Now for the remaining blogs taking part in the birthday blitz

VOZ blitz

Extract – Jazzy Book Reviews

I shared a scene where Paddren makes an important decision. You can read it here.

 

Q&A – Bound to Writing

I had some fun answering questions here.

 

Guest Post – Booksaremycwtches

I discussed some of my most inspiration places here.

 

Recipe – Dash Fan Book Reviews

I shared my family’s favourite carrot and courgette recipe here.

 

Q&A – Donnasbookblog

I answered a few questions of Donna’s blog here.

 

Review – The Treasure Within

‘I loved the mashup between genres, and think that Suzanne Rogerson handled it really well – weaving clues with magic in a clever way, and being able to keep the book feeling like both an epic fantasy and a mystery novel and the same time.’  See the full review here.

Q&A – Nesie’s Place

Some more fun questions and a couple of fun photos of my cat. See it here.

 

Review – Seansbookreview

‘Magic is the cornerstone of a great fantasy read and this had a magic system that I liked. Its epic fantasy at its finest.’ Read the review here.

 

Guest Post – Writing with Wolves

I shared how Jago’s story and the dualtime of the novel came to life. Read it all here.

 

Promo – The Northern Witch’s Book Blog

A lovely promo post here.

 

Promo – The Magic of Worlds

Another promo post here.

 

Promo – Zooloo’s Book Diary

The last promo post of the day here.

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Thank you to everyone who took part and who read the posts. It was a lot of fun and now I’m ready for a rest! It’s back to work on book 3 of the Silent Sea Chronicles for me on Monday.

Don’t forget the giveaway ends today, but the ebook will be on sale for the next couple of weeks 99p worldwide.

Have you enjoyed the blog tour? Please get in touch. And if you’ve been inspired to read Visions of Zarua, please let me know. I love to hear from readers and if you have time to share your review it will make my day.

Until next time…

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For UK Authors With an Interest in Getting Their Books into Bricks and Mortar Stores.

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I’ve been looking into getting my books into Waterstones and hit a dead end because I don’t use the right book distributor. Stevie’s post explains everything you need to do and will be very helpful to me when I’m ready to take the next step.

via For UK Authors With an Interest in Getting Their Books into Bricks and Mortar Stores.

Visions of Zarua Birthday Blitz round-up Part 1 #fantasy #epicfantasy #blogtour

Yesterday was an amazing day for Visions of Zarua and sharing the book birthday with so many people was brilliant.

The birthday blitz was huge fun and a great success as far as I’m concerned. I got to visit 25 blogs in one day and there were 10 new reviews for Visions all between 3.75 to 5 stars.

I would love to share every word here, but the post would end up being massive. Instead, here are some of the highlights from the first 13 blogs on the list. Tomorrow I will share the remaining 12.

Birthday Blitz round-up Part 1

VOZ blitz

Review from Nemesis Blog

‘Wow! Wow! Wow! What can I say?! This is an epic standalone fantasy. The world building Suzanne did for this book is incredible! …if you like fantasy, mystery, wizards, a bit of romance, the bad dude and monsters! I cannot recommend this book highly enough!’ Read the full review here.

 

Review On Odd socks and Lollipops

‘Visions of Zarua was a really enjoyable fantasy read, it reminded me of the older style fantasy novels I have read. It has a shattered timeline spanning 350 years, a mystery to solve, a host of vivid characters. I found the start was a little on the slow side, though it did set the scene well. The world-building was really interesting and I found that I really liked the world of the past, Zarua of 350 years ago.’ See full review here.

 

Guest post – Between the Lines

I shared the story of how Visions of Zarua will soon be traditionally published in Czech! Read the post here.

 

Extract – Laura’s Interests.

Read the scene that sparked off the idea for the whole book here.

 

Review – Pagefarer book blog

‘The characterisation is strong (I think Leyoch was my favourite), the world-building is very able and the story is well-paced…’ Full review here.

 

Guest Post – B for Bookreview

I shared character profiles for my 4 viewpoint characters. Read it here.

 

Extract – Read. Write. Inspire.

I shared an important scene from Jago’s perspective here.

 

Review – Jessica Rachow

‘I loved everything about Visions of Zarua! From the flawed, relatable characters to the intricately planned out world of Paltria, and the ancient, abandoned city of Zarua…this book had everything I want to see in a fantasy novel.’ Full review here.

 

Extract – Ali the Dragon Slayer

I shared a terrifying moment for Leyoch. Read it here.

 

Review – Splashes into Books

‘What a great mix of fantasy, magic and mystery this proved to be! The talented author has built a unique version of a medieval style world where there are barons, Kings, wizards, magic and monsters. You can never be certain just who you can trust…’ Read the rest of the review here.

 

Review – J Bronder Book Reviews

‘This is an amazing read and one that I strongly recommend checking out. Fantasy might not be your thing but definitely try this book. I think it will become a fast favorite.’ Read the full review here.

 

Review – Birdie’s Bibliotheca

‘The story itself progresses in a fairly standard manner: disastrous events lead to a staggering reveal which leads to a quest whereby more reveals are made, further inciting the need for the quest. The final climax is drawn out and convoluted, and maybe my favorite part of the story. Overall, I give this about a 4…’ Read the full review here.

 

Review – Jess Bookish Life

‘The author created an amazing world with relatable characters, many secrets, magic and a touch of romance in a great recipe for a wonderful fantasy standalone novel.‘ Read the rest of the review here.

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Thank you so much to the above blogs for featuring Visions of Zarua yesterday. Please visit them and show your support to these bloggers. A huge thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources who made this possible. I highly recommend her services.

If you want to check out the remaining blog of the birthday blitz, visit this page for the links.

The giveaway is running until sunday night, so why not try to win a signed paperback for yourself. Visions of Zarua 3 book giveaway.

The ebook will remain on sale at 99p worldwide and you can purchase that here or check out the free sample below.

 

Thank you for following the birthday blitz and please join me again tomorrow for the remaining stops on the tour.

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Happy Birthday! Visions of Zarua is 3 today! #epicfantasy #fantasy

I can’t believe I’ve been a published author for 3 years!

Today is a big day for Visions of Zarua too and I’m celebrating in style with a massive book birthday blitz. I must say a big thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising it all.

VOZ blitz

Today there will be reviews, guest posts, Q&A’s, extracts, promos and a giveaway to win 3 signed paperback copies. There is a special page of links here for all the blogs taking part. I will be visiting these blogs and sharing their posts throughout the day, so keep a look out and share where ever you can.

Visions of Zarua is also on sale for 99p worldwide universal link.

And you can try you luck with the Rafflecopter Giveaway here.

I will run a follow up post with links to all the posts tomorrow, but for now I would like to thank everyone involved.

From 15th – 19th many #SPFBO fantasy authors are reducing their books to 99p

Who is up for some bargain books?

spfbo sale banner nov 2018

Check out the Promo page with links to all the books in the 99p sale. The fantasy books on offer span all areas of the genre including dark and urban. The authors taking part have been entrants in Mark Lawrence’s ‘Self Published Fantasy Blog Off’ competition which is now in its 4th year.

A big thank you to Travis M Riddle for organising the giveaway and hosting the promo page.

You will find my debut epic fantasy Visions of Zarua among the books on sale. It was a SPFBO entrant in 2016 and is celebrating its 3rd birthday tomorrow! I will be back then for a special birthday blitz. But while you’re waiting, why not check out all the brilliant books that are on sale today.

spfbo nov promo

Please share and spread the word about this epic sale!

 

My reading plan for 2018 #amreading #fantasy #ya #thriller

This year has been busy in various ways and I have not read as much as I would’ve liked. My Goodreads challenge was 35 books and so far I have only read 29. I thought making a list for the rest of the year would help me get back on track.

So here goes.

Currently reading – Magic Study by Maria V Snyder. As with the first book I find the writing totally addictive and if I read nothing else but these books this year I would be happy.

magic study

ARC – Not Like Everyone Else by Jennifer Leigh. This is a YA thriller I’ve been interested in since following Jenn’s blog and I am going to read this before 2018 ends.

 

not like everyone else

Self Published Fantasy Blog Off books – I bought lots of SPFBO books in the last SPFBO sale which I have yet to read. Here’s my post about the bargains I picked up. Now there is another sale 15th to 19th November so I will be getting even more books to add to my TBR list which already has 400 books! I really hope to read at least another one off this list and perhaps I may even share a surprise review from my husband who is currently reading one of SPFBO books – surprise because he has no idea I’ve mentioned this!

My Xmas Read – For the last three years I have read the latest Great Library book by Rachel Caine. This year I will be reading Smoke and Iron – book 4. My son started the series a few weeks ago and has already started the 4th book. I had planned to give it to myself as a Christmas present, but he begged to read it first!

smoke and iron

Audio book – Still listening to Gilded Cage by Vic James which has been enjoyable so far. I like the voice of the narrator and she has brought the story to life for me. It does seem a bit slow, but I’m happy to stick at it.

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Book Group Read – Sweet Dreams by Tricia Sullivan

This one sounds intriguing!

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Books I’ve Won – I have been lucky enough to win two books recently and I can’t wait to read them.  City of Lies by Sam Hawke and Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce. I would love to read and review these before the end of 2018.

So these books will take me to my Goodreads target of 35 books, but life and writing does have a habit of getting in the way. Fingers crossed I find some uninterrupted reading time!

 

Review of Gollancz Writers’ Day and tips to enjoy a writing conference #SFF #fantasy #writerstips

I had a wonderful time at the Gollancz Writers’ Day last week. There were 32 aspiring authors attending, all of us writers of fantasy, sci-fi and horror. I chatted to some lovely people and swapped details with a couple of them. I’d like to have done more mingling, but I’m still very shy and find it hard to put myself out there. Now that I’ve done this though, I’m hoping to go to more events tailored to my genre and will try harder to make connections with other writers.

A brief overview of the day

We met the editors and learnt about the life of a book, from the moment an editor loves your book (and they have to love it to take it on), through the acquisition meetings and all the editing stages involved. A few other areas they discussed were titles, book covers, royalties and rights, and audio books.

I was really surprised to learn Gollancz try to have a book ready a year before its publication date. I was also surprised how much time an editor will invest in the book before the copy editor and then the proofreader get their hands on it. It sounds like an exhausting process, but all with the aim of making the book come alive to the reader.

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We then met the sales, marketing and publicity team and learnt a great deal about their processes including how they reach readers and gain reviews. This was really interesting for me as a self-published author to compare with my own attempts at marketing.

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After lunch we met two lovely Gollancz authors, Pat Cadigan and Adam Roberts. Their talks from an author’s perspective were both informative and entertaining. I was also able to chat to them during the coffee break and at the pitching event at the end of the day. Both were friendly and had some great stories and knowledge to share.

Note – Right at the end of the day, our small group were with Pat Cadigan. She talked about making it as a writer and sticking at it. She said something that will stay with me, ‘…I don’t know of any author who hasn’t made it in the end…’ That gives me hope!

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Finally, top agent Juliet Mushens gave a presentation on submitting to agents and then held a Q&A session. I made plenty of notes to refer to later and it was very insightful to learn how she deals with submissions from that first contact to negotiating the deal with the publishing house. It was also daunting to hear she receives around 500 submissions per month.

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After a short break, we split into small groups. Each group had 15 minutes with either Juliet Mushens, one of the Gollancz team or the writers mentioned, to take turns practicing our pitches. There was also an unexpected appearance from Ben Aaronovitch – author of Rivers of London who gave our group some personal tips on the life of an author on tour.

After 15 minutes, each group moved along to the next professional to pitch to. Imagine speed dating and you’ll get how it went.

This pitch session was my most anticipated part of the whole day and I jumped at the opportunity to pitch to Juliet Mushens who has been an agent on my ‘wish’ list since 2013 when I first looked into the possibility of finding an agent. I also managed to pitch to Marcus Gipps the Editorial Director of Gollancz. Both seemed impressed by my pitch for Visions of Zarua and gave me some great pointers to improve it. That kind of experience is priceless and I hope to put what I’ve learnt into practice very soon.

 

Conclusion

The people at Gollancz were warm and friendly. The writers’ day has demystify the agent and publishing industry, and I can now appreciate how incredibly hard it is for a debut author to get published. I won’t give up on the dream though, because it’s got to happen to someone.

I highly recommend all writers take the opportunity to attend a day like this, especially if it’s specific to your genre. Although I was nervous leading up to it, I would jump at the chance to do it again!

One other thing I wanted to mention – I may have been the only one to have self-published in this group of aspiring authors, I don’t know as no one I talked to mentioned it, but I wasn’t made to feel inferior as I have done at other conferences. The people were all supportive of each other, no matter what stage anyone was at in their writing careers. I’m proud to have self-published and to have realised my dream on my own terms, and I would recommend it to other authors if you have the time and money to invest in your book, but there’s no denying it’s hard work. I can see the many benefits of having the backing of an agent and a publisher behind you, and how if you were an author for Gollancz you might feel like you were joining an extended family.

Having the Czech publishing deal for Visions of Zarua and attending the Gollancz Writers’ Day has inspired me to start subbing again.

It was also really interesting listening to the panel talk about the acquisition meetings and how many stages a book must go through before it’s accepted by a publisher. It gave me a warm glow to realise that Visions of Zarua has gone through that process at Fragment / Albatros Media. Just yesterday I saw the cover proof for the hardback edition and it is amazing – very close to the image I had in mind before I found my own cover back in 2015 – I still love my version too!

 

My tips for a successful day at a writing conference

Arrive early – It take away the stress of bursting in late when you’re hot and sweaty and panting like you’ve run a marathon. It gives you a chance to settle your nerves and meet the others who also managed to get there early. Plus it’s so much less daunting than being the last to arrive and everyone else already appears to have made friends.

Sit at the front – Don’t be shy. It’s good to make eye contact with the speakers and you can hear everything being said. Plus it feels easier to ask questions when you don’t have to shout to the other end of the room.

Come prepared with a list of questions – You may or may not ask them, but it’s better to be prepared with something. And though you may be filled with nerves, it gets easier each time you force your hand up and step outside your comfort zone.

Make notes – You’ll never remember everything that’s said, and it’s great to go back over the day and remember those little nuggets of info you’ve scribbled down.

Mingle and make connections with the attendees – Some great advice we received was to remember that the SFF crowd is a small community and that we may well keep bumping into the same people at these events. They suggested making friends now and growing together, supporting each other. That’s such an important part of developing as an author and I feel more confident about doing this now.

Speak to the speakers – From the audience you may see the speakers as confident professionals and feel awed by them, thinking you could never be in that position. But if you get the chance to speak with them during a break or at the end, it can really help you see them as normal people and help your own confidence levels. I loved the opportunity to speak with published authors, to know that maybe none of us are really that different.

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I hope I’ve inspired you to try out a writing or publishing event and if you were at the Gollancz Writers’ day please contact me and say hello.

If you know of any SFF events in the UK please share them in the comments. I’d love to get a list together and try to attend some.

I’ll start with this;

The British Fantasy Society have just announced their BFS London Social on 7th December at Central Station Pub. Here’s a link to the BFS website.

And

Gollancz have promised to bring back Gollancz Fest in 2019 (something I’ve heard of but never attended). I am making a promise to myself and to you that I will attend in 2019. Who knows, maybe I will meet you there.

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#Tuesdaybookblog #bookreview The Game Bird by Aidan R Walsh #fantasy

I found The Game Bird during SPFBO 2018 promo sale. The cover initially attracted my attention.

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The blurb from Amazon;

An evil is growing. The Realm is under attack. A leviathan has risen from the depths and is destroying the fleets that feed Stormhaven.

Stuck ashore and drowning in debt, Captain James Faulkner resolves to hunt the sea monster and claim the enormous bounty on the beast.

Sophia Blake’s life looks effortless. But she carries a secret, an occult curse that is capable of destroying both her and her nation. Sophia knows her time is running out.

The Tallowman is a slowly decaying melding of demon and man. This monstrous assassin is desperate to capture Sophia and will let nothing stand between it and its prey.

Since his wife died, the sober lawyer Uriah Blake has wanted nothing more than to live a quiet life and enjoy what time he has left with his daughter, Sophia. When he learns that the Tallowman is pursuing her, he is forced to cast aside his books and his ink and join a shadowy war against a terrible foe.

As these hunts build to their shattering conclusion, Faulkner, Sophia and Uriah will be thrown together and forced to confront malevolent forces beyond their imagining.

The Game Bird is a swashbuckling black powder fantasy, wrapped around a spine of darkness.
Goodreads link

My Review

The story starts with immediate action and thrusts you straight into Captain Faulker’s life as he attempts to escape bailiffs. Stormhaven comes alive as a place I wouldn’t particularly like to live and I enjoyed the adventure right from the first page. The scenes on the ships are especially well written.

The ‘swashbuckling black powder fantasy’ was quite a new and unique reading experience. I got swept along with the tale and liked all the characters especially James Faulkner and Sophia. The mention of their childhood lives together and hints of a possible romance were a big plus for me. There are also creatures of legend – a leviathan and pegasus to add plenty of excitement.

I have to mention the Tallowman who is evil and gruesome, everything you want from an antagonist. I admit that I love an assassin story, but the Tallowman is genuinely terrifying.

I’m really pleased the self published fantasy blog off led me to this story, and I hope it goes far in the competition.

I rate The Game Bird 4 stars and urge you to read it.