Friday, May 13, 2011

5 questions with Sue Ann Jaffarian

Sue Ann Jaffarian

Finally, blogger is back up and I can post again!  Today Sue Ann Jaffarian was kind enough to endure my 5 questions!  :)  If you don't know of Sue Ann, you should.  She is the author of three series - Odelia Grey, Granny Apples and Madison Rose series.  Odelia is a plus sized paralegal who has a nose for trouble and dead bodies.  Granny Apples is the great, great (I forget how many greats) grandmother of Emma Whitecastle.  As a ghost, Granny helps Emma help other ghosts to solve mysteries surrounding their lives and deaths - mysteries that keep them from passing over peacefully.  Madison Rose my kind of girl - alone in the world, she fends for herself until one day she is attacked and an elderly vampire couple save her from the attack.  Thus starts Madison's relationship with a group of vampires.  Three very different series yet all fantastic.

Was there an author or a book that inspired you to write?

So many authors have inspired me in different ways.  As a kid, I was a voracious reader. I remember dreaming of seeing my name on a book on a library shelf and my name in the card catalogue.  I wanted to write books like To Kill A Mockingbird and The Yearling.  In the end, it was the late Anne George who inspired me to write humorous mysteries.  When I first decided to turn my attention to writing mysteries, I read a couple dozen books from various series written by women about female sleuths.  While reading Anne George’s Murder Runs In The Family, I realized I wanted to write funny mysteries.  I wanted to make people laugh out loud and invest themselves in the lives of the characters as she did with her down home humor and charming characters.   

You’ve been writing for a while now – how has social media affected your platform/marketing/career?

It has greatly enhanced all three. Through various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and blogging, I have been able to reach many more potential readers than I might have otherwise.  With social media, midlist authors can compete better with the authors who are benefited by big PR budgets and campaigns.  I also get to know my readers and they get to know me.  Sometimes that can be touchy, but most of the time it helps sales and boosts interest in my work. I can better picture my audience.  During the many hours I spend writing, I imagine the people who are going to read the latest Odelia or Granny or vampire mystery.  It makes me feel like I’m telling my friends a story in a more intimate setting and writing becomes less lonely.

Do you have a favorite movie, book or artist?

Favorite movies:  The Color Purple, As Good As It Gets
Favorite books:  To Kill A Mockingbird, Angela’s Ashes

You and I have talked about being a professional writer.  Would you mind explaining what that means to you?

For me, being a professional writer means taking it seriously and not treating it as a hobby that you do from time to time as you feel like it or when you can squeeze it in.  I view my writing with the same eye I do my paralegal career at the law firm. There are deadlines and expectations in both venues and I strive to meet them in both careers.  In my writing, I make a schedule and stick to it as carefully as I can. A large part of being a professional writer is also understanding that writing is a business.  Learning about and keeping up with the business aspect of it is part of being a professional writer, just as keeping abreast of continuing legal education is important to my being a professional paralegal.

 If you needed to bribe your editor, what you make/buy her? 

Hmmm, if my editor was still Barbara Moore, I’d buy her a pair of very expensive shoes. That would be a no-brainer.  But I’m not sure about you.  Maybe season tickets to your favorite sports team – best seats in the house or a box – with catered food and drink for you and a couple of friends?  Stock in Starbucks? Give me a hint.

You know me pretty well, Sue Ann.  I love sports and Starbucks.  :)

If you haven't read Sue Ann yet, you owe it to yourself to check out her website.  She currently has first chapters from each of her three series posted.  Sue Ann also posts on the Criminal Minds blog

Have a great weekend, y'all!!


Joni said...

Great interview! I don't understand how Sue Ann can write three great series and hold a fulltime job — when does she sleep?

Terri Bischoff said...

I should have asked that!! Sue Ann - do you sleep? ;)

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Yep, believe it or not. I average 6-7 hrs a night. Of course I have no life except for work and writing when I am awake. Actually, that's not true, but if folks kept track of how much time they slough off, they'd be surprised. It's like calories. You really don't know how many you are eating until you track them. And the fact that I have no husband or children provides me with a lot more writing time than someone who does have a family.

Thanks for the spotlight, Terri!