Susan Whitfield Interview

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This week I would like to welcome Susan Whitfield, the prolific author of the Logan Hunter Mystery series, Slightly Cracked (women’s fiction) and Killer Recipes (cookbook). She’s here today to talk about her writing and her new book, a work of historical fiction called Sprig of Broom. Nice to have you here on Reade and Write, Susan!

Tell me about your new book.

Sprig of Broom is historical fiction.

Sprig of Broom is a coming-of-age novel about Geoffrey Plantagenet, a count, who at the age of 15 marries King Henry’s daughter, Empress Matilda, and fathers the dynasty of Plantagenet kings. The story begins with the count on his journey to Rouen in Normandy to be knighted, thus becoming a Knight of the Bath. From Rouen, he and the king’s entourage travel to LeMans where Geoffrey is wed to Matilda. And the loathing begins . . .

Sir Geoffrey Plantagenet has much to learn, and over the course of his life’s journey he develops a better understanding of himself, fathers a long line of kings, endures adversaries—especially his own wife—and boldly faces the world of chaos around him.

Who is the audience for the book?

Since I’m a multi-genre author, I hope my readership will follow but I expect historical fiction buffs will be the primary audience.

Tell me about the setting of your book—how did you choose it, what kind of research did you have to do, why did you choose it?

I discovered that I have an ancestor who was a Knight of the Bath in the 12th century. Geoffrey V Plantagenet, a count from Anjou in the duchy of Normandy married King Henry’s daughter, Matilda, and fathered Henry II, beginning the long line of Plantagenet kings of England. He was 15 and Matilda was 26 and previously married. They despised each other but vowed to give the king male heirs. This opened an intriguing door for my imagination. I read over thirty books from that time period and several that focused on the Plantagenets themselves.

What was the hardest thing about writing the book?

What a challenge! I have written five mysteries and a women’s fiction and made it all up. This was the first time that I felt I had to know as much accurate history about these characters as I could find and about the time period, how they talked, where they travelled, the clothing, food, etc. Once I had established the true history I went back and let my imagination fill in the unknown gaps. Believability was important to me. Writing scenes of conflict between Geoffrey and Matilda was my favorite part of the process.

Have you written any other books?

I wrote five novels in the Logan Hunter Mystery series, women’s fiction, Slightly Cracked, and authored a unique cookbook, Killer Recipes.

Do you write every day? 

In one way or another. If I’m not literally writing, I’m working something out in my head.

When you read a book, what authors do you like best? What genres do you like best?

I read a wide variety of genres and authors.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Don’t let anyone talk you out of writing what you feel. Become the character. Work through the hurdles and focus on each character, the setting and the plot at different times.

What advice would you give to your younger self? 

Don’t wait until you’re in your fifties to start writing seriously!

Is there anything I haven’t asked that you wanted me to? 

I live in North Carolina and set all my books here except Sprig of Broom, of course.

Where can readers connect with you?

www.susanwhitfield.blogspot.com

www.susanwhitfieldonline.com

Where can readers find your books?

They can find hard copies at www.Amazon.com and all e-reader formats at www.smashwords.com. Books can also be purchased with credit card or PayPal on my site.

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Until next week,

Amy

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13 comments on “Susan Whitfield Interview

  1. macjam47 says:

    Hi Amy. I enjoyed reading this interview. Thanks for introducing me to a new-to-me author.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoyed this interview and it’s fun to find another NC author. Susan, we live in such an inspiring locale, don’t we!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good Morning Amy and Susan,

    Let me start by saying that I have the utmost respect for any author who takes on Historical Fiction. Mostly because I was so terrible at history throughout my life. Dates, dates, and more dates not to mention lots of facts. I could never remember any of it! I can’t even imagine the hours that must go into research for this genre. Having said that, I love reading historical fiction. And of course, nobody is going to give me a quiz after I have read it…. I hope!

    Susan, I am glad you are a multi-genre writer… I have recently become a multi-genre reader, and I suspect that there are lots of readers who are ready to take that plunge! Life is way too boring to stay with one genre!

    I am heading over to amazon to add you – both genres to my TBR.

    Amy, thanks for hosting Susan and giving me yet another new author to add to my TBR.

    Hope you both have a wonderful day,

    and As Always,

    “Keep Reading and Writing”!

    Sharon

    Like

    • amreade says:

      Sharon, you are most welcome, as always, for the introduction to Susan and her books. Having recently begun writing a novel of historical fiction myself (and having recently put it aside to get back to writing contemporary women’s fiction :)), I can definitely second your statement that you have the utmost respect for any author who takes on historical fiction. It’s hard! Glad you enjoyed the interview. Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • drwhit says:

      Sharon and Amy, I might have abandoned the project had Geoffrey not been an ancestor. I was curious to know all about him and I hope I did him justice. In fact, I think he was much more the warrior with no conscience than I made him in the novel. I wanted to show the on-going ordeal between he and his lady wife and show his human-ness (not sure this is a word). I gave him remorse and guilt and a need for redemption. Ah, the fun one can have with a few facts and an active imagination. Will I ever write another historical? Probably not, but I’m glad I did this one. I so admire historical fiction writers as well. Very challenging, indeed.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. drwhit says:

    Amy, thank you so much for having me over! I’d like to offer a free copy of
    Sprig of Broom for a comment you choose.

    Liked by 1 person

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