Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Sue. We are very excited and can’t wait to learn more about you. Can you tell us a little bit about your background? I’m a mum, a university student, with a background in a little bit of everything, from cleaning to pensions. As someone said to me, I’ve never quite found my niche.
What was your first book and how long did it take to get it published? At the start of 2010 I had no intention of sending anything in for publication. In May I wrote a short story, The Sacrifice, on the spur of the moment and submitted it. It was accepted for the Mine anthology published by Dreamspinner. Since then, everything I have submitted has been also been accepted. I know how lucky I’ve been.
When did you start writing m/m erotica What about this genre interested you the most? Four years ago I was sleeping through my Sunday evening TV viewing, when I woke up to see two men kissing on the screen in Torchwood, the Dr Who spin-off. It was such a tender kiss. It was like a sudden epiphany. I knew I could write that. A few days later I was on Livejournal and writing fanfiction. I hadn’t written before and I haven’t stopped writing since.
Do you write full time? I write to earn money while I complete my degree. I tried having a job as well. It was too much.
Looking back was there something in particular that helped you to decide to become a writer? Did you choose it or did the profession choose you? It picked me – definitely. It was literally like a light switching on in my head. Maybe it was finding the genre that helped.
On a typical writing day, how would you spend your time? Aside from procrastinating? I write normally when I get up and fit it around the kids until 9am. Then at odd points in the days and last thing at night.
When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance? I always write freely. I’ve tried plotting but my characters are stubborn and refuse to cooperate. They keep adding scenes I don’t expect.
What kind of research do you do before and during a new book? Most of the research I do as I go. A lot of it has been the minutiae between life in Britain and life in America. I have a lot of on-line friends for day-to-day information and can get involved in long discussions for something that will only be two lines in a book. However, for Morning Report I spent a lot of time investigating how to kill my cows. I know more about salt poisoning that I ever want to know.
How much of yourself and the people you know manifest into your characters? How do you approach development of your characters? Where do you draw the line? I try not to put too much of me in my books but obviously my prejudices do seep in. My characters develop as they go along. I have to remember to keep them on track otherwise they take over. I’m not a gay man, I don’t think like one, so the trick is not to have me in there. There are certain things I won’t write like high school stories. It’s too many years ago for me to be able to successfully write teenage kids in love.
How long does it take for you to complete a book you would allow someone to read? How long is a piece of string? People read it from the start. I need to know I’m on the right track. A story can take me 2 months, it can take a year, but people are always reading it.
If you weren’t sitting there right this very moment answering our book of questions, what would you be doing? Sleeping. I’m off to bed in a moment.
Do you write straight through, or do you revise as you go along? I revise as I go along. I get it betaed by two or three people so I’m always revising the chapters.
When someone reads one of your books for the first time, what do you hope they gain, feel, or experience? Identification with what I’m trying to say. I don’t write fairy tales. Life tends to intrude. I hope people can relate to what I’ve written and get comfort from knowing someone understands.
How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh? Odd. My sense of humour is odd but very British. I laugh at anything and everything. From The Two Ronnies (a seventies British comedy duo) to Bill Bryson.
What are you working on now? I’ve got a Color Box for Torquere, the third part of a trilogy with RJ Scott and Chris Quinton, and two novels, A New Beginning and The Pale Kerchief.
What kind of books do you like to read? I normally read crime and fantasy. At the moment though, it’s mainly textbooks and erotica. I don’t have time for much else.
What is your favorite TV show? Now? I don’t really have one. I watch Criminal Minds, Castle, Leverage and of course, Supernatural. Of all-time? A British sci-fi show called Blake’s 7 from the seventies.
What is your favorite fast food restaurant? Just thought we’d throw that in for fun… Oooh difficult. Pizza Express because they do Fiorentina pizzas.
Without getting up, can you tell us what’s under your bed? (yep, another sneaky question.) My collection of erotic books! They have to live somewhere.
If you weren’t a writer what would you be? I’m already a student and a mum. That’s enough at the moment.
When it comes to the covers of your books, what do you like or dislike about them? It’s amazing when the artist, in my case the fabulous Reese Dante, can take the fragments I give her and create something that really represents my story. I’ve been lucky to have always managed to get what I wanted. My next story,Nothing Ever Happens, is so complex we are going for extremely simple.
Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing? I love walking my dog over the common. Cuddling up on the sofa with my kids, before they start arguing, and eating… I love eating good food with my friends. And eating chocolate.
Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found at university listening to lecturers discuss long-dead theologians. In her head, however, she’s plotting how to get her cowboys into bed together; she just hopes the lecturer doesn’t ask her any questions.
Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.