Ask an Author #1

I’ll be doing an Ask an Author series consisting of 4 posts where I answer various questions that I got online. This first one is a mixture of questions whereas the succeeding posts will be more theme based.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

Not really, although some people think that Angela Suzanne is a pseudonym because I don’t use my last name but Angela Suzanne is my given name. One of the main factors I chose to go with my first and middle names instead of using my last name was because if I was to ever get married, I would be changing my last name and then I’d have to choose if I wanted to change my writing name or not. I may change my last name but my first and middle names will always stay the same.

Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

Yes. I’m currently in a state of reader’s block. There have been numerous books that I’ve started recently and put down after only a chapter or two because I couldn’t get into them. I’ve been finding the same thing with TV shows and movies right now and at times it’s frustrating because I want to watch or read something and nothing catches my interest.

What do you do in your free time?

During the school year, I volunteer with a kids program once a week. I also take part in various activities put on by my church. Other things I do are spend time in nature, nature photography, read, write, listen to music, organize, listen to podcasts, spend time with family, play around with Excel (this one doesn’t happen too often but I do it occasionally).

Do you keep a diary?

Kind of. I have a journal but I’m very sporadic with writing in it. In the last couple of years, I’ve only written in it a handful of times. I used to be better at writing in it. I always plan to get back into it more regularly but haven’t made the effort to do it yet.

Do you have a library at home?

I have a small one. I moved to an apartment a few years ago and I got rid of a lot of books before the move because I didn’t want to have to pack them all up and I knew I wouldn’t have space for all of them.

If you could live anywhere in the world, which country would you choose and why?

Right now, I think I’m happy living in Canada on the prairies. It is where my family is, love the open green spaces, prairie sunsets, “free” healthcare, and it would take me a long time before another country could feel like home. I wouldn’t mind visiting other countries but they’re not home.

Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?

No, but that could be interesting to do. I’d have to stretch my imagination quite a bit as the majority of dreams I remember are very strange and I wouldn’t be share how to incorporate that into a story. Although I probably could create a story from some of the recurring nightmares I had as a kid.

If you had to give up either snacks and drinks during writing sessions or music, which would you find more difficult to say goodbye to?

It depends if the drinks include drinking water as well. The snacks I could give up easily but if I couldn’t drink anything during writing sessions, I would have short unproductive writing sessions because I need to stay hydrated.

Do you like audiobooks, physical books, or e-books better? Why?

I find that they all have the benefits but I prefer physical books. I can take physical books outside to read, it’s not as hard on my eyes, I don’t have to charge them, it’s easier to see how far I am in the book.

What is your favorite word, and why?

I don’t have a favorite word because I like many. I have been accused of using big words and numerous occasions by my brothers. The most recent word that’s been added to the list of words I like is “pusillanimous”. It means showing a lack of courage and resolution; marked by contemptible timidity.

Writers are often associated with loner tendencies; is there any truth to that?

Yes, I believe there is some truth to it. Writers tend to be in their heads a lot and writing itself is generally a solitary endeavor so it leads to writers being by themselves a lot. This isn’t to say that all writers are loners but I think in a generalized sense it has some truth to it. I know I lean toward loner tendencies.

Gasping for Air Giveaway

This is the final post before I’ll be drawing the winners of my Gasping for Air giveaway. Winners will be selected and contacted on Friday, March 29. So get your shares, comments, questions emails, etc. in to get entered. Click here to use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway.

Negative Reviews

I have only ever received one review from someone who doesn’t know me personally and it happens to be the only one out there for people to see.

My last fiction book that I wrote before Gasping for Air was Breaking Free. I did a giveaway on Goodreads, a site where people can keep track of books they have read, want to read, or are currently reading. They can also rate and review books. With their giveaways, people can enter a giveaway for books they might like and it is strongly suggested that the winner writes a review on it.

At the end of my giveaway for Breaking Free, I got an email with the winner’s name and address and I mailed them a copy of my book.

When I went back several months later to see if they had posted a review, any confidence I had in my writing was shattered. It didn’t help matters that I was still in a fragile emotional state from my brother’s death less than a year before and that I knew there was truth to what the reader said.

I received this book free from the Goodreads Giveaway page.

I could not get through this book. The writing is not for me.

First, I will mention in the prologue what really struck me as odd. Page 2 from the book: ‘”You ripped my brother off! He gave you more money than you deserved, you little…” an expletive came out of his mouth and his eyes narrowed in slits.’
Seriously? … Dot, dot, dot? Is it forbidden to type any “expletive”?

The next thing about the writing is that every other sentence and paragraph is “Johnny this, Johnny that”. I can’t get through reading something this way. For example (opening to any random page in the book), “Johnny paced the room. There had to be a reason but Johnny had no idea what it was. Maybe the guards wanted some fun and brought him here to show their superiority. A sound at the door stopped Johnny in his tracks.” and MORE!!! Ugh, this kind of writing just kills me.

I could not even get through Chapter 2. I scanned other pages and it is all written the same way. Sorry, not for me.

This is still the only review out there for people to see and it took me a long time before I was able to write again after reading it. After my brother’s death, I was already struggling with motivation to write so it wasn’t completely the fault of this review.

I hope my writing has improved since and my readers will make their opinions on it.

Have you ever received a negative review on something you’ve done whether the review was posted or someone said it to your face? How did you react?

Gasping for Air Giveaway

Ten more days to enter!

Share or comment on this post on any social media platform or email me your comments or questions at to be entered.

P.S. if you share or comment on the Facebook or Twitter post, it counts.

Click here to use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway.

Why I write books

After releasing a new book, people often ask how it’s selling. I never know exactly how to answer that question as I don’t generally pay much attention to how many books I’ve sold unless I have a bunch of copies sitting around my place. Where I self-publish my books, I don’t have a set number I have to order because they print them as needed so I don’t often have a bunch sitting around. This usually brings to mind why I write books and why I publish.

I don’t write for fame

I know I’ll never be a best-selling author and I don’t want to be. I usually get uncomfortable when people give me compliments and when I’m the center of attention. It would also be a lot of pressure to stay a best-seller.

I don’t write to make a living

Despite what some people may think, it is very hard to make a living writing books. The majority of authors out there have other jobs, are in the retirement stage of life, have a spouse or someone else who is helping support them, or they struggle to get by financially. I have no illusions that being an author is a viable way of supporting myself. Also, I don’t think I would enjoy writing as much if I had to eke out a living doing it. It would take the joy out of it for me.

I write for me

I write novels based off of my life, things I’m passionate about, things I see in culture that frustrate me, and other things that inspire me to write. It’s one of the reasons why if you read my books, they are diverse in their storylines. Each of my books has a piece of me in it. I don’t write traditional happy endings because that’s not the way life typically works but I try to leave them at a slightly hopeful ending. I write to express myself, my thoughts, my ideas, and in the process, I learn something new about myself or see something in a different way.

Gasping for Air Giveaway

Send me your questions, comments, suggestions for future posts (or book ideas), and be entered to win 1 of 2 autographed copies of my latest book, Gasping for Air. Click here to read the first several chapters.

Click here to use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway.

The Story Behind My Book

I’ve been reticent to make this known but Gasping for Air is based on true events. Back in 2014, my second youngest brother drowned while at the beach with friends. Some sections are closer to the true story than others. Some things were simplified, others were changed to make for a better story, and some things were omitted because of other reasons.

The opening line, “When I die, just bury me in a cardboard box” was something my brother actually said two days before he died and I’ll never forget it.

Ironically, the day he died I had gone to the Post Office and picked up a box of copies of my novel Breaking Free which had been released a little over a month prior.

Writing this novel was therapeutic for me in a way and it helped spark my creative juices again in regards to writing. I tried starting on my next novel several months after he died but I couldn’t concentrate and had no motivation to do it.

When I got the idea for this novel, it was going to be about a young woman who loses her brother but it wasn’t originally going to be so closely tied to my story. After my brother died, I realized there wasn’t much out there in fiction and non-fiction related to losing a sibling, especially in young adulthood. There is a lot out there about a parent losing a child and vice versa but not about losing a sibling. I would find the occasional book that mentioned a child losing a sibling or an adult in the late stages of life losing a sibling but nothing in between.

The grief one faces after losing a sibling is often unrecognized or overlooked as everyone focuses on the parents and the spouse and children if they have them.

This book was my way of being heard and giving voice to the grief I faced during that time.

Gasping for Air giveaway

Comment or share this post to be entered to win 1 of 2 autographed copies of my book Gasping for Air. If you share this post, let me know you’ve shared it or click here to enter via RaffleCopter.

Gasping for Air giveaway update

This is my first time doing a giveaway this way and it didn’t occur to me that when people share one of my blog posts straight from the blog I wouldn’t be able to see who shared it. So I’ve created a giveaway using Rafflecopter which you can enter by clicking a href=””>here and select the options that you’ve completed.

You don’t have to use the Rafflecopter link to enter but if you share one of my posts directly from the blog, let me know your name and a way to contact you if you win. You can contact me on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (

To be entered, you need to do one of the following:

  • Comment on this post or other ones posted during the contest
  • Share this post or other ones posted during the contest
  • Ask me a question about writing, any of my books, myself, etc. via a message, email, or a comment (Your question may be featured in a future blog post)
  • Give me a suggestion for a topic you’d like me to blog about (can be sent via message, email, or comment)