Saturday, June 29, 2013

Featured Author: Suzie Tullett

Little White Lies and Butterflies is Suzie Tullett's contemporary romance novel, published by Safkhet Publishing, due to be released on August 1. She's here to tell us about the book and give us a sneak peek.

About the book:

A child of the nineties, Lydia Livingston is different. The last thing she’s ever wanted is to be superwoman; she knows first-hand that ‘having it all’ isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. As far as she’s concerned, when it comes to job versus family, it’s a definite case of one or the other. And whilst most women her age have spent years climbing the corporate ladder, she’s made a career out of bagging her perfect man. At almost thirty and still single, Lydia wonders if she’d made the right choice all those years ago. And realising the time has come to take stock, she goes against her family’s wishes and banishes herself off to a distant land—all in the hope of finding a new direction.

At least that’s the plan.

But Lydia Livingston isn’t just different, she’s misunderstood. A fact she knows all too well. So when the totally unsuitable Sam comes along, she decides to tell a little white lie, re- inventing herself as a professional chef – not exactly the best new identity to come up with for a woman who can’t even cook. Of course, the last thing she expects is for him to find out the truth and start blackmailing her. Let alone find herself roped into catering for a local wedding. But with things going from bad to worse, her madder than mad family also turn up in something of a surprise visit, intent on celebrating a birthday she’s no intentions of celebrating!

Interview with Suzie Tullett:

Suzie, how long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I started writing years ago when I did a Master’s Degree in Television & Radio Scriptwriting. Through this, I was lucky enough to be chosen by the BBC for their New Writers’ Initiative, which led to opportunity to write for their drama series Doctors. But because I’ve always loved prose, it seemed only natural that one day I’d move into novel writing too. So here I am, doing exactly that.

How would you describe your book in a tweet? (140 characters or less.)

When Lydia Livingston tells a little white lie events start to snowball. Suddenly she’s in way over her head & forced to deal with the ensuing hilarious consequences.

Or for those who prefer their tweets short and sweet:       
When you’re digging yourself into a hole, stop digging!

Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants, or let your characters tell you what to write?

Writing by the seat of my pants would be way too scary, so I always outline. That’s not to say I rigidly stick to any plan though; characters very often have a way of surprising their authors by wanting to go off in a different direction. So outlines do tend to change.

Tell us a book you’re an evangelist for.

Dead Run by Erica Spindler. I wouldn’t normally read thrillers, but I’d run out of books whilst on holiday one year and this one was left lying around. I was gripped from the very first page right through to the last and I’ve been recommending it to anyone who’ll listen ever since.

Have you ever bought any books just for the cover?

A cover is definitely what first attracts me to a book; it’s what makes me pick it up in the first place. But I can’t say I’d buy simply because of the images on the cover alone. I always look at the blurb too, to see if the story is something I’d actually enjoy reading.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

Ooh, that’s a hard question to answer. Lydia was fantastic to write. Because of her personality, every time she finds herself in yet another dilemma, instead of getting herself out of it she just keeps making things worse. And I love how Sam is able to use these predicaments to his own advantage – the relationship between the two of them is hilarious. Then there’s Lydia’s family, plus the Fatolitis...Of course, when you read the book, you’ll understand why I’m finding it hard to choose.

What would your main character say about you?

I’m not sure what they’d say ‘about’ me, but I’d like to think they’d thank me for telling their story.

With which of your characters would you most like to be stuck on a deserted island?

All of them for one reason or another!

What five real people would you most like to be stuck on an island with?

That’s easy – my husband, two sons, daughter-in-law and soon to come along grandson. Everyone’s so busy we don’t get as much time together as I’d like, so for us all to be marooned together would be fantastic.

Where’s home for you?

Up until recently I’d been spending a lot of time out in Greece. The landscape there is absolutely stunning and the culture and history of the place fascinating. It provided a great setting for Little White Lies and Butterflies, and when I wasn’t writing, I have to say my down time wasn’t half bad either. I’ve since learned I’m going to be a grandmother though (I know, I’m way too young!) so for now I’m back in the UK until little Elijah Gabriel makes his appearance. As much as I love Greece, it’s a little too far away now our family is growing.

Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore?

When it comes to all things literary, I can be an absolute chatterbox. I love talking to readers, not just about my books but about any book. I couldn’t do this in a library because I’d have to keep quiet. So I’d definitely rather work in a bookstore.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

“I think therefore I am.”

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? (Don’t worry about the money. A publisher is paying.)

If a publisher is paying I’d book myself on a round the world trip and go everywhere! All in the name of research, of course.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on my next novel - another laugh out loud, romantic comedy.

Excerpt from
Little White Lies and Butterflies:

Following the incident at the beach, I had been hoping to avoid any future
contact with Sam the Climber, yet here he was, larger than life. Not that I
was sure which had bothered me the most-the football in the face, or the
slightly unnerving eye contact. Neither of which I wanted to experience ever
again and I wondered if I should just get up and leave while the going was
good. But my drink still hadn't arrived and the last thing I wanted to do
was look rude in of front Efthimeos. I had to think of something else and

Grabbing my book from my bag, I opened it up and used it to shield my face.
This should do it! However, just to make sure I began sinking lower and
lower into my seat, until I was horizontal to the point I was almost on the
floor. Now he'll never notice me.

I wondered if I should take a peek just to check on his whereabouts. But
before I got the chance, a drink landing on the table in front of me caught
my eye instead. It wasn't the simple glass of Coke I'd originally ordered, I
further noticed, but some fancy, fandangle cocktail.

I stared at the umbrellas, the tinsel and the cherries on sticks, not even
daring to look up.

Please let it be Efthimeos. Please let it be Efthimeos. I thought, finally
plucking up the courage. Lifting my gaze I realised that unless my host had
undergone some sort of superfast extreme makeover in the last few minutes,
the game was up.

'There you go,' said Sam, indicating to the heavily adorned concoction. 'Not
just my apology, but as requested, the most expensive drink on the menu.'

I put my book down and began the difficult task of hauling myself up into a
more vertical alignment. 'I didn't request it,' I replied ungratefully. 'In
fact, if I remember rightly, I said such a purchase wasn't necessary.'

My unwanted guest just carried on standing there, for some reason refusing
to see this as his cue to leave-choosing instead to raise an eyebrow. He
nodded to the drink. 'Well,' he asked. 'Aren't you going to at least try

I considered his request for a moment, deciding it was a small price to pay
if it meant getting rid of the man. And, duly picking up the glass and
locating the straw from among all the flora and fauna, I took a long hard
draw. 'Jesus, Mary and Joseph!' I spluttered, all at once choking and
coughing. 'What the hell's in it? Meths?'

Sam laughed. 'A bit of everything,' he said. He plonked his beer down on the
table and took a seat, uninvited.

'Well excuse me if I don't share your amusement,' I replied, realising that
was the second time that day he'd tried to kill me. 'And I don't remember
asking you to join me either.'

There was something of a twinkle in his eye and thanks to his air of
confidence I could see that he was one of those men used to getting his own
way when it came to members of the opposite sex. However, I'd met his type
before and knew there was no way he'd ever come across the likes of me. Such
a sparkle might've been enough to make any other girl go weak at the knees,
but unlike theirs, my kneecaps were made of sterner stuff.

About the author:

Born and raised in Lancashire, Suzie Tullett has worn many hats in life: from office work to teaching, from managing an advice center to being an outreach worker for Women’s Aid. She’s achieved a Bachelor’s and a Master’s and works with the BBC as a scriptwriter—all while raising her family. Ultimately, she wants to leave scriptwriting behind and write full-time. She says “it’s fair to say my working life has given me the chance to get to know all kinds of people, from all kinds of backgrounds; a definite asset for anyone looking to write for a living.”

Connect with Suzie:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon