Blow Your Own Trumpet

Thursday, 03 October 2013 04:31

Storyteller, Reviewer - Interview with Susan Keefe (2 October 2013) Featured

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Some time in April, Susan sent me an email asking me if I'd publish a review she'd written. I took some time to reply because, at the time, my little dachshund had passed away. When I told her what had happened, she was very lovely and told me something I'll never forget: with time the pain will become less, but the bond lasts forever. Since then, we've been keeping in touch and I asked if she'd agree to be interviewed. I was glad she did and here's her story.


Aneeta: Susan, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

Susan: You’re welcome Aneeta, thank you for asking me.

Aneeta: Let’s start with something about you. Where were you born? Where did you grow up? Where do you live now and what do you do for a living?

Susan: I was born in a little village called Little Waltham in Essex, U.K. I spent most of my childhood in Hatfield Peverel in Essex where my parents still live. Now, however, I live between Le Mans and Tours in the northwest of France. I am a writer and I review and promote books for authors worldwide.

Aneeta: No doubt, we both love dogs. So, please tell me a story that come to mind about one of your pets.

Susan: One funny incident will actually be in the sequel to Toby’s Tails, which I am writing at the present. Toby was only about 9 months old, it was spring and we went to a lovely picnic area, in the forests, which surrounds us. There is a large lake there, with the picnic area side edged in concrete. Toby had been there before, but was running around and forgot the lake because it was covered in Duckweed, [which made it appear as green as the new seasons grass]. He ran straight into the lake, he didn’t falter he just swam in a circle and swam back towards me, I helped him out over the concrete edge and he covered us both in the bright green Duckweed.

Aneeta: I understand you’ve written a few books. Can you please describe each one for me?

Susan: Toby’s Tails was my first book published in paperback. Quintessentially, it is a story about Toby our Border Collie’s life and adventures starting on the farm where he was born and continuing here on our smallholding. However, it is full of information about wildlife, dogs , farm animals and how they think, French traditions, and our local region. Originally, I wrote it for older children but I have found adults love it too.

Billy & Daisy’s Big Adventure is the first in my Fantasy Farm Tales series on Kindle. Billy and Daisy are goat kids, one day they escape but the adventure isn’t quite as much fun as they imagined… Will Toby be able to find them?

The second in the series is The Chicken Patrol, is about a hen who loses her chick, a fox might be about the flock decide – it’s Toby to the rescue…

All three books have many photographs in them of our animals here.

Aneeta: I see, also, that you offer to write reviews about books. Can you please tell me how this works?

Susan: Well Aneeta, I have always loved reading books and on a wide range of subjects. I had been writing reviews before I started my reviews and promotions site. However, after Toby’s Tails was published I realised how, as an author, it is sometimes difficult to know where to start when it comes to getting your book noticed. Therefore, I decided to offer a review service, which not gives an honest review but also posts that review on the books selling sites, book lovers’ sites such as Goodreads, places where publishers and buyers would look for new talent and I also submit them to subject related magazines if appropriate. Now I am very happy working for authors across the globe reviewing their books and  promoting them worldwide.

Aneeta: As you know, this website caters to storytellers. What advice would you give to those who would like to venture into storytelling?

Susan: It’s nothing new I’m afraid Aneeta, simply write about what you know, have experienced or am passionate about. For example, I have a lifelong love of animals. I can remember spending hours with my granddad around the fields, with our dog, being shown the local wildlife. Therefore, it is very important to me that my books, I hope, transport the reader into another world where the natural world around us is exciting, and that they understand that animals are not toys they are living, feeling and they do have souls.

Aneeta: Susan, this is all I have to ask. Is there anything you’d like to add?

Susan: Yes, I would just like to say that in my humble opinion if a writer enjoys writing that should be paramount. Toby’s Tails and the books, which follow, I have thoroughly enjoyed writing, whether they become bestsellers is not important, indeed I did not sit down to write them they just happened. In my books there survives pieces of me and those I love, both animal and human being able to put them down on paper, I feel, is a wonderful privilege and one I know you will understand.

Aneeta: Thank you, Susan.


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