Author Interview and Giveaway: Suki Fleet

Last year, a book I'd marked as like-to-read on Goodreads was on offer at Amazon. I can't remember the price but I decided to get it - and I swear it's one of the best purchases I've ever made. This Is Not A Love Story absolutely blew me away. It really did - I'd have paid three times it's original price (if not more) if I'd have known before I started reading what I knew after. And what I knew after was that author Suki Fleet moved straight onto my must read list. 

With this in mind, I will say that this is an unashamed fan-girl interview. Authors like Suki are the reason I fell in love with reading. TINALS will be one of my favourites for all time and I would highly recommend it to everyone. It's a really great story. Innocence, has also made it onto my all time favourites list, see my review earlier as to why and read on to find out more from the author. Plus there is a chance to win an e-copy of any of Suki's books at the end of the interview.

The Book:

At eighteen Christopher is restless and longs for something he cannot name. His mother vanished when he was very small and after spending more than ten years travelling on the rivers and canals, drifting between towns and schools, with mostly only his dad and brother, Jay, for company, he is desperate to escape that claustrophobic existence.
When they return to settle in Arlow, a town they haven’t been back to in over a decade, everything changes.

Malachi has given up on love. He lost his heart when he lost his innocence. Now at twenty nine he just exists--getting drunk, fixing cars and playing the music he loves.

When their paths cross one night at a gypsy camp, Christopher thinks he's found what he's been looking for, but Malachi is afraid. He is afraid their love will destroy everything Christopher has ever known. They are both ghosts from one another's past, and if Malachi's secrets are revealed more than just innocence will be lost in their wake.

The Interview:
With a huge grin on my face I've stuck the kettle on, got out the cakes and welcomed Suki into the clubhouse.....

BMBR: I'm just gonna jump right in there and ask about the settings and characters for your contemporary novels. Both This Is Not a Love Story and Innocence have characters whose lives are far from ideal. I think they are flawlessly written, but what draws you to writing about characters such as Romeo, Julian, Chris and Kai? And how hard is it to write authentically about the lives these characters experience?
Thanks for having me here today, Lori <3
And thank you - I guess some of my reasons for writing characters in disadvantaged/unusual settings come from my own experiences growing up. My childhood living on a boat was unconventional and when we were shipwrecked we lost everything including our home, so I identify quite strongly with characters in those sorts of difficult situations. I also really wanted to give voice (especially with TINALS) to people ,kids, who so many ignore and don’t see, because it’s easier. We all love, we all get scared, whatever our circumstances. I hope people can connect even though their lives are different.

BMBR: I have endless admiration for your knack of taking a tough - really tough - storyline and managing to tear a reader’s soul in two without overindulging in angst for angst's sake. There are some heart-breaking moments in your books, truly, but it all fits into the story and is not added for effect. How hard a balance is that to strike?
Ah, you know, this isn’t a cop out I promise, but all I do is write, I can’t plan, my subconscious takes over and slots all the pieces together. It amazes me every time. I write what moves me. I definitely do write over indulgent angst sometimes but hopefully those are the parts that end up in my extras file.

BMBR: I believe I read somewhere that though you'd been writing for years it's only been recently that you've been putting your work out there...why is this?
Okay, weirdly/not weirdly this has a lot to do with me coping with grief. I’ve always written, ever since I was small—poetry, short scenes. I was the weird kid at school who told ghost stories and made stuff up.
When my friend was killed in a car accident, I started to write more seriously to cope with my feelings. I posted stuff on livejournal—longer scenes, 100 word stories, poems. I talked to other writers.
But it wasn’t until my father in law was sick and then died quite suddenly that I wrote a romance and actually finished something (it was a kind of depressing romance called Wildflowers about saving someone from death). But it was like a eureka moment. I wasn’t running from my grief I was writing it out.
I published that story on fictionpress. And I wrote another romance (Siren) and another (This is Not a Love Story—the first part). Everything I wrote for two years I published on fictionpress.
But I started to get restless (frustrated). I wanted to be published, I just wasn’t sure how to be good enough. I wasn’t sure I could write anything better than I already had.
I self-published TINALS in December 2013 (as the characters were too young for any publisher I’d looked at)—same day, a friend of mine from fictionpress, HT Pantu, told me she’d got a contract for her story I Hate Summer with Dreamspinner Press. I took a look at their site, saw with a burst of joy that they had a YA imprint, had faith that if Hannah could do it I could give it a shot too. So I sent TINALS off to Harmony Ink. The rest is history J

BMBR: Do you have a favourite among your own characters?
For a long time it was Sam (a character from Wildflowers, the first romance I wrote—I wrote about his character for years before I finished his story). Now, I’m not sure.
I love Remee, always—his character came to me easier than any other I’ve ever written. Angus and Sasha too (from Falling and The Glass House). Jay from Innocence. Summer (from Wild Summer).

BMBR: Who do you enjoy reading? Do you have a favourite novel (favourite top 5?) - I know, this is the worst question!
Top five, okay. Hard. Can’t rank them.
Eratses- Junction X
Thorn Kief Hillsbury- What We Do Is Secret
Clive Barker- Imajica
Joan Aiken- The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
Jeff Noon- Vurt
Poppy Z Brite- Drawing Blood
(that’s six I know :P) and I do love David Levithan too (lots of his stories)… and Harper Fox (Midwinter Prince and Salisbury Key). Yep, impossible :P
Any story that can make me cry has a place in my heart (proper ugly cry).

BMBR: Material? Explain!
Material? As in what I do for my day job? I’m obsessed with material. My dad used to work for Liberty before we lived on a boat, and I guess I grew up surrounded by Liberty fabric and now I sell it and lots of other fabric I like.

BMBR: I love how you write about the humanity of a character regardless of their circumstances. Innocence is about a Romany gypsy family and a travellers community. Here in Britain these are often seen as outsiders, how do you write so empathetically about these characters and not turn them into stereotypical bad guys?
They’re outsiders and I can identify with that. And without romanticizing, I do always root for the underdog. I guess stereotypes annoy me and I want to show how wrong they can be a lot of the time. Plan B says it well in ‘Ill Manors’.

BMBR: Tea or coffee?
Tea, always. Love the smell of coffee but can’t stand the taste.

BMBR: Digestive, rich-tea or hob-nob? And do you dunk? (Hey, these are important questions!)
Ah, I’d rather have cake…or brownie. Brownies are my favourite. No dunking though!

BMBR: What 5 items would you take to a desert island with you?
My phone, laptop, kindle, a sunshade and a tea machine (also known as a kettle).

BMBR: What 10 people (dead or alive) would you invite to a dinner party if you could? And why?
Umm, I really don’t know. I’ve been wracking my brains about this one. It’d be interesting to get all my favourite authors around one table, (though I’d have to narrow it down of course:P)

BMBR: Anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you, Lori!!!! XD

No - thank you Suki, it has been a real pleasure having you in the clubhouse. I cannot wait for your next release.

Buy Links

Okay folks, as previously mentioned, Suki is offering any book of hers in e-book fo0rmat (mobi, e-pub or PDF) to one lucky commenter. You lucky, lucky people! Just comment below, not forgetting to leave a means of contacting you (e-mail, facebook, twitter etc). A winner will be randomly drawn a week from today. Good luck.


  1. Sounds like a very interesting book..... Loved the blog post....
    geetracy1170 (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. LOVED This is Not a Love Story and can't wait to read Innocence. :)

  3. Congrats on the release of Innocence! It sounds like a nice read. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Innocence sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance tow in it. debby236 at gmail dot com

  5. I haven't read anything by Suki yet, but I've heard a lot of great things about Suki's other books.

  6. Suki you know how much I LOVED This Is Not A Love Story And Wild Summer so it's a no-brainer this book will be Awesome as well!

  7. Congratulations on the release of Innocence. I have heard good things about Suki's writing from my author friends. Thanks for a chance to win a copy of one of your books.

  8. I have This is not a Love Story in my queue to read. After reading this post, I think I will move it up in line. Thank you!

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com

  9. This Is Not A Love Story was amazing! Can't wait to read Innocence. Thanks for the great interview and chance to win.

    1. Oops - forgot my email:

  10. I really loved This Is Not A Love Story! Enjoyed the interview and am looking forward to reading Innocence! Thanks for the chance to win!

  11. The only one of Suki's stories I've read is Metronomy, and I loved it! This is definitely going on my wishlist. :D


    1. Congratulations!! You are the winner - we'll be in touch. :)

  12. I discovered Suki Fleet today. Yeah,unbelievable... I'm on to reading This Is Not A Love Story...anyway,thanx for the giveaway!

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Thank you for this post, as I love these fangirl moments when you meet an author and learn a bit more about them and their books :)

    Thank you for a chance to win one of Suki's books :)

    1. Stupid forgot to put her contact details again! slholland22 {at} hotmail {dot) com ;(

  15. Thank you everyone for entering. Congratulations Ashley, you were the randomly picked winner, we will be in contact via e-mail. :)