Monday, 16 January 2012

Words with... Sabrina Sumsion

Thanks to Sabrina Sumsion for this interview plus book giveaway and competition... details at the bottom...

What is your day job or are you lucky enough to write for a living?

My day job is home schooling my three children. I know, I’m a bit crazy, but I have to say it’s the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had. Before that I spent several years as a literary publicist, arranging media coverage for authors nationwide.

What books have you written so far?

My first book is titled Produce, Publish, Publicize. This book teaches authors how to create a good product, and avoid traps and scams in the literary profession, as well as gain attention for their writing. My new release, Jasmine: Energy Book 1, is a YA sci-fi/romance.

What works in progress do you have?

I can’t focus on one project at a time (writer’s ADD?) so there are several in the works. Of course I have the sequel to Jasmine in the works, but I also have a dark fantasy that I will probably publish under a pen name as well as an alternative future. Add to that several short stories I have floating around and when I have time to type, I get a lot of typing done.

How long did it take you to write your book/s?

Produce, Publish, Publicize took me 2 years to write. Jasmine: Energy Book 1 took closer to 9 months from the first word typed.

Do you write linear, or jump back and forth? Do you plan or write by the seat of your pants?

I tend to start at the back and work forward. I know where I want the characters to go, but how they get there is always a surprise to me as I write. I see vivid scenes in my head then type them out. I put them about where I think the scenes belong and do my best to bridge them together.

Why do you write?
I write because it’s relaxing. I enjoy losing myself in a storyline. I hope to give the same experience to my readers.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing about four years ago, after talking to an author who lost her house from debt, incurred trying to publish through a scam publishing house. I decided authors needed a guide and started writing Produce, Publish, Publicize.

Where and when do you write? Do you have set times?

I typically write after the kids are in bed. I turn on Jon Schmidt’s YouTube channel and type away.

 Which character from your books do you like most / are most like?

I like Jasmine the most right now. She’s quirky and passionate. Not to mention stubborn! She changed the plot details several times as I was writing!

You’re walking in the forest and you bump into an alien librarian from Mars. He wants five book recommendations from you…

Anything by Brandon Sanderson
Victorine Lieske’s Not What She Seems
 J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter

Who is your favourite character from any book and why?

I always loved Tika from the Dragon Lance series by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis. When she hit the bad guy on the head with a pan of potatoes, I cheered aloud.

Which book do you wish you had written?

The Magic Tree House books. Mary Pope Osborne is brilliant!

Which three authors would you like to take to the pub?

I want to meet R.L. Stine, Stephenie Meyer and Tracy Hickman. Mostly because they seem like fascinating people.

Are you published or self-published? What is your experience?

I am self published. I created my own imprint for Produce, Publish, Publicize since it was a marketing tool for my publicity business. I published Jasmine on the same imprint.

How do you find the marketing experience? Any advice for other writers?

Time consuming. Seriously, when you release your first book, expect to spend many hours working on promotions. Make sure that you start contacting blogs for reviews and blog tours two months before you release your book. Reviewers are really busy and it takes a while for them to get to your book.

Do you have a blog? What do you blog about?

I have a blog integrated into my website. I write about other authors, books I’ve read, new projects I’m working on, home schooling and other random thoughts that cross my mind.

What other hobbies do you have?

I make lotions and jewellery, and I’m learning how to sew. I also like to renovate. I currently have one room in the farmhouse we live in ripped down to the studs. If it’s a big project, I love it!

What would you like to achieve in the next five years?

In the next 5 years I want to publish 10 books. I have 8 books in the Energy Series, as well as 2 other standalone novels in the queue. As I’m doing this, I also want to keep learning about the craft of writing and improve my storylines.

If you won the Lotto or a major publishing contract, what would you do with that dosh?

Hee hee hee. I have a spreadsheet for that. Honestly, I have an outline detailing how I would allocate funds if I came into a windfall. I made it years ago when someone asked that question in a chatroom. Basically, I would invest the maximum allowed by the IRS into a RothIRA, pay off all debts and then put the rest in a savings account. Every month, I would purchase a long-term CD, with the money in savings until I had 24-36 in constant rotation. Each month, if I need money, I can withdraw a CD that matured. If I don’t need the money, I can reinvest it in another long term CD. This way I can’t spend the money without thinking about it first.
     I know that’s kind of boring, but it’s a long term plan for financial security. I’m sure I would end up taking a trip to England or another dream location, but I would also have an eye towards the future.
     If it’s a publishing contract, I would also invest in a publicist. Large house publisher publicists don’t have time to contact all media. A second publicist can reach the secondary markets and help spread my name even further.

Complete one of these stories in 100 words or less…
There was once a little rabbit called Jack… He had an itch on his back. He turned to scratch, saw the strawberry patch then scampered on over to snack.


Produce, Publish, Publicize
What you need to know to publish successfully

Energy: Jasmine – 
Jasmine just wants a place to call home, friends and love if it comes her way. Who knew aliens would stand in the way?

*** Book giveaway and competition to win a homemade lotion bar ***

Would you like to win a copy of Jasmine: Energy Book 1? All you need to do is comment with the answer to this question of Sabrina's: 
An alien walks up to you on the street and asks, “Hey you! Can you help me?” 
What do you do? 

To enter the competition to win one of Jasmine's lotion bars, simply post a link to this interview on any social media site (just comment where below!). 

Thank you and good luck! :)


  1. Direct him to a planet with intelligent life! ;) Seriously, great interview. i'm looking forward to reading your books!

  2. Thanks for visiting Laurie! I love your answer. :)


Thanks for commenting - have a kitty cool day! :)