Ninety-Five Percent Human
Teenager, Joe Kendrick, thinks he’s got problems. The farm he’s looked after since his father’s suicide is falling and his brother wants to sell it, his girlfriend has dumped him and his normally down-to-earth Nan starts muttering about seeing UFO’s. And all Joe wants is a ‘normal’ life.Then he saves suicidal stranger, Sarah, from drowning.
What Joe doesn’t know is that Sarah is a human/alien hybrid, sent to test the viability of life on Earth, and, as she’s survived hostile aliens are already planning their attack.
Ninety-five percent Human is the first in a two-book sci-fi adventure.
About the Author
Suzanna Williams is a perpetually eighteen year old YA author who lives in the wild, wet, Welsh borderlands surrounded by ruined medieval castles and Celtic mythology where she looks for UFO’s amongst the stars and imagines all the people she meets have dark secrets.
When she is not inventing radical problems for her unsuspecting heroes and plotting their escape, Suzanna is a serial collector of random badly paying jobs and has never found a use for her BSc in Psychology whatsoever.
As a child, Suzanna filled notebook after notebook with stories and her first taste of writing success was a poem published in the local newspaper aged just nine years old. She has written and directed several plays and pantomimes before publishing her debut novel, ShockWaves, in 2012.
Suzanna loves sci-fi action adventures, playing the piano, believes Romeo and Juliet should have talked more and considers sarcasm to be the highest form of wit.
She has a daughter who is a drummer, another daughter who is a driving instructor, a son who is a dancer and a ‘nearly’ grandson she’s dying to meet.
Social Media Links
And she agreed to answer some questions I had.
Hi Suzanna, can you tell me how you celebrate getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?
Hi, Lucy. Thanks for having me here and coming up with such interesting questions.
Tricky chapters/paragraphs fall into one of three broad categories, each requiring different celebration techniques.
No. 1. Finding the right word/phrase for a paragraph after several searches in the my thesaurus, a walk in the garden and a phone-call to my mum (which may or may not help but means I’m not contemplating word suitability by myself)
… probably no more celebration than typing a smiley on my facebook page and getting a cup of herbal and a biscuit.
No. 2. Rewriting a problem section, rewriting it again, reverting back to the first draft, then realising that it shouldn’t even be there and hitting delete
… this fixing of tricky chapters can be upsetting as the days word count is often less than when I started so is generally accompanied by value-adding celebrations such as shopping in town (and I mean clothes, not groceries lol).
No. 3. That epiphany moment where a huge chunk of plot that never really made sense suddenly becomes clear and I type like a fiend to get it down before I forget the whole thing
… a celebration that knows no bounds usually ends up in ‘The Nags Head’ down the road. NB this doesn’t happen often.
How do you work around those moments when the muse has gone and done a runner on you? That is if you have a muse.
When the muse is missing, I usually find I’m trying too hard. Best solutions, go for a walk, have a shower, eat or, if all else fails, sleep on it.
Now, let’s first do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun. And by yada yada I do not mean boring, or in any other way stupid questions, but just the traditional ones. You know? The ones we secretly all want to know the answer to.
Did you have difficulty coming up with the title of this book?
Ah, cheated on that one. The title was the brain-child of my first beta-reader, aka my husband. Actually, he’s given titles to all my books so far. Does that mean I can’t write titles? OMG, I feel a failure.
Just to offer some consolation, coming up with a good title is one of the most difficult things when writing.
If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?
To answer this question, I’ll tell you a story.
My debut novel, ShockWaves, had a ‘nearly’ agent who said she loved the book but wanted changes; told me the market wanted more pscyho-thriller and less action-adventure. Spurred on by the promise of a contract, I altered my protagonist to be a creepy serial killer with ‘mummy’ issues, rewrote the book several times and even changed the title. After my ‘nearly’ agent still couldn’t bring herself to represent me, (she probably took on something about vampires) I reverted back to my original title and reworked my revengeful, terrorist bad-guy.
So, whilst the answer to this question was once ‘Yes, of course I’ll conform to the market,’ now my answer is ‘No’.
And good for you!
Right, with that out of the way and to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.
Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?
I spend many, many hours talking with my characters. So many hours that sometimes I think I am my characters and I wander about feeling worried or scared for no apparent reason until I realise that it is my poor characters are worried or scared, not me. I have to tell them to back off when that happens, which often makes them huffy, but that’s probably the only time we don’t get on. I love them most of the time, even the evil ones.
Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?
In life, the answer has to be cheese. I could do without meat, hell, I can do without chocolate, but not without cheese. It makes everything taste better and doesn’t make you crazy (like chocolate). But I have never mentioned cheese in a book … umm, maybe I should.
You can actually do without chocolate? *Lucy has a seriously puzzled look on her face while she nibbles on her huge chunk of dark and delicious chocolate*
Oh well, okay then can you give me the recipe to one of your favorite dishes?
I’m laughing that you’re asking me for a recipe. Let’s just say I have a reputations as an unpredictable cook: sometimes the food’s great, others …
However, a pretty failsafe idea is to cook leeks in a frying pan over a moderate heat with a little butter until they’re soft. Add grated cheese (you guessed this recipe had to have cheese in, right?) a couple of spoons of yogurt, a teaspoon of djion mustard and season with black pepper. Now you have a yummy topping you can add to pasta or over a jacket potato.
Will definitely have to put that in a book. Hey, here’s an idea. What about if my next hero is a teenager who is a great cook????
Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!
I can give it a go.
Excuse 1. I had to go to work … OK, you don’t believe that because it’s only part time.
Excuse 2. I had to do the ironing … Alright, alright, you’ve seen my clothes. I never iron anything.
Excuse 3. I got distracted by social media and surfed the internet the whole time … You almost believed that one, didn’t you?
Excuse 4. I went to play with my little grandson, Max, who is twelve weeks old and likes peep-bo games and go dancing round the room. Have you seen him? Gotcha. Now you believe me
What an adorable baby!
And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?
In my keyboard, live many people with awesome complicated lives. They fight battles I would not want to face, possess talents I can only dream of and love every time like it was their first. I slave over the keyboard so their stories will not be a passing thought but will live in my memory … and I hope they will live in yours.
Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂
Agent: I don’t like that your book is set in Shrewsbury. No-one knows the place, no-one cares.
Me: But I’ve put a lot of effort into getting the logistics of the plot to work with real places and loads of books have been set in unknown places. Who’d heard of Forks before Twilight?
Agent: I’d like you to change it. Make a place name up.
Me: And why will people care about that?
Agent: They won’t.
Me: Maybe I could just call it ‘The City’ and change all the timing of the chases because it wouldn’t matter anymore. That’d be cool.
Agent: Now it sounds dystopian. I don’t want dystopian. Oh, leave it as Shrewsbury.
Me: … Head … Desk …
Thank you Suzanna for this great interview. If any of the readers have questions left for you I urge them to post them in the comment section below.
Of course there is the giveaway! Enter the Rafflecopter and stand a chance to win!