You may remember Suzanna Williams as my guest last month on Stationery Love (I found out something I didn’t know!). Today Suzanna is in my hot seat as her YA persona, chatting to us about her YA Sci-Fi romance, Ninety-five percent Human. Find out her inspiration, the scene she enjoyed writing the most (with a short excerpt) plus much more.
Suzanna Williams lives in the wild, wet, Welsh borderlands surrounded by ruined medieval castles and Celtic mythology where she looks for UFO’s among the stars and imagines all the people she meets have dark secrets.
She writes these secrets into her books for you to share.
Connect with Suzanna Williams
Welcome back to Jera’s Jamboree.
I really appreciate you featuring my interview on Jera’s Jamboree. Here we go.
Please summarise Ninety-five percent Human in 20 words or less.
A YA sci-fi romance about a Welsh hill-farmer, a human-alien hybrid and a robot with a bad sense of humour.
Do you have a theme for your book covers Suzanna? Who designs them?
The cover had a complete redesign at the beginning of 2017 to include the two short stories I wrote for the series and also for the sequel to be released later this year. I wanted them to better reflect the sci-fi genre and also to have a strong brand running through the series.
The lovely artwork was done by PlainsightVFX but I spent an insane amount of hours trawling through sci-fi book covers and pictures of imaginary planets until I came up with colours and designs I was happy with.
Between you and me, the cover for the sequel is my favourite. Can’t wait to share it.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
Remember the 1999 TV series Roswell?
Several years ago I was writer on a film project, “Roswell: the Next Generation.” Sadly, the project got shut down by Fox but one of the characters I created for the show was Jake, the robot life-form space pirate with a love of one-liners. And I couldn’t let him go.
Then I read about the Welsh Roswell; where a suspected spaceship crashed into the mountainside not that far from where I live and the idea for Ninety-five percent Human was born.
Did you travel to any places as research?
With hindsight, I should have set the book somewhere warm and exotic to give me an excuse to visit. (Must remember this for future novels) However, the scene of the Welsh Roswell was in Llandrillo, a tiny village in the heart of the Berwyn Mountains; home to Joe, our reluctant hero, and his failing hill farm.
Fancy a quick drive through?
But you don’t get a true feel for the place until you climb to the top of Cader Berwyn itself. This hike took the best part of a day but it was so worth it for the view… and the low-flying alien spaceships.
Ninety-five percent Human is part of a series Suzanna, what’s in the future?
The sequel, Five percent Alien is finally set for release at the end of 2017 but I’ve had fun writing two short story prequels to accompany the series.
Sarah is the story of our heroine before she comes to Earth. I had great fun imagining alien worlds, as Ninety-five percent Human takes place firmly on Welsh soil. Readers can grab a copy of Sarah for free.
Jake, the second short, will be out at the end of April. Jake is the robot life-form and he’s still my favourite character. I had to come up with more one-liners to include in the story and anyone will tell you I’m a useless comedian. Luckily, most of Jake’s jokes are cringe-worthy bad.
What scene did you enjoy writing the most?
Have you ever been to a party in a barn?
They are the most fun to attend and the most fun to write.
This is the point in the story where Sarah, under the influence of one bottle of cider, starts to let her guard down. She makes a great impression on his friends, gets one over on his ex, and ends up shouting a warning about the impending alien invasion to jets flying over the farm.
A light appears over the mountain. A second light joins it, approaching at speed, accompanied by the tell-tale roar of jet engines.
“Night flying from RAF Valley,” I say.
“No!” Sarah moves to stand in the middle of the yard. She flings her arms wide; a hyper-active air-traffic controller. “You’re not good enough,” she shouts at the approaching plane. “You’re not fast enough.”
She’s silhouetted in a blue light from the DJ, wisps of her hair blowing in the night breeze.
“They’re coming and you’ll never stop them,” she shouts.
Curious faces are beginning to appear out of the barn. I grab Sarah’s arm. “Everything’s OK,” I call.
“You’ll be blown out of the sky,” she shrieks as the first jet roars over our heads.
“No problems,” I tell our growing audience. I catch her arm and pull her into the shadow of a nearby shed. “She’s American,” I explain, “and she’s drunk.”
“You have to warn the pilots, Joe,” she insists, “because they’re going to die.” She clings to my arm. “And it’s my fault.”
“Wow,” I say, “you really are drunk.”
Finally, do you have a book trailer Suzanna? What do you think they achieve?
Book trailers are a controversial subject among authors. I don’t think I could put my hand on my heart and say I know for sure that I sold a book purely on the strength of someone watching my trailers, but I do think they are another means of promoting awareness. On top of that they are a lot of fun to make. (I love watching book trailers and yours is AWESOME!)
The video still features the old book cover. Must get round to changing it.
Thank you for being my guest Suzanna.
Wishing you success with all your writing/creative projects. x
Once again, a big thank you to Shaz for this interview.
Happy reading xx
Don’t forget to grab your free copy of the prequel, Sarah!
Teenager, Joe Kendrick, thinks he’s got problems. The farm he’s looked after since his father’s suicide is failing 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 to live 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 viability of life on Earth, and, as she’s survived, hostile aliens are already planning their attack.