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About the author***
SS Turner has spent his life in England, Scotland, and Australia as an avid reader, writer, and explorer of the natural world. He spent many years working in the global fund management industry but realised it did not align with his values. In recent years, he has focused his writing on inspiring positive change while also attempting not to laugh in unfortunate situations. In Australia, he now lives with his wife, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and ten chickens. He has previously published one novel, Secrets of a River Swimmer.
BREW Question: Did you love reading books when you were little? Why or why not?
I loved reading books when I was a child! I remember being curled up in bed being captivated by the worlds I realised I could be a part of within the books I was reading. It was that freedom to experience life as different people and in different worlds which made me love reading.
BREW Question: At what age did you start reading books? What were your best memories of that time?
Author’s Response: I started reading books when I was six or seven. My best memories of that time were of not being able to put books down because I was loving them so much. Reading was like discovering a super-power.
BREW Question: What was the first book you loved reading? Why?
Author’s Response: The first book I loved was A Stranger Came Ashore by Mollie Hunter. I remember loving the way Scottish mythology was interwoven with the realities of day-to-day life.
BREW Question: When did you first think about writing your first book? Why?
Writing a novel had always been something I knew I’d do one day. Whenever someone asked if I had a novel inside me, I said I was sure I did but I had no idea what it was about.
Whilst I’ve written stories all my life, my first real novel was Secrets of a River Swimmer which I started writing in 2019. The reason I started writing that novel was that I was missing my river swimming adventures when I lived in Scotland. Over time, I felt that missing feeling within me growing into a story which had real depth to it. So I just knew it was time. I sat down and let the story jump onto the page, and what a joy it was.
BREW Question: What was the greatest obstacle you’ve encountered when you were writing your book? What made you overcome it?
Author’s Response: When I was writing The Connection Game, the greatest obstacle I encountered was to stop writing at the end of each day. I could feel the suspense building like a body of water trying to force itself through a narrow hose. I found myself writing more than usual so I didn’t have to wait too long for the suspense to resolve itself at the end.
BREW Question: What pieces of advice can you give aspiring authors? What worked for you?
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve come across is the Stephen King advice that the final draft of a novel should be 10% shorter than the first draft. By cutting out all the fluff, you’re really carving out the great writing from the average stuff. This is a game-changer in my experience.
Another great piece of advice is to hone your craft through writing lots of short stories. They are a great way of learning writing lessons quickly, as opposed to halfway through writing a 100,000-word novel. The more short stories you write, the better prepared you’ll be to write that novel.
BREW Question: Who are the authors or what are the books that had the greatest influence on your own writing? Why?
Author’s Response: I’ve been most influenced by Mark Twain and JD Salinger. Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn taught me the importance of a narrator’s voice being likeable, interesting, and authentic. And JD Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye taught me how powerful it is delivering the truth to readers.
BREW Question: What are your current or future writing plans? What can readers further expect from you?
I’m preparing to launch The Connection Game on February 22nd, 2023, which is super exciting.
I’m also working on my third novel which is the story of a man and his dog trying to find home in a new country where everything is going wrong.
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***The author or publisher provided the above write-up.