Susanna Leonard Hill in the HOT SEAT

Susanna Leonard Hill steps forward and edges her way towards the flaming chair. She may be nervous, but she’s determined she will survive no matter how badly she gets burnt by the HOT SEAT. Such a brave woman is Susanna.

Here’s Susanna in her natural habitat:

Susanna Hill

Gday, Susanna!

Susanna is a published author, represented by Liza Voges of Eden Street Lit. She joins us from New York in the USA.

So, Susanna, let’s get started. What genre(s) do you write?

I write for children.  So far my published work is primarily picture books and novelty books (board, pop-up, lift-the-flap) with one early reader, but I have also written chapter books and YA (they just haven’t been picked up… yet!)

Tell us about your current WIP… in a limerick!

Hmmm…. this is challenging! Nothing really rhymes with farm… or New York… so I’ll have to cheat a little…

There once was a girl from New York
Who wanted to help with the war.
She rode through the night
Warning folks left and right
That the British were coming for sure!

Most of us write part time. How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?

School and library visits, laundry, vacuuming, blogging, grocery shopping, cooking (by which I mean pouring raisin bran in a bowl and adding milk), laundry, not vacuuming, walking the dogs, chauffeuring, laundry, errands, not vacuuming, making costumes, making book trailers, doing promotional mailings, filling out school forms, ok I really HAVE to vacuum…

Tell us a little about your writing process.

I don’t know about other writers, but for me, writing involves a lot of percolation time. I am often seized with an idea which seems like it has potential, but it’s usually only part of a story. I have to carry it around, sometimes for months, letting it simmer in the back of my mind until I come across something else that makes it snap.

Once I have the whole idea, I can write pretty fast, but then I really need to put the new story away for awhile. When I first finish a ms, I am most often under the (mistaken) impression that it’s the best thing I or anyone else has ever written, so I need to come back to it later when I can realize how much work it still needs. 🙂
Who or what are your biggest writing inspirations?

Although I draw from my own childhood, my biggest inspirations are my children.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a writer?

Overcoming self-doubt and trying to figure out how to write a novel that anyone would actually want to read (still working on both :))

And now for the HOT SEAT questions

Hot Seat

*Insert scary music here*

Finish this sentence from your main character’s perspective:

Something I try not to let people know about me is…  Hmm… I guess, in the context of the story, I’d prefer it if no one knows I’m a girl.

Now finish the same sentence from your perspective.

Something I try not to let people know about me is…  Gosh!  This is hard.  I’m pretty open about things as a general rule.  Everyone knows the idea of speaking to an audience of grown-ups fills me with terror (although I do it anyway :)) and I just told you about my self-doubt issues….  And by answering your question in a public forum like this, I’m giving away the farm, aren’t I?  But I guess I try not to let people know that I’m actually an undercover agent working for an intergalactic agency (whose name I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you) that you don’t even know exists!

Have you ever considered stopping writing? If, so why? What made you continue?

No, I really haven’t.  I love to write.  I’ve written since I was old enough to hold a crayon.  There have been times when I’ve thought about just writing for myself and not worrying about submitting, but I’ve never seriously considered not writing at all.  I don’t think I could do it.


Thanks for taking a seat, Susanna. I love your creativity, and I can’t wait to read more about that feisty young girl!

If you’d like to hear more from Susanna, check out her blog.

If you’d like a turn in the HOT SEAT, let me know in the comments and I’ll schedule you in for a buttocks burning. 😀



Filed under Hot Seat, Writers, Writing

17 responses to “Susanna Leonard Hill in the HOT SEAT

  1. Great interview! I really like that question about something your character doesn’t want to tell anyone about themselves. I’m going to use that as an exercise!

  2. Wow, great interview Cally and Susanna! It really is hard for us writers to share pieces of our true selves with others. I share Susanna’s fear of speaking to a group of adults. As a teacher, I’m completely comfortable with children, but it just doesn’t translate to grownups. So, thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks, Brook! Glad you liked it. 🙂

      Do you want to know something weird? I would actually get more nervous talking to a room full of children than adults! Isn’t it funny how our minds work?

  3. I also liked the “Something I try not to let people know about me is…” question. I was trying to come up with my own answer and I still have nothing!

  4. I love the HOT SEAT concept! And I would love a turn to burn my buttocks, which are office chair shaped at the moment….

    I write YA steampunk, and I’m also an editor at Fantasy Island Publishing.

  5. Thanks for reading everyone! Cally does an awesome job, doesn’t she 🙂

  6. Excellent interview, ladies! I really enjoyed it!

  7. Hey Cally, what an awesome interview with Susanna, and lovely to get to know her better! I love your hot seat question, and all your questions actually 🙂



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