UKYA FORTNIGHT: Interview with Karen Saunders, Author of Me, Suzy P


Today I have a lovely interview with Karen Saunders to share with you all. I would consider Me, Suzy P a brilliant example of UKYA fiction and so I’m really pleased to have her here on the blog today. Thank you, Karen!

1. Hi Karen! Welcome to Queen of Contemporary. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your novel, Me, Suzy P?
Hi, Lucy! Thanks for having me on your blog, I’m *very* excited to be here.
About me: I’m totally disaster prone. I like goats and guinea pigs. My favourite place to read is in the bath (with water in, obvs). If I could only eat one food forever it would be potatoes. I have brown hair and my eyes change colour.
About Me, Suzy P: The book’s about 14 year old Suzy Puttock, who’s always embarrassing herself and doing daft things. I wrote it to be a funny book that would make people smile, I hope I’ve succeeded. Suzy’s got a crazy family who drive her nuts, but luckily she’s got great mates and a fantastic boyfriend, Danny, who she’s been with forever. Suzy’s life gets a whole load more complicated when a gorgeous new guy, Zach, starts at her school. He starts showering her with attention, and Suzy’s seriously attracted to him. So now she’s in big fat trouble and has no idea what to do…

2. When writing, do you draw on any aspects of your own life or things you have experienced?

Yes, haha! I’m completely disaster prone, just like Suzy is, so I thought it would be funny to write about someone else who constantly embarrasses themselves. I’ve had my nose broken in a tickling fight, ended up with my arm in a plaster cast after opening a window and given myself concussion falling off a sofa!
I also use funny things that have happened to my friends. The scene where Suzy goes shopping for
bridesmaid dresses in the book is based on a real shopping trip I took with one of my best mates. Real life is definitely the best source of novel inspiration, I’m always bugging people to tell me their embarrassing stories!

3. Can you name five of your favourite UKYA novels?

JK Rowling, Harry Potter
Louise Rennison, Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging
Marie-Louise Jensen, The Lady in the Tower
Alison Rattle, The Quietness
HM Castor, Henry VIII

4. In your opinion, how do you think UKYA novels differ from books written by foreign authors?

I enjoy a lot of historical novels, and I think UK authors do that particularly well as our countries have such a long, rich history of characters and events to draw upon. British humour is fantastic, we do funny books really well here.
Most of the YA novels I’ve read from other countries have been American, I guess the main thing that’s different is the school setting. I’ve read so many books with jocks, and cheerleaders, and a homecoming and important football matches which I don’t have any experience of. I think UKYA is more relevant to my own life and is easier for me to relate to.

5. Is there anything you’d like to see more of in UKYA fiction?

I’d like to see more contemporary stuff being picked up and enjoyed – it feels like the paranormal has dominated for a very long time! I’d also like to see UKYA authors continuing to get support from readers, bookshops and libraries. Considering how small the UK is, we have so much talent here.

6. If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would you choose and why?

Suzy’s best friend Millie, because she’s loads of fun, she’d dye my hair for me and she’s always got sweets with her. Win!

7. What’s next for you?
I’ve just finished writing the sequel to Me, Suzy P, which is planned for release in January 2014, and I’m shortly about to begin work on the third Suzy novel. I’m busily brewing ideas as we speak, so if anyone’s got any embarrassing stories they want to share…
Quick Fire Round

Favourite place to write? On the PC at my desk in my study.
Favourite TV show? Just one?! I can’t. I can never pick one thing, I’ll warn you now. Friends. Grey’s Anatomy. Homeland. Modern Family. Scrubs.
Favourite comfort food? Potatoes, with more potatoes on the side. Or a bag of Minstrels.
Favourite non-UKYA novel? I loved The Hunger Games and The Princess Diaries. I’ve read Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin zillions of times. I also adored Judy Blume’s books when I was a teenager.

Thanks so much for inviting me onto your blog! If you’d like to find out more, do come visit me

online, at, ‘like’ me on Facebook at www.facebook/karensaunderswriter , or follow me on Twitter: @writingkaren. There are also tweets from Suzy Puttock @suzyputtock, so do follow her too. Look forward to seeing you around!

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  • Reply
    Rachel (Booktastic Reviews) :D
    19 July, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I LOVED Me, Suzy P! I gave it five stars – and that was rare for me considering I wasn’t really into chick-lit, contemporary books at the time! I love books that make you laugh and so this just proved to be a great book in my eyes!


    Great interview! 😀

  • Reply
    Zoe Crook
    19 July, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Me, Susy P is an awesome book! I gave it 3 stars because it didn’t blow me away but was a cute, fun read 🙂 I wish it came out a few years ago though, because younger Zoe would have loved it!

    Great interview 🙂 Can’t wait for the sequel!

  • Reply
    Ruby :)
    19 July, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Such a brilliant interview! I haven’t read Me, Suzy P *yet* but I hope to in the future!

    And she’s right, potatoes are just the best… 😀

  • Reply
    Jack Dwyer
    19 July, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Loving UKYA fortnight so far, Lucy! Brilliant interview! Suzy P looks like a great book!

  • Reply
    Amber @ The Mile Long Bookshelf
    24 July, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Dammit Lucy, now I wanna read the book and I just don’t have time xD I’ll have to make time! Great interview!

  • Reply
    Jessica@Booked Up!
    28 July, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    How did I miss this post?!?! I LOVED Me, Suzy P and found it to be a funny, cute read 😀

    It’s always great to find out more about the author behind a fantastic book so thanks so much for sharing this interview with us, Lucy. I feel a bit better knowing that Karen is disaster prone too – it’s not just me then! Haha 😀

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