Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A Very British Blog Tour

Happy Tuesday and we still have sunshine in Scotland - incredible! Pity there is still frost on the ground, but you can't have everything.

There are a lot of blogger awards around at the minute and today's is no exception. I was nominated for A Very British Blog Tour by fellow novelist, Terry Tyler - http://terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/

The idea is to visit the blogs of and show support to the talented group of writers I've nominated for this award, so we can learn a bit more about them and what makes them tick. We all answer the same questions, but of course our responses will be quite different.
By the way, we British have certain conventions, traditions, and procedures that are expected. There is a dress code in the reading of this British blog and you are expected to comply with it.
For example...

Gentlemen will wear suits, white shirts and dark ties. (Military ties are expected wherever possible). Ladies will wear dresses (one inch above the knee, no higher, no lower) and floral summer hats.  Well, not really, in my case. I am currently wearing my Other Half's bathrobe, as I spilt coffee down mine! 
A break for TEA and cucumber sandwiches is expected at some stage and is permissible (now that IS likely to happen)
The list at the bottom of the page is not a queue. It is an invitation and you are expected to accept that invitation and support the home-grown product. Now then, let us proceed in an orderly fashion. As you know, we are all very boring and staid in Britain, aren’t we?
Well, there’s a myth about the British and your starter for ten Stuffy, class conscious, boring,
staid! But is this still relevant in today’s world? Let’s find out from our wonderful writers what they feel about it.

On with the show!

Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment?
A. I was born north east of Glasgow, and I now live south east of Glasgow - I have moved around in between, though!

Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or are you based elsewhere at the moment?

A. Nope! I did a degree in languages at the University of Glasgow and as part of my degree, I had to do a year's residency in Spain (I chose Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) and also 3 months in France (Toulouse). I also lived for a short time in the Vendée region of France, as a holiday rep on a campsite and taught English in Barcelona for a few months.  But I am based in Britain now and have been for some time, although recent jobs took me all over the world, from Azerbaijan to Romania, Washington State to Japan.

Q. Which is your favourite part of Britain?

A. Well, clearly I'm biased, but it has to be the Scottish Highlands. I love the area around Glencoe. That said I do have a particular penchant for the Isle of Arran, also known as Little Scotland.

Q. Have you ‘highlighted’ or ‘showcased’ any particular part of Britain in your books? For example, a town or city; a county, a monument or some well-known place or event?

A. Yes, my books always have a local theme and a foreign location, too. Sign of the Times had sections set in Ayrshire, Glencoe and Glasgow, whereas The Dating Game was more Glasgow orientated.

Q. There is an illusion – or myth if you wish - about British people that I would like you to discuss. Many see the ‘Brits’ as ‘stiff upper lip’. Is that correct?

A: I think this is still true in many cases, particularly with the older generation. I do, however, think it's less true of Scots and Northerners. We are far more frank. But, I think we are a nation which doesn't like to complain about poor service and gets mortified for example at the idea of sending back food in a restaurant (I am the exception here, having travelled a lot, I won't tolerate poor service, but there's a way of doing it, to ensure they don't spit in your food!)  Plus I cry at the drop of a hat!

Q. Do any of the characters in your books carry the ‘stiff upper lip’? Or are they all ‘British Bulldog’ and unique in their own way?

A. Hmm, I'm trying to think. There are a lot of characters in Sign of the Times, but no, I would have to say they are each unique and generally being Scottish don't have the stiff upper lip thing going on. Lucy has a definite aloofness, but it's not from being British.

Q. Tell us about one of your recent books

A.  The Dating Game came out in November and is about a Glaswegian, workaholic recruitment consultant who doesn't have time to find a partner, never mind have a relationship. But she sees an ad on the bus one day for Happy Ever After dating agency for professional people and she signs up. The novel is the tale of her dates, escapades and what happens next. Basically chicklit for a 30/40 something audience, although readers have proven to be from 18 to 60+ so far!

Q. What are you currently working on?
A: I am currently working on growing a baby! I am 34 weeks pregnant and on maternity leave, so I'm having a break at the minute - enjoying my last weeks of freedom. But my third novel, What If is expected to be out in November.  It's the story of Casanova Cameron who has always played the field and then one day wakes up mid-forties and realises he's no longer living the life he wants. He then looks back at the decisions he has made over the years and wonders what if he had chosen differently. The novel charts how he goes about trying to undo some of those decisions to get to where he wants to be now.

 Q. How do you spend your leisure time?
A: What's that then? Well, in all seriousness, when I do get any free time, I tend to go out with friends for dinner or to classical music concerts. This is getting more difficult, as I am really fidgety now. I always have to book an aisle seat! I also love reading and now that I am on mat leave, have been reading a fair bit - then there's the blogging, tweeting and occasional Facebooking...need I go on?

Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global audience?

A. Although my books have a Scottish theme, but I also include foreign parts, so the idea is that they should be for a global audience. I have lots of people from the US for example, telling me they love some of the words I use. Sometimes they don't realise they are Scottish slang which have been used, as opposed to British v American English, but the fact that they like it is enough for me.  The themes in my books are relevant wherever you are in the world - all realistic and down-to-earth.

Q. Can you provide links to your work?

 Sign of the Times (UK) - http://amzn.to/GKqZGd  

Sign of the Times (US) - http://amzn.to/IYN0Fc

The Dating Game (UK) - http://amzn.to/RuSl7Y

The Dating Game (US) - http://amzn.to/WZQtZK

Facebook - www.facebook.com/susan.buchanan.author 
Twitter - susan_buchanan

Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4216164.Susan_Buchanan

I have also tagged the following people in this, who hopefully will be doing their own VERY BRITISH blog posts!
I will attach their posts to mine, as soon as they have done them!

Seumas Gallacher - http://seumasgallacher.com/
Vanessa Wester - http://vanessawesterwriter.blogspot.co.uk/
Lizzie Lamb - http://www.lizzielamb.co.uk/
Jaimie Admans - http://jaimieadmans.com/
Pedro Yevad (Peter Davey) - http://peterdavey2.com/
Mackenzie Brown - http://mackenzie-brown.tumblr.com/

There would be more, but it's a blog award intensive month...

Tune in tomorrow when I will be hosted over at Chicklitbee discussing the most romantic places in the world to go on a date.



  1. I have been asked twice on the same day... Time to double up! Lol Thanks Sooz...

  2. Nice one! Yes - after I'd nominated Geoff West he had to run his proposed nominations past me - we had a couple of overlaps. We British writers are a rare and elite breed!

  3. Thanks for the ask Sooz, will get onto it asap. Have also decided to bite the bullet and organise a blog, a joiont one for the indie publishing group I helped found last year THE NEW ROMANTICS 4 you might know @june_kearns? Great learning more about you and your writing.

  4. Excellent news. Yep, know of June, another RTing partner! yes, it's a good way of finding out more about all the authors. Enjoy! Sooz