Interview with Susie Drougas, Author (part 2)

Drougas.9.DSC03787Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

SD. I began my Dusty Rose series and published my first novel in 2014, Pack Saddles & Gunpowder. Over the years I have published several articles for the Back Country Horsemen state magazine, The Trailhead News. I worked on newsletters for our local chapter and I was told by a number of people that the only reason they joined our chapter was to get the newsletter and read my stories. That really made me start thinking about my book, and just maybe I could do it.

Q. How long after that were you published?

SD. I’m a pretty methodical person. When I make up my mind to do something, I put out maximum effort to see it through. I began writing in 2013 and finished and published my first novel in 2014.  As I mentioned, I am a freelance court reporter. I take depositions and have often found myself in a room with several accomplished, high-powered Seattle attorneys with several million dollars at stake—shouting and arguing over each other. I have to keep them in line to maintain the record. It is not for the faint of heart. But I will say, going the first time to my writer’s group and reading my work to other people was the scariest thing I have ever done. Beats anything else in the terror factor. By accomplishing that daunting task I have been able to move myself from a want toDrougas.6.Mike and Pack String Painting be writer to a published author.

Q. What makes a writer great?

SD. I think authenticity is a big factor. Whatever you write about: take me there and make it believable.

Q. And the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

SD. Everybody writes differently. I’m methodical, as I mentioned. I start at the beginning and write to the end. I have friends that can have three different books going at the same time—not me. I write a chapter at a time. I have no plan when I start. Okay, here’s where it gets crazy! I have a voice that tells me the story in parts. So as I finish one chapter I often don’t know myself what will happen in the next. Sure enough, when I sit down again, the story flows. Sometimes I think, where did that come from?
Finishing the draft of a book is probably the smallest part. My book goes to the editor and I rewrite. Then I have it reviewed, and reviewed and reviewed again. I read it over and over. I have heard, and I believe it’s true, you could rewrite your book forever, it’s really just finding a stopping point. Deadlines like rendezvous and Christmas are good times to create deadlines for me.

Drougas.13.Me and Fire PackingQ. How has your life experiences influenced your writing/stories?

SD. I basically write about my life. My husband and I have six horses. We moved to an area based solely on access to mountain riding. We devote our spare time to riding our horses in the mountains and doing volunteer work for the Forest Service. I am an associate member of the Washington Outfitters and Guides Association and the Back Country Horsemen of Washington. My 30 plus years of mountain riding and interacting with fellow back-country individuals has given me a wealth of information. Riding horses gives you a lot of time to think, sometimes I think about what-ifs, and it is always exciting to make them real in my books.

Q. Have you? Or do you want to write in another genre`?

SD. I love the genre I write. When I was a little girl I would write stories—51Skcd69q7L._AA320_QL65_
always about the west. I’ve thought about writing from a woman’s perspective, and I have characters in my book that I could use. Right now I’m just enjoying writing Dusty and Mike’s adventures.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

SD. The places I share in my books are real. I include maps in the beginning of each book. If you enjoy the ride, there are outfitters available to take you there. With the cuts in Forest budgets the Back Country Horsemen take up the slack in volunteer hours. My husband alone, packed in 100 planks last year for bridge replacements for the Naches Ranger District. We pack in the Youth Conversation Corps for trail work, all their tools, food and tents. All volunteer work. So when you pass a horseman on the trail, please know that the bridges you walk on and the logs that are cleared off the trail are in large part attributable to his/her efforts.

Click here to read Part I ~ Interview with Susie Drougas
DON’T MISS BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!       Julia LondonMJ Moores,   actor/narrator Tavia Gilbert and Susie Drougas.  In April, a long awaited interview with Kathleen Grissom (The Kitchen House)

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