Skip to content

Introducing Author: Susan Braithwaite on Challenge Interview Series #22

Did you get hooked on the series Outlander like I did? Susan and her husband, Jez Braithwaite, not only speak Scottish, but they also collaborated to write a series called Things in Scots. I could get easily hooked on it. It’s a challenge to try to read and understand what they mean.

Language is so important to our identity. Not long-ago educators thought you had to erase a child’s first language for them to become fluent in a second or third language. Newer research proved this to be invalid. Susan shares how she felt about her language in this quote.

“As kids, we were discouraged from speaking Scots, so much so, we were given little bits of paper to put in a tin with the English for the Scots words we were meant to stop using.”

Susan Braithwaite

Those of you from the United States will notice that some of the words in Susan’s interview are spelled differently. This drives American Grammarly crazy, but to the best of my ability, I ignored the differences. But wait until you read Scottish. The semblance to American English ends there.

When I was taking classes to become a teacher of English as a Second Language, our teacher used Scottish (English for Scots) to illustrate how difficult it was for our Spanish-speaking students to listen in English all day long. Another teacher gave us an education thesis to read in Australian English. We learned our lesson as you will after you read the story that goes with this darling puppy.

Scottish Word: Coorie

What do you think it means? Take a wild guess, then read to see how close you came.

“Coorie” bundle up.

Whanivver Ah wiz smorin wi’ the caul, ma maw wid aye say, “Guan coorie doon on the sofa. In Inglis: Whenever I had a horrible cold, my mum would always say, “Get yourself wrapped up on the sofa.”

Susan Braithwaite

I had the privilege to interview Jez Braithwaite whose blog is Photos by Jez. He hosts two challenges, Fan of… and Water Water Everywhere. You can read his interview here. As we chatted, I found out that his wife, Susan also blogs and she is an author. They are such a cute couple, I know you are going to enjoy her interview.

By the way, we live in Cumbernauld, which is also where the Outlander studio, Wardpark Studios, is located.

Susan Braithwaite Susan’s post on Interative Outlining.

Susan had to overcome quite an obstacle that most of us bloggers take for granted that we can do easily.

Introducing Author Susan Braithwaite

Can you tell us a little about your background, blogging history, and what kind of writer you are (ie mostly a poet?) do you write fiction or non-fiction? 

I’m from a military family. From the age of thirteen, I was an Army Cadet until I joined the Royal Navy at eighteen. Unfortunately, I suffered a career-ending injury while serving and was medically discharged. The injury is a neurological pain condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), and it affects my dominant hand. 

Fortunately, while learning to come to terms with my injury, I discovered a silver lining. Of all the things I’d lost the ability to do—playing the piano and the guitar—writing was the one that I refused to let go of. 

Since the age of seven, I’ve been in the grip of the writing bug. I wrote wee bits and pieces for a magazine a friend and I sent out to all of our neighbours; song lyrics for exam pieces, and for the bands I was in; and a terrible play. 

But after the injury, I wanted to do more. I wanted to really write. Specifically, I wanted to write screenplays. Cue several years of long-distance learning via UCLA Extension’s Writer’s Program. I came out with a certificate and several movie scripts under my belt and a  sudden realization that breaking into Hollywood from outwith the US would be difficult.  Very difficult when no one produced the type of story I was writing—romantic suspense. 

My blogging history is spotty. Since 2007, I have started an embarrassing amount of blogs, but they ultimately fizzled out because they lacked a focused output. My current blog is a keeper, now in its fourth year. 

As I mentioned above, I write romantic suspense stories featuring spies, Scots heroes, and international locales. 

When did you realize you were a professional writer? 

Before diving into fiction writing, I was a writer for hire. When my first client hired me for a series of pieces on the back of a trial article, I knew I was a professional non-fiction writer. It wasn’t until I’d sold my first copies of my novella, Hidden Desires, that I felt that I was a professional fiction writer. 

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your successes, so far? 

I think the biggest contributor to my success so far has to be that I never stop learning about the craft of writing. Whether from books, courses, or blog posts on screenwriting, fiction writing, or blogging. As writers, there’s always something new to learn, be it a technique or a style. 

What is one opportunity that you attribute to blogging in addition to selling your books?

Blogging has given me the unique opportunity to forge personal relationships with readers and other writers. Social media is great for the occasional “hi”, but I find it doesn’t afford the personal connection that blogging does. Much like how this interview came up! 

What obstacles or concerns have you overcome in your writing career? 

There are quite a few, all of them linked to my injury. One enduring obstacle is how to get the words onto the screen. For the longest time, I was using ViaVoice, a speech-to-text program, until it left the market and then Dragon for Mac. But, Dragon has since stopped supporting Mac users, and there’s no viable replacement. For now, I write with my nondominant hand longhand, then do a type/rest/type/rest thing, and swallow the pain that comes with having to work this way. 

What are your published books, WIPs, or anything else you are working on? 

I have a two-book erotica series called The Carmichaels. The two books, Hidden Desires and Ever Craving, received 5-star ratings, but they are no longer available for purchase since I changed my genre. 

I’m currently working on a romantic suspense spy series called The Deniable Unit. So far, I’ve got the outlines for the first four, with pencilled-in ones for a further three. And I’m nearing the end of writing the first draft of book one in the series, Running the Asset

Running the Asset 

Elle McGuire’s carefully duct-taped life is torn apart when Adam Dekker, a gorgeous but overbearing spy, holds her at gunpoint, spinning a crazy tale that her teddy bear of boss is Europe’s biggest weapons dealer. Worse still, the man insists that Elle’s going to help him take her boss down, whether she likes it or not. 

Confident that Dekker is insane, Elle tries to put the incident behind her… but something in the spy’s wild story sows the seeds of doubt about her boss’s innocence—that and the two attempts on her life in the space of an hour. 

What’s something you are an expert at that few people know about?

I’m a marksman. 

Can you give us an interesting fun fact about you? 

English is my second language. 

Favorites. Do you have a favorite author or poet, movie? Favorite color, song, food,  drink, clothing item, or favorite place to go to refresh? Favorite blogs to follow… besides  Photos by Jez, LOL 

My favourite author is Anne Stuart. Whether it’s her romantic suspense or her historical romances, I’m buying it if it’s got her name on it. For non-fiction, it has to be H. R. D’Costa for her game-changing books on writing.

My favourite movie has to be Grosse Pointe Blank. The writing in that movie inspired me to study screenwriting. 

I don’t have a favourite colour. I lean heavily into darker shades—purples, blood reds, blacks,  burgundies. 

Songs… I love so many, but it has to be Discipline by Nine Inch Nails (my favourite band). I’m a Scot, so my favourite drink has to be Irn-Bru! 

I had to look Irn-Bru up. Irn-Bru you might guess in English is “Iron Brew”  “iron brew”; Scots: [ˌəirənˈbruː]) is a Scottish carbonated soft drink, often described as “Scotland’s other national drink” (after whisky). Introduced in 1901, the drink is produced in Westfield, Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, by A.G. Barr of Glasgow. Wikipedia

Irn-Bru Photo Credit “no copyright infringement is intended”

My favourite place to refresh is the canal, pretty much anywhere with water. 

What are some of your favorite blogs?

Blogs: Photos by Jez (jezbraithwaite.blog); Scribe Meets World (scribemeetsworld.com);  bushboys world (bushboy.blog); View from the Back (viewfromtheback.com); luna’s online (lunas-online.com); nowathome (nowathome.wordpress.com); Kokopelli Bee Free Blog  (kokopellibeefreeblog.wordpress.com

If your blog or career ended today, what legacy would you leave behind? 

Ooft, that’s a tough one… I think I’d have to say that it would be my small part in introducing the Scots language to people from around the world, and closer to home, who didn’t know of its existence. 

Can you share some links to where we can find you online? 

  • My website is susantbraithwaite.com 
  • I’m on Twitter @SusBraithwaite (twitter.com/susbraithwaite) 
  • Instagram susanbraithwaite_ (instagram.com/susanbraithwaite_) 
  • Facebook Page (facebook.com/susantbraithwaite)

New Word: Oxter or Oxters

Oxter

Stoap at! Ma oxters ur right ticklie. In Inglis: Stop that! My underarms are ticklish.”

Susan Braithwaite

Thank You

Susan and Jez Braithwaite both work and still blog regularly as well bike, take amazing photographs. I’m in awe of what Susan accomplishes in spite of her pain and full work schedule. Thank you so much for the opportunity to get to know you better.

The Kelpies Photo by Susan Braithwaite

Now it’s your turn

Susan and I would both love to hear what you think. Leave us your comment and start a chat. In March we are doing something new with the interview posts. There will be a follow-up with a summary of your comments with links to the newest post on your blogs and a report of what is new in Susan’s life as a blogger and author.

90 replies »

  1. Now I know why it didn’t appear in my reader, the link to bushboys world doesn’t work. There is a ; after the// giving https;// instead of https://
    Given that your blog should appear in my reader. I wonder what I was doing around that date, perhaps was quite busy and didn’t get to my reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How come I missed this interview especially as I have a mention!!!! I love Susan’s writing and have been reading the snippets she was posting a few years ago of Running the Asset. I am almost a 5/10 reading/interpreting Scots but a 2/10 trying to pronounce a lot of the words 😂😂
    Great interview Marsha ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marsha, you did a great job on making this interview flow with such ease. The spacing and pacing made it quite enjoyable – and of course the content was interesting. Susan, you have a unique mix of talents and being a marksman must have been hard to walk away from because of the injury – but it looks like the writing has been a great path for you and your other talents.
    I really smiled to read this part… how you
    “started an embarrassing amount of blogs”
    hahah
    so many of us can relate with that and glad your current one is in its fourth year
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry for the late response!

      Thank you for reading, Yvette. 😊

      It’s so good to know I’m not the only one who had a blog starting problem (I also have a stationery hoarding problem 😬 ).
      Leaving the military was a hard thing to overcome, but I’m a fatalist (apparently most Scots are 🤷‍♀️ ) and believe that everything happens for a reason. So, I started to hunt down the good that could possibly come from it, and, hey presto! Writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful interview Marsha and Susan! Thank you so much for the mention Susan! Much appreciated. I am in awe that you are writing with your non dominant hand! Just amazing. 😀
    English is my 2nd language too and I was surprised taht some of the Scots words are familiar to me! Hae a guid day!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So nice to meet the other half of Jez…..and I love that Susan is so passionate about her native tongue. I am from Yorkshire myself and although I never grew up there, I love to hear a Yorkshire dialect. Even more…I like to read it in it’s purest form.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Fab interview, ladies! I’m enjoying following Susan’s progress as she works on her new novel, and I’m eagerly anticipating its release. In the meantime, the ‘Thing’s in Scots’ series on her blog is a pleasant reminder of the time I spent ‘up the road’.
    PS – thanks for the mention, Susan 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

          • I am actually. It’s definitely been restorative during the long days of the pandemic, and now we’ve become friends, of course we continue. Isn’t the blogging community wonderful, once you embrace it?

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’m so glad, Margaret. I love mine, too. I wish we’d done online Zoom groups when I first started ten years ago. I felt so alone when I had problems. My blogging friends and I sludged along helping each other as best we could through our comments. Pretty boring for everyone else. But it’s different than being able to talk and share screens. Now it is like have friends tutoring friends.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’m not in any groups at the moment. Our schedule makes it nigh on impossible to do the group thing. But, I do have a group of supportive bloggers, a couple of whom you’ve met in the comments (Stefanie and Chris). I’ll certainly keep it in mind for when we’re not on the go all day. 🤗

            Liked by 1 person

          • It does take about han hour a week for me per group. If you ever want to zoom, we can always schedule. We will do one Zoom call to follow-up as planned during your next vacay, if that works.

            Like

    • Thanks, Margaret. When I interviewed Jez, we talked a lot about Susan. She actually got him started blogging. His focus is on photography, and he hosts a couple of popular challenges, so I think he is better known. But I was thrilled to meet Susan via his interview and find out how much we have in common. I’m very impressed with her talent as a writer. They seem like such a close couple. I love their interactions and the way they support each other. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a good interview Masha full on interesting things. Grosse Point Blank is a favorite movie of mine too. And I have the Kelpies on my bucket list. I so want to see them. I have a Scots sentence given to me by my cousin who lives in Perthshire but I will not put it down here as it is not too polite!

    Like

  8. such a wonderful interview. It is quite impressive that she wanted to be a writer, despite the physical challenge she faced. I am sure that determination is a big part of her success. I wish her continued success!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on Susan T. Braithwaite and commented:

    I’ve been super quiet about this, even though I’ve been dying to shout about it for a while. But, now I can let you all in on it.

    Marsha, over at alwayswrite.blog, was wonderful enough to interview me and has featured it on her site.

    So, if you want to learn a wee bit more about me, check out my interview on her blog!

    Liked by 2 people

Translate

Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

Personal Links

Verified Services

View Full Profile →

#StoryChat Y2

Writer’s Quote Wednesdays

How to Link to a Challenge

8 Benefits of Photo Challenges

8 benefits of Challenges

For the Love of Challenges

Teacher Resources

Click to Get Early Childhood Teaching Resources
SS Logo
Sunday Stills Logo

Becky B’s Squares April – Bright

Cee’s Black & White Challenge

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge

Featured Blogger Award

Free Download

Use Canva to Create Social Media

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 16,531 other followers

Categories

Blogs I Follow

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 169,643 hits
awifemyverse.wordpress.com/

A Wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thing

SPACE STORIES BY GIFT

explore space; discover stories beyond

Page 'n Pen

Read to live; Live to write

Hourglass Poetry

LETTERS to TIME PASSING

Churape's Dungeon and Stuff

Movie, TV, and Game Reviews

dawn2dawn photography

Tall Tales From The Field

Cognac Project

Healing CPTSD with Poetry and Photography

Micro of the Macro

Recognizing & appreciating our oneness with Nature

The59Club

Enjoying life and the empty nest while easing into retirement,

Retirementally Challenged

Navigating through my post-work world

Brashley Photography

Photographing.... that one moment in time...

Myths of the Mirror

Life is make believe, fantasy given form

A Multitude of Musings

On the Way to Wholeness

XingfuMama

Exploring my world with pictures and words.

Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World

Katy Trail Creations

Creating Memories through Writing, Hobbies and Photos. And I play & teach 5-string banjo.

No Facilities

Random thoughts, life lessons, hopes and dreams

Oddments

In search of story

nbsmithblog...random digressions and musings

Haiku...short and sweet (or not so sweet)

Allusionary Assembly

The Writing of Kerry E.B. Black

snapshotsincursive

Interesting stories about everyday moments.

eklastic

Refugees welcome - Flüchtlinge willkommen I am teaching German to refugees. Ich unterrichte geflüchtete Menschen in der deutschen Sprache. I am writing this blog in English and German because my friends speak English and German. Ich schreibe auf Deutsch und Englisch, weil meine Freunde Deutsch und Englisch sprechen.

Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge

The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

Life...one big adventure

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Travel with Intent

A photographer's view of the world - words and images to inspire your travels and your dreams

%d bloggers like this: