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 responses to “Introducing Author: Susan Braithwaite on Challenge Interview Series #22”

  1. bushboy Avatar

    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

    1. Marsha Avatar

      LOL There’s always a reason. I still have to fill in my email information to respond to some blogs, and I don’t understand why that is.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bushboy Avatar

        It is in their settings. I found I had ticked that box early on and changed it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          Ah, so I’ll mention it to them when we talk this weekend. Thanks. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. bushboy Avatar

    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

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Brian. We’re going to do a followup, zoom call which may lead to another post. We didn’t zoom before the interview, so this is a new direction.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bushboy Avatar

        It worked well with my interview 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          It did! I loved chatting about your blog as we zoomed. It felt like we really got acquainted. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Author Journal 24th – 30th March 2022 – SUSAN TIPPETT BRAITHWAITE Avatar

    […] Follow up interview with Marsha (this time on Zoom😬)–if you haven’t had a chance to read my interview, head over to Marsha’s site to check it out. […]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks Susan! 🙂

      Like

    2. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks for the mention, Susan. Keep pressing on, but don’t forget to breathe and live a bit!

      Like

  4. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

    Hi Marsha, I’ve just emailed you about today–I’ve got a snag. 😬

    Like

  5. Author Journal 17th – 23rd March 2022 – Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

    […] Follow up interview with Marsha (this time on Zoom😬)–if you haven’t had a chance to read my interview, head over to Marsha’s site to check it out. […]

    Like

  6. prior Avatar

    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

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks, Yvette. We had a great time.

      Like

    2. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

      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

      1. Marsha Avatar

        That’s a lot of good to come out of hoarding paper. 🙂

        Like

  7. Cindy Georgakas Avatar

    what a wonderful gift to meet Susan Marsha. Thanks so much. Love the pictures as well! 💖💖

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marsha Avatar

      It was fun, wasn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cindy Georgakas Avatar

        so much so!! 💖

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

      Thank you for reading, Cindy! It’s lovely to meet you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cindy Georgakas Avatar

        It was my pleasure Susan! I’m happy to meet you as well! 🌈🌺

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Aletta - nowathome Avatar

    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

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Is your first language Dutch, Aletta? I’m surprised how different Scottish is than English. When you watch Outlander, it seems pretty easy to understand because you have the visual clues. When you see it written, it’s another matter entirely.

      Like

      1. Aletta - nowathome Avatar

        My first language is Afrikaans, related to Dutch and German. Scottish is very different.. I must watch Outlander

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          It’s got some graphic sex scenes in it, but helps you see life as it was.

          Like

    2. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

      Thank you, Aletta! An hae a guid day, yersel 💖

      Like

  9. Cath Moore Avatar

    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

    1. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

      So nice to meet you, too, Cath! 🤗

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Marsha Avatar

      You two share a lot in common, it sounds like, Cath.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Author Journal 3rd – 9th March 2022 – Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

    […] One reason for my excitement is that my first interview went live yesterday on Marsha Ingrao’s site, alwayswrite.blog. I had a lot of fun answering her questions. If you want to learn more about me, take a keek at my interview. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Chris Hall Avatar

    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

    1. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

      Thank you, Chris! Your ongoing support is much appreciated. I couldn’t do a list of fave blogs and not mention yours 💖

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks for the lovely response, Chris. I’ll pop by your blog and see what’s going on in your neck of the woods.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Chris Hall Avatar

        You’re welcome any time, Marsha!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. margaret21 Avatar

    That was a good read. I often see Jez’s posts but was barely aware of his wife as a blogger. Two bloggers in one household must make for interesting times!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

      It’s always handy having another blogger to bounce ideas off of… and to have a photographer in the house!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. margaret21 Avatar

        Definitely!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Marsha Avatar

          Are you in any blogging online group? I have joined with several other women who zoom once a week. That is such a support for all of us.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. margaret21 Avatar

            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

          2. Marsha Avatar

            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

          3. margaret21 Avatar

            Absolutely! What would we do without them?

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

            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

          5. Marsha Avatar

            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

    2. Marsha Avatar

      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

      1. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

        Oh, that’s so sweet of you, Marsha!💖

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          I’m SO sweet, LOL. I guess that’s why Vince calls me Marshamallowpie.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. Photos by Jez Avatar

    Amazing interview, Marsha 👏 & so nice to learn some things about my wife 🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

      Thank you, sweetie! 🤣🤣🤣

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Marsha Avatar

      I have a feeling that there probably weren’t too many surprises there. I was thrilled to find out she’s a second language learner, and that was one of my specialities and loves in education. I love languages and the study of languages and how they support each other.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Priti Avatar

    Wow beautiful interview ! Well shared loved to read it. Thanks 👌😊❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thank you so much, Priti. 🙂

      Like

      1. Priti Avatar

        It’s my pleasure stay blessed. 😊👌❤

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          You too. 🙂

          Like

      1. Priti Avatar

        You are welcome 👌😊💕stay blessed 💕😊❤

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Marsha Avatar

          You too, Priti.

          Like

  15. anne leueen Avatar

    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

    1. Marsha Avatar

      You are so cute! Probably not too many people could read it, but I know Susan could! Thanks for stopping by and checking in! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

      Thanks for reading my interview, Anne! Great taste on the movie front 🤗 I’d love to hear the Scots your cousin taught you; I’m always up for a good laugh.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. anne leueen Avatar

        Ach awah an scratch yur wherrie wi whin. ( get away and scratch your private mans part with a bit of gorse bush!) So there you have it!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marsha Avatar

          That says a lot with few words.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

            That’s what I love about Scots. We say ‘gie hit a shoogle’, but in English, you have to say ‘give it a slight jostle side to side’.

            Like

        2. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

          🤣 Good one. I have to admit, I’ve heard many–too many–names for men’s nether regions, but not wherrie.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. anne leueen Avatar

            The cousin who told me that was a Glaswegian so maybe it is a term used in Glasgow.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

            Small world. I’m Glaswegian, too! Maybe it’s some variant of willy. I’ll file this one in my list of naughty words. 😁 🤗

            Liked by 2 people

  16. the eternal traveller Avatar

    Ha! I remember how we confused you with some of our Australian words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha Avatar

      We had a great conversation about that today. Loved it!

      Like

  17. Jim Borden Avatar

    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

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Thanks for the lovely comment, Jim. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jim Borden Avatar

        you are welcome, Marsha…

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Jim Borden Avatar

        you are welcome, Susan!

        Liked by 2 people

  18. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

    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

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Super, I just liked it. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Stefanie Neumann Avatar

      Susan and I got to know each other last year in October during a campaign on Twitter called Scotstober (it was for native and non-native speakers of the Scots as well as for those who want to learn it.) We then discovered that we are also both blogging on WordPress and since then we are having this wonderful connection. I am a big fan of her and am so grateful for the chance to getting to know her a little better thanks to this interview.

      Thank you, Marsha and Susan, for this!
      Also, thank you, Susan, for the mention. 💗

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Marsha Avatar

        How lucky you are. I think more and more bloggers are meeting up in real life and by Zoom. The connections are fabulous. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

        Thank you, Stefanie! Nae problem, on the menshie. A’m a muckle fan o ye, an aw 💖

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Marsha Avatar

          LOL Let me try… No problem on the mention. I’m a huge fan of yours, and love. ???? Am I even close?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

            Oh, you’re so close! It’s just that last bit. An aw in this context means as well. I’ll give you 9.5/10 on that one!

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Marsha Avatar

            Awwwww, I’m thrilled! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  19. Susan T. Braithwaite Avatar

    Thank you for the interview spot, Marsha! It’s a real honour to be one of your interviewees; I’m in fantastic company.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marsha Avatar

      I agree that you are in fantastic company. It is an honor to interview all of you wonderful folks. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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