Author Interview: Suzanne Rogerson and The Lost Sentinel
The Lost Sentinel
Silent Sea Chronicles #1
The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.
The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.
Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.
Struggling with self-doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for their new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.
Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic?
If you like character-based fantasy, then you’ll love The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy.
Interview with Suzanne Rogerson
Where are you from?
Middlesex in England.
Do you have a job away from writing?
I help my husband with his business admin and accounts, but I focus as much time as I can on writing and self-publishing.
What is your favourite book?
I really struggle with this question. I suppose any of David Gemmell’s books would fit the answer. The Rigante books stick in my mind as they are such amazing stories with characters that I loved even when they made terrible choices. It’s the only series of his I can’t re-read because it’s just so heartbreaking. Maybe I should make that a challenge to myself in 2020!
Are you inspired by particular authors?
I love the way David Gemmell created heroes and how Robin Hobb has created intricate worlds. These were the two main authors I read when I first discovered fantasy as a genre and they will always be my favourites.
When did you realise you wanted to become an author?
When I was about seven or eight years old, I planned a whole children’s book series featuring a little girl and her adventures with her pet lion. It didn’t get past the idea stage, but I did go on to write my first novel at the age of twelve. I knew very early on that it was all I wanted to do but it took me 30 years to realise the dream.
What do you do in your spare time?
I’m obsessed with Netflix and have been binge watching as many sci-fi and superhero shows as I can. I loved The Witcher especially, and we just started re-watching the series last night.
We also got a puppy at the end of the summer so I’m looking forward to lots of walks in the countryside in the spring and getting back into photography.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Find other authors to meet up with or talk to online and don’t be afraid of critiquing each other’s work. It helps to have others pushing you and I believe reading other people’s work helps you become a better writer and editor.
Without giving away spoilers, was there anything about writing this book that you found particularly difficult?
I made some tough choices in The Lost Sentinel that although were necessary to the story were heartbreaking for me and my characters. They were amongst my favourite scenes to write but were also the hardest. Readers have often commented on those choices, so I’m glad I didn’t chicken out.
Is there anything you learned during the writing or publishing process that you wish you knew earlier?
I wish I had at least planned out the trilogy before publishing The Lost Sentinel as I put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself. It all worked out perfectly and I love how the trilogy has been tied up, but a bit more planning would have made the journey getting there a bit smoother. And I might have slept better at night over the last few years.
What are your writing plans for the future?
I’m working on another dual timeline fantasy story like my debut, Visions of Zarua. I’m hoping to have completed a well-edited version of it sometime in March ready for beta readers.
There is a spin off novella that I need to work on and hope to use this as a reader magnet for my newsletter when I get around to setting that up.
I also plan to re-read the two novels I wrote in my twenties and see if they are worth rewriting. There’s over 350k words between them, which will require a lot of editing. I’ve grown a lot as a writer since these books, but I still love the characters and think they deserve their time to shine.
What is your favourite animal and why?
I have always loved animals, but wolves are special to me. I have Robin Hobb and her character Nighteyes to thank for that. My obsession with wolves even led us to go on holiday to a remote wolf reserve in the middle of Shropshire, UK. We stayed in a converted barn for a week with several wolf enclosures around us. I would wake up hearing their majestic howls and was even able to go into the enclosures a couple of times with the owner. It was probably my best holiday, though I think my husband still has nightmares about it.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would love to go to a remote tropical island with nothing to do but relax in a hammock with a book and a cocktail. I’d need a notebook and pen too; writers are never off duty!
Because my book The Lost Sentinel focused so much on islands within the Silent Sea, which unfortunately don’t exist, I’ve become fixated with the idea of finding my own little bit of paradise. Plus, the UK is cold and often wet at this time of year and I would love to escape somewhere warm.
What is your favourite song?
‘I am the Fire’ by Halestorm. Lizzy Hale has an amazing voice and it’s an epic song. I used it for inspiration whilst writing the end of my trilogy. Whenever I hear it, I see Tei, the main character, and it reminds me of the magical feelings I had writing the end of The Sentinel’s Alliance. I also went to see Halestorm in November 2019 and hearing ‘I am the Fire’ performed live made a brilliant evening complete!
Reviews for The Lost Sentinel
Roberson has created an exciting new world with characters i care about enough to want to read the next book (and any that follow)! – Kindle Customer
Overall, this story bowled me over, it was an absolutely outstanding epic fantasy and the kind of writing fantasy authors should be aspiring to. – BrizzleLass
A thoroughly enjoyable fantasy story with characters you can’t help rooting for and intriguing villains. The world building was fantastic and it was easy to lose yourself in. – Norris
Having read Suzannes first novel ‘Visions of Zarua’ I highly anticipated reading more of her work. ‘The Lost Sentinel’ was a gripping start to a trilogy, with many interesting and likable characters. The various plot lines are easy to follow and merge well together to create and intrguing and unputdownable story. – sarah