2013 YA debut Event: Author Karen Saunders- Interview, Review & Giveaway

Kicking off the 2013 YA Debut author event is author Karen Saunders. Karen releases her debut YA/Middle grade novel, Me, Suzy P through Templar Publishing TODAY! *throws confetti*

I am excited to bring you an interview with author Karen Saunders, my 5* review of Me, Suzy P and your chance to win a copy of the book! Without further ado, I give you Karen Saunders!

The Author:

I’m Karen Saunders, and I came to writing a bit of a roundabout way. I trained as a primary school teacher at university, but realised when I was there I didn’t actually want to teach. This is something of a problem when you’re doing a teaching degree. I stuck with it though and graduated, then temped for a while as I tried to figure out what I wanted to do instead.

I worked in publicity for several years, and then went back to university to do an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. I’ve been writing ever since, and have written books on all sorts of things like Hannah Montana, Marvel Super Heroes, fairies, princesses, and much more besides. My first picture book, Baby Badger’s Wonderful Night, was released in 2011, and now it’s all about my debut novel, Me, Suzy P.



I started writing fiction when I was in a job I hated, and I guess I needed an escape into a nicer world! But I never thought I was any good at it, until I entered a short story into Company Magazine’s writing competition. I can’t remember the year, I guess around 2000 or 2001. I was a runner-up and was blown away that a panel of judges thought I could write. I then wrote a teen novel, which is festering in a drawer somewhere, and left my job in 2004 to go and do my MA, which I loved and have been writing ever since.

Me, Suzy P
The Book- Me, Suzy P! 

I wrote about this on my website recently, so I hope you don’t mind that I’m repeating the answer here. But you know that saying, ‘there’s always one?’ Well, that one is usually me. I’m a walking disaster area, but a lot of the stuff that happens is pretty funny (in hindsight). So I thought that would be an interesting idea for a character – a girl who is always getting embarrassed by stuff that happens to her. I also noticed that a lot of the books for girls of this age focused on getting a boyfriend, so I wondered what would happen if a girl already had a boyfriend…but started crushing on someone else and becomes very confused about her own relationship. I put the two together, and Suzy P was born.

Add Me, Suzy P to GOODREADS!

Can you describe your protagonist Suzy P in less than 140 characters? 

Hilarious, ditzy, disaster magnet. Gets into scrapes. Flustered. Always embarrassing herself. Bonkers family. Great friends. Lots of fun.

(I actually typed that answer out in my Twitter box to make sure it didn’t go over 140 characters. That’s pretty tragic, isn’t it?) Reading Away The Days *Of course it isn't I do it all the time he he*

Suzy gets herself into a few funny situations as she is a disaster magnet. I found some of the situations very funny to read and laughed out a loud a few times when reading Me, Suzy P! Have you ever got into any funny situations like Suzy?

Er, yes. Constantly. Daily, even. A lot of the things Suzy does have happened to me, or my friends, and I’ve just exaggerated them. I’m a disaster magnet, too. I had my nose broken in a tickling fight (and had to have an operation to have it fixed again) and ended up with my arm in a plaster cast due to a suspected fractured scaphoid bone while I was pregnant. And what horribly dangerous activity was I doing at the time to injure myself in this way? Opening a window. Yes, really. I’ve been smacked full-on in the face with a football watching a football match, and got stuck in a snowdrift trying to take a shortcut on skis. Please tell me you don’t need any more examples.

How does it feel to be releasing your debut novel?

It’s really exciting! It feels a bit surreal, to be honest. I just hope people enjoy it.

Why should we pick up Me, Suzy P?

Well, it’s a romantic comedy and it’s out in January, when everyone needs cheering up, as January can be kind of a depressing month. Plus when it’s cold and wintery outside there’s nothing nicer than curling up with a good story.

But if you’re reading this and January’s been and gone, pick it up anyway – I hope it’ll bring a smile to your face.


Some fun book questions:

Favourite genre and why?

Aaaagh these are going to be those questions where I have to pick my favourite things, aren’t they? And I’m rubbish at choosing because I always have too many favourites, and like lots of different things, plus I’m horribly fickle, so my favourites change depending on my mood. I’m not going to be able to pick just one, I’m warning you now. But I can probably narrow it down for my favourite genre, which I guess has to be contemporary.

Favourite YA author and why?

When I was a teenager I loved Judy Blume. I recently reread Tiger Eyes and it was still so enjoyable. So for nostalgia alone, she’d be up there. Over the last few years, I’ve enjoyed Meg Cabot, Suzanne Collins and Sarah Dessen. I’m now worrying I’ve forgotten people… I think all the things these writers have in common is that they tell brilliant stories that are totally believable, with characters you root for and get behind.

Debut author/ upcoming author we should check out?

HM Castor – she’s written a lot of books but VIII is her first for teens. We share the same publisher, and I was given her book when I went to visit Templar early last year. I was engrossed in her book all the way home and was blown away by her storytelling – it’s such a brilliant and original interpretation of Henry VIII’s early life and why he became the terrifying and feared King he did. I understand she’s currently writing another about Henry’s two daughters, and I can’t wait to read it.

Favourite 2012 read and why?

I was horribly late coming to this series, but I read The Hunger Games in 2012 and love, love, loved it. I was completely gripped the whole way through and wondered why I’d taken so long to get around to reading it. I’ve actually just reread the trilogy.

A book series you love and why?

I love the Princess Diaries. And Harry Potter. And the Hunger Games. And the Cherub Series. Just because they’re all such good stories, well plotted with believable characters. See, I told you I couldn’t be pinned down to just one…

Thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog!

BUY Me, Suzy P!

Stalk the author:

Me, Suzy P
Karen Saunders
342 pages
Templar Publishing
Received ARC from Publisher for honest review
5* review
Me, Suzy P is a fun entertaining read from debut author Karen Saunders. The protagonist Suzy Puttock is an engaging character. Her voice is that of a typical fourteen year old who is a total disaster magnet and I found myself laughing out loud many times at some of the predicaments Suzy found herself in.
The storyline circles around protagonist Suzy and her mixed up love life and crazy family. Suzy has been best friends with Danny for, forever and they are now dating, he was her first kiss, her first love. But now the feelings she had for him have started to change, she feels something is missing between her and Danny. Suzy is very confused when she starts to like a new Zach even though she is with Danny, these feelings cause a whole lot of trouble for Suzy!
There are many great characters in Me, Suzy P. We have Suzy's crazy family, mum, dad and sisters Harry and Amber. Harry is a pratical joker and causes all matters of trouble for Suzy. Amber, Suzy's older sister is getting married and has gone totally crazy with it.  Think horrible bridesmaid dresses, pink, pink and more pink, oh yeah and chihuahua's! We also have Jamie and Millie, Danny and Suzy's best friends, their also a couple and the total opposite of Danny and Suzy, they are all loved up! Millie is a great character, she's funny, a great friend to Suzy and addicted to jelly babies (who isn't). We also have Jade, the popular girl at school, pretty and popular but a total bit*h. The drama invovling Suzy's crazy love life involves Jade and this not a good thing!
Overall, Me Suzy P is a fun read from a great debut author. It took me a weekend to read as I kept wanting to know what was going to happen to Suzy next. This book is a great reads for teens aged 12-14 years old, however I am 24 and I found it a funny, engaging and fresh contempoary read. Karen Saunders is an author I would compare to Cathy Cassidy and I expect even more great things from her in the future!


2 copies of Me Suzy, P by Karen Saunders up for grabs!
Fill out the form below to enter!
Giveaway ends 21st January 2013


  1. Hi Megan, I've only just found your blog *waves*

    I love the Princess Diaries series so much. And ever since I heard about VIII, I've been wanting to read it!

  2. You're not the only one getting on the Hunger Games band wagon late. I discovered the book in 2011 and adored it.

    You are not alone.

  3. I also jumped on the HG bandwagon late!

  4. I've been looking for some books for my daughter 16 year to start reading and this looks promising

  5. Would love to read what looks to be a very interesting book

  6. Sounds like a really good book. Thanks for the giveaway x

  7. Looks brill!! Really want to give this a go :)