Local author’s e-book is a success

Published 10:16 am Friday, March 22, 2013


FRANKLIN—A life long passion of reading lead Susann Duncan to write her first novel.

“I have always loved to read,” Duncan enthused. “I would read anything and everything that I could get my hands on.”

Duncan is no stranger to a life of firsts. After growing up in Georgia, she was the first female gunners mate in the U.S. Navy and was aboard the U.S.S. Briscoe, the first vessel to dock in the former Soviet Union.

After her career in the Navy, Duncan went to school where she obtained her Bachelor’s in Dental Hygiene from Old Dominion University.

A dental hygienist and resident in Franklin, Duncan was given the initial inspiration to write her first novel “Ella Awakened” four years ago, after her husband Morgan Duncan gave her a Kindle for Christmas.

“That was one of the best gifts he ever bought me,” she said.

The book is dedicated to Duncan’s husband, for giving her the idea to write her first book.

“One day while I was reading, he looked at me and said, ‘you read so much – have you ever given thought to writing your own novel’,” she explained.

After 14 months of writing, Duncan finished the novel, noting the first chapter of her novel was hand written on restaurant paper towels.

“When I started writing I had no idea where the book would go,” she said. “It took a life of its own, I wanted the book to be a cliffhanger.”

In a press release about her book Duncan says, “Ella Awakened” is a paranormal romance about relationships, eclectic families and loyalty, begging you to ask yourself – just how far would you go to protect the one you love?

“I have always loved the paranormal stuff,” she said. “My favorite authors are Stephenie Meyer and Amanda Hocking, who is a self published.”

As Duncan looked at different major publishing companies, each listing that they published first time authors by invitation only, she realized she needed to take a different direction and turned back to her Kindle to self-publish the novel.

“I submitted the novel trough Amazon for the kindle format in November,” she stated. “It was submitted two weeks before my 40th birthday, and that was my goal.”

After being submitted for publishing, the novel was entered among 10,000 other entries into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, making it to the round of 2,000 entries.

“That alone gave me confidence to pursue writing further,” she added. “It is a little overwhelming to think you are writing for someone else.”

Since then, the book has had over 6,000 downloads, from Japan, Australia, Africa and Greece, through the Amazon digital bookstore.

“I know that number is a drop in the bucket in the literary world, but to me it’s exciting,” she said. “Through the use of my Facebook fan page, it is a little funny to me who all has downloaded my book.”

With the success of the first title, Duncan is currently writing the sequel “Ella Provoked”, with the hope of releasing it in fall of 2013.

“I have a trilogy mapped out,” Duncan explained.

In addition to the electronic downloads, 70 copies of her book have been printed to date. Some of these are currently available for purchase at the Peanut Patch in Courtland, where she will have her first book signing during the store’s Virginia Day on Saturday, June 8.

Duncan lives in Franklin with her husband Morgan Duncan, a Senior Chief in the Navy, and their two children, Emily, 9, and Evan, 7.