Sorry, but no Reader’s Choice today because I’m on deadline, but I’ll have it up this week, probably on Wednesday. Tomorrow, I hope to have info about a short radio show I’m scheduled to do tomorrow night. Again, stay tuned!
Thanks to Harlequin Junkie for the terrific review of WILD MAN’S CURSE! I think it went up yesterday. This isn’t a tour stop, but those reviews are always appreciated 🙂
Thanks to Romantic Fanatic for the great review of WILD MAN’S CURSE today! You can enter to win the tour prizes here, which are an assortment of Amazon gift cards.
There was supposed to be an interview up at Ramblings of a Book Nerd but as of this writing, it was missing, so I’ll just paste it below. You snooze, you lose, I guess. If you want to check the site later and it is posted, you can enter for the tour prizes there.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? I’ve always journaled and written, but the first time I remember thinking I might turn it into a career was when a middle-school teacher accused me of plagiarizing a paper because “no seventh-grader has that kind of vocabulary.” I did have that kind of vocabulary, so I thought maybe I’d be a journalist. Which is how I’ve spent most of my career. I only began writing fiction in 2009.
What is your most interesting or craziest writing quirk? I work with music cranked up in the earbuds to block out my mom’s loud TV or, at the day job, the frat boys across the street—but I only listen to French-Canadian music, performed in French. I understand enough of the lyrics to enjoy it, but not enough to let them distract me. I’m guessing that’s pretty crazy, but it’s really improving my French for any future trips to Quebec or Montreal. LOL.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How characters take on a life of their own and act in ways that you, as the author, haven’t planned. Before it happened to me, I would’ve thought that was crazy. But when things are really clicking and you get in that writing zone, the subconscious and the characters conspire to take the store where they want it to go. They’re usually right, too!
What has been your favorite book to write?
It’s usually the last one I wrote, so right now it’s the second book in the Bayou series. I really do like this new Wilds of the Bayou series, though, because it’s set in Louisiana, which is the home of my heart if not my physical home right now. So WILD MAN’S CURSE is high on my favorite list.
Which character has been your favorite?
In my books as Susannah Sandlin, it’s a tossup between Mirren Kincaid, the big Scottish vampire in my Penton Legacy series, and Paul Billiot, one of the secondary characters in the Wilds of the Bayou series. Paul is still a mystery to me so I will have to write his book! In my Sentinels of New Orleans series written as Suzanne Johnson, well, it’s hands-down the undead French pirate Jean Lafitte. I’ve been in love with Lafitte through all five books of that series so far. J’adore! I’ve also grown very fond of the merman, Rene.
What advice would you give new/up and coming writers?
The ease of indie publishing is both a blessing and a curse, so for a new writer I’d say don’t be in such a hurry to be published that you take shortcuts on learning the craft and hiring people—developmental editors, copyeditors, cover artists—who can help you produce the best-possible book. On my book blog, I see too many new authors take shortcuts by skipping steps or hiring the cheapest (but not the best) editors and artists. My backup advice for any author, regardless of their path to publication: be prepared to do most of your own marketing and publicity; discoverability is hard.
Which writers inspire you? I admire Jim Butcher, who has kept his Dresden Files series going for a long time without ever feeling stale. He still manages to surprise me and make me care after, what, seventeen books? I admire Stephen King, because he manages to write stories that have both strong plots and characters I care about. I admire Simon R. Green because his books, particularly the Nightside series, kind of make my head explode (in a good way).
What genre are your books? As Susannah Sandlin, I write both paranormal romance and romantic suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, I write urban fantasy—there are romantic elements but definitely are not romance.
What draws you to this genre? I think in all three cases, the thing they have in common that I love is a high degree of tension and action. I like to blow stuff up, apparently. The romantic suspense has a slow burn growing to a flame; the paranormals start with a fire and keep burning. All my books also contain some humor, even the suspense, although the Suzanne Johnson books are funnier.
Anything else you would like to say about writing? Encouraging words for potential writers? Be prepared to work hard—this is not an easy job. Unless you hit the genre lottery, you probably won’t get rich at it. But it is the greatest job in the world, bar none!
That’s it for today, and now I’m off to do revisions on BAYOU#2!