Suza will be awarding signed cover flats and pens to a commenter at every stop, a total of five $15 Amazon/BN GCs to randomly drawn commenters during this tour and her Book Blast tour, and gift basket to one commentator from both this tour and her book blast tour, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner over there on the left, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win prize!
Suza was kind enough to answer all my prying questions. Thanks!
Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?
First let me say thank you for having me on It’s Raining Books! Well, I’ve been fascinated by suspense, horror, and all things scary since a young age. I remember spreading my Halloween candy out in the den floor and watching spooky movies the rest of the night. This must have been when I was about six years old!
Paranormal, fantasy, and suspense provide a different sort of escapism than other types of romance. I think you get to experience a good dose of fear while knowing you’re actually safe at home.
What research and world-building is required?
One challenge for me in the paranormal genre is that I enjoy using as much real history and environment as possible. There are things in the human world that can be mysterious, because they really happened. Of course, when I want to add a demon or some other fantastic aspect, I have to blur the lines and mix fiction with reality. Most of the research entails descriptions of places I can’t physically travel to, or bits of history and legend. I love using ancient languages, because they can be inherently creepy.
Name one thing you learned from your heroine.
Shauni is a very passive personality, non-confrontational and peaceful. I learned that it’s actually pretty cool to be a proud pacifist, and when things go far enough to push one over their limit, they are the ones to be afraid of!
Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?
I tend to be a color-theme kind of writer. For the Savannah Coven Series, that’s easy, because each witch has her symbolic color. For Whisper of a Witch, I had green candles, coffee cup, and binders. I even find myself using pens, paper clips etc.
Plotter or pantser?
Definite plotter. I’ve found that being really organized helps me go by the seat of my pants along the way without losing sight of the overall theme and character arcs. While I have a general idea what needs to happen in each scene or chapter, somehow it always changes just a little bit by the time I get it out of my head and onto paper. It’s always fun to finish a chapter and say, “I didn’t know that was going to happen!”
Look to your right – what’s sitting there?
A Halloween candle holder filled with colored pens, my yearly planner (very colorful, because I can't have just black and white), a journal for writing down ideas I don’t want to forget, and my river-rock mouse pad. Up above it on a shelf is a collection of writing/grammar reference books and a picture of my cats, Fannie Mae and O’Malley.
Anything new coming up from you? What?
Yes! I’ve gotten some fan mail about a book I wrote called Hallowed Eve. Some of the readers said they really enjoyed the scary feel to it that went a little beyond suspense. I have another project in the works that will be a little more on the horror side but will still be a romance. In addition to more romantic suspense novels, I’ll be writing all nine of the Savannah Coven books.
Do you have a question for our readers?
I do! I would like to know if there is a particular style of romance that readers feel there isn’t enough of. Do they enjoy a type of paranormal or fantasy etc. that they have a hard time finding?
Thanks so much for the interview, and I had a great time with the questions!
“Oh, no you don’t,” she said with a shake of her finger. “I’m not being derailed again.”
“What?” His gaze lingered on her shoulders and the curve of her neck. He wasn’t halfway finished with her, yet. “Yeah. You were going to tell me something.”
“Now you’re catching on. And you were going to tell me how you found me out in those woods.” She looked at the large, golden lump of dog snoring in the foyer. “And don’t tell me it was all him.”
Michael felt his previous mellow aura zipping up tight. She’d relaxed him to the point of pre-catatonia then after one look at her, he’d been aroused again and gunning for round two.
Now he felt neither level of satisfaction. He was back to agonizing over how she would react to his dirty little secret. Hell, she might consider it a breach of privacy, the way he perceived what people were feeling, especially his ability to tune in to her so well. It was like he had a direct line to channel Shauni. All day. All night.
So he did what any fearless man would do. “You go first.”
Thus a twisted romantic was born.
Throughout her teenage and young adult years, she read everything from horror to historical romance yet never imagined writing anything of her own.
It was during a long, cold winter in a tiny apartment in Germany that Suza picked up a pen and notebook to entertain herself. “The apartment was so tiny, my bed also served as my living room couch. Plus, I shared it with three cats.”
Missing the warmth, the hospitality, and the food of the South, she wrote about those things with a huge dose of family thrown in. She says she still has a sweet spot in her heart for her first book, Southern Moon, but to date, she hasn’t revisited it for submission to her publisher.
Suza followed her heart to Savannah, Georgia, and it was the gorgeous city with its moss-covered oaks and secrets of history that inspired her to consider paranormal romance. “I had an idea about sisters and magic, so I went to work on the first book of The Savannah Coven Series, Whisper of a Witch. The series is still going strong, and I am grateful every day that I took a chance on paranormal romance, a genre I wasn’t very familiar with and had never actually read before writing it.”
Suza has since joined RWA and can’t say enough about this organization. “The education and support are unparalleled. I am so grateful to all of my fellow writers who have offered advice.”
Suza still resides in Savannah and is currently working on her next book. She considers it a perfect day when she can sit at the keyboard with coffee in her cup and one of her cats purring in her lap.