How did you come to write your novel?
I can never remember a time in my life when I didn’t want to be a writer. I must have started at least 50 different stories at different times in my life, only to set them aside after hitting a snag with the plot, losing interest or getting busy with something else. A little more than 10 years ago we bought our first home computer. My youngest was about to graduate from high school and I actually had some free time. I made up my mind that If I was ever going to write a book and finish it, now was the time. I had the opening scene of Not Long Ago written for at least a year before I went any further with it. It could have gone in a thousand different directions, but the romantic in me knew I had to explore the connection between the man and the woman who saw each other by accident through the coffee shop window.
If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be?
If I had the musical abilities my children have inherited from my husband, I’d be a musician. I can carry a tune, but that’s as far as it goes. Oh well, someone has to be there to appreciate their efforts.
Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in between? Somewhere in between. Too much plotting and I lose my creative flow and stagnate. Too little and my storyline suffers. I always have an idea where I want to begin and where I want to end. The journey from start to finish is an adventure.
What’s your favorite book in your genre, and why? While I have many, one in particular comes to mind. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Okay, it isn’t just the Scotsmen in kilts, I promise. There’s just something about a love between to people that stand the test of time. I know. I’m a hopeless Romantic.
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice?
Early on I was lucky enough to submit my work to an editor and an agent who took the time to encourage me to continue writing. They told me my strong points and what I needed to develop further. After I got over feeling rejected, I took what they said to heart and learned. I entered and won short story contests and continued reading, writing, learning, editing. I never EVER gave up. In June of 2010, I submitted to MuseItUp and the rest is history.
Do you read books about writing? Why or why not? The only one I ever read from cover to cover was Stephen King’s book. I’ve been known to skim them the same way I do when I’m researching for something to use in a book, but my best way to learn is by trial and error. Somewhere along the line, I find the perfect example of what I’m trying to get across to my reader and it all falls into place.
What do you consider your greatest strengths as a writer? I’ve been told I’m good with emotions, which makes me feel good, because it’s something I constantly strive to achieve. Another thing is characters. I have great fun developing them.
What are you working on now? I’m working on the third book in my It’s About Time Series. I’m about 10,000 words in and it’s going good so far.
What would you like readers to take away from your book? I’d like them to come away with the satisfaction you get when you’ve read something you don’t want to end.
Where can readers buy your book?
MuseItUp, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords
Where can readers find you on the web?
My blog is susanaroyal.wordpress.com
My website is susanroyal.moonfruit.com (due for a major update as soon as I can get to it!)
Any last words?
Thanks for having me Margaret. Talking about the writing process never fails to give me renewed purpose and the incentive I need for writing. Now I’m chomping at the bits!
A few words from Susan
In Not Long Ago, the first book of my It’s About Time series, Erin has met the man of her dreams, but as usual there are complications. It’s one of those long distance relationships, and Griffin is a little behind the times– somewhere around 600 years. Erin and her employer, March, are transported to a time where chivalry and religion exist alongside brutality and superstition. Something is not quite right at the castle, and Erin and March feel sure mysterious Lady Isobeil is involved. But Erin must cope with crop circles, ghosts, a kidnapping and death before the truth of her journey is revealed. Forced to pose as March’s nephew, Erin finds employment as handsome Sir Griffin’s squire. She’s immediately attracted to him and grows to admire his courage, quiet nobility and devotion to duty. Yet, she must deny her feelings. Her world is centuries away, and she wants to go home. But Erin can’t stop thinking about her knight in shining armor.
After I signed with MuseItUp, in June 2011, my daughter, Carrie, read the manuscript to get a feel for the book trailer she was creating. She read the last page and called me immediately. Our conversation went like this:
“That’s not the end, is it?”
“Didn’t you like it?” I felt as though I’d resolved all the major questions and ended the story in a good place.
“Yeah, but…you can’t stop there.”
“What do you mean?”
“Erin and Griffin’s story isn’t finished. I want to know what happens next!”
And that’s how it became a series. In Not Long Ago, I pictured a young woman in her twenties hurrying down a busy city sidewalk. One her way past a coffee shop, she notices a handsome stranger through the window. Their eyes meet and what she sees leaves her reeling. Not only does she recognize him, she knows things about the man…but how? Who is he? From there, the story could have gone anywhere. Turns out it did. The idea of time travel has always fascinated me. Imagine getting up close and personal with history. Experiencing what life is really like in another time. My main characters, Erin and Griffin, meet and fall in love in a medieval world. From Now On takes up where it leaves off. Some of my favorite characters from the first book are back. Arvo: the tall gangly young man with a disreputable shock of red hair who becomes Erin’s good friend and confidant. Sir Edevane: Griffin’s fellow knight and friend. Kat: Griffin’s fiesty little sister. Sir Griffin travels across centuries to find Erin, the woman he loves. Before they can begin their new life together, he’s sent on a mission to a strange island. When he doesn’t return as planned, Erin assembles a group of his friends to search for him. Followed by his strong-willed sister, Kateryn, they travel to Swansea and secure passage with the notorious Captain Akin. Erin discovers firsthand how the island has earned its dark reputation when she battles freakish weather, encounters a race of little people known as “Prowlies” and experiences ghosts of the long departed. Even worse, she discovers there are “ley lines” crossing the island’s mountain peak, creating all sorts of strange phenomena, such as time travel. Yet these obstacles pale in comparison to the secrets Erin uncovers while trying to rescue the man she loves. If you love a time travel adventure with a twist (and a love story) and haven’t read Not Long Ago, please do. You can continue Erin and Griffin’s story with From Now On, coming out in spring/summer 2014. As for what happens after that? It’s too soon to tell, but I can promise you it will be an adventure.
In My Own Shadow (fantasy, adventure, romance)
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/Wbg8Z12ojY/
Not Long Ago (time travel, adventure, romance)
Not Long Ago book trailer
Born in west Texas and raised in south Texas, Susan makes her home in a 100-year-old farmhouse in a small east Texas town that comes complete with a ghost who has been known to harmonize with her son when he plays guitar.
Susan is married and the mother of six (she counts her children’s spouses as her own) and five grandchildren who are all unique and very special. Her family is rich with characters, both past and present. Her grandmother shared stories of living on a farm in Oklahoma Territory with three sisters and three brothers and working as a telephone operator in the early 20th century. Her father told her about growing up in San Antonio in the depression, and she experienced being a teenager during WWII through her mother’s eyes.
Susan loves to take her readers through all kinds of adventures with liberal doses of romance. Her latest book is From Now On, a time travel adventure/romance. It’s the stand-alone sequel to Not Long Ago in her It’s About Time series. In My Own Shadow is a Fantasy adventure/romance. Look for her books at MuseItUp/Amazon/B&N. Odin’s Spear, one of her short stories is featured in a Quests, Curses, and Vengeance anthology, Martinus Publishing, available on Amazon.
Born in west Texas and raised in south Texas, I make my home in a 100-year-old farmhouse in a small east Texas town that comes complete with a ghost who harmonizes with my son when he plays guitar.
I’m married and the mother of six (I count my children’s spouses as my own) and five grandchildren who are all unique and very special. My family is rich with characters, both past and present. When I was growing up, I loved listening to family stories. My grandmother shared what it was like, living on a farm in Oklahoma Territory with three sisters and three brothers and working as a telephone operator in the early 20th century. My father talked about growing up in San Antonio in the depression, and I experienced being a teenager during WWII through my mother’s eyes.