Tuesday Special Author Interview: Susan Kearney
Author Name: Susan Kearney
Genre: paranormal romance
Latest book in shops now: Beyond The Edge
Before we begin this interview, I need to check that you’re still grounded and that your head isn’t swollen from all of your success, so with that in mind, what was the last thing you bought at Walmart, and do you know how much a loaf of bread costs?
The last thing I bought at Walmart was iguana food. And since I’m on a low carb diet and don’t eat bread, I have no idea what bread costs:)
You have an iguana? Cool!
What were your favourite books as a child?
Biographies and the Noddy Books.
What does a typical day as a writer consist of?
Six pages—get them done—any way I can. Sometimes it’s an hour, sometimes half the day. The rest of the day is spent either with promotional work or play time.
Name your top five favourite books of all time.
Atlas Shrugged, Time Enough For Love, The Challenge, Warrior’s Woman, Synonym Finder.
Synonym Finder? *g*
Which authors are you glomming at the moment? (reading a lot of?)
I don’t have lots of extra time for reading so I end up reading my critique partner’s work. But they are all fabulous writers. Julie Leto, Charlotte Douglas, Jeannie London
Do you have other close romance writer friends, and if so who are they?
Besides my critique partners? Oh my. Virginia Henley got me started in the business. But there are so many that to name only some, I’d be afraid of leaving out others.
When did you realise that you wanted to write books, and who or what inspired you?
I started to write a book in college and never finished. Then when I read Johanna Lindsey’s Warrior’s Woman, I loved it and wanted to write books like her. I finished the book. The Challenge was the first book I ever wrote and the 38th book published.
If you could have a one-to-one conversation with a famous historical figure, who would it be with and what would you talk about?
Neil Armstrong. I’d like to talk to him about his flight to the moon.
What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your writing?
Goals in writing seem almost a set up for failure. I prefer to set goals about the part of my life I can control. But specifically for writing, each book is my best in the time I’m allotted to write it—that’s the most I can ask of myself.
How has the romance industry changed from when you first started writing, and which of these changes were you happiest/unhappiest with?
The industry has finally expanded in paranormal. That means lots of publishers are buying paranormal that weren’t before and that I can write what I love.
In this day and age, do you think it’s possible for new romance writers to make it without having some kind of presence on the internet?
I could argue that one either way. I really don’t know.
In your vast experience, what would you say was the most effective method of marketing a romance novel?
First the book had to be great. Then the publisher has to give it a terrific cover, buy placement in the stores and finally print enough copies for readers to find the books.
Your books generally have a level of heat that seems to surpass a lot of other Blaze books, is this intentional? (I’m specifically thinking of Bordering On Obsession, which I loved by the way.)
I like hot. And my new book, Beyond The Edge is the first Extreme Blaze. In addition, my Tor books are also hot and spicy. While I really like hot sex, I also like good plots and characters. I want my books to be good—even if all the sex is taken out.
Have you ever thought of writing erotic romance?
Yes. I was even offered a contract but turned it down. At the time, the offer was as lucrative as other genres.
Which of your books is dearest to your heart, and why?
That would be The Challenge, because it was the first book I wrote and the 38th published. I waited ten years to see it in print. And I love the characters—two alpha people. Stubborn, brave and fiercely at odds with one another. And the sex—oh my—the sex is way out there. :)
I’ve always wondered about this, but as an author, once your books are published, do you actually go back and read them yourself, and if so, are you able to enjoy them, or do you perhaps see things that make you want to chew your own arm off in frustration?
I don’t go back and read them. I’d rather not see all the errors.
Has anything a reviewer or reader said or written about you changed the way you write?
No. I have to write to please myself. Case in point—on one of my books one reviewer said there was no characterization, the next reviewer loved the characters. I prefer to believe the second reviewer. And the first—I obviously didn’t match her taste. She wanted more backstory, I like more in the moment action and dialogue. As a writer I can’t please everyone—it’s impossible. So I write what I would like to read.
Earlier this year, RWA attempted to try to define romance, and it caused a bit of a furore round the blogosphere, due to the limitations of the definitions. What were your thoughts on this at the time, and do you think it’s possible/necessary to define romance in a way that doesn’t exclude other sub-genres?
I don’t see why we need a definition.
When was the last time you went overseas and where did you go?
Last time was to England, France, Spain and Italy for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. We took a cruise and had lots of fun.
Who are your favourite romance hero and heroine of all time?
That would be Tessa and Kahn, characters in The Challenge.
What kind of characters would you say you typically wrote?
Intelligent ones. I like characters that make good decisions. For example, in The Ultimatum, my Feb. 06 release, the characters are ancient enemies. Both have lost family members in a war—but because they are intelligent, they may not trust one another, but they don’t hold the other personally responsible for the loss of lives.
If only one person could read your book, who would that be? (as in the person who you would want most to read your book)
My mom. She always loves them!!
If you had to pick, who would you say has been most influential within the romance genre?
Without a doubt, Nora Roberts. She’s written straight romance, science fiction/mystery romance, suspense, paranormal and she’s highly prolific and successful. I believe her mainstream success in paranormal has helped open up the market for others
What was the last movie you saw?
Serenity and it was great.
Name your top five favourite romantic films.
Films really don’t stick out in my mind like books do. Sorry.
What was the last book you read?
Lisa Jackson’s Deep Freeze
Have you ever written a book that you didn’t particularly care for, and do you cringe if you see people picking it up to read it?
Of course there are books I don’t like. But we all have different tastes. I don’t believe mine are right and other people’s are wrong. Just because we like different things, doesn’t bother me.
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
The freedom to work when I want, dressed how I like.
What do you least enjoy about being a writer?
Being under deadlines when I’d rather play.
As you’ve been there, done it, and have the badge to prove it, what is the number one advice that would you give to aspiring writers out there?
Finally, when’s your next book due out, and what’s it about?
Publisher: Tor Romance
Pub. Date: February 2006
Dr. Alara Calladar needs a man...
....but she sure as krek doesn't want one.
If Alara doesn't make love soon, her cells will fail to regenerate and she'll die. Unfortunately, her only option is an enemy—Rystani starpilot Xander, her abductor...and a member of the race who has been battling hers since the beginning of time.
Insufferable smug, Xander issues an ultimatum: He'll make love to Alara only if she will use her psi-talent of identifying DNA to help him find the cure for the deadly Terran virus spreading across the galaxy.
Alara is trapped. She gives Xander what he wants—and gets what she needs. But Alara holds a pair of secrets: the more they make love, until the only person she can make love with is him—and the more time they spend together, the more Alara likes Xander.
When it seems that all the forces in the universe have aligned against them, can Alara trust Xander with her life...and her heart?
Read and excerpt
Order from: Barnes and Noble
Sounds great Susan! Thanks so much for taking the time out to answer my questions!
That’s it for now guys, next week’s author will be Lisa Valdez!
Ciao for now!