I love both categories equally, though writing contemporary stories is much easier since it involves so much less research. For now, though, I’m loving historicals.
The most difficult thing about writing romance is getting the pacing right. You want to build the emotional tension between the couple until they finally have their first kiss, then throw all kinds of obstacles at them to make them work for their ‘happily ever after’.
Many of your books are written as series. Did you start out with that idea in mind? Or was the story too big for one book?
Good question! Neither series actually began as one. My contemporary Rainbow Falls series branched out when a secondary character, Maxie North, became larger than life and I had to give Maxie her own story. Plus, I loved the fictional town I had created and wanted to play there a while longer!
What is the hardest part of writing for you? Starting? Plotting? Dialog? Tension?
You’ve published 9 books since 2014 with two more in line to publish. How long does it take you to write a book?
The best source of encouragement for me was when I finaled in the 2008 Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart contest. This came at a time when I was seriously doubting my writing ability and it gave me new hope. Through that contest, I developed a relationship with my fellow finalists, and then came into contact with a group of writers who ran the Seekerville blog. For the first time, I felt part of a community.
Oh, where to begin! I guess with my first published book. Betrayed Hearts was rejected many times until an editor from White Rose Publishing saw some merit in it, enough to give me some pointers on where the story was weak and how to strengthen it. I took about 6 months to revise the story and then re-submitted it. My first lesson in proper plotting!
What do you know now about writing that you wished you had known sooner?
How hard it is to juggle multiple books. You have to be prepared to promote one book while finishing edits on another and begin writing another. There are always many balls in the air.
What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?
As I’ve said before, perseverance is the best advice I can give. Take the time to really learn the craft of writing and just keep trying. If you really want to be published, you will accomplish it, if you dedicate your time and talents to pursuing it.
Are there any other points about writing that you would like to add?
It’s important to get feedback on your writing. The best way to start doing this is to enter contests and really take the judges’ advice to heart. They generally know what they’re talking about and can give great insight into where your writing needs improvement. Also finding a wonderful critique partner (or two) is a fabulous way to get feedback and potentially develop friendships with people who know exactly what you’re going through!
What is the next book that will be coming out? Can you give me a short synopsis?
That’s all for today’s interview. If you’d like to meander through the towns and characters Susan has created, here are some links to get you started.