I read fairly widely – suspense, women’s fiction, mysteries, and of course romance. Romance is my “go to” read, the genre I most often turn to. I got to thinking about why that is. And it’s because, for me, romance is all about the emotion.
I like to shed a few tears (the good kind!) when I read a book. I like to laugh. Mostly, I like to care. I need to care about the heroine and hero and be invested in their story, to be rooting for them as they struggle toward their happy ending.
That’s why, when I write romance, it’s all about the characters and the emotion. I write what are referred to as character-driven stories as compared to plot-driven. Of course almost any novel will have character elements and plot elements, but the balance varies. In my books, the plots are inextricably intertwined with the characters and their emotions – their fears, their passions, their hopes.
My fifth Caribou Crossing Romance, Love Me Tender, is that kind of story. It’s about Dave’s fear of loving again, after losing the love of his life to cancer. And about Cassidy’s fear—one she won’t even acknowledge to herself—that she’ll never find a love or a home. It’s a deep-rooted fear that has turned her into a free-spirited drifter.
The book is also about their passion for each other, and how a casual fling can turn into something so much more – especially when Cassidy’s life-changing medical diagnosis throws both their lives into turmoil.
It’s also about their hopes – that maybe they do both have the courage to move beyond their pasts and to face an uncertain future, side by side, with love in their hearts.
And yes, of course in the end the story is all about love. That’s the emotional end note of a romance novel, the joy of the “happily ever after,” the prize that the heroine and hero have been striving toward – and that we, the readers, have been rooting for. It’s about the tears of joy we all shed when we believe that these two special people have bound their lives together in love.
That’s my take on romance, and that’s why I read and write it. I’m interested in your views. When do you choose a romance novel as the next book on your reading list? What appeals to you in your favorite romances? How do you feel as you’re reading a good romance, and how do you feel when you finish one?
Author Bio: International bestselling author Susan Fox, who also writes as Savanna Fox and Susan Lyons, writes “emotionally compelling, sexy contemporary romance” (Publishers Weekly). She’s multi-published in short stories, novellas, and novels. Her books have been translated into French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and German. Many are available as audio books.
She is published by Kensington Zebra, Brava and Aphrodisia, Berkley Heat and Harlequin Spice Briefs. In addition, she has ventured into self-publishing.
Susan is a Pacific Northwester with homes in Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia. She has degrees in law and psychology, and has had a variety of careers, including perennial student, computer consultant, and legal editor. Fiction writer is by far her favorite, giving her an outlet to demonstrate her belief in the power of love, friendship, and a sense of humor. Visit her at her website and Facebook.
So? Remember, these are Susan’s questions
When do you choose a romance novel as the next book on your reading list? What appeals to you in your favorite romances? How do you feel as you’re reading a good romance, and how do you feel when you finish one?
Hi everyone! Please welcome my special guest Susan Lyons (sometimes Susan Fox)! I discovered her (cuz it’s all about me ;)) via one of her blog tours, and was immediately hooked with her Awesome Foursome quartet. It’s fantastic, and if you haven’t read them before – yes all four books – you must!
Susan is also a total lifesaver because I’ve been swamped and was wondering what on earth I’d post this week in my attempt to be awesomely brilliant and witty… and then I remembered – I’ve got an author spot! And it’s one of my favorite authors! (Seriously – Champagne Rules, Hot in Here (for the bargain price of $5.18!!!), Touch Me, andShe’s on Top – I even have all the titles memorized – are all great books.) So without further ado… Susan asked to be interviewed – and I like the term Maisey coined… it’s a Limeterview! 😀
Thanks for inviting me to visit, Lime. Your questions always make me think!
1. What two movies from different genres would you most like to see combined in a mash up?
Let’s try Gone With the Wind, set in the world of Star Wars. (LOVE it! Oh gosh – I know this word is now overused, but that would actually be epic!)
2. Which deceased author would you most like to meet if you could?
Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird. I love that book and I’d love to hear her thoughts on it, and also why she never wrote another novel.
3. What’s articling? I have to ask because of Champagne Rules, it talks about Jax doing that sometime during/after law school… which isn’t something I’d heard of before. Aha, you noticed that! Wish my editor or copy-editor had. It’s a Canadian thing, which I didn’t realize when I wrote the book – and no-one caught it. In Canada, the usual path to becoming a lawyer is to complete an undergrad degree, attend 3 years of law school, then spend a year as an articled student with a law firm. It’s basically an apprenticeship, where you learn from experienced lawyers. You also attend some form of bar admission course and write the bar
4. What fairy tale would you most like to be in? Least?
Honestly, I never much liked fairy tales. I can barely remember any. For some reason, I didn’t relate to them. Maybe it’s because the characters struck me as cartoon ones, not real people. And there were so many mean characters. I don’t like mean! I know this isn’t a fairy tale, but as a girl, I wanted to be Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden. Now… My fairy tale is being a writer who actually
makes a living doing what she loves to do!
5. What’s your favorite drink? Alcoholic? Non-alcoholic?
Champagne’s my favorite alcoholic drink. But even if I was rich, I wouldn’t drink it every day. To me it symbolizes special occasions. I keep mini bottles in the fridge for when something nice happens, like finaling in a contest or getting a fabulous review. I buy full-size bottles to celebrate new book sales. My favorite non-alcoholic is probably tea. Boring, eh? (And that “eh” is another Canadianism.)
6. Are you an early bird or night owl?
Actually, I’m a cat, not a bird <g>. Lyons, and a Leo – definitely a cat. And very much a morning cat, not a night one. Most nights, I’m falling asleep by 9:30. (Yeah, I know, pretty pathetic!) I have trouble writing in the evening, or doing anything productive other than fairly routine stuff. It’s a good time for the admin jobs. I’m happy to get up at 6:00 am and enjoy a fresh morning. My brain takes a little while to wake up, then it’s a good time for writing.
7. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I shudder to even say this, but horse meat. I love horses and the idea of eating horse meat grossed me out but my guy and I were in a gourmet restaurant and it was a feature appetizer, and I told myself it was silly to romanticize about food. So I tasted it, and just felt wrong about it. I’ve never done it again. And, lesson learned, I’ll never try dog or cat meat. More shudders! Having said that, I’m definitely not a vegetarian. So there’s really no rationale for my choices, just that I love dogs, cats, and horses way more than cows, sheep, pigs, and chicken.
8. What do you think about clowns?
LOL. They definitely don’t scare me, but nor do I love them. They’re just weird. The best ones I’ve seen were at Cirque du Soleil, but even then I just don’t relate to them. I have an unusual sense of humor. Cartoons, clowns, and stand-up comedians don’t make me laugh. Humor that’s a little oddball, maybe a little on the intellectual side, does. I used to love that old sitcom Frasier. I do respect clowns, though. It’s definitely an art form, and they bring lots of pleasure to loads of people.
9. Who are your writing influences, and who or what prompted you to become an author?
These days, I’m influenced by all the wonderful authors I read – and as a fiction addict, I’m always reading. Before I became a writer, I guess it was the same, though on a more subconscious level. As an only child, I spent a lot of time curled up with a book, and the same when I was in university, and the same as an adult with a responsible job. The idea that words on a page can make me laugh and cry, can open my mind to new ideas and give me a different perspective, is amazing. It hadn’t dawned on me that I could do that myself until a friend gave me a book on writing – bless his heart! – and told me that I was a writer. I was sceptical, but I quickly realized he was right. I’d finally found the one thing I truly loved to do, and fortunately I’m not too bad at it <g>.
10. What did you do with the money from your first royalty check?
Gosh, I don’t actually remember. I sure do remember what I did with my first advance, though. Two things. First, I bought a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne and shared it with my critique group. That was particularly appropriate, by the way, because that book was Champagne Rules. Then I put the rest of the money into promo – and more money on top of that. It wasn’t exactly a huge advance.
That first book came out in February 2006, so I’m just past my 5-year anniversary as a published author. I’m thrilled that my “anniversary book” – the one published this February – was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the Top 10 Romances for Spring 2011 (they called it a “delightful, memorable romance” and said it would “make readers go weak in their knees” <g>). That’s definitely a great anniversary present, and yes, it did deserve a full bottle of champagne.
That book is His, Unexpectedly, the third in my “planes, trains, automobiles, and a cruise ship” Wild Ride to Love series in which the 4 Fallon sisters each find sexy romances. I like writing series – not the kind where the reader has to read the previous books to understand what’s going on, but the kind where characters from one book find their way into the others and where there’s some overarching theme that ties the books together. In the Wild Ride books, it’s about sisters and family dynamics. But each book is a stand-alone romance. (I can’t post the cover to Yours, Unexpectedly because it’s not up on amazon yet!)
In His, Unexpectedly, it’s an attraction of opposites when free-spirited Jenna Fallon hitches a ride up the Pacific Coast with a sexy but serious science guy, marine biologist Mark Chambers. Campfires, sunsets, and skinny dipping, it’s one fun road trip, but it’s lots more as well. They say that travel is educational, and sometimes the education is less about the world you’re passing through as about the person who’s sharing the journey – and about looking deeper inside yourself than you’ve ever looked before. Often, the people who think they’ve got life all figured out are the ones who are in for the biggest surprise. That’s what happens for both Jenna and Mark, and neither of them will ever be the same.
There’s an excerpt, behind-the-scenes notes, a discussion guide, review quotes, and recipes on my website. I hope you’ll check them out. And someone who comments here will win an autographed copy.
Please share your thoughts: on road trips, attraction of opposites, clowns, movie mash-ups, or anything else that’s on your mind.
Yay! Happy publishing anniversary, Susan! And congratulations on the top ten pick! Wow! Thanks so much for visiting with us – you guys, Susan is awesome! And she sometimes even has ice wine chocolates. Right? Right?! Since we’ve got her here, ask her questions! Go go go!