Monday, April 23, 2012

Guest Author Day with Susan Rae

Welcome to Dawn’s Reading Nook, Susan Rae. Please let my cabana boys/girls get you a drink and make yourself at home. Comfortable? Great…now let’s get down to business.

So tell us about yourself. What got you interested in writing? Who are your publisher(s)?
As I’m sure with all authors, my writing grew out of my love for reading.  I remember my father introducing me to Alice in Wonder Land at the tender age of three.  Although I didn’t quite get the story, I thought the characters were very interesting.  I remember I couldn’t wait to learn how to read, and the more I read, the more I grew interested in creating my own characters and stories.  I penned my first play when I was in fifth grade, for a Girl Scout badge.  I wrote and directed it, and I was hooked.  Granted, it was a very cheesy melodrama with a dastardly villain, a maiden in distress, and a dashing hero who comes to rescue her—but all things must start somewhere!   All these years later, I am still writing romantic suspense and currently have two books coming out with MusaPublishing: heartbeats which is available now from, and, next week, from all major eBook retailers, and freefall which is due out June 22.      

How did you start your writing career?
  I guess I’ve been writing all my life.  In college I wrote thesis papers, was news-editor for the college paper, and wrote short-stories and poetry in creative writing classes.  When my children were small, I penned my first full-length novel, a historical romance.  After many rejections and the need to get a “real” job,  I worked as an insurance representative while also doing some freelance writing for local newspapers—and penned two more novels.  When my last child decided to graduate college early, I decided I needed to give my dream of getting a novel published one last try.  I quit my day job and three months later I had heartbeats.  Two months after that, I had a contract with Berkleyheartbeats won numerous awards including Best First book by First Coast Romance Writers and was an RWA finalist for Best Romantic Suspense.  heartbeats is being released now as an eBook with MusaPublishing; and I am very excited to announce that I have just signed contracts with them for books two and three in the DeLuca Family Series which began with heartbeats.  Although I don’t have official release dates yet, Ice Blue and True Blue should be out near the end of 2012 and in 2013 respectively.  

Tell us about your favorite character(s) from your books.
  That is difficult.  Like a good mother, I will tell you I love them all.  If I didn’t, I couldn’t write them.  But if I have to choose, I’ll say it is it is the heroine I am currently working on, Angela DeLuca from Ice Blue.  The youngest of the DeLuca family siblings, Angela became a Chicago Fire Paramedic, instead of a cop like her brothers, as her little rebellion.  Pretty but tough, she is also filled with compassion.  When her puppy alerts her to the abandon baby that is left on her doorstop, Angela’s mama bear instincts kick in as she is compelled to try and save both the baby and the mother who felt forced to abandon him there in the first place.  Of course, I am also very enamored of Drake McGuire, my hunky Irish-Italian FBI hero from heartbeats.

What was the first scene or character you started with when you began this book?  That’s another difficult one.  Often before I write, the characters and ideas are swirling in my head in a kind of “what if?” scenario.  When the ideas start sticking, that’s when I begin jotting down character sketches, scenes, dialogue, etc.  in a notebook specifically for that novel.  For heartbeats, it was probably the first scene, where Elizabeth and Drake meet again after six years that I started with.  I think everyone has that moment when they fantasize about what would happen if they came upon a former lover years later.  Then it was the murder scene; and the climatic scene; and I probably began fantasizing about at least one of the love scenes.  That’s kind of how I work.  The ideas start to gel in my mind, and then I can’t get them down on paper fast enough.  

Tell us about your current/upcoming release. What inspired it?
For heartbeats, when I was young, I thought I would be a doctor, until the writing took hold.  Funny, after heartbeats, when I saw my doctor, she said she always wanted to be a writer, until her quest to become a physician took hold.  Anyway, I liked the idea of writing about a strong, savvy cardiac surgeon who was a single mother, too. Then I needed a strong, hunky hero to go along with her; and a murder; and I liked the idea of setting it in both Chicago and the far northwest suburbs among the cornfields where I grew up.  As for freefall, the inspiration was my husband, and the small aircraft repair shop he co-owned in a small town in Wisconsin—that, and the beautiful vistas of Door County where much of the novel is set. 
Many, many people along the way, from teachers, to professors, to fellow writers, especially the authors of Chicago-North RWA—their inspiration and dedication to their craft has kept me thinking positive during many a dry spell—to family and friends.  Most recently, Tracie Ingersoll Loy, my critique partner, and my children, who inspire me to always be my best.  And my husband, who has always supported me on this writing journey.  

Who are some of your favorite authors/books? 
Early inspiration?  Louisa May Alcott, J.R.R. Tolkien, whose work I was introduced to in eighth grade, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, of course.  Later, Stephen King, Tom Clancy, James Patterson, Robert Ludlum, Nora Roberts, Mary Higgins Clark, Jayne Anne Krentz, just to name a few! And, for her way of getting to the nut of things, Emily Dickenson.

What was your first sale as an author?
A short story titled, “Ditch It!” to a children’s magazine, The American Newspaper Carrier, in my early twenties.  It was the story of a family on vacation that has to abandon their vehicle and dive into a ditch when a tornado approaches them at a gas station.  It was based on a true story—my husband’s and mine on our honeymoon.  I received a whole twenty-five dollars for it.  I still have the framed copy of that check and the acceptance letter.  

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
  My best writing is done in late morning into early evening, although I try to knock off by six p.m. at the latest, or my brain doesn’t shut off and I have trouble sleeping.  I usually write from six to eight hours a day when I’m in full writing mode.
If you could visit any time and place, where and when would it be and why?  It would probably be the coast of Italy—the beaches and small villages there.  My husband’s family is originally from Italy.  I think it would be fun to explore the quaint countryside and towns.  I have an oil painting of a sea side Italian village above my fireplace and I often think it would be so neat to just close my eyes, click my heels, and wallah, I’m there.
Who's more fun to write: bad boys or perfect gentlemen and why?  Bad boys of course; perfect gentlemen are boring.  Although in truth, I find the most interesting characters are neither all good, nor all bad.  Give me a good, strong hero with some interesting imperfections and I’m all in.   
If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be and what would you do together?  Since I’m married, I suppose I have to keep it clean. I guess I’ll have to go with the adventuresome answer: Frodo, from The Lord of the Rings.  We would go on adventures far and wide and save kingdoms from the evil Lord of Mordor. Or Captain Kirk from Star Trek, and we would boldly go where no man has gone before.  Oh, to heck with being good: James Bond or Jason Bourne, for adventure, espionage, know!  Then there’s always Achilles in Troy (can’t forget that love scene!) It’s so hard to choose—so many characters, so many adventures to explore!
If you could be any shape shifter, what form would you take and why?I think an elegant bird, like an eagle.  That way I could soar high above the Earth and see all the beautiful sights from above, soar above mountains and lakes, maybe fly over the sea.  I could travel far and wide, then come down to Earth to experience each setting. 
What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?  Not much else to say, except I am happiest when I am really into a scene.  It is difficult to stop when the writing is good.
Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one? If not, then which one is closest to your heart? Again, no favorites!  However, I would have to say heartbeats is the closest, followed very closely by freefall, due to the setting and the inspiration from my husband.

What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?
Elizabeth from heartbeats. Although she tries to keep her life calm and under control, life doesn’t cooperate.  It is her determination and adaptation to events that makes her strong.   Of course, I’m Gemini, so a have an alter personality, which is carefree and adventurous, loving the outdoors, perhaps more like Kate in freefall.   

Anything else you would like to add?  I want to thank you for having me.  I enjoyed answering your questions.  If your readers would like to know more about me or my books, they can visit me at Again, both heartbeats and freefall are available from  heartbeats is available for preorder now for download April 27.  freefall will be released on June 22.  Wishing all of you, Happy Reading! 

heartbeats,  Sizzling Romantic Suspense from Susan Rae

available from  and all major eBook retailers

Love makes your pulse race, but passion can kill...

murder, passion, suspense…

Dr. Elizabeth Iverson’s career is on track.  She’s just landed the enviable position as lead cardiologist at a prestigious Chicago heartcare center working under a renowned cardiovascular surgeon.  But her plans for a quiet, controlled life are shattered when she discovers her college roommate murdered in her apartment.  When her former lover, FBI Special Agent Drake McGuire, shows up on her doorstep with the cops, he unleashes a storm in her heart that further threatens to destroy her world, especially when he insists on hanging around to help solve the case when it becomes apparent that Elizabeth was the intended target for murder!

Four Stars !    Romantic Times Magazine “A terrific tale of romantic intrigue, with characters who are intelligent, skilled professionals and to whom we can easily relate.”
— Marilyn Weigel,  RTM


...She recognized him instantly.  There was no mistaking the identity of the man who stood in the entrance to the ballroom, nametag in hand, as if he had just arrived.  She stood, motionless, staring, unaware of the murmurs of uneasiness arising from the gathering.  She watched, mesmerized, as his lips curved into that slow, Mona-Lisa smile of his and his chin lifted in acknowledgment of her awareness of him.  Although quite a distance away, Elizabeth could easily make out the slight cleft in his chin, the sexy, firm line of his jaw—and those deep set eyes which she knew were the most amazing shade of midnight blue…
Later that night—
Elizabeth pushed the door open and stepped inside.  The glow from the streetlights spilled in through the lace curtains…It caught her eye as it danced eerily with the tree shadows upon the ceiling.  Turning her gaze to the right, down the dark hallway, she spotted a sliver of light coming from the bathroom.
…She flicked on the light, aware of the click of the apartment door as it closed behind her…a quick scan of the living room revealed Julie’s evening gown draped across the sofa, the plastic dry-cleaning bag still covering it.
She glanced to the left where Allison’s door stood ajar.  Sensing nothing there, she turned toward the hallway, debating whether to continue on or call the police.  Now she was really being paranoid… Julie probably just changed her mind about attending the banquet, or—her husband had shown up.
She set her briefcase down, took her cell phone out of her evening bag,  just in case, then started down the hallway.  At the bathroom, she paused.  Glancing around the partially opened door, she discovered Julie’s makeup scattered on the counter along with her own toiletries.  A damp towel lay on the floor.  She pushed the door open further, but the bathroom was clearly unoccupied.
She took another step toward the bedroom, then stopped as a dark spot on the beige carpet caught her eye.  Bending down, she stretched her fingers out to touch it.  The familiar texture of the moisture that wicked against her fingertips left her feeling somewhat dazed.  She turned her fingers to the light, although her mind already knew what her eyes would tell her.  The sticky substance was blood—spent blood—already drying with time.
…“Thirty-two-year-old woman—multiple stab wounds.”
Drake’s steps faltered.  A cold sweat iced his back and he was sure his heart stopped, if only for a second…A muffled shout sounded from inside.  “In Here!  Hurry!”  Elizabeth’s voice?  Drake couldn’t tell… Leading with his weapon, he shoved through the door…
“In here!” the woman cried from around the next doorway.  This time he was sure it was Elizabeth.
He paused to peer around the corner and scan the room…  Finally, he allowed himself to look down toward her voice.
His stomach turned at the ghastly sight that met his eyes.
“Elizabeth…” he breathed.


_ said...

enjoyed the blog. Sounds like a thriller.
Emma Lane

Susan Rae said...

Thanks, Emma. It is a bit of a thriller, especially at the end, but I don't want to give it away. It also has a very nice, passionate love story to go along with it--the best of both worlds!

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