Happy Friday, Everyone!
I hope you have all had a wonderful week. I'm thrilled to introduce my friend and fellow Crimson Romance author, Susanna Matthews. She has dropped by to tell us a little about herself and her very exciting new release, On His Watch. Just wait until you read the blurb on this story.
Susanne, thank you for dropping by. I know how crazy your life is right now. On His Watch releases Monday morning!!! I can't wait to get my hands on this book. The blurb sounds amazing. To start off this interview, why don't you tell us when you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I didn’t realize it was possible until the fall of 2012.
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?
One of the things I like best is the independence. The other thing I enjoy is being able to give free rein to my imagination. What I like least is the amount of time it takes for self-promotion—I see that as time during which I could be writing. I also hate waiting to hear whether a manuscript has been accepted or not.
I know exactly what you mean by promotion being so time consuming. I could spend days at it. Sometimes, I just have turn it off and make myself write. As for the wait time after submitting a manuscript, I have only one word---excruciating. So, why don't you tell us a little about how you think your life experiences have prepared you for a writing career?
As a teacher, I constantly worked with deadlines. I’m used to them, and meeting them is one of the easier aspects of this career. I’m also well-organized and focused. If I say I’m going to spend 8 hours at the computer, then I will. Nothing short of a major emergency will interfere.
Wow, I wish you could bottle that determination. If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?
Never give up your dreams. Learn from the editors, the rejection, and other authors. Writing is a lifelong learning commitment. You need to change and adapt to the market.
Susanne, that is perfect advice. Dreams need to kept alive. Sometimes it's hard to learn from rejection, but rejection doesn't mean you have failed.
So please tell everyone what genre you write?
I write romance in a number of subgenres. I have published books in romance/suspense, historical romance, contemporary romance and paranormal/romance suspense. I’m currently working on 2 paranormal romances and a sci-fi romance.
Wow, I'm so impressed. Tells us about your newest book release, On His Watch. Oh, by the way, I think that is one sexy as heck cover.
On His Watch is a romance/suspense. My heroine, Nikki Hart, is the victim of a severe beating in a home invasion/assassination attempt. She wakes up with amnesia. She remembers nothing about herself or her past. She’s plagued by vicious nightmares. The only thing she remembers from them is the angel who brings her comfort, but when she awakens, no one resembles her savior.
My hero, Jason Spark, is the FBI agent, who found Nikki and blames himself for not getting to her sooner. Forced together by circumstances, they fall in love, but someone will stop at nothing to see her dead. If Jason isn’t vigilant, this time he’ll succeed.
What an exciting premise. Tell us a little bit about how you came to write On His Watch.
Once a teacher, always a teacher. I have a need to learn and pass on that knowledge when I write. I’ve written several romance/suspense novels, and I try to find a different set of circumstances for each one, and I need to research the area I choose. In Fire Angel, I had an arsonist terrorizing a small town, so I had to learn all about fire and how it behaved. In In Plain Sight, I had a woman in the witness protection program hiding from the Irish mob and a hero with psychosomatic blindness. I did a lot of research on conversion disorder which is the modern term for it. In Echoes of the Past, I had reincarnated Mohawk lovers, a meth lab to take down, and a heroine who spoke to ghosts. Since she was a forensic coroner, I had to do research on that as well as on meth, and the dangers involved in its fabrication.
This time I decide to write about spousal abuse, amnesia, vendettas, and misplaced guilt. Spousal abuse comes in a lot of different formats, not all of which leave physical bruises.
Do you believe writers are born to write or learn to write?
I think it’s a combination of the two. The creative side has to be there, but so does the ability to string words together in coherent sentences.
What is up next for you?
I have a few irons in the fire, books to be edited and released in the coming months. That’ll keep me busy. I’m also working on a short story for an anthology. I hope to start a couple of new projects after Christmas.
Thanks for having me and best of luck with your own writing career.
It was such a pleasure to have you, Susanne. All of your novels sound so exciting. I can't wait to work my way through them.
So Suzanne has brought us an excerpt to tease us. I hope you enjoy the read as much as I did.
Excerpt for On His Watch.
The sound of breaking glass coming from downstairs shattered the stillness. Nikki tensed. Had the sound come from the kitchen? Had she left a window open? She’d shut the bedroom window a few moments ago because the wind had picked up and its whistling sound bothered her. Could it have knocked over the crystal vase of roses Sam had sent her this morning? Perhaps Mrs. Olsen’s tabby had jumped in the window and knocked the vase over. The cat had been a regular visitor when the previous owners had lived here, and he saw no reason to curtail his visits. She’d almost had a heart attack the last time he entered, bringing her a gift—a dead mouse—and Danny had laughed himself silly at “Mommy’s girliness.” Sam, not an animal lover, had threatened to poison the animal if it came into the house again. If the cat had broken the vase, its days were numbered.
Or what if someone was in the house? She’d noticed a lot of strangers in town, some looking more unkempt than others. There were plenty of family campers, but every now and then, she’d seen so-called gold prospectors combing the Larosa hills. Trudy, Mandy’s best friend Lily’s mother, had said they were harmless but to a girl like Nikki from San Francisco, dirty, half-starved men meant trouble. They could easily be junkies desperately needing a fix.
She took a deep breath. She didn’t hear any other suspicious sounds. As Sam would say, she was letting her imagination run wild. Most likely it was one of Larosa’s minor quakes that had caused a glass to slip off the table. Just a few miles off the San Andreas Fault, the town was constantly trembling. She barely noticed the Earth’s slight shaking anymore.
Even though she’d convinced herself nothing was amiss, Nikki tiptoed to the guest room, got down on all fours, and peeked under the bed. Mandy was asleep. The child slept like the dead once she was out. Nikki reached for the flashlight, turned it off, and used the bed to leverage her body upright again.
She picked up the cell phone she’d left on the dresser earlier, made sure it was on in case Sam called, and dropped it into the right pocket of her pajama top. Carrying the flashlight, she slipped out of the room, closing the door softly behind her.
Maybe getting a dog’s a good idea. It would keep the damn cat out of the house.
Nikki stood still in the hallway and listened. The only thing she could hear was the sound of the television in the den. Someone was buying a vowel.
She reached Danny’s room and opened the door. When she saw his bed was empty, she relaxed and shook her head in resignation. As much as it annoyed her to admit it, this time Sam was right. Her imagination did tend to look for boogeymen where there weren’t any. Clearly her eight-year-old and his bottomless pit of a stomach had decided to have another bedtime snack. No doubt he was the culprit. She left the room and placed the flashlight on the hall table where it usually sat in case of a power outage.
“What did you break this time?” she called as she headed down the stairs. “I swear, you’re like a bull in a china shop.”
The sound of the garage door opening indicated Sam’s arrival. Although the clinic was nearby, since he carried major opiate drugs back and forth, Sam always took his car to work. He’d enter the house through the garage, leaving his lab coat and shoes out there and washing his hands at the sink he’d had installed for that purpose.
“Let’s get this cleaned up before your father comes in.” She turned the corner into the kitchen and stopped cold.
The fridge door was open, the pitcher of orange juice shattered on the floor beside what was left of her crystal vase full of roses, the red petals vanishing in her son’s blood. So much blood! Danny lay there, his head at an awkward angle, his eyes open, looking into the face of death. A scream froze in her throat as arms grabbed her from behind, and the sting of the knife bit into her upper back.
You can pre-order On His Watch from:
For more information on Susanne, you can find her here:
Susanne also coauthors books under the name Misty Matthews. Follow Susanne on her blog at: http://mhsusannematthews.wordpress.com/
or visit her website http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/
As always, Susanne and I love interacting with our readers. If you have any questions, please don't be shy. You can either leave a comment by clinking on the little pencil or use the Contact Me icon in the top right corner of this post. Have a great weekend and please be nice to one another.
Nancy C. Weeks