Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Susan Sey


Susan Sey lives and writes in St. Paul, MN, where she has two charming children, a lovely husband and an accidental prairie in her front yard. She’s dreamed of seeing her name on the cover of a book even longer than her neighbors have dreamed of seeing her mow the lawn.



Her Golden Heart winner MONEY, HONEY was published by Berkley Sensation July 2010. Her follow up novel, MONEY SHOT, will be released June 2011, thus proving that when it comes to dreams, unlikely isn’t the same as impossible. Though you may not want to share that with her neighbors, who still cherish hopes regarding her lawn.



A three-time Golden Heart finalist, Susan loves her family, ice cream and happy endings, in that order. She also loves to hear from readers, who can contact her at susan@susansey.com.



MONEY SHOT



READY…



Secret Service Agent Maria “Goose” di Guzman knows something about penance. A tragic mistake forced her to replace the dangerous, impulsive girl she’d been with someone better, smarter. Someone sexy, cool and utterly controlled. But one crack in her perfect façade lands Goose on tiny Mishkwa Island, investigating naked hippies, frisky moose, and a red hot park ranger who sees straight through her.



AIM…



When Rush Guthrie traded in an elite military career to police his tiny island home town, he got a pretty good deal: a park ranger’s badge, a resurrected conscience, and signs of life from his MIA sense of humor. A guy couldn’t want anything more. But when Goose turns up--all sexy curves, sad eyes, and thorny questions--Rush realizes he can want more. A lot more.



FIRE!



While Goose pursues the island’s deepest secrets, Rush pursues the brave, funny woman inside all that careful perfection. But the truths they uncover put everything on the line--life, death and true love. And they’ll only get one shot at all of it.



CAT: Where do you read and how often?

SUSAN: Okay, if I confess this I don’t want any flack from the book police. I’m a stay at home mom and when it comes to squeezing in time for my favorite addiction (before even Diet Coke, and that’s saying something) I can be ruthless. So brace yourselves. Are you ready?



I read in the shower. Yeah, that’s right. I said *shower*. With the water on. I tried sitting in the dry shower but the kids caught on and now I have to actually be standing under the spray for them to leave me alone. It’s murder on a paperback, but so far my Kindle is holding up remarkably well.



CAT: What was the first story you remember writing?

SUSAN: Oh, my. I believe I tried my hand at a historical set during the American Revolution back when I was in middle school. A romance, of course. Remember the 80s? All those heaving bosoms and swashbuckling pirates? Man. Good times.



Anyway, I wrote maybe a chapter before I realized a) this writing gig was tougher than it looked. And b) I didn’t know my Revolutionary history all that well. Now I write contemporaries. And yeah, writing is still tougher than it looks.



CAT: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

SUSAN: I think I could watch Emma (the Gwyneth Paltrow version) forever. Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley? Yes, please.



CAT: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?

SUSAN: I panic because it’s so much easier to revise and polish than produce new pages. But there’s something so hopeful and optimistic about the blank page, too, especially after you’ve spent months fixing and polishing and correcting. Every time I fight my way clear of the last book’s tragic flaws I think to myself, “Okay, lesson learned. I’m never writing myself into that particular corner again.” Turns out there are limitless corners into which a girl can write herself if she’s really hell-bent on hosing up a perfectly good idea. And I bet I’ve spent time in 90% of them.



CAT: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?

SUSAN: Well, it’s not the past, technically. Or, hey, it might be. How the heck do I know? I want to go to the Seven Kingdoms from George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. He’s created such a rich and tactile world, so detailed and vivid. I want to visit Winterfell and ride up to the wall with the Dark Watch. I want to see High Gardens and Storm’s End. I want to meet those dragons and experience a summer that lasts seven years. I think that’s the big draw right there, actually. Minnesota sort of failed to produce spring this year and the idea that summer (if it ever gets here) could last a few years really appeals to me.



CAT: What do you do to unwind and relax?

SUSAN: Read. Oh, I love reading. You might think writers get sick of books the way bakers get sick of bread but I have books all over the house. One at the table to read with my lunch, one on my night stand to read before bed. One in my purse in case I get stuck somewhere for a few minutes. And then there’s the To Be Read stack, currently tall enough to be a danger to small children and pets under thirty pounds but I cherish fond hopes toward every paperback in it.



CAT: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

SUSAN: I’d love to tell you I don’t read them but I’d be a filthy liar. Of course I read them! I’m not making art here; I’m writing genre fiction. I love writing it, but my priority isn’t fulfilling my muse. I’m here to entertain people. Lots of people, if I do it right. So I have to know what people think of what I’m writing. And the only way to find out is to log onto Good Reads or Amazon and experience the savagery. Not always fun but definitely necessary.




CAT: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

SUSAN: Seeing my first book on the shelf at my local library. It was better than seeing it at the bookstore, to tell you the truth, because there were many stretches of my life where bookstores were outside the budget. But the library was always there, and my gratitude knows no bounds. I love to look up my books on the computer to see how many copies are checked out. It’s more satisfying than checking my sales numbers any old day.




CAT: What’s your favorite kid joke?


SUSAN:



Knock, kock.

Who’s there?

Interrupting pig.

Interupting pi--

OINK.



Heh. Love that one. It my 4 y.o.’s favorite. She’s been telling it for months but only sporadically times it correctly or supplies the right punch line. Any old animal noise will do as far as she’s concerned. Or sometimes she’ll just yell out a barnyard animal at random. She’s funnier than the joke itself.


CAT’S GOTTA ASK – SUSAN’S GOTTA ANSWER

If you were a t-shirt, what color would you be and why?



Basic black, baby. Never out of fashion, always slimming, hides the dirt nicely.



GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?



In MONEY SHOT, my heroine begins the story exquisitely groomed and in complete control. And when she starts to lose control, the way you do when you’re falling in love, her perfectly straightened hair is the first casualty. When you lose your grip on the status quo, what’s the first sign? Curly hair? Popcorn for dinner? Obsessive housekeeping? (If yes to that last one, you have a standing invitation to visit me.)



Susan will be giving away a signed copy of MONEY SHOT (Berkley Sensation, June 7. 2011!) to one lucky commenter.**

**Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North American addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants

34 comments:

  1. Welcome to GLIAS, Susan!

    I have a giant smile on my face reading about your story. Islands. Fantasy. Love. Or maybe I should write that as Love on Fantasy Island. Okay, guys, don't laugh. That's a real compliment from me 'cause I actually LOVED watching Fantasy Island.

    Losing control unfortunately for me means stress. No endless housecleaning, just unfocused flitting.

    Can't wait to pick up my copy of Money Shot!
    ~~Angi

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  2. Happy Release Day, Susan. I have very straight hair, so if I were to start losing control, my hair would be flat and lifeless. I'm sure my clothes might be mismatched and slightly wrinkled. I would hope that my makeup would still be applied with a steady hand.

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  3. Angi wrote: That's a real compliment from me 'cause I actually LOVED watching Fantasy Island.

    Oh! Me, too! It was on after Love Boat & it my mom wasn't paying attention, we'd totally stay tuned. She thought it was a bit racy, so she'd often chase us away from the set after Love Boat. :-) I take being compared to Fantasy Island as the highest of compliments. :-)

    And I hear you on the unfocused flitting under stress. Sometimes I have to take a moment, breathe & think, "Okay, I just need to get one thing. ONE THING." Doesn't even matter what it is, so long as it gets completed. A check on the to-do list is extremely motivating.

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  4. Jane wrote: I have very straight hair, so if I were to start losing control, my hair would be flat and lifeless.

    Oh, honey, I hear that. My hair is the straightest, most slippery substance known to man. Teflon has NOTHING on my hair. At the moment I haven't had it cut in...two years? It's a ragged, ugly ponytail halfway down my back but...it's easy. My kids are one day away from being out of school for the summer, I have a book dropping today & my hair is easy. I'm content. :-)

    However, if you have the secret to actually applying makeup under stress I'd love to hear it. I still have the stuff I wore to my wedding, I think, & I'm celebrating my 11th anniversary next month. That can't be hygienic.

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  5. Welcome Susan!! So glad to have you with us today. Can wait to pick up Money Shot.

    I love your question. Of course, in order for me to lose grip on the status quo I would need to have one in the first place. I feel as if I'm always chasing after stray tasks. Never getting ahead. My heart's pounding just thinking about all the stuff I have to do today.

    I do so admire those organized buttoned up people, but secretly I always want to move their stapler off center or dump confetti in their drawers and watch them lose it.

    You are so funny talking about your hair because I always think how cute it is.

    Best of luck with your newest release. I know it will be even more fabulous than the last

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  6. Um, goodness, Susan! My housekeeping is passable at best, so that's probably not the standard to look to! When I come unglued, I think it's not a pretty sight--I get very uptight and uh... pissy. For that reason, NO ONE would ever choose me to be their partner on The Amazing Race, alas! ;) My own kids and husband flee in the face of "Mommy Meltdown" :)

    Hmm... do you have a waterproof cover of some kind for your Kindle? I haven't resorted to reading in the shower yet, but that sounds like a possibility to investigate! ;)

    Great interview, Susan and Cat! Thank you, and happy release day, Susan!

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  7. Congrats on your new release Susan. LOVED the interview. Still laughing at reading in the shower and love your attitude about reviews.

    I WISH anything drove me to obsessive housecleaning. Or any housecleaning for that matter. ;)

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  8. Our "To Do" list is a white board on the kitchen door. My husband travels and the list grows while he's gone. Very satisfying to wipe it clean and start a new list. And yep, I've stopped myself numerous times and said, "Just One Thing." Of course, mine normally has another four letter word in there some where. :-)

    ~~Angi

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  9. happy release day! i loved, loved, loved the first book and can't wait for this new story!!

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  10. Congrats on the new book. I have been looking forward to reading it. I have to say the cleaning is what I do when I lose control. For some reason I always do it at night or when I am really mad. My husband always jokes that he needs to make me angry more often and he can direct me to his outdoor storage area. :)

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  11. Sadly, laundry. Once when my daughter was ill and we came home, leaving her at the hospital after a 48 hour vigil, I laundered everything in the house. If I could have torn up the carpeting I would have found a way to send it through too. My husband had to forcibly remove the Tide bottle from my hand and make me sit down. I didn't even realize I was doing it. That's when I knew I wasn't hanging on as well as I thought I was.

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  12. Oh, and I already have Money Shot. It's just waiting for kids to settle and that elusive pocket of quiet to hit my house.

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  13. Congratulations on the new release. I'd have to answer that the first thing to go would be perfectly groomed hair. If I don't have time to fuss, my hair is straight and flat.

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  14. "unlikely isn't the same as impossible". I LOVE IT!

    Um, I also love Jeremy Northam...he's number one on my list of men my husband says I could leave him for if they came a'knocking. Along with Gerard Butler and Ben Affleck...

    Thanks for visiting us at GLIAS today!

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  15. Cat wrote: I do so admire those organized buttoned up people, but secretly I always want to move their stapler off center or dump confetti in their drawers and watch them lose it.

    Okay, I think I want you to be my new best friend. Seriously. I think the confetti in the drawers thing would be fun but moving the stapler juuuuuust an inch would be madness inducing & hilarious to watch. Does that make us mean people?

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  16. flchen1 wrote: My own kids and husband flee in the face of "Mommy Meltdown" :)

    Oh, mine too! We had a puppy once for about two months (looooong story) and after he'd peed on the floor eight times in two hours (a big chunk of which I'd spent standing outside in the bitter cold with him asking him politely to please pee), I actually jumped up & down & screamed I was so angry. My kids were amazed. I must have looked like Yosemite Sam.

    Not my finest moment.

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  17. Maureen wrote: Still laughing at reading in the shower and love your attitude about reviews.

    Well, when you come out with a book named MONEY SHOT and a heroine named GOOSE, you have to develop a thick skin pretty darn fast. The porn jokes I sort of expected (it's the money shot thing) but the Top Gun jokes came as a surprise. Which they shouldn't have. My hero in MONEY HONEY cracked one the instant Goose walked onto the stage. How did this surprise me?

    I couldn't say. It just did & the only thing to do now is develop a sense of humor. :-)

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  18. Angi wrote: And yep, I've stopped myself numerous times and said, "Just One Thing." Of course, mine normally has another four letter word in there some where. :-)

    Okay, now you and I AND Cat will all be best friends & sit in the back moving people's staplers and using foul language. I respect the heck out of people who don't curse but I am not one of them. Never in front of my kids but...yeah. I curse. At the to-do list. Not proud but it happens.

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  19. krisgils33 wrote: happy release day! i loved, loved, loved the first book and can't wait for this new story!!

    Thanks so much! I hope you'll enjoy it! I think it's a little darker than MONEY HONEY so I hope that doesn't put you off. Stick with it, though, I promise everybody makes it back to the light!

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  20. sherie wrote: My husband always jokes that he needs to make me angry more often and he can direct me to his outdoor storage area. :)

    Oh, devious! Make us helplessly angry, then take advantage?? Just saying this out loud means he needs to take you out to dinner. You can tell him I said so, & I'm an authority on such things. (At least I believe I am, & that's the lion's share of authority, no?)

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  21. BNickle wrote: I laundered everything in the house. If I could have torn up the carpeting I would have found a way to send it through too. My husband had to forcibly remove the Tide bottle from my hand and make me sit down.

    Husbands are good for this, aren't they? Something about not being the mom, I think, gives them a perspective we sometimes lack. Once in a while when the kids were really little my husband would come home, assess the situation & send me upstairs for a bath. He knew he couldn't get me out of the house (I wouldn't go) but he could put me behind a locked door with a cold drink and hot bath & a book & entertain the kids until my eyelid stopped twitching. :-)

    I hope you enjoy MONEY SHOT!

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  22. Kim said: I'd have to answer that the first thing to go would be perfectly groomed hair. If I don't have time to fuss, my hair is straight and flat.

    I was just talking about this today with friends. Ponytails really are god's gift to busy women, aren't they? Straight & flat when down = sleek and smooth when pulled back. Yay, ponytails!

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  23. Heather wrote: Um, I also love Jeremy Northam...he's number one on my list of men my husband says I could leave him for if they came a'knocking. Along with Gerard Butler and Ben Affleck...

    Oh, that list! Yes. Mine includes Matt Damon and Christian Bale. And Will Smith. And Jon Krasinski. How long can that list be again?

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  24. Welcome Susan! Hilarious interview.

    My neighbors have similar wistful thoughts about my lawn. It's... scruffy. We felt bad until the guy across the street went on vacation for the past six weeks, and his lawn is now full of weeds more than knee-high. We are no longer the shame of the neighborhood!

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  25. Simone wrote: We are no longer the shame of the neighborhood!

    Yes! I love it when somebody sets the bar lower for lawn care! I want that guy to move in down the street from me, because certain neighbors (who shall remain nameless) treat lawn care like an Olympic sport. They are SERIOUS about this stuff & and we...are not. :-)

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  26. Oh Simone, a scruffy lawn, that's a wonderful picture. My parents' neighbor has decided prairie restoration is the way to go. Her grass is 15 inches high. And no, it's not "native" in the right way.

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  27. Whoa, that's not bad, Susan! Sad to say, my kids have seen me in my tantrum-throwing glory, too... 'Tisn't pretty ;p

    And I have to laugh when occasionally someone will say something like, "You're such a calm person!" *ahem*

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  28. Hi Susan

    When I start to lose the plot, my shoulders stiffen, and the headache starts, so I reach for the wheat pack and microwave to heat it.

    Everyone gives me a wide berth when they see the wheat pack around my neck!

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  29. Cat wrote: My parents' neighbor has decided prairie restoration is the way to go. Her grass is 15 inches high. And no, it's not "native" in the right way.

    Yeah, that's my downfall, too. I'm all, "Wait, creeping charlie isn't a native prairie plant?" Uh, no.

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  30. flchen1 wrote: And I have to laugh when occasionally someone will say something like, "You're such a calm person!" *ahem*

    It's always the quiet ones you have to watch. :-)

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  31. Bron wrote: Everyone gives me a wide berth when they see the wheat pack around my neck!

    I'm sorry your neck gives you trouble but how great to have a visible, outward sign that Things Are Not Going Well. Like a red flag or something. People see it & behave accordingly. I need me one of those.

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  32. congrats! i loved your interview. i laughed through the whole thing. at least you can keep a sense of humor through the craziness.

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  33. Happy Release Day, Susan!

    I'm glad you get to read in the shower. My boyfriend yells at me when I do that (he was right; they were library books, you know, with the plastic book covers). I doubt I would be brave enough to take my Kindle into the shower though.

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  34. What a fun day, Susan. Thanks for being here.
    ~~Angi

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