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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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