I’m very excited to have author Susan Royal visiting the blog today. Her debut novel from MuseItUp Publishing is out now, and she’s here to tell us all about it.
Hi, Susan! Welcome to Turning The Page.
Thanks so much for having me. It’s great to be here.
Tell us about your current release, Not Long Ago. It’s a time travel romance set during medieval times, complete with knights and jousting, crop circles and ghosts. How’d you come up with the idea?
I had the prologue written for at least six months, and it could have gone in so many different directions. While running errands one day, a woman sees a stranger through a store window. Their eyes meet, and the impact of his glance staggers her. Who is this man and why is she drawn to him? How can she feel all these emotions about someone she doesn’t even know? Ultimately, I decided on making it a time travel. The idea of a love that transcends through the ages appeals to the romantic in all of us, and the time travel aspect allows me to bring sci-fi into the mix.
Not Long Ago is your debut release. How long have you been writing, and why did you decide to go with a small press like MuseItUp Publishing instead of jumping into the indie fray?
I’ve been writing all my life. I’ve been serious about finishing something for about ten years and serious about being published for about five. I queried editors and agents steadily for two years with varying degrees of success. Good friend and fellow writer Cyrus Keith suggested I try MuseItUp, and I am so glad I took his advice. Their editing process helped make Not Long Ago a better book. The support group of other Muse authors and Lea Schizas’ expertise has been invaluable. This is something I would never have experienced if I’d decided to self-publish.
You’re also an accomplished short story writer. Was it hard to make the transition from writing shorts to full-length novels, and do you have any advice for novelists looking to add short story writing to their resume?
I started writing short stories for the experience, the exposure and with the hopes of adding to my bio. My advice? Just do it. It’s a learning experience that’s totally worth the effort. On a small scale I learned to deal with rules and guidelines and (wince) rejection.
What’s the hardest thing about being a new author?
I’m impatient, so the waiting and not knowing what and when to expect something was the hardest for me, but of course, it was all worth it in the end.
What message do you want readers to take from your books?
My main character, Erin and Griffin, learned to take a chance on something they really believed in.
You live in a haunted 100 year-old farmhouse. Tell us about the ghost, and are you planning to venture into the paranormal genre?
My son has played guitar for years. When he was still at home, he’d practice upstairs when the house was empty (so he could jam all he wanted no one yelling at him to keep the noise level down) On several occasions, when he played and sang, he heard a female voice, singing harmony. At first he thought it was his sister or me. Each time he checked to see who was there, but he was alone. Seems our ghost is a music lover, his music in particular.
One of my WIPs is a paranormal story about a boy growing up in the sixties, living with his grandparents in the Texas hill country in a small fictional town. Eli encounters ghosts everywhere in the old town. He thinks they are trying to tell him something about the family who lived there long ago, but why have they singled him out?
Tell us a little about you–what do you do in your free time?
First and foremost, I write. It’s something I feel compelled to do, especially now. There’s always a new story to tell.
This old house where we live is forever in a state of remodel. Next on the list is the laundry room/office. Hubby has decided since I’m a published writer now, I need the right atmosphere to create and I totally agree. I cook (when in the mood),sew and paint with acrylics, and am a repurposing crafter and love garage sales. I’m an avid shopper (with my daughter and my sister) My husband and I camp out several times a year and enjoy spending time in Arkansas. We share a love for music and the movies. We have four unique grandchildren we thoroughly enjoy. I do have a day job. I’ve worked as secretary in the administration office at our local school for over twenty years.
Australia, Scotland, the Isle of Man (in that order)
Dream author (living or dead) you’d love to meet?
Jim Butcher – The man has a fantastic imagination.
What’s next for you?
I have finished and am submitting a fantasy adventure with romance, In My Own Shadow. Lara’s life is turned upside down when she’s chased from her world to an alternate universe, because she carries a secret in her subconscious that everyone wants. Who left the secret with her and why? With handsome guardian, Rhys and a bear of a man, Azle, she searches for answers.
Currently, I’m working on a sequel, that takes up where Not Long Ago left off and continues with Griffin and Erin’s story. My daughter read the first book when she was creating my trailer. When she got to the end, she told me I had to write a sequel, because I wasn’t finished with the story.