I have a real sweet treat for you all today! I’d like to introduce you to a lovely lady who is also fantastic author, Susan Carlisle. I’ve been a fan of hers for years now, in real life not just her books. So let’s learn more about who she is and what she writes.
Susan Carlisle’s love affair with books began when she made a bad grade in math in the sixth grade. Not allowed to watch TV until she brought the grade up, Susan filled her time with books. She turned her love of reading into a love of writing romance. Susan has currently authored more than twenty-five books for the HarperCollins Harlequin medical imprint. Her heroes are strong, vibrant men and the women that challenge them.
In her past life Susan has been a full time mother to four children, a high school substitute teacher, and now when she isn’t writing she is busy being a fun grandmother. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband of over thirty-five years. Susan loves castles, traveling, sewing, and reads voraciously. Visit her at www.SusanCarlisle.com or connect with her at Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.
Betty: How many books have you written and published?
Susan: I am currently working on my 28th. I have written a few more and the plan is to publish them this year.
Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?
Susan: I write mostly contemporary romance for the Harlequin Medical line. Currently 24 of them. I have also written 2 nonfiction books. One about my son who had a transplant 28 years ago. It is call Nick’s New Heart. He will soon be 30. My other one is about a flight surgeon during WWII called A WWII Flight Surgeon’s Story.
I love writing romance because that is what I love to read. The nonfictions I wrote in the hopes that people would learn something.
Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?
Susan: Trust seemed to always come through in my romances. I don’t always start them out that way but it just bubbles up. In The Sheikh Doc’s Marriage Bargain it is more about coming out of your shell and experiencing life. Yet, that requires trusting yourself and the person you love, doesn’t it?
From shy Cinderella…
To convenient princess!
For sensible Dr. Laurel Martin, heading up a new lab for royal doc Sheikh Tariq Al Marktum is the chance to conduct the study of a lifetime. But to protect Laurel from the scandal her presence in his palace will cause, Tariq has his own condition—a paper marriage! Swept into his desert kingdom, passion overtakes the convenient couple, but can Laurel find her place in Tariq’s world—and his heart?
Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?
Susan: I kind of move around. When the weather is pretty I go out on my deck to write. I also get a lot done at my mother’s place on the lake. Sometimes I just have to make wherever I am work because the book is due.
Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?
Susan: Not really. I will have a glass of sweet iced tea nearby but then I always do.
Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?
Susan: A mentor, a critique group, and joining Romance Writers of America. And a lot of hard work.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?
Susan: I love romance. I love reading it. I love writing it. I love watching it. If you love your subject it never gets old.
Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?
Susan: Setting. I travel places and think “What could happen here?” Next thing I know I have a story.
Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?
Susan: Fluid/flexible that moves into panic with butt in the chair all the time closer to my deadline.
Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?
Susan: Time. I have a bunch of very small grandkids and they will only be small for a short time and I refuse to miss out on that, so I keep them as often as possible. That makes me have to work extra hard when I don’t have any extra sweet bodies in my house.
Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Why or why not?
Susan: No, I don’t participate. It’s the wrong time of the year for me. I’m in holiday mode by then. I live by deadlines as it is, so I don’t like the idea of being given another.
Betty: What are you reading right now?
Susan: Elizabeth Holt’s The Raven Duke
Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?
Susan: Romance. All romance, all the time! I especially enjoy contemporaries and historicals.
Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?
Susan: I really like Kathleen Woodiwiss. Caro Carson, Roni Loran, and Penny Reid. These are also people who I would love to emulate, I hope when I’m in the nursing home that someone will come re-read these ladies’ works to me!
Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?
Susan: I don’t read medicals when I’m writing, but I do read romance, especially historicals.
Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?
Susan: I write fulltime, or at least when I’m not seeing my grandkids.
Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?
Susan: That it requires work, hard work and to have a book that is publishable you have to pay your dues, and learn your craft.
Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?
Susan: They need to join a writers group and find a critique group. Listen to what people tell you. Understand that you will not be there with the reader to explain your work.
Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?
Susan: I will be doing a duet with the fabulous Amy Rutten. It is about firefighters and EMTs. The book takes place in Austin, Texas. I can hardly wait to write this one.
Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?
Susan: I have always loved history so I think there will be a historical in my future. LOL I would be interested in doing one during the WWII period between a soldier and an Army nurse. There could be a lot of conflict during that time on more level than one.
Thanks so much, Susan, for stopping in and letting us get to know you better!
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