As this year keeps kicking butt and taking names, please help me welcome an author who is trying to add a bit of humor to the world. Suki McMinn writes contemporary stories with a touch of humor thrown in. Let’s take a peek at her bio and then find out more about her, shall we?
Suki McMinn writes contemporary and paranormal fiction, romance and mystery. After working as a model and commercial actor in Los Angeles and a newspaper columnist in North Carolina, Suki now lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and dogs and spends her summers in Tryon, North Carolina. She’s a member of the Desert Rose chapter of the Romance Writers of America and a founding member of Tryon Writers. Her cozy mysteries begin with The Vampire of Waller County. Drop Dead Gorgeous starts her adult paranormal romance series. Suki also writes nonfiction as Susan McNabb.
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Betty: When did you become a writer?
Suki: I started writing when I was 49. I’d earned an English Lit degree years before, but didn’t start to write until I discovered fanfiction along with the freedom to fail with a pen name. I got braver and fell in love with writing.
Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?
Suki: I think it was about four years after I started to post fanfiction stories that I found a publisher for my first novel, Drop Dead Gorgeous. In that time, I published 70 fanfiction stories and began multiple works of original fiction.
Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?
Suki: Oh my goodness, too many to count. Most of my fanfiction is based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, so she certainly was a big influence, but I was also inspired by many wonderful fanfiction writers who were writing in the same fandom. Of course, there are many authors I love: Jane Austen, Anne Rice, Charles Frazier, but I also have to give credit to the unknown writers who shared my love for fanfiction.
Betty: What prompted you to start writing?
Suki: A friend coaxed me into taking a free weekly women’s writing workshop, and I discovered fanfiction at about the same time. Pretty soon, I found I couldn’t make the workshop because I was too busy writing. I was obsessed quite quickly.
Betty: What type of writing did you start with?
Suki: I experimented with my fanfiction stories. Some were paranormal, some were historical, dark and dramatic, light and funny, short stories, long multi-chapter ones. It’s just a wonderful playground for new writers to find their footing.
Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?
Suki: I always want a romance in the story, no matter what. And I love writing humor. Making a reader laugh is a great reward. Many of my stories have paranormal aspects, but not all. My current work in progress is a contemporary romantic comedy. No vampires.
Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?
Suki: All of the above. As a new writer, I was hungry for knowledge about the craft of writing, publishing, marketing—all of it. I joined writers groups, found workshops and classes at libraries, conferences, online. There’s always more to learn, and I love meeting other writers. I could spend all day talking to writers about writing.
Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?
Suki: What I want other new writers to know is that they will find a lot of rejection. I can’t say I didn’t know this when I started writing because I’d been in the modeling and acting world for many years. When a writer friend tried to gently warn me about rejection, he asked what I did for a living. When I said I was an actor, he laughed and said, “Never mind.” So, here’s my message to all new writers: you’ll hear no a lot. Step over the no’s and keep going.
Betty: What other authors inspired you (either directly or through their writing) to try your hand at writing?
Suki: I’ve mentioned that I love many authors, and that includes my fanfiction family of writers. I was inspired by their stories and often found contests to enter, prompts we could share, all sorts of ways to hatch new story ideas.
Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?
Suki: I attended a writers’ conference class on the hero’s journey. I’d been wanting to place a story in a small town, much like the one in which I’d recently lived in North Carolina. I had a main character in mind, and the workshop gave him a purpose, so I jumped in with the challenge to send him on a proper hero’s journey. I made him a biter for good measure.
What if a simple drug could turn a human into a vampire? And what if that drug fell into the hands of a man bent on creating his own army of monsters?
Dr. Jim Samuels set his sights on the sleepy town of Hogback, North Carolina, tucked into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and full of the kind of simple-minded fools he needs to execute his plan.
What he doesn’t count on is Nathan Waller: kind and hard-working, the last Waller in Waller County, dedicated to his community and the girl who holds his heart.
When Nathan interferes with Dr. Samuels’ scheme, he puts everyone he loves in danger. Can he save sweet Holly McReady in time? Can he step up to be the hero of Waller County?
Halloween in Hogback will never be the same, and neither will Nathan Waller.
Nathan was the tallest person in the newspaper photo by more than a foot, even without his witch hat. The headline read, “Hogback prepares for Halloween Stroll,” and showed Nathan with three other Stroll committee members, all old enough to be his grandparents.
“Hey, you made the front page again,” Dana said, pointing to the paper on the counter in front of him. “You’re not scheduled to work this morning. Want some coffee?” She poured him a cup before he answered. “Shouldn’t you be in Asheville?”
“Yeah, I missed class again,” he said. “The Prius is dead.” The check-battery light had been glaring at him the entire two years since his mother had passed the car along to him. If he was lucky, it would only need the smaller, cheaper battery, not the big one. Of course, he didn’t have the money for either.
“Is your mom working?”
“She’s cleaning a house over in Thickety Branch today.” He’d taken rides from her too many times anyway. “I’m starting to wonder if college in Asheville was a mistake. Maybe I should have just gone to Skyuka Community College up the road.”
“There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind,” she said.
“How’s the book coming along?” Mr. Marshall asked from the end of the counter.
Nathan smiled and gave a thumbs-up, then burned the roof of his mouth with his coffee.
There was no book.
Buy links: Amazon
Book or no book, that sounds like quite a hook to a good story! Thanks for giving us a sneak peek at your small town vampire story, Suki!
Halloween is almost upon us! How are you celebrating this year? We’re putting out goody bags of candy in a black cauldron for the visiting witches and goblins and others to pick up as they swing by. If you’re wanting to stay home with a good book, try Suki’s vampire story or any of the stories in either the Secrets of Roseville or Fury Falls Inn series. You’ll have a hauntingly good time with any of them!
Happy Halloween, everyone!
Best-selling Author of Historical Fiction with Heart, and Haunting, Bewitching Love Stories
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