My guest is New York Times Best selling author, Susan Mallery. She's written over a 100 books and each is sexy, full of fun, humor, unforgettable characters and a great story. Susan is preparing to go to Romance Times Booklovers Convention in New Orleans (if you go be sure to stop and say hi), but she took the time to answer some questions about writing as well as the latest in her series, Fools Gold.
Susan, how did you get started writing romance novels?
From the time I was about thirteen, I loved reading romance novels.I had never thought about actually becoming a romance writer because I thought writers were exotic people who lived in France, wore black all the time and talked about things like dead philosophers. While I was in college, I saw that a local adult education center was offering a class on How to Write a Romance Novel. I signed up for that class, the very same day, began writing my first romance novel.
The book was awful, but the class changed my life. It was 8 weeks long and I knew by week 6 that I wanted to make a career as a romance author. I stayed in school to complete my degree (in accounting of all things) then walked away from a job offer to try my hand at romance writing. My first romance novel sold in August 1990 and was published in January 1992. From that point on, I have been a romance author, and I've never wanted to be anything else.
What’s the hardest thing you've had to face or as a writer? How did you overcome it?
The hardest part of what I do is making sure each book is better than the one before. In the beginning, when I was still learning, it was pretty easy to improve. But now, after over 100 books, it's challenging. But that's always the goal. There's not a single day that I sit down to write without thinking about how to do it better than I did yesterday.
You wrote in a recent Facebook post that you started writing a new Fool’s Gold book for 2015 and rewrote the beginning a few times because you didn't know the heroine well enough yet?
When I’m ready to really get started, I write until the characters click for me, usually about a chapter. I have to know who they are so that I can know how they will react to whatever might happen in the book. Once I know them, I stop writing and thoroughly plot the story.
Because of all the prep work, once I get to the actual writing of the book, I can write pretty fast.
WHEN WE MET’s hero, Angel Whittaker, appeared in your 2005 book Living on the Edge. What made you decide to bring him back?
I never forgot about Angel, and I always knew I’d write a book for him when I found the perfect woman for him. When I started brainstorming this year’s Fool’s Gold romances, Taryn Crawford came to me. She’s a very powerful, confident, self-made woman. She needed a man who was equally strong, someone who would stand up to her when need be, and someone who would cherish and protect her when she wasn't feeling all that strong. Angel, who’d been hovering in my subconscious for years, stepped forward and claimed her.
Angel, this very serious, hard-core sniper type was going to have to move to a quirky small town in California. I paired him up with buddies from the military who opened a bodyguard academy in Fool’s Gold last year.
What makes Taryn stand out from the other heroines you’ve written?
Contradiction is what makes any character come alive, and Taryn is full of them. On the surface, she has it all together. She runs a very successful PR firm. She has a wardrobe that couture fashion models would envy. Your first impression of Taryn is that she wants for nothing… but she went through a lot of pain to get where she is today. She’s a survivor. She has pulled herself up from very tough circumstances, and to do that, she has had to guard her heart. But there’s a softness, a vulnerability inside her that no one but Angel can see. He will treasure her forever.
What was the biggest surprise that occurred while you were writing their story?
I was a little surprised by how hot things got between Angel and Taryn. I tend to write sexy, but Angel and Taryn are a little older than my typical hero and heroine—40 and 34, respectively—and significantly more experienced. They know what they want, and they’re not afraid to ask for it. There were times when these two were so in-your-face with their sexy repartee that I was sort of gasping and laughing as I wrote.
Oh, I can’t wait to read this one!
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Working with pro-football superstars taught tough-talking PR woman Taryn Crawford one thing—she can go toe-to-toe with any man. But then dark, dangerous former Special Ops Angel targets her for seduction…and challenges her to resist his tempting kisses.
What’s next for the town of Fools Gold?
Up next are BEFORE WE KISS and UNTIL WE TOUCH, featuring two of Taryn’s partners at Score PR. Sam Ridge, a former NFL kicker, has to hire Dellina to help him plan a major company bash. He’s very reluctant to work with her because a few months ago, they had a little fling that went terribly (and comically) wrong. Dellina’s going to make him pay a little bit before she forgives him. So much fun to watch a strong man grovel!
At the start of UNTIL WE TOUCH, former quarterback Jack McGarry is shocked when the mother of his personal assistant and best friend Larissa Owens tells him to fire Larissa because the big-hearted beauty is in love with him. That’s news to Jack… and when he tells Larissa what her mom said, it’s news to Larissa, too! She’s not in love with Jack. Except, just by saying the words, her mom has opened both their eyes, and things between them suddenly get very hot.
Susan, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions and visit with us today!