Sunday, November 28, 2010

Susan Macatee, Author Interview


From The Wild Rose Press
2011 EPIC Finalist
Continuing with authors whose work appeared in the award-winning anthology NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES, today my guest is Susan Macatee. Although she's been writing as long as she can remember, she started writing for publication after her youngest started kindergarten. After success with short stories, she decided to try a novel. She considers that novel, LAURA, her practice novel. Success came with the publication of her second novel, a YA titled UNDER THE GUNS, but it is now out of print. Once she decided she wanted to write romantic fiction, she joined Romance Writers of America and their Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter. Susan is also a member of Scandalous Victorians, a small writing group that specializes in Victorian set romance in both America and England. They also have a group blog, http://slipintosomethingvictorian.wordpress.com/.

Caroline: Susan, your novella’s hero is a Civil War re-enactor. How did you come up with that idea?

Susan and her husband with
the 28th Pennsylvania Regiment
Susan: The idea came directly from my own experiences as a Civil War reenactor. I chose civilian, but my husband and sons did the military side and I also witnessed many staged battles, so could accurately describe the sights, sounds, smells and action involved in a reenactment. Reenacting is sort of playacting the past, so I thought it would be fun to have a reenactor hero experience a past life, where he actually was the Civil War soldier that he portrayed.

As a reenactor, myself, I had to learn how to dress, what to eat and how to behave as a Victorian lady. My husband learned not only how to drill and how soldiers fought, but he also had to learn how a Victorian man acted in camp and toward women. Our youngest son was 10 at the time we started reenacting and we also had to learn how to appropriately dress him and what types of games and toys he would have played with. It was a fun learning experience.

Caroline: It’s sounds like a nice family hobby for those who love history as you and I do. What attracts you to time travel?


Susan: That goes way back to when I was a kid. I loved TV shows like "The Twilight Zone," "The Outer Limits," "Star Trek," "The Time Tunnel," and the daytime soap, "Dark Shadows." All these shows featured episodes where people traveled back in time and I loved the interaction of people from different eras. It was fun and a subject I longed to write about.

Caroline: I agree that it’s fun to write a time travel. Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you have another job or write full time?

Susan: I don’t have an outside job, so writing is my first priority, but I do type manuscripts for other writers. I started that business when my youngest son started school as a way to earn a little cash while learning the ropes of writing stories of my own. I still type for others, but only keep a few clients, so I’ll have enough time for my own writing.


I generally use my mornings to take care of household things, like feeding and dog and taking him to the park, starting the laundry, running errands, housecleaning. I also try to get in at least an email check in the morning, plus I take an hour for my workout.

Afternoons are reserved for writing and typing projects. When a typing project is in, I usually give that top priority, unless I have something under contract. Otherwise, I make sure I get in at least an hour a day for writing. But I also have to make time for blogging, updating my website and book promo.


Sometimes it can be a real balancing act.


Caroline: Isn’t that the truth? Writers are like those old performers with twirling plates in the air. I must compliment you for making time to comment on the blogs of friends. You have other books out. What are they and are they also time travels?


From The Wild Rose Press
Susan: I have one other time travel, ERIN'S REBEL. This is the story of a modern day reporter who crashes her car and wakes up in a Confederate Army camp. And that’s where she finds the man of her dreams. My other stories are all straight historicals, with the exception of two vampire stories both set during the Civil War.


ERIN'S REBELwas a finalist in the 2010 Ancient City Romance Authors Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice in the paranormal category.


Available from The Wild Rose Press
CONFEDERATE ROSE is the story of an Irish immigrant who disguises herself as a male to join the Confederate army. She meets a Southerner, who she later learns is a Yankee spy, but not until after they fall in love.

CONFEDERATE ROSE took first place in the 2010 Beacon Contest Published Division and second place in the 2010 New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award in the historical category.


I have four other stories. The novella, THE CHRISTMAS BALL, is part of the anthology, AN AMERICAN ROSE  CHRISTMAS; my two vampire stories, SWEET REDEMPTION, and ETERNITY WAITS, are available as stand-alone e-books and my short story, "A Kiss Under the Mistletoe," is available for FREE! A link to the download is on my website.

Caroline: You’re a very productive lady! Is there a reason you’re drawn to the Civil War era?

Susan: I love the clothing, the intrigue and excitement of setting stories during wartime. Something about the Victorian era also captures my imagination. And the fact that I spent a lot of weekends living in that time period, also makes it easier to write about the things that add realism to any story.


Caroline: Your stories pull readers into the world you’ve created. What do you have in the works for us:

Susan: I’m currently revising a post Civil War novel that I’ve titled CASSIDY'S WAR. The story’s based on characters from an out of print novel I had published about nine years ago.


Here’s the blurb: The Civil War is over, but CASSIDY'S WAR is just beginning.


Cassidy Stuart longs to attend medical school. Her training under her physician father and her time serving as a nurse during the war, have only increased her desire to be a real physician with a practice of her own. When the man who’d left her at the altar five years before, returns, she’s determined not to let him upset the plans she’s set for herself.

Unknown to his former fiancĂ©e and her family, George Masters is now a Pinkerton agent sent to investigate a physician now living in George’s former hometown. When he finds Cassidy hasn’t married, he hopes he can have another chance with her, but can’t reveal his real reason for returning, at least not until his mission is accomplished.

Can love be rekindled with a doctor bent on revenge against them both?


Caroline: CASSIDY'S WAR sounds as irresistible as your other novels. Anything else?


Susan: I’m also working on a time travel novella set after the war. This one’s based on my time travel novel, ERIN'S REBEL. I’m haven’t settled on a title yet and it’s still in first draft stage.


Caroline: Back to the anthology—would you give us a blurb from ANGEL OF MY DREAMS?

Susan: When Civil War reenactor, Kyle Dalton, keeps seeing a beautiful woman on the battlefield tending to soldiers, he thinks she’s another reenactor. But when she disappears into thin air, he starts to believe he’s seen a ghost. Did he have a past life with this woman?

Caroline: I remember that from your story. Poor Kyle. How about an excerpt:

Susan: Of course.

“Corporal, what are you...?”

He took her mouth, silencing her question. Her lips held tightly firm for a moment, then yielded to him. His tongue slid inside to taste her thoroughly. Sweet, soft and amazing. When he released her, he read the unleashed passion in her half-closed eyes.

She blushed a deep red, glancing around the tent. “Corporal ...Kyle...you mustn’t take such liberties. What will the others think?”


He looked around and shrugged. “No one’s paying us any attention.”

She lifted the pan. “I have to go.”


Before he could stop her, she hurried past him moving to the front of the tent.

“Josie.”

Something blared beside his cot. He turned his head and woke in his own bed to the blast of rock music from his alarm clock.

He shut it off and sat up. What a vivid dream! The ones he’d had before had been fragmented and fuzzy. He’d barely remembered them afterward. But that kiss. He touched his lips, swearing he could still feel her softness, smell her lavender scent.


He had truly lost it.


Caroline: The confusion for our characters is part of the fun of a time travel, isn’t it? Susan, do you have anything else you’d care to share? Any links?


Susan: My website, www.susanmacatee.com, contains info on all my stories, reviews and other news. I also post regularly on the blog, http://www.slipintosomethingvictorian.wordpress.com/ about subjects related to the Civil War. And I post about my writing projects at my blog http://www.susanmacatee.blogspot.com/


The buy link for NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES, which includes Susan’s novella ANGEL OF MY DREAMS is:


http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&zenid=162b14522c4e59f049d6bf658f403c27&keyword=Northern+Roses+and+Southern+Be&x=28&y=5 The anthology set around the Civil War is available in both print and e-book format and is also available on Amazon for Kindle, B&N for Nook, etc.


Susan, thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I look forward to reading your future novels. I know they’ll be as wonderful as those I’ve already read.


Readers, please return on the 30th for an interview with Isabel Roman.


6 comments:

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Great interview. I enjoyed the blurbs and excerpts...several stories to be put on the tbr pile.

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks for stopping by, Anna!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

That photo of you and your hubby is so authentic looking, Susan. No wonder you enjoy writing about that time period when you actually live it from time to time. I am so proud of you all for your success with this anthology!!!!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Caroline and Susan,
Great interview. I think it is so interesting that you do the re-enactments. No wonder your civil war stories are so vivid and realistic.
Best of luck with all your projects and the anthology.

Regards

Margaret

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks, Paisley and Margaret! It helps when you can have confidence in the research for any story and I've had reviewers rave about how authentic the setting of my stories are.

lizarnoldbooks said...

Squeee! These books sound great! Re-enactors ARE time travellers. Wonderful blog, gals. Wonderful.
Liz Arnold
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