Friday, December 21, 2012

A VISIT WITH SUSAN MACATEE


Welcome my friend, author Susan Macatee. Several years ago, Susan and I met as members of a private loop of American Victorian authors and have been friends ever since.


Author, Susan Macatee



Prize: Susan is giving away a PDF copy of THOROUGHLY MODERN AMANDA and a $10.00 gift certificate for The Wild Rose Press to a randomly drawn commenter. Be sure to leave your email with your comment! Now, Susan has a nice interview for us:


Caroline: Where did you grow up? Siblings? Locale?

Susan: Always lived in the city of Philadelphia. I had one brother and two sisters. All younger. In fact, my sisters were so much younger than my brother and I, I had to babysit for them when my mom went back to work full-time. I was thirteen at the time.

Caroline: Ah, I was ten years older than my brother and babysat him when my mom went to work when I was twelve. Were you considered a “bookworm” or a jock?

Susan: I was definitely a bookworm. In fact, as a child, my mother bought me a book about a collie that I read over and over again. I always got books for Christmas and birthday presents and, as a teen, the library and bookstore were my favorite places to visit.

Caroline: Married, single? Children?

Susan: I’ve been married for 31 years to my soulmate. My best friend and his best friend got us together on a blind date. We raised three sons, now all adults in their twenties.

Caroline: Isn’t finding your soul mate a gift? Hero is my soul mate. I know what you write, Susan, but when reading who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

Susan: I’ve read so many authors, I can’t possibly name them all, but a few of my favorites are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Patricia Cornwell, Phyllis A. Whitney, Dawn Thompson and Linnea Sinclair. My favorite genres are time travel and historical romance, science fiction, romantic suspense, horror and mysteries.

Caroline: In our business, we know a lot of great authors, don’t we? What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?

Susan: Love old movies, used to be a Civil War civilian reenactor, but have gotten away from that. Very time consuming, as well as expensive.  I spend most of my free time working out and walking and playing with my dog, Chase, a boxer mix. And my favorite activity is reading. Just wish I had more time to indulge in it.

Caroline: Isn’t that the truth? I could spend all my time reading. Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?

Susan: Can’t think of any. Not really a quote person, I guess.

Caroline: How long have you been writing?

Susan: I’ve been writing toward publication about 23 years, but even as a child, I’d write picture books and even scripts for my friends to act out.

Caroline: Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

Susan: I write in a corner of my dining room right by the window looking over the back yard. I generally don’t require any certain atmosphere, so long as no family member interrupts my train of thought. I do stop to feed and let the dog out, though. I don’t have a laptop, so work on my PC.

Caroline: Are you a plotter or a panzer?

Susan: I started out as a panzer, but after my first time travel romance came out such a mess and required a lot of revision so it would make sense, I learned the art of plotting. I now plot out every story in a scene-by-scene outline. Makes the first draft go that much smoother and need to do little revision, if any, afterward.

Caroline: I learned the same way and now plot. Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?

Susan: I use facts I learn in my historical research and characteristics of real-life historical characters. The more I learn about people who lived in the past, the more ideas for stories pop into my head.

Caroline. Getting sidetracked in research is easy. Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?

Susan: I do set daily writing goals, but often life seems to get in the way. But when that happens, I go with the flow, and when I can settle back into my routine, I read what I already wrote and get myself back into the story. I generally write on weekdays, leaving the weekends free for family time and relaxation. When I’m writing at a steady pace, I set daily word count goals for my first drafts. 1000 words a day comes easily, if I try to push it further, I tend to get stuck. But I do tend to jump from project to project.

Caroline: What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Susan: I hope they’ll find my characters and stories exciting to read and love the characters as much as I do. I also hope my stories give them a needed break from any troubles they might be going through.

Caroline: What long-term plans do you have for your career?

Susan: Although I love historicals, I’m thinking about branching out into a different romance genre, like romantic suspense, or even science fiction romance.

Caroline: Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

Susan: I’m currently working on another historical based on a minor character in my 2009 Civil War romance, Confederate Rose. The story is set just after the war and the hero, who was a Union surgeon in CR, is a small town physician in my new story. He’s riding the train home from a medical conference in Philadelphia when a young Irish woman keels over at his feet. As a physician, he of course, helps her and, when he suspects she has no where else to go, he takes her to his home. She’s an immigrant on the run from an Irishman she met in New York City, who tried to sell her to a brothel. My working title is, ‘The Physician’s Irish Lady’.

Caroline: Oh, I’ll look forward to reading it. What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Susan: Learn all you can about the craft and write. After that, submit and don’t give up until you find the editor or publisher who’ll love your work.

Caroline: What’s a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you?

Susan: I’m a big Star Trek geek and used to write for a Star Trek fanzine.

Caroline: That is both a fun fact and something I didn’t know about you. What’s something about you that would surprise or shock readers?

Susan: I’ve written stories for True Romance, True Story and True Confessions magazines.

Caroline: I knew that and admire you for it. Is your book a series? If so, how long? Family saga, other?

Susan: THOROUGHLY MODERN AMANDA is a sequel to my time travel romance novel, ERIN’S REBEL, but this new book is novella-length. Don’t know yet if any more books will come from this story, but I love time travel, so definitely plan to revisit the genre again in the future.

Caroline: I loved ERIN'S REBEL. Can you give readers a blurb about your book?

Susan: Amanda Montgomery longs to be a modern woman, living the life her step-mother has always told her is possible. But 19th century society expects well-off young ladies to focus on finding a suitable husband and start a family. Amanda works as a reporter for a local magazine and dreams of going to the big city to work at a newspaper before settling down.

Jack Lawton wants to save an old house that's set to be demolished, but when he sneaks inside to take a final look, he's hit on the head with a beam and wakes up in the arms of a beautiful woman.  The only problem is, he's not in the 21st century anymore, but has somehow stepped into another time. Can he find his way back? Does he want to?



Caroline: Mmm, sounds interesting, and the cover is gorgeous. How about an excerpt?

Susan: Here you go:

“Mother, before I leave for work, I’d like to have a word with you in the parlor.”

Erin quirked a brow, but nodded. With the cook occupied at the sink, she gathered her skirts and followed Amanda from the room.

At the parlor door, Erin frowned. “Is there a problem, Amanda?”

She nodded and opened the door to the empty room. She had to find out the truth about Jack and was sure Erin knew more than she admitted.

Motioning her step-mother to take a seat on the settee, Amanda waited, tapping her foot.

Erin sighed, eyeing her. “So, tell me what’s wrong.”

“Where did Jack come from, Mother?” Amanda propped both hands on her hips.

Erin spread her hands. “How would I know? From his clothing and the place you found him, he must be a workman. But I don’t understand why no one else was in the house at the time. He surely wouldn’t have been working alone.” She shook her head. “And he doesn’t seem to remember anything except his name.”

Amanda bit her lip. “I don’t believe you, Mother. I heard you and Jack talking upstairs.”

Erin’s eyes widened, but she said nothing.

“He was saying something about the future. And he also uses those phrases peculiar only to you.”

“Amanda, I told you those were only stories I made up to entertain you when you were a child.”

“So I believed. But no longer. You have a connection with Jack.”

“I never met the man before. I swear.” Erin raised her hand.

The door creaked open, startling Amanda. Her father stood in the foyer.

“Something wrong, Will?” Erin asked.

Her father stepped into the room. “I was just upstairs with Jack. He needs attending to.”

“I’ll go.” Erin stood. “There are breakfast leavings in the kitchen if you’re hungry.”

He nodded. “I’ll get a quick bite, then I have to get to the bank.” He stepped forward and kissed Erin on the lips.

Her step-mother’s face flushed. “See you tonight.”

Her father pecked Amanda’s cheek, then stepped out, leaving the door ajar.

Amanda grasped Erin’s arm. “I’ll see to Jack, Mother.”

Erin’s brows rose. “Nonsense. You get yourself ready for work, I’ll take care of Jack.”

Amanda scowled. “But they can do without me for a half hour. You can get started on your new book.”

Erin opened her mouth, but hesitated. “I’ll have plenty of time to work after I take care of him.”

Amanda huffed and left the room. She’d catch her father before he left for the bank, but intended to see Jack and question him further.

Caroline: Intriguing excerpt. Where can readers find your books?

Susan: THOROUGHLY MODERN AMANDA is available at The Wild Rose Press  http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=5074

Caroline: How can readers learn more about you?

Susan: Readers can find me at www.susanmacatee.com
www.susanmacatee.wordpress.com 
and on Twitter @susanmacatee

Caroline: Readers can also find Susan at http://slipintosomethingvictorian.wordpress.com, where she frequently blogs.

Remember to leave your email address with your comment to be eligible for Susan's prize drawing.

Thanks for stopping by!



7 comments:

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks for hosting me, Caroline! I enjoyed sharing with your readers.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Susan, thanks for sharing with us today.

ellaquinnauthor said...

Great interview. Congratulations on your book!!

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks, Ella!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Caroline and Susan,
Great interview.
Wishing you both a very merry Christmas and a happy, safe and prosperous New Year, and mega sales, of course.

Cheers

Margaret

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks, Margaret! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too.

Susan Macatee said...

My random drawing has chosen Ella Quinn as winner of the PDF and gift certificate.

Congrat, Ella, and thanks to all who left a comment!

Happy holidays to all!