Today I’m interviewing fellow Soul Mate Publishing author Susan B. James about her latest hit, Time and Forever!
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I started writing children’s books as Susan J. Berger in 1993. (First one was published in 2005) I started writing romance when I did my first NaNoWriMo in 2006. I’d been devouring romances since the early sixties, but I never dreamed of actually writing one. Apparently my subconscious mine wanted to write one because when I had thirty days to finish a 50,000 word novel, that’s what came out.
Q: Tell us about your road to publication.
A: Second Chances was my third NaNoWriMo project. I completed the first draft in 2009. I revised it twice and then, during Brenda Novak’s online auction to raise money for diabetes, I was lucky enough to win a critique from Kelley Armstrong on the first fifty pages. She pointed out several major problems with my time travel and the characters, and sent me off in a better direction.
I sent the manuscript to Soul Mate Publishing and got a response from Cheryl Yeko, asking for a more complete synopsis. (I HATE synopsis. I think we all hate things we don’t feel good at.)
With help from my Pen and Ink children’s book critique group, I hammered out a synopsis. I got a request back for the full manuscript.
Cheryl sent me back a letter saying that before they could consider publication, (Publication!!! Seriously?) I needed to make some changes. I made them, sending each chapter through my beloved Pen and Ink. Then a friend from the children’s book world, Nancy Stewart, gifted me with a line edit, taking me into deep POV. When I sent it back to Cheryl, she sent me a contract. I did another three rounds of edits with Cheryl. She’s a great editor.
Right before publication I received an email saying Soul Mate had accepted three manuscripts entitled Second Chances. They wanted a new title. I held a contest on my Facebook page offering an amazon gift card to each of the top three suggestions. I got some great titles. I ran them through an Amazon search to see how many other titles of the same name my book would be competing with. Time and Forever won.
Q: What advice would you give an aspiring author?
A: Write every day. Join NanoWrimo because a deadline is a gift. Find a critique group. If you are a romance writer, join RWA. Your local chapter may help you find a group. A critique also keeps you writing. I have to turn in pages to be critiqued by next week.
Q: Tell us about your latest release.
A: Time and Forever is a contemporary romance with a time travel element. Two women in their sixties time travel back to London and Los Angeles in 1969. It was a finalist in the 2015 Golden Quill for Best First Book and in the 2015 Rone Awards for Best Time Travel Romance.
1969. Love was free, man walked on the moon, and Sherry and Lorena found the loves of their lives. Sherry shared a kiss that dreams were made of, with a stranger on the tube in London. And ran away. Lorena found the love of her life in Los Angeles and married him.
The present. Sherry’s a successful businesswoman with two grown sons. Lorena’s an actress on a popular sitcom. Sherry’s husband dumped her for a younger woman eighteen years ago. Lorena’s husband died of cancer.
Sherry wants a second chance at Love. Lorena doesn’t believe that’s possible. But when a glitch in a Virtual Reality Adventure game sends them back to the real 1969, anything can happen.
Jen stared at Lorena intently. “I need that accent. I’ve been looking for someone to coach me. We’re rehearsing A Streetcar Named Desire. Come back to the theater with us.”
Lorena looked at Sherry inquiringly.
“Go ahead, Lorena,” Jeremy said. “I wanted to borrow Sherry for the afternoon.”
Lorena and Jen both eyed him like disapproving mothers. Sherry stifled a giggle
Jeremy was the picture of injured innocence. “Honestly, Jen, do you think I’m going to take her to my flat and have my wicked way with her?”
I hope so, Sherry thought.
“This is strictly business. I have to interview Lady Dorchester this afternoon and I thought Sherry might be able to help.”
“That old bat? She’s barmy.” Jen said. She turned to Sherry. “Better you than me. Good luck.”
“Why does he need help interviewing her?” Lorena asked.
“She won’t talk to him unless there is a woman present. She’s totally off her rocker. Thinks she’s still a lady in waiting.”
“What’s wrong with that?” Lorena asked.
“To Queen Victoria,” Jeremy answered. “And she thinks her pet mouse is the reincarnation of Queen Victoria. I’m going to interview the mouse.” He turned to Sherry. “You don’t by any chance speak mouse? I could use a translator.”
“I’m sorry,” Sherry replied with a straight face, “the only mouse I was well acquainted with my s— ah . . . sister’s pet mouse and he spoke common field mouse. I’m afraid I won’t be much help.”
Jeremy’s eyes crinkled at the corners. “That’s all right. We’ll rely on Lady Dorchester.”
Audio Book http://www.amazon.com/Time-and-Forever/dp/B00M78YV6M/
(It’s 1.99 on Audible if you own the 2.99 eBook)
Susan is an actor, writer and a dreamer. Lots of those dreams came true.
She found true love, lots of acting jobs and sang on Broadway in The Robber Bridegroom in 1976.
Almost forty years, two children and a few grandchildren later, Susan’s pursuing old and new dreams. And new dreams are coming true.
Susan still acts whenever possible as Susan Berger, writes children’s books as Susan J. Berger and Second Chance romances with a touch of magic as Susan B. James. A confirmed bookaholic, she is grateful to all the writers who enrich her lives with their stories.
Her Romance author blog is SusanBJames
Actor website: http://www.susanbergeractor.com/
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SusanJames/
Susan also blogs in the Children’s book world at Pen and Ink