The lovely Susanne Matthews is my first post-surgery guest. I’m so glad she stopped by to answer the tough questions. We had a lot of fun talking about her newest Crimson Romance release, The White Carnation.
What inspired you to write this book?
There were a number of things that collided in my head when the idea for this book came to me. I wanted to write a book and name the characters after my best friends, but I really wanted a book with teeth in it. An episode of Law and Order SVU about a serial rapist who raped women to impregnate them and create his own dynasty, stayed with me, as did the research I was doing on various drugs, and I found scopolamine, a drug that doesn’t incapacitate, but renders the victim complacent and leaves them with no memory of the assault, whether it was sexual, physical, or financial. I tossed in a serial killer and a couple of other plot twists and came up with the story.
What types of books do you enjoy reading? What is on your nightstand?
I enjoy reading just about everything except BDSM and explicit horror and erotica. Fantasy, suspense, sci-fi romance. I loved the John Carter books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. At the moment, the book I’m waiting to start, Regret by Danielle Doolittle. It’s a YA novel dealing with devils and angels.
Tell me about your favorite place to write. What makes it special?
I have an office at the back of the house. It isn’t a large room, but no one bothers me there and I can concentrate. If I need even more solitude, I’ll close the door and even my husband stays away.
Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what?
The voices in my head that control the story need peace and quiet to function. That’s no doubt due to the 35 years I spent teaching when the only time the room was quiet was during tests and exam, or at the end of the day when they’d all gone home. So, as much as I like music, especially golden oldies that fit with my age group, I prefer silence when I work.
How do you make time to write?
Writing is my full time job. I sit at the computer each day and spend most of it there writing, revising, editing, and of course trying to market myself. I can do that because I’m retired and have no outside job to worry about. I didn’t start writing until I had retired, so I’m in awe of the young working mothers who manage to write the way they do.
I am too. What is your favorite part about being an author?
After my teaching years, I guess I have to say I love the fact that no one tells me where to go and how to get there. No one talks back, sasses or argues with me, and if they do, I torture them in the next chapter. That being said, I love the autonomy. Yes there are publishers and deadlines, but when all is said and done, I’m my own boss working on my own schedule. Truth be told, I get an immense rush when someone says to me, “I love your books.”
If a celebrity did the audio book reading, who would you pick and why?
That’s a tough question, and one I can’t answer. It would really depend on the book. I’m old enough to remember radio shows, and Shakespeare on records and tapes, and in all those cases there was more than one reader. I think if someone read my books as a radio play with male and female voices it might work, but I can’t imagine whose voices I’d want to hear.
Let’s play “Dump the purse” – what’s in yours?
You seriously want to know? Here goes. Honestly dumping my purse out now: wallet with $35.65 CND and $1.00 USD plus ID, credit cards, debit card, pictures of my husband and grandkids; epi-pen, aspirin, allergy tablets, and 3 Imodium meltaways (don’t ask); tube of Abreva, 6 wetnaps; 3 tubes of lipstick ( different colors); nail file; hand cream, foundation and blush; eyeglass cleaning cloths; pen; hair pick; cell phone; 4 packets of Sweet & Lo; a package of Tic Tacs; package of tissue; and a wrapped mint. Thanks for making me clean it out. I threw away candy wrappers, a beat up granola bar, and a bunch of grocery receipts.
Those receipts pile up fast. And epi-pens are surprisingly heavy. My purse is half the weight when I don’t need to carry my daughter’s medicine. Thinking of which, if your hero or heroine were babysitting my kids (age 6 & 10) what would the night be like?
Actually it would probably be very quiet. Rob would sit on the couch with his Glock showing, since he’ll never be without it as long as Faye’s in danger, and we’ve got a long way to go before she’s safe. They might even notice the smaller ankle weapon he wears as well, and while they might be curious, no one would dare misbehave. Faye would make sure they did their homework, quiz them on it, and then get them to bed, more or less on time.
We’re at a bar with your hero and heroine, what are they drinking?
She’ll have a glass of wine—a nice merlot or a chardonnay; he’ll have Irish whiskey—neat, or a beer.
My kids built a time machine out of Legos. When and where are we headed and why?
To the future. I’d love to see my grandkids and great-grandkids yet to be born read my books and hear them say, “My grandmother or great-grandmother wrote this.” Who doesn’t hope to leave a legacy?
Dessert time! Give me your “either—or” answers
- Chocolate, fruit or other? Crème brulée
- Warm or cold? warm
- Buttercream or fondant? buttercream
- Cookies or brownies? macaroons
- With nuts or without? No nuts, no chocolate, allergic to both; hence the epi pen in my purse!
The White Carnation is available now. Visit my website http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/ for purchase links for this and all my other books.
Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.
The last person disgraced reporter Faye Lewis wants back in her life is Detective Rob Halliday, the man she blames for ruining her career and breaking her heart. But when she finds an old friend murdered, he’s the one she calls.
For the past year, Rob and his team have been hunting the Harvester, a serial killer who ritualistically murders new mothers and vanishes with their infants. What Rob doesn’t need is another case, especially one involving his ex-fiancée.
Then Faye is assaulted, and Rob realizes the cases are connected. She may hold the answers he needs to find the elusive killer. But the more they investigate, the more complex the situation becomes. Can they set the past aside and work together, or will the Harvester and his followers reap another prize?