Monday, August 1, 2011

Interview with Susan Mallery

Susan Mallery
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Books:
· Delicious (February 2006) Buchanans Series
· Sweet Talk (July 2008) Bakery Sisters Series
· Under Her Skin (May 2009) Lone Star Sisters Series
· The Sparkling One (February 2010) Marcelli Series
· Chasing Perfect (May 2010) Fool's Gold Series
More books by Susan Mallery...


Out Now:
· Only Mine (July 2011) Fool's Gold Series



How did you come into writing?
I had always imagined writers wore berets and smoked and lived in dark, danky apartments in Paris until I took an evening course called “How to Write a Romance Novel” while in college. A recruiter had lined up an excellent job for me as an accountant. When I told him I had decided to become a romance writer instead, he said he had always wanted to be a writer, too, but had been afraid to try. He told me that he would help me find a different job in a year if it didn’t work out, and that gave me the courage to take the leap.


"Best-selling Author, Susan Mallery." What is your reaction when you see this?
I’m humbled. You don’t become a bestseller without a lot of amazing fans. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, and my fans have been telling their friends about me from the beginning. It means the world to me. This year, I’m doing something really fun – I’ve selected 25 fans to be the Fool’s Gold Varsity Cheerleaders. They’re doing what they love to do – talking books with people who love to read – and they’re earning prizes as they go along. It’s pretty fabulous, and their enthusiasm makes me feel giddy. They are so sweet!


You've written many books. Where do you find fresh inspiration for your future books?
I find inspiration everywhere. Country songs are a great source of inspiration. So are stories on National Public Radio. And the evening news. And eavesdropping on conversations in the ladies room – oh wait, did I just admit that? It’s true, though. Watch what you’re saying when a writer is around. You never know what snippet might end up in a book.

Ideas are easy to come by for me. The real trick is identifying which of those ideas are big enough to sustain a book. An author needs to find ideas with many layers and infinite possibilities for where the story could go, so that the path she chooses is unpredictable to her readers. My stories are emotional with a lot of humor, and it’s the emotional choices my characters make that I find so fascinating.


How did you come up with your Fool's Gold series?
I knew I wanted to create a series based on a place. In the past, I’d written series based on a family, so once I ran out of siblings, I ran out of stories. Readers kept asking me for more in every series. They loved that sense of connection, and they wanted it to go on. By creating a series based on a place, I can continue to write books in the series as long as readers love them and as long as I find inspiration there.

The place itself needed to have a strong identity. As I was brainstorming the series, I heard a story about the then-upcoming 2010 census, about everything a town can discover about itself from census results. I wondered, “What if there was a man shortage?”

So Fool’s Gold was born… the town with the man shortage. But instead of making the women eager to get more men to town, I tweaked reader expectations and made the women strong, self-sufficient, and kind of crabby that anyone would think they need more men. They can run the town just fine without men. Which means that any men who do move to Fool’s Gold have to earn the right to live there. . . and they have to earn the hearts of the women they love.


What would you tell the reader about Only Mine that separates it from the rest of the series?
Each book in the series is a standalone novel, meaning that you won’t get lost if you read them out of order. As ONLY MINE begins, a TV dating show is about to film in Fool’s Gold. Psychologist Dakota Hendrix, one of the Hendrix triplets, has been assigned by the mayor to keep unbalanced contestants off the show so Fool’s Gold won’t look stupid. Between her job and hiding an emotional secret from her mother and sisters, Dakota has plenty on her plate. The last thing she needs is an angry, rugged Alaskan pilot in her face. Finn Anderssen isn’t going to leave Fool’s Gold without his fame-seeking younger brothers, who belong in college, not on TV.

You can read free excerpts at www.foolsgoldca.com. You’ll find lots of freebies and fun bonus content there, too!


Any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
Next year, three yummy cowboy brothers will move to Fool’s Gold. The year after that, a bodyguard academy will open up on the edges of town. Who doesn’t love cowboys and bodyguards? I’m all a-tingle!

In addition to the romances, I also write one non-romance women’s fiction per year. These books are more serious, more emotional, and they give me the opportunity to spend more time on the other relationships that are so important to women. My next women’s fiction, BAREFOOT SEASON, will be out in April. It’s the first book of a new series set on quaint Blackberry Island, Washington.

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