Book Nerd Interview
Having brothers was a mixed bag. When anybody messed with me they were always quick with an offer to beat them up. That was sorta nice, although I personally believe it had more to do with the fact that guys just like to fight than with any towering concern for my welfare. You might think that's cynical but guess who the target was if no one else was around and they were tired of fighting each other? I must've spent half my childhood locked in the bathroom, screaming, "Dad's gonna get you when he gets home." I know, I know, nobody likes a stoolie. But it was either that or have my block knocked off on a regular basis, and trust me, Daddy was the best deterrent going.
A smart woman probably would've gone away to an all-girl school or moved in with some girlfriends at the first opportunity. Me, I got married to my high school sweetie. And the tradition continues. Our only kid (who hasn't been a kid for quite some time now) is the aforementioned sweet baby boy, and except for an Irish setter we had for eleven years a long time ago, even our pets have all been male. I just try to stay afloat whenever I find myself in the deep end of the testosterone pool, and if you don't think that isn't a trial sometimes, I'm here to tell you- it can be hell.
Then again, it can also be heaven. In fact, it mostly is. But listen, don't tell my guys I 'fessed up to that, okay? Trust me, it's difficult enough already, just trying to stay one step ahead of the game.
For centuries verbal storytelling was the only chronicle that connected many cultures to their ancestors. In today’s fast-paced sometimes over-stimulated world, stories take us out of the madness of our day-to-day lives for many peaceful (emotional, thrilling, etc) hours. For the length of time it takes to read it, a story has the ability to transport us away from our problems. My favorite correspondence is from readers who took the time to tell me that one of my books helped them through a husband’s death, a child’s disease or other difficult times.
What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
That I have an extremely skewed sense of humor. Or maybe it wouldn’t surprise them at all, since I invariably pass my world view along to my characters.
What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
You really want me to think back that many years? I guess I’d have to say. . .hmm. Maybe learning to diagram a sentence. It would certainly be a gazillion times more difficult to weave stories without at least a working knowledge of how they’re structured. On the other hand, some rules are simply meant to be jettisoned, if only temporarily, in the interests of a more believable, entertaining book. Particularly when it comes to dialog. I always turn off the grammar corrector in my word processing programs. What an incredibly annoying feature that is for a fiction writer.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
I’ve received a world of help from other authors, but more of the craft of writing or brainstorming variety. My second book was about to come out before I even found Romance Writers of America, but joining that organization would be my advice to budding writers. It disseminates an amazing array of information both in the craft of writing and the business.
Can you tell us when you started Be My Baby, how that came about?
I’m afraid I honestly don’t remember. I wrote this book in 1998 and I don’t recall what originally set me down that path. I do know that Be My Baby was the book that forged my decision never to place another book in a setting that I hadn’t personally visited. I had enormous help with BMB’s from a Sunset Magazine journalist who brought me dozens of photographs and from New Orleans citizen and mystery writer Skye Moody who spent a great deal of time explaining her city’s people and conventions. Yet it’s hard to know if you’ve authentically captured a location when you’ve never been there. I was gratified to learn when I did visit that I’d done a fairly fine job of it.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Juliet?
I loved Juliet--she was such a fun character to write. She’d had an incredibly strict, structured New England upbringing and when she hit New Orleans—and most particularly was thrown into daily contact with Beau Dupree, who never sweated censoring his opinions—well, it brought out more attitude than I’d anticipated. And who knew she’d be so democratic in her dealings with the more colorful denizens of the French Quarter?
You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Persevere. It took me 8 years to get published. There are no guarantees in this business—except that you will never publish if you give up.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
Lying inevitably comes back to bite me in the butt, so I just try to keep things honest. Well, except for the occasional social lie. I mean really, if someone asks “Does this color make me look like a pumpkin?” and it does but you’re out where she hasn’t a hope in hell of doing anything about it, what’s the point in giving her more to stress about? Now, if we were shopping and she asked the same question about a potential purchase, she’d get a fervent, “Yes. Step awaaaaay from that one.”
Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?
After my hometown of Seattle and Hood Canal in Washington State, I think I would choose Scotland. Or maybe the Netherlands. Or Spain. No, wait. . .
Oh, hell, I can’t choose. There are just too many great places in the world.
What's the worst summer job you've ever had?
I’ve had jobs I didn’t care for but none that I actively hated. However, one cold, wet November when I was around 10 or so, my dad redid the siding on our house. He had me picking up wet shingles for several weekends and, man, I hated that job.
When was the last time you told someone you loved them?
Today. Easiest words in the world.
When was the last time you cried?
Oh, sometime this week, I’m sure. I’m a sentimental fool and cry over all kinds of crap. It’s pathetic.
What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back?
Definitely that I don’t love them back. Saying “I love you” is easy.
Where can readers stalk you?
On Facebook or my website. I can be found at either www.facebook.com/SusanAndersenFanPage or www.susanandersen.com
The lady is downright delectable, but Beau has more important things to do than babysit a beautiful Yankee rich girl. So he decides to get himself pulled off of the assignment by driving the oh-so-proper socialite beyond the bounds of her good-girl restraints.
But who would have thought that real passion sizzled beneath Juliet's polish? When she lets her hair down, she just might prove to be more than enough woman to handle Beau—but will he be able to handle her?
The setting of New Orleans is the perfect backdrop to author Susan’s creatively suspenseful and romantic adventure. The pairing of Juliet and Beau is like day and night but they amazingly create sparks together. Susan’s writing style manages to help readers picture the characters and express their positions. I enjoyed how much depth the characters have and how they engaged in excellently written dialogue. The chemistry between them could not get any better as they complement each other very well. The plot progresses smoothly with enough twists and surprises to keep the pages turning. The story line is humorous and sexy at the same time, a rare grouping that only the best writers can harvest. Be My Baby is an enjoyable book that is highly engrossing and keeps a hold of you until the very end.