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Susan Fox figures she's lived enough of her adult life in the city to consider moving back to the country. Her country dream home would include a few pygmy goats to take care of the lawn, a couple of ponies for granddaughters Carissa and Emma, a horse or two for herself, and whatever stray cats or dogs might happen by looking for home. Until then, she fears she'll have to make do with a lawn mower, three always-up-to-something cats, and two very naughty but adorable stray kittens.
Susan loves to hear from her fans. You can contact her via her website.
Interview with SUSAN FOX
THE BRIDE PRIZE
Writerspace: Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your background.
Susan Fox: Harlequin has published 22 of my books for the Harlequin Romance line (including a story in the Marry Me Cowboy! anthology) with an upcoming release in June (His Hired Bride) , and I'm at work on #24. My background is pretty ho-hum, but I live with my 5 cats in a house I refer to as the Landfill and Book Repository. *G*
Writerspace: When did you realize you wanted to pursue a writing career? How long did it take you to become published?
Susan Fox: After I'd read and loved several Silhouette Romances in the early 1980's, I decided to see if I could write one. It involved a lot of trial and error (mostly error), but I became obsessed with getting it right. The first manuscript never sold, but the second one, VOWS OF THE HEART, was published in 1985.
Writerspace: Please tell us about your new release, THE BRIDE PRIZE.
Susan Fox: This story is about a heroine who finds herself caught up in the inheritance issues between 2 brothers. They'll both fall for her but, of course, only one brother will win the bride.
Writerspace: Was there a particular person, place or thing that inspired this story?
Susan Fox: None that I can think of. I enjoy writing about a heroine from a modest background, who isn't very experienced and often has a negative view of her appeal to the hero. I always find it interesting to watch her find her way in love, so Corrie was a joy to write.
Writerspace: I'd love to know more about Nick Merrick. Such a wonderful hunk of a man! How did you come about his character?
Susan Fox: Believe it or not, most all my characters reveal themselves to me as I write their story. The highlight of writing for me is reading their thoughts and how those play out as I see the words go on the page. Nick was another tough guy who was touched by the strengths and vulnerabilities of his heroine. You gotta love a guy like that.
Writerspace: What about Shane Merrick? Will he get his own story soon? A reader can't help but fall in love with him too. I sincerely hope you have plans to bring him his own 'Happily Ever After' too!
Susan Fox: I certainly do have a story in mind for Shane. He's just too good to not get his own happily-ever-after, but the one that keeps coming to mind seems to be a longer story. We'll see where that one goes when I'm able to get to it.
Writerspace: The thing that struck me about the Merrick brothers is the rapport between the two of them. Two very different and yet so similar men. I loved the scene where Nick and Shane share pizzas with Corrie at her kitchen table. I want to know more about their childhood together and the main things/points/people that helped shape them into the men they are. I was expecting some rivalry or animosity on a certain level between them but way you handled their relationship was indeed a very pleasant surprise. Could you elaborate a bit more on their relationship as brothers?
Susan Fox: You're right about them appearing different, but being so alike in many ways. They're both tough and know what they want, and have the drive to achieve it, but I love their loyalty to each other despite their competition for Corrie. A lot of families fracture from the pressure of disappointed expectations, so it was interesting to see this story come to a conclusion that satisfied both brothers. To the Merrick brothers, family is not only important, it's all important. They'd lost track of that for a while until Corrie reminds them. I loved that they were strong, decent, proud men who were finally able to come to a peaceable solution. And these were not men who'd had a life of ease with their late father. When I write Shane's story, I'm sure we'll find out more details about that.
Writerspace: What always grabs me about all of your books which I've had a chance to read so far is your heroine. You fashion the women as strong, but quiet, ordinary but exceptional characters and they live on in my mind long after the book is finished. Corrie Davis is another such heroine. Absolutely lovable. She's perfect for Nick! What was your inspiration behind her character?
Susan Fox: Oh wow--thanks for that. You never know for sure if you're pleasing the reader when you write, though you hope. Corrie is my favorite kind of heroine: an innocent not too sure of herself, who has dreams but doubts her ability to achieve them, especially in the area of love. I love to watch as they learn and grow and try to come to terms with a strong hero. I love how uneven things were between her and Nick, but then how she found her way, changed, and then influenced him. I find that uplifting and encouraging.
Writerspace: Do you plot your story out in detail before the actual writing or do you just let it flow / come together as you type?
Susan Fox: I just let it flow. I have a hazy idea, mostly based on the potential of characters with certain backgrounds and experiences, but I find out almost everything about them as I go along. There are times when I'm writing that I have no idea what happens next. That's good, except in those cases when I've hit a brick wall. Those are the times I wish I'd thought it all out first. OTOH, one book that I "thought to death" was a chore to write because I already knew everything that was going to happen, so I'd eliminated the fun of finding out the story. There was also the story that I wrote a 2 1/2 page synopsis for and then couldn't write. I guess I just need the buzz of surprise and discovery.
Writerspace: What hobbies do you enjoy when you aren't writing?
Susan Fox: I read a lot, and I'm a world class time waster. I've reached the point in my life where I'm finally able to really enjoy a variety of things, so I've become like a kid who wants try things out. I used to do a lot of quilting and needlework, and feel the call to dabble in that again, as well as trying my hand at beadwork wall hangings and wire sculpture. But my biggest ongoing hobby, for now and always, is angling to get time with my 7-month-old granddaughter, Emma, and my 13-year-old granddaughter, Carissa. What a joy! Grandkids are way more fun than kids. *g*
Writerspace: On your journey to becoming a published writer, were there any authors whose works motivated or inspired you?
Susan Fox: Oh my, there were a lot. Janet Daily was the main one, but also Linda Howard, Jude Devereux, and any author who wrote really emotional stories with tough or complicated heroes. I confess a particular liking for poor, abused, or underdog heroines who end up overcoming their past, winning their heroes and being adored, and there were a lot of authors who did wonderful stories along those lines. Happily, they still do.
Writerspace: What is your writing routine?
Susan Fox: TOO haphazard. Last year, I got badly off track with writing time due to health, family issues and trials of life. Everything's been more or less settled, so before any new distractions get started, I'm happily getting into a daily routine that I'm determined to stick to, no matter what 2005 brings.
Writerspace: What advice would you like to share with aspiring writers today?
Susan Fox: Work hard, learn your craft, and don't stop working over a manuscript just because you've reached the end. Be obsessive about getting the characters and story right, and be neurotic about getting the words exactly right. Work your story until there's little difference between it and a book on the book racks. It's tough to be that hard on yourself, but if I can do it and find some success, so can others. There's also a lot of timing, and let's face it, luck involved. And there's also this: some people are put on earth to write stories, while some people hope they are. You're the only one who can decide that, but whatever you decide, realize that you have a purpose and a contribution to make in this world, even if it doesn't turn out to be exactly the purpose and contribution you originally thought. It's sad to underestimate your value to the rest of the world or to miss your own boat.
Writerspace: How may readers contact you?
Susan Fox: Through my website.
Writerspace: Susan, Thank-you so much for taking time out to speak with me about THE BRIDE PRIZE. I really can't wait for your next book!
Susan Fox: Thanks so much for having me! It was a pleasure.
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