The Quirky Ladies are pleased to welcome author Susan Shay! Have a seat, Susan. I’ll be good and start off with a writing question. (Don’t want to scare the victim – er, guest off and all.)
Dalton Diaz (DD): Is there a particular tool you use to get you in the mood to write?
Susan Shay (SS): Yes. An alarm clock. LOL. Since I usually write mornings, I like to get up early to get started. No phones. No visits. Just me and the crowd living inside my head.
DD: Oh yikes, a morning person! I’d spend my first hour trying to get the computer to make coffee. So how many hours a day do you write?
SS: It depends on the day. I have a day job that I love, so on work days I write a couple of hours before I get ready for work. Weekends I have longer to play.
DD: All writers have at least one editing issue, i.e. commas, past/present tense, run-on sentences. What’s yours, and how do you deal with it.
SS: LOL! So many over the years! Most of them I've wrestled into submission, but my comma problem will be with me until I die. Happily, I have my twisted sisters (Marilyn Pappano and Margaret E. Reid) who are my eternal critique partners to help stamp them out.
DD: You mentioned playtime: where would your dream vacation be, and what would you be doing? And keep it clean. Oh wait, that’s my warning. Sorry!
SS: I'd be high in the Colorado Mountains or Yellowstone, kicking back and being cool. (It's hot here! Over 100 several days this week.)
DD: Dream car: convertible, minivan, Hummer, Cadillac, or hybrid?
SS: Convertible, baby! Low slung, big engine, two-seat, sexy machine!
DD: That’s the spirit! Now name one quirky thing about yourself.
SS: Me? Quirky? *Snort!* Well, even though I have five siblings, I added two more. We call ourselves the Twisted Sisters (http://the-twisted-sisters.com/ ). Also (don't tell anyone) I'm very curious about most things, so sometimes I blog under the name Terminally Curious—to protect the innocent, of course.
DD: Well the cat’s out of the bag now! So let’s take a minute and go back in time to get to know you better. What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
SS: I loved Fury, Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers and Bonanza (reruns, of course!) In the first three the attraction was the horses. In Bonanza it was Little Joe. That's when I discovered guys made great eye candy. My friend, sister and I even wrote him a fan letter, asking for an autographed picture. And even though all we got was a generic pic of the entire crew, we still loved him.
DD: I was a Pa Ingalls gal myself (Hey, did Caroline look like a happy woman, or what?), though Little Joe was mighty fine. And big brother Adam… Hmm…it may be time to go write my next story for awhile. No? Ok, ok, more questions…
DD:Did you/do you have a special pet in your life? And we’ve moved on from the 70’s, so pet rocks don’t count.
SS: Besides my younger siblings? *wink* I have a rescued Yorkie named Molly who rules our house with an iron paw. When she can't get what she wants herself, she enlists the help of my DH to get it for her. Talk about a spoiler!
DD: Smart girl! So tell us about your books that are available and what’s next on the agenda?
SS: My first book was TO SCHOOL A COWBOY (all those horse shows and movies were good for something!) and my current book is BLIND SIGHT, both published by The Wild Rose Press and available on Amazon and the publisher's website. (http://thewildrosepress.com/)
Next on the agenda? I have a story called Make Me Howl about a woman born with the werewolf gene who has a biting sense of humor and killer sense of style wh o falls in love with a geneticist who's doing research to (what else?) eradicate the werewolf gene. It's just about ready to shop around. Watch for it!
DD: Ooh, that sounds awesome and I absolutely love the name of the book! It really captures the tone.
I know this one isn’t available yet, but how about a contest for our readers for one of your other books?
SS: I'd love to have a contest! Y'all leave a comment and say hi. I'll give a download of BLIND SIGHT to someone I choose in a blind draw. How about we announce the winner on the 29th?
DD: Fabulous! That will give people time to get here. Leave those comments, folks, and you could win! Susan, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been fun! One last thing before I untie you - How about an excerpt to whet the appetite?
BLIND SIGHT-- (click on BS) or Amazon (click on Amazon)
The moment Keegan walked into the coffee shop, the room grew brighter and the air took on an effervescent quality.
“Hey, Cassie.” His voice was melted chocolate, warm and soothing.
She bit her lip as she forced herself to wait several moments before she turned to him. His dark eyes mesmerized her, as well as the tiny scar next to his upper lip and his square jaw. She took a much needed breath. “Oh, hey, Keegan.How was your day?” Where were you all this time?
But it wasn’t her business where he’d been, and she wasn’t going to touch him in order to find out, on the off chance she could tell.
The air thickened so, it required effort to drag it into her lungs. His mouth turned up in a half-smile, he tucked the fingers of one hand into his pocket, and shook his head. “I understand y’all are kind of shorthanded, so I promised Sis I’d work here...with you.”
Pulling into herself, she was still for a moment as she felt for the underlying tremor each person had—as individual as a fingerprint. His was new, one she’d never sensed before, and it sent vibrations of warmth flowing through her. But in that impression, she could discern nothing that might be a danger. Of course she was attracted to him. As good-looking, smart, and personable as he was, she’d have to be a corpse not to be attracted. But she had to contend with her gift.
She could never live a normal life—and she wouldn’t allow herself to fall in love. When she’d rinsed the sink, she dried her hands and picked up a bottle of spray cleaner. Going back into the coffee shop, she wiped tables and straightened chairs a final time. After spritzing the round table, she cleaned the top and finally made the circuit pushing chairs into their proper places.
Glancing down, she saw a cup left behind on a seat. As if in slow motion, it toppled off the edge. Without thinking, she caught it—then remembered she’d forgotten to replace her gloves.
The vibration crashing through her was like thunder from a colossal drum, quaking long and hard and painful, deafening her to the sounds going on around her. A brilliant flash stabbed into her eyes and, as her irises contracted painfully, she nearly collapsed to her knees.
The bookstore disappeared.
Her body shuddering in the cool air of night, Cassie smelled dust and rain on the breeze. A feeling of devout piety stole over her as her heartbeat slowed to a sluggish thud. Casting her gaze downward, she saw a young woman, her face white and still as if it had been carved from alabaster, lying near the edge of a rocky crag. With hands that were not her own, she crossed the girl’s stiffening arms over her cold, unmoving chest, then straightened her skirt, pulling it to her knees.
As gently as if she were putting a child to bed, she slipped the body over the precipice where it crashed helplessly into a tree, flipped almost completely around, hit the ground, and rolled down the steep slope until it rested brokenly against a jagged boulder.
Stomach heaving at the shock of the vision, Cassaundra leaned heavily against the table to stare at the broken cup lying at her feet.