Interview with Susan Royal.

Hi again, it’s time for another installment of MuseItUp Monday. Today’s guest is Susan Royal and she’ll be talking a bit about her time travel romance, Not Long Ago. (Love the title btw.)

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve lived in Texas all my life, born in West Texas, raised in south Texas, and now live in Northeast Texas. I come from a family of characters, both past and present, and they all have stories to tell. I have a husband who is very supportive of my writing addiction, three children (a realist, an idealist and a romantic) and four grandchildren who are already unique individuals.

What is the title of your most recent novel, and can you tell us a little bit about it?

Not Long Ago is a time travel romance. Erin has met the man of her dreams, but as usual there are complications. It’s one of those long distance relationships, and Griffin is a little behind the times– somewhere around 600 years.

Erin and her employer, March, are transported to a time where chivalry and religion exist alongside brutality and superstition. Something’s not quite right at the castle, and Erin and March feel sure mysterious Lady Isobeil is involved. But Erin must cope with crop circles, ghosts, a kidnapping and death before the truth of her journey is revealed.

Forced to pose as March’s nephew, Erin finds employment as handsome Sir Griffin’s squire. She’s immediately attracted to him and grows to admire his courage, quiet nobility and devotion to duty. Yet, she must deny her feelings. Her world is centuries away, and she wants to go home. But, Erin can’t stop thinking about her knight in shining armor.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I’ve been writing since I was a child. I finished my first book about six years ago

Do you have a day job/family/children, and how do you balance everything?
I’ve worked as a secretary in education for over 20 years. Before that I did data entry. Before that I did sewing and alterations and baking from my home while my children were small.

How did you choose the genre you write in, or did it choose you?
I think my writing blurs the lines a little. There’s romance, there’s adventure, there’s mystery, there’s history and fantasy.

Where do you get your ideas?
Ideas come to me in scenes played out in my head—in dreams, at the grocery store, when I’m driving, any time and any where.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you while you were growing up?
There are so many, but a few stand out: Poul Anderson, Ray Bradbury, Madeline L’Engle, Louis L’Amour,

Have you ever experience writer’s block?
More like writer’s sluggishness. It usually happens in the middle of a book when my characters stop speaking to me. I try to keep throwing things at them until they straighten up.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I knew absolutely zip, so I hard to learn everything from the beginning.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
I’d have gotten serious about writing much sooner than I did.

Do you have any tips for new authors marketing their first book?
Watch other authors and see what they do. Network.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
My characters are composites of people I know. Their actions and reactions are based on my experiences or experiences of others I’ve witnessed.

Do you have any favourite characters?
My supporting characters are my favorites. They are off-the-wall, quirky, outspoken and sometimes outrageous.

How did you come up with the title?
I wanted something related to time that hadn’t been used to death

What do you do when you are not writing?
 Spend time with my husband and family. Camp. Sew. Paint with acrylics. Go antiquing. Watch movies. Read. Go shopping. Listen to music. Member of online critique group. Member of Northeast Texas Writer’s Organization.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Write-write-write, See your projects to the end, Edit-edit-edit-edit, Learn, Listen and never give up

In regards to a new project, do your new characters speak to you, or do they shout?
They don’t shout, but they’re persistent. If they don’t like what I’m doing, they refuse to cooperate until I listen.

Have you ever had a character derail your plot?
I’ve had a character take the plot to places I never envisioned. And guess what? The story was better for it.


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