Susan Page Davis is my guest today! Thanks for stopping by, Susan.
Leave a comment and be put in the drawing for her latest release.
Susan Page Davis is a Maine native. She writes romantic suspense and mysteries. Her historical romances have won several awards. The daughter of a naval officer turned law enforcement officer, she grew up loving horses and books and took a degree in history. It all comes together in the stories she writes.
1. Plug time! Please tell us a little about your latest release and why readers should run out and buy it as soon as it hits the shelves.
Inside Story is an exciting, military-themed suspense book that will keep you turning the pages. Claudia Gillette is a high-powered journalist who will go to any lengths to get a story. Bill White is a Navy Lieutenant on a secret operation. If they could stay in the same hemisphere long enough for a date, things might go more smoothly for them. As it is, Claudia drops in unexpectedly on Bill’s clandestine mission. They’ll be lucky to get out of it alive, let alone speaking to each other.
2. How many full manuscripts did you write before you sold?
Oh, about twenty, I’d say. I know you’re laughing when you read that, but it’s true. First I wrote several police procedural mystery-suspense books. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was fun and I began to learn the craft. Then I wrote several contemporary romances. I tried a few novellas and a children’s book. Finally I turned to historical romance, and got a hit. And, in case you’re wondering, a few of those earlier attempts were later resurrected and sold. Book four in my police series, for instance. After a complete overhaul, it became a Love Inspired Suspense book. One of the novellas was lengthened into a full-length book. A few others have also found their way into print.
3. In your opinion, what’s the most fascinating thing about writing?
The way it transports you into a totally different world.
4. What’s something you can tell us about yourself that most people don’t know?
I had a major stroke on January 8, 1997. For about 24 hours, I couldn’t read or write. The “language” area of my brain was affected. I could talk, but I had trouble finding the right words. Through God’s grace, within 48 hours I was well on the way to recovery, and have no residual effects. Despite 9 days of testing and observation, my doctors never found a cause. I’m rejoicing in the gift that has been the last 11 years.
Wow, that's incredible! Isn't God amazing?
5. When did you start writing for publication and what did people say when they found out?
I started writing fiction in the summer of 1999. I’d been writing nonfiction articles for newspapers and magazines before that, so I don’t think they were shocked. But when my first short story was published in Woman’s World, some folks sat up and took notice. A couple of years later I sold my first book. For the most part, people I knew were thrilled and excited for me. It’s funny, but with 19 books in print, I’m still bumping into people I’ve known for years who don’t know I’m a published author.
6. What is your favorite food?
Fruit of just about any type.
7. Tell us a little about your family.
My husband, Jim, is a news editor. We have six children (four college grads, three of whom are married, and two still in the home schooling process). We also have five grandchildren, all of whom live at least 1,200 miles from our home in Maine.
8. Who are your favorite authors?
I keep going back to Dick Francis, Ellis Peters, and Alexander McCall Smith for mystery. I read lots of genres and enjoy discovering new authors, but old friends are the best.
9. What are you reading now and what’s in your “to be read” pile?
Right now I’m reading an older Dick Francis book I somehow missed: Driving Force. It’s good. My TBR pile includes a Martha Grimes novel and a Patricia Cornwell. I recently read Nancy Mehl’s cozy mysteries and loved them (Cozy in Kansas series). A few other books I recently polished off: novella collection A Bride by Christmas; John Olson’s Fossil Hunter; Marcia Gruver’s Diamond Duo; Smith’s The Good Husband of Zebra Drive; and DiAnn Mills’s A Texas Legacy Christmas.
10. Do you set out to write each story with a particular theme or does the theme develop as the story does?
I set out to write a story, not a theme. Usually a theme runs through it, but I haven’t worked hard to plant it there.
11. Do you have a particular method for tracking the details in your story? Can you tell us a little about this?
I’m low tech about this. I keep a manila folder for each work in progress. I write the main characters’ names and basic information (relationships, physical characteristics) on the outside. In the folder go the synopsis and any other aids I construct for that story, such as timelines, calendars, or character sketches, as well as any pertinent articles I clip, interview notes, or other research aids. When the contract comes, I start a three-ring binder and move everything over there. If I do research on line, I print what I use and file it in the binder, too, along with correspondence and rough drafts.
12. Who has had the most influence on your life in general? In your writing life?
After the Lord, that would definitely be my husband, Jim. Every aspect of my life is affected by him. He also plays a big part in my writing. He reads through every manuscript before I submit it. He’s great at catching inconsistencies and typos. We’re now thinking of writing a book together.
13. Do you have an agent? If yes, did you have the agent before you sold your first book or after?
Yes, I have an agent I’ve worked with for two years now. I did not have an agent when I sold my first book. I connected with my first agent shortly after that sale, and we worked together for three years. Then I found my present agent. It seems to be a good fit for both of us.
14. What advice do you have for a beginning author?
Read. Write. Listen. Repeat.
15. Any parting comments?
Come visit me on my Website: www.susanpagedavis.com. You can view a book trailer there for Inside Story, enter a contest, and see my daughter (and mystery co-author) Megan’s wedding picture, among other things.
Thanks so much, Susan for stopping by. I look forward to what readers have to say and to drawing a winner from the comments!