Thursday, February 12, 2009

Susan Davis is back! Win a free book...

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.

On A Killer’s Trail

This book has the down home charm of Maine, great characters, and a puzzling mystery with a good dash of suspense. Kate Richards is a rookie reporter at a daily newspaper, determined to make good. She’s assigned to be “on call” to cover local news on Christmas Day, when everyone else takes the day off. She plans to spend the day with her sister and brother-in-law—who happens to be a police captain.
When the captain is called to investigate an elderly woman’s murder, Kate tags along, which brings her face-to-face with Detective Neil Alexander, the man Kate broke up with six months ago. Neil was too wild then, and she did what she knew was right. But everyone says he’s changed now. Kate is resolved not to go there. Her new job eclipses everything else. Neil is still attracted to Kate, but his boss warns him to leave her alone. He has good intentions. Really. When a second murder occurs, Neil and Kate are in the thick of it together. Can they set aside the past to catch the killer?

If you’re like me, you’re always writing something whether on the computer, in your head, scratch pieces of paper, etc. Where do you get your ideas? What triggers a story idea for you?

Ideas are everywhere. News stories, overheard comments, TV commercials, a photo that doesn’t look quite right. My question is, how can people NOT have ideas for stories?

In your opinion, what’s the toughest thing you find about writing? The easiest?

The toughest is making sure all the details match up so that the whole thing hangs together without ends of threads sticking out. The easiest for me used to be writing dialogue, but I find I like writing action very much, too.

When did you start writing for publication and what did people say when they found out?

I started writing fiction in 1999. Most people were encouraging, if a little dubious.

How long did it take you to get published?

I began selling short stories in 2001. My first book was published in 2004, so five years.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

Some ideas come complete with setting. If not, I either choose a setting I’m familiar with or research to find out where the story would best unfold.

What would you be doing with all the time you spend writing if you weren’t writing?

Probably working a part time job.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

Here at my desk at home.

How do you make time for God in the craziness of life?

I like to start out the day with prayer and reading. Our family reads the Bible together and has a time of prayer after lunch. This seems to be our best time of day to have everyone together, as we home school and my husband works late and gets up late.

Tell us a little about your family.

My husband is an editor for a daily newspaper. We have six children, three of whom are married, and five grandchildren. The three children still living at home are 23, 16, and 14. The two younger ones are still being schooled at home. We live in Maine, and right now that means I have a lovely snowscape out my study window—firs, maples, and beeches dusted in snow, and about 18 inches on the ground. The woodstove is cranking, and it’s quiet here today. Oh, did I mention the dog? Monte Cristo is my bane, but the kids love him.

Who are your favorite authors?

It’s hard to choose, but for true history, Nathaniel Philbrick rules! I do love Dick Francis and Alexander McCall Smith. I like mysteries. Dorothy L. Sayers is a perennial favorite of mine, along with Ellis Peters’s Brother Cadfaels (not so much for her other books).

What’s next for you in the world of publishing?

I am working on my first “long historical.” The Sheriff’s Surrender is to be the first in a series titled The Ladies’ Shooting Club. I love the characters. This book is set for release in December. After that I’ll finish off my second Alaska book for Heartsong. Writing three Alaskan stories is an adventure in itself.

What do you hope people take away from when they finish reading your book?

The power of forgiveness. Kate and Neil have issues between them to deal with, but each also has some self-forgiving to do. It’s part of the spiritual maturity their struggle toward.

How many books have you written? List them for us so we can be sure to find them in the bookstore or online! 

Hm, more than 20.
Romantic suspense: Frasier Island, Finding Marie, Inside Story, Just Cause, Witness, and On a Killer’s Trail (upcoming—Hearts in the Crosshairs from LIS).
Historicals: Protecting Amy, The Oregon Escort, Wyoming Hoofbeats (repackaged in Wyoming Brides); Weaving a Future (repackaged in Virginia Brides); The Prisoner’s Wife, The Castaway’s Bride, The Lumberjack’s Lady (repackaged in Maine Brides); Return to Love, A New Joy, Abiding Peace (to be repackaged as White Mountain Brides in the fall); novella “Almost Home” in the Snowbound Colorado Christmas collection; and the upcoming Ladies’ Shooting Club series.
Cozy Mysteries with my daughter Megan: the Mainely Murders series—titles are Homicide at Blue Heron Lake, Treasure at Blue Heron Lake, and the upcoming Impostors at Blue Heron Lake.
And two book for young people: Feather (fantasy); and Sarah’s Long Ride (horse story).

What advice do you have for a beginning author?

Write a lot. Read a lot. Listen to people who know what they are doing. Don’t listen to people who don’t. And if you can figure out the difference, you’re a genius. Now go read some more and write some more.

Any parting comments?

Come visit me on my Web site: . I love to hear from readers, and I give away a free book each month. Thanks for this opportunity, Lynette!

Thank you, Susan! So glad to learn a little more about you. I can't wait to read this book.


Bethany said...

My mom has loaned me quite a few of her Steeple Hill books, many of which were by Susan. I enjoyed her books and would love the chance to pass on a new book of hers to my mom!
Thank you,
momofjimmy [at] yahoo [dot] com

Jo said...

Your book sounds great and I can't wait to read it.


Susan Page Davis said...

Thanks, ladies! Bethany, I see you're a "mom of Jimmy." Me, too. I've got a feeling mine is older than yours, though (31). :) Hope you've all got a good book to enjoy today.

mez said...

On a Killer's Trail sounds great, I enjoy second chance at love stories. Susan you are one of my favorite authors. Thanks for a chance to win.

Teri Wilson, Romancing the pet lover's soul said...

Sounds like a wonderful book! Thanks for the contest.
Blessings, Teri

Anonymous said...

Wow, 5 years to publishing. That sounds quick to a reader. But I am sure not to a writer. :) Thanks for the opportunity.


Susan Page Davis said...

It's great to hear from both people who have read some of my books and those who are just discovering them. Bev, it seemed like forever at the time, but it was God's timing!

Nancy Farrier said...

Susan, this sounds like a great book. I enjoyed Frazier Island.

ladystorm said...

I would love to read this book it sounds really good.

ladystorm282001 at yahoo dot com

Becca Dowling said...

On a Killer's Trail sounds intriguing. Please enter me in the drawing.


HollyMag said...

Sounds like a great book. I hope to read it. Would love to be entered in the drawing.

Blessings to you both,

Mary said...

Enjoyed the interview and would love to read the book. It sounds great. malward2002[at]yahoo[dot]ca

Deborah said...

please enter me!