Monday, February 7, 2011
Interview With Debut Author, Suzanne Ferrell
Award-winning author Suzanne Ferrell often day dreamed of far away places, dangerous situations and strong, sexy men. When she picked up her pen to write her first novel, little did she know how powerful those dreams could be.
A lover of Westerns from a young age, Suzanne’s heroes stand tall in the saddle in the face of danger, living and loving by their own code of honor. Lucky are the women who find themselves at the center of their passions.
Born and raised in the mid-west, it took Suzanne a few years to get to Texas, the land of her favorite heroes. Now that she’s here it feels like home to her, her husband and mixed-breed dog, Rocky.
Please welcome my good friend and fellow chaptermate whose first book debuted last week. A double Golden Heart Finalist, Suzanne is here to answer my questions about THE SURRENDER OF LACY MORGAN, available for download at Ellora's Cave. I read the synopsis and immediately had to have it for my Kindle. I can't wait to find time to read it all. Here's the blurb:
When two steely-eyed, lean-hipped strangers ride into town, Lacy Morgan knows her past has caught up with her. What she doesn’t know is that the U.S. marshals will do whatever’s necessary to capture her stepfather and his gang of murdering thieves, including bringing Lacy to her knees to serve their sexual needs.
Quinn and his blood brother Dakota are searching for the key to finding the band of outlaws who murdered their adoptive father. When they confront the sultry stepdaughter of the gang’s leader, they discover she’s unaware of her natural submissive tendencies.
As they journey to the gang’s lair, each day the men draw Lacy further and further into a sensuality she’s never known and a trust she’d sworn never to surrender to again. Using her lusty body for their combined pleasure, they find themselves ensnared in the same tender trap.
Ooh! Where's my fan?? Without further ado, here's what I asked Suz.
LIZ: Let’s talk a little about you as a writer before we get into you as a debut author. (YAY!!!) How long have you been writing?
SUZANNE: First, thanks for having me here at Mysteries and Margaritas today, Liz and for all your support for me and my book The Surrender of Lacy Morgan. I started writing scenes back in 1993, but finished my first manuscript in 1994. So by the time I got the e-mail from my editor wanting to contract TSoLM last year I’d been at it for 15 years.
LIZ: Take us through a typical writing day for you.
SUZANNE: LOL, there is no typical writing day for me. I work nights and my schedule fluctuates. I do try to work in a few hours of some type of writing every day. It could be from 8-12 in the morning of my day off, or 3-5 in the evening before work, or more frequently between 10pm and 2 am when my insomnia is in full force.
LIZ: Inquiring minds want to know how an Ohio girl like you developed a love of Westerns.
SUZANNE: One of the first biographies I read was Wyatt Earp’s. I think I was all of 10. Couple that with watching Westerns with my Dad on Saturday afternoons and I was hooked. I love any Western that comes out these days, the grittier the better. Oh and by the way, wasn’t True Grit great this season?
LIZ: How did you go from writing Romantic Suspense to Erotica? Except for the sex, is there any difference in your writing style?
SUZANNE: It was a what-the-hell moment. Another agent or editor rejection had come through and I’d just read Jo Davis, my critique partner’s latest erotica. I wondered if I’d be able to write something that complex and yet sexy.
My romances have always been on the sensual side when it comes to sex or romantic scenes. What I found different in writing an erotica was that the scenes needed to be more intense, more frequent and push the boundaries past vanilla. It was also important to me that each episode build on the previous and push the plot along, same as you would in a suspense/mystery. The sex of an erotica becomes an integral part of the characters relationship and the story arc.
LIZ: Where did you get the idea for TSoLM?
SUZANNE: It was a sort of “what if” scenario. What if my heroine was hiding from both the law and the bad guys? What if the heroes found her and she was the key to them finding the bad guys? What if the heroes discovered her hidden submissiveness and plotted to use it to gain her cooperation? What if the heroine has a secret that could change everything and jeopardize the heroes’ goals? What if she had more than one?
LIZ: I have to confess to believing erotica was just a book with a lot of sex. After reading your synopsis for TSoLM, I discovered that you have a wonderful western story with great characters that I know I will fall in love with even more when I find a minute to read my downloaded copy. Tell us the history of this first sale.
SUZANNE: I think a nice glass of wine as you read your copy would be a great idea, Liz! And I know you’ll enjoy Lacy, Quinn and Dakota’s wild ride.
The Surrender of Lacy Morgan was the winner of The 2008 Beacon Unpublished and the CTRWA’s 2009 Unpublished contests, both in the erotica categories. After that I submitted the book to Ellora’s Cave online submission process, which generated an auto reply of “We have received your submission safely and you should be hearing from us within the next two months.”. Having been through this process with other books and other publishers I prepared to wait the full two months. Three days later I received another e-mail that looked like the first so much so that I had to read it a second time. It basically said, “I am a reader for EC. I’ve read your submission and have placed it in the queue for the acquiring editors to read. You should hear from them in 6-8 weeks.” Whoohoo! That was fast!. And again, I prepared to wait the full 6-8 weeks. Two weeks later, I received the enthusiastic request from my now editor that she wanted to read the whole book. Which of course, I sent the next day! It took several more e-mails and my agreement to make some minor edit changes, but finally I received the “I’d like to contract this book” e-mail. Followed by much whooping and hollering and jumping for joy at my house.
LIZ: I love the idea of Dakota being a horse whisperer and the sensitive one and Quinn being the hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners type. Will there be a sequel or two with these great characters?
SUZANNE: Quinn and Dakota have a very strong relationship, bonded by an incident in Dakota’s past when he first came to live at Los Hombres ranch, where both boys and their three other adoptive brothers were raised. While Quinn is definitely a Dominant when it comes to his sexual preferences, I see Dakota as slightly less so, but make no mistake, he’s also a Dominant. He’s also a voyeur, which leads to all sorts of possibilities for him in the future.
LIZ: Without question, my favorite brother is Dakota. If you had to pick either Dakota or Quinn as your favorite, which one would you choose and why? (Sounds like a Miss America contest question!!)
SUZANNE: Ah, the brothers of Los Hombres ranch. There are five: Quinn, the protector; Dakota, the healer; Will, the peacemaker, Nico, out for vengeance; and Ian, out for justice. Each was orphaned by a tragedy and each saved by Anson McCarthy a U.S. Marshal who brought them to his ranch and raised them to be honorable men of the law.
When I wrote TSoLM I loved both Quinn and Dakota for their uniqueness. Right now I’m working on Taming Mercy, which is Will’s book, and he is very special to me. (Shemar Moore is my inspiration for Will.)
But Dakota probably is my favorite. My plans are to take Dakota through at least two of the other brother’s stories before he finds his heroine. And she is going to really be a challenge for him!
Okay, people, this is your chance to find out everything you ever wanted to know about writing an erotica but was afraid to ask. Suz will be checking the blog today and will be glad to answer your questions or just talk about her new book.