Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Make-Believe Monday with Susan Stephens

We're a day late on Make-Believe Mondays this week because I just returned home from the RT convention. It was a pleasure to meet so many authors and readers at the convention and to discover how many of you enjoy reading this little blog. Thank you for all the kind and supportive comments. And now, I would like to introduce Susan Stephens.

Susan, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript
you’re working on now.

I have just finished working on an on-line Daily serial for e-harlequin, called The Venetian's Defiant Woman, which plunged me into the drama and glamorous eroticism of the international Presents genre, and now I’m working on a manuscript for Harlequin Modern Series Extra, which is young and sassy, and very, very sexy, with arguably a lighter look at life and love. For this I’ve taken a super bright heroine, who nevertheless sees herself as a bit of a country bumpkin, and set her in conflict with a wickedly attractive Italian American called Lorenzo Domenico who holds our heroine, Carly’s legal career in the palm of his hand. For Carly and Lorenzo it’s a case of light the blue touch paper, and stand well back!

Debra: Sounds like sparks will be flying in this one.

Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?

Susan: Life itself fills my creative cup. Every day my senses are replenished with the stuff of enough stories to keep me writing well into my dotage! Walking in the countryside seems to be when my ideas crystallize. I start off with the germ of an idea, and by the time I get back home I’m burning to get back to the computer.

Debra: There is something about the motions of walking or riding on a train which allows those creative ideas to flow, isn't there?

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Susan: I hear snatches from the word go, but even though I work to a vague sort of word map I write several drafts before I finish, because it’s only when I get to the end of a book that I understand the journey my characters have taken. I just have to go back at this point and flesh our their sentiments and bring them to life.

Debra: Susan, thank you for joining us here on Make-Believe Mondays to share a bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

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