Thursday, September 01, 2011

Guest Interview - Susan Andersen

Thanks Susan for visiting with us today! We look forward to learning more about you!

Susan Andersen writes contemporary romance with touch of suspense and comedy to keep things interesting.

Her books have garnered two Reviewers Choice Awards from Romantic Times Bookclub magazine, spent many weeks on the USAToday and the New York Times extended bestseller lists, and have twice been included in RWA's Top Ten Favorite Books Of The Year.

She's a native of the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband and "The Boys"--her cats Boo and Mojo.

1. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not writing?
I have several fave things. I like walking with my brothers and (on Wednesdays) with my friend Joey. Love hanging with my husband, son and friends—and Girls Nights with my BFF. Enjoy seeing stage plays with girlfriends. I always adore reading and enjoy catching up on a few shows on TV. And I love to dance.

2. What books are sitting in your TBR pile right now? What book are you currently reading?

My TBR pile has gotten crazy out of hand, so there are too many to list. But a few I’m particularly excited to read are Susan Sey’s Money Shot, Julie Anne Long’s I Kissed An Earl, Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches, Robyn Carr’s Angle Peak (I discovered her late and am happily making my way through her back list) and Suzanne Brockmann’s Breaking The Rules.

I’m currently reading a ms for a quote but have barely gotten into it—I mean, I’ve literally just started it, so I don’t have a clue yet if I’ll love it or not. I hope so, as I adore discovering new (to me) writers.

3. Please, share something you found most interesting or fun that you did to research for a book.

I based my plotline for Dirty around the idea of inserting Cade back into Ava’s life through a documentary he was making about the mansion she and BFFs Poppy and Jane had inherited from Agnes Wolcott--their eccentric benefactress and friend--and the old mystery surrounding the murder of Agnes’ man of business and theft of the Wolcott Suite of diamonds back in the 80s. It wasn’t until I started writing the book that I realized, hel-lo--I know nothing abou
t that industry. My favorite research is talking to people in the industry I’m writing about, as they give the best information. I’ll go to library or Internet research in a pinch. But in this instance I knew no one and didn’t find much about how to make a documentary (at least not on a professional level) through my usual channels.

I was just thinking What have I gotten myself into when I remembered Virginia Bogert. Virginia was the wife of my husband’s boss at a company where the soul mate worked about 20 years ago. At the time she was a production coordinator for a local Seattle movie company and she and I hit it off at company get togethers. We’d long lost touch but I took a chance and called the old number I had for her. I left a message that basically said, “I’m sure you don’t remember me but”. . .and laid out my hope that she might know a documentary producer in the area I could interview. She left me a message (thank God for message machines) saying she did remember me and as it happened she was now a documentary producer. Now fortuitous was that? We got together and she gave me the best information! She told me stuff that shaped several scenes and she was generous beyond belief in my many follow up inquiries.

Sometimes karma is actually kind.

4. How did you come up with names - or - setting - or - character occupations - or - plot, etc. for Playing Dirty?

The setting for the entire Sisterhood Diaries Trilogy (Cutting Loose, Bending The Rule
s and Playing Dirty) was so fun for me, because I brought it on home. I’m a Seattle woman, born and raised, and I had a blast setting these books in my home town. Seattle is a city of neighborhoods, each of which has its own flavor and eccentricities, and I got the opportunity to showcas
e a small portion of them.

The occupations were also fun to do as all three heroines were creative in their ow
n way. Jane is the more buttoned up of the three, but as a junior curator at the fictitious Metropolitan, which I loosely fashioned after the Seattle Art Museum, she expresses her inner creative bent through the exhibits she puts son. Poppy is a child of former hippies and the true artist of the three, but her real passion is bringing art to disadvantaged kids. And Ava is a personal concierge. She likes taking care of people, loves making their lives easier. I got a great deal of pleasure out of exploring all three occupations.

5. Action adventure or romantic comedy? What is your favorite movie lately?

I very rarely get to the movies, but two I am dying to see are The Help (loved the book) and Hysteria, because it looks, well, hysterical.


Anne said...

I have Playing Dirty on my TBR pile right now. I like the humor in Susan's books and the secondary suspense element in this book interests me as well.

Virginia said...

Great interview! I have not read your books before so I will have to check them out. I love a book with humor and suspense, so your's sound like they would be right up my ally.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

I'm headed out to find your latest books...and maybe see same movie!

CrystalGB said...

Great interview. I like Susan's books.

susan andersen said...

Anne, I hope you enjoy!

Virginia, if you have an e-reader, Baby, I'm yours is currently $2.99 and Playing Dirty is $3.99. Love the roll back prices!

girlygirl, from your lips to Hollywood's ear (re: the movie!)

Judy said...

I love reading about those "magical" connections: When the student is ready, the teacher appears. :-)

susan andersen said...

Crystal, gotta love me a reader who like's my work! ;-D

susan andersen said...

I obviously spend way too much time on facebook--I keep looking for the like button! ;->

If any of you are interested, I'd love to see you on my fb page. It's:

catslady said...

Humor and suspense are two of my favorites. My daughter both loved the book and movie, The Help. And my husband's favorite place to live is Seattle. If my family didn't live clear acrosss the country, we'd probably have lived there. Your books sound wonderful and I hope to read them some day!

Judy F said...

Hi Susan. I love your books. Glad Ava got her story. I loved this whole series.

I hope to see The Help some day.
Great interview

Lucy Monroe said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, Susan! :) *I* loved reading your interview and the book? Is on my Kindle in the top TBR spot. :)

susan andersen said...

Judy, it's true. It's also that so many degrees of separation thing--I'm constantly amazed the connections I find among friends and family.

catslady, if you ever get the chance to read them I hope you enjoy!

JudyF, thank you! I'm so glad I got to tell Ava's story, as well. And I've got the Help on my to see list.

Lucy, thanks so much for inviting me!

Jane said...

"Just For Kicks" is one of my favorite books of all time. I like action adventures and rom coms. I haven't been to the theater in a while, but I did enjoy X-Men First Class.

Joni said...

What an awesome interview. Just loved all the answers! I've just started on your "Sisters" series. Wanted to get all the books first. So far I'm liking the first one and am sooo envious of the friendships these three women have that I'd not had with anyone until the internet came along! Now I have so many and can't keep track of them all on a daily basis. But when we lose touch a bit and talk again, it's like we just take up where we left off. Great blessings to everyone who form strong, substantial friendships! :-)

susan andersen said...

Jane,I'm so glad you enjoyed Kicks! The showgirl duo was a fun set of books to write.

Joni, isn't the Internet the best for connecting with people? It's added a richness to my life, although it can be a heck of a time sink at times.

Dannyfiredragon said...

Hi Susan, I will definitely grab a copy of Playing dirty when in the States next week. Sounds like a great book

susan andersen said...

Dannyfiredragon, I hope you enjoy it!
Where's your home?

SiNn said...

awesome interview I ghave a couple of ur books in my tbr pile so will pull them out add to the top of the list and i sooo wanna seethe movie the help looks awesome i haventr ead the book but now i wanna doboth

Norma said...

Great interview! I'm always fascinated about how authors get their ideas and locations. As a librarian I'm also glad to see that the public library still comes in handy too. Looking forward to reading this.