Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Susan Royal Author Of In My Own Shadow and Not Long Ago

Welcome, Susan, to my blog today. It is great to meet another fellow author from MuseItUp.

Hello Kay! I’m delighted to be a guest on your blog. I signed with MuseItUp for the first time in June 2011, and what a journey it’s been. My life is filled with things I only used to dream about. In short, it’s been a wonderful experience. Along the way, I’ve met some wonderful people. Some of them live on the other side of the world, some on the other side of the country and some in my own little part of the world, but we all have one thing in common. We are wordsmiths. We write about worlds that exist only in our own minds. The voices of our characters speak to us, and we feel compelled to tell their stories.          

It has been an exciting journey. I've enjoyed getting to know many authors from all over the place. I have enjoyed reading your two books In My Own Shadow and Not Long Ago. My reviews will come later. Right now let's get to know Susan a little bit better. 

I live in a 100-year-old farmhouse in a small east Texas town that comes complete with a female ghost who harmonizes from time to time with my youngest son when he plays guitar.  I’ve never heard her, but at sometimes on a cold winter night, I’ve felt the covers moving across the end of the bed as though she’s making sure my feet stay warm. Sounds like a story, right? Some day…
It does sound like my type of story.
     I’m married, with three children and four grandchildren who have been wonderful a support in my efforts to be a writer. I couldn’t have done it without them. My family is rich with characters, both past and present. I spent my childhood listening to my grandmother’s stories of living on a farm in Oklahoma Territory with three sisters and three brothers and working as a telephone operator in the early 20th century.  My father shared stories of growing up in San Antonio in the depression, and through her mother’s eyes I was able to experience how it felt to be a teenager during WWII.
1. Tell us about your book and how the story came to be.  
I had the idea for this story years and years ago. I’d envision certain scenes like the fight in the parking lot, or when Rhys first pulled Lara into an alternate reality. I knew I wanted it to be an adventure Lara never expected in a world beyond her dreams. This was the first novel I wrote, the first one I completed. And I put it aside to write Not Long Ago. After it was published, I decided I needed to go back to In My Own Shadow and put into effect the things I’d learned.
 2. What three words best describe your main character?  
Stubborn, sarcastic, reluctant
3. Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
I like to create characters with hidden strengths they do not realize they possess. They do stupid things, they get their feelings hurt, they make mistakes just like anyone. Names are very important to me. I’ve been known to write several chapters developing a character before I decide on a name. I’ve even gone back and changed names. It has to be just right to suit me. In my first book I used my grandson’s middle name for one of my main characters. In this one I played a little with spellings and different versions to get the right ones.
4. Do your characters follow your plot path or do they take on a life of their own? Do you keep them in check?
I put my characters in a situation and try to figure out how they would react to it. I know how I want the story to end. I just don’t always know exactly how they’ll get there.
5. Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If so, how did you over come it?
Not really. If I can’t get motivated, it’s usually because I have a scene in the back of my mind that wants to be written. When that happens, I go with the flow and work it in later. I listen to music for whatever mood I’m trying to create. I get up and do a load of wash or cook something. My mind continues to work on the story, and sooner or later I figure it out.
6. What types of books do you like to read?
Science fiction, urban fantasy, young adult, fantasy, historical fiction, paranormal, mysteries, adventures
7. What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
I live in an old house that is always in a state of remodel and I love finding new ways to decorate it. I paint with acrylics, sew, cook and craft. I am an avid garage sale, flea market fanatic. I love reading and movies. I love to repurpose things.  Family is a big part of my life and I enjoy my husband, children and grandchildren, along with my extended family.
8. What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
Of course! I am continuing Griffin and Erin’s story that began in Not Long Ago. This book takes place on a mysterious island filled with time travelers, fairies and smugglers.

Oh, I can't wait to read it.  
9. What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
If your story needs to be fixed, you can fix it. You are, after all, the author.
10. Where can readers find you and your books? 
Buy link for In My Own Shadow:
Buy link for Not Long Ago:
     My current book, In My Own Shadow, is a Fantasy adventure/romance and will debut May 10, 2013. My first book, Not Long Ago, is a time travel adventure/romance. Both ebooks are available through MuseItUp/Amazon/B&N.  I am currently working on a sequel to Not Long Ago, because my daughter insisted there was still more of Erin and Griffin’s story to tell. She was right.
     Let me tell you a little about In My Own Shadow. Actually it was the first book I ever completed. Needless to say, it was rough. I still had a lot to learn. I put it aside and began writing other stories. Before long, the characters in Not Long Ago began to appear in my dreams and I found myself thinking “what if”, followed by “why not” until I completed the story. I began submitting and it ended up being published first. So, I dusted off the manuscript for In My Own Shadow, thinking surely I could get it whipped into shape, submit and publish another book so my readers wouldn’t forget about me. Easy, right? Not so much. I had to rewrite the beginning, not once but several times, expand the characters, expand on the plot and basically rework the entire thing, using what I’d learned with Not Long Ago. But I persevered and I’m glad I did.  Here it is at last.
I give this book a five star review. I loved it. Susan, draws the reader into this strange and different world. Through the main character, Lara, the reader learns about this new world. This story has moments of conflict, mystery, and, of course, young romance. 'It turns out the fortune teller who told me I'd travel far away to find my soul mate was right after all.' Great characters and romance that will melt your heart. Thanks, Susan, for a good read.
Please comment and don’t forget to leave your email address to be entered in a drawing to win an ecopy of In My Own Shadow.

Buy link for In My Own Shadow:

I give this book a five star review. What a shock to travel back in time and then find out you don't know how to get home. Erin and her employer, March travel back in time. Erin poses as a boy, but it is a secret that is hard to keep. 'I'm only in this cetury temporarily, Kat. Just passing through. I won't be here long enough to get involved with your brother.' Erin faces hard times, but the people in this time become her friends She cares about them and so do I. Thank you, Susan, for a good read. I look forward to reading more about Erin and Griffin.
Thank you, Susan, for being on my blog today.
Thanks so much for having me. I have enjoyed it! Please comment and don’t forget to leave your email address to be entered in a drawing to win an ecopy of In My Own Shadow.
This is a book you will want to read.


  1. Good morning, Kay,

    Hi Susan,
    You're present books sounds like a wild ride of an adventure. Portals, the book of secrets, speaking telepathically. Oh yeah, on my list. The one you are working on now sounds like another great ride. I'm looking forward to seeing it on the market.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Lorrie. I love visiting other 'worlds' through my characters and seeing how they handle things.

  2. This sounds really good and right down my alley. Love the ghost in your house.

    1. Hi Suzanne! You know how it is with old houses. You have to embrace their personality...creaks, rattles, ghosts and all!

  3. Thanks for having me Kay. You have a lovely place and I enjoyed my visit.

  4. And the winner of the drawing is Suzanne! Thanks again for having me, Kay.