Suzanne Smith describes herself as a ‘dark romance’ author…
Which, of course, makes her one of my literary heroines! Suzanne Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed novel ‘The Brute and I’. Her short story ‘The Mortal Vampire’ is featured in ‘Mystic Desire’, a paranormal anthology published by Black Velvet Seductions. Her short story ‘Bullets and Bustles’ will appear in the upcoming ‘Cowboy Desire’ anthology, also by Black Velvet Seductions. (I’ll be sharing a cover credit with her, at long last! That’s like getting a part in a movie with your favorite actress!)
So without any further ado, ladies and gentlemen… I give you the one, the only, SUZANNE SMITH!!!
When did you start writing? What made you first decide to try your hand at it?
I started writing a few years ago. I was looking for a hobby to occupy my time when I retire from my day job, sometime in the near future. I took several online writing courses with a fabulous teacher/editor named Laurie Sanders. It was fun and challenging so I stuck with it. Writing seemed to be tailor made for me.
What was your first published work? What do you think of it now?
My first book, The Brute and I, was published in 2018 by Ric Savage at BVS. I think that my writing style was good, but, if I were writing it now, I’D edit the beginning chapters a bit more. For example, the hero’s parents were killed by a drunk driver. He hangs on to a lock of his mother’s hair and her wedding dress to show the reader that he has never really recovered from her death. In hindsight, I only needed to use one of these items to get my point across. Using both only slowed the pacing of the story down.
Do you have stories you want to write that you haven’t yet?
So many. I’m pretty good at conveying emotion in my work and my descriptive writing is decent, but what I’ve yet to put into my stories is humor. Not slap stick stuff, but that gut felt, unapologetic, jaw dropping dark humor in the face of brutality. Think along the lines of Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. I hope someday soon to be able to nail that.
Are you a ‘normal’ person who likes to write, or do you consider yourself more of the tormented/driven ‘artist’ type?
I’m normal. I don’t seem to have an addictive personality like the more tormented, driven writers do. But,my characters are tormented so maybe that says something about me. Lol.
Do you drink? Why or why not?
I’ll have a few beers every now and then, but I’m not much of a drinker. I find it hard to concentrate when I drink. That, and I don’t really like the taste of booze. Whiskey, tequila, vodka- yuck. I do enjoy strawberry daiquiris though, so there may be some hope for Puerto Rican rum.
If you could see one of your stories made into a movie, which one would you pick and why?
Maybe my short story, titled The Mortal Vampire, in the Mystic Desire Anthology by BVS. This one has what I consider to be a very original twist to it. Unfortunately, I can’t say what that is without giving too much of the story away.
How does your life experience influence your writing?
Growing up a poor kid in Chicago, I learned that life isn’t always fair and can knock you off your feet without warning. But, I also learned to get back up quickly. I think that “down but not out” warrior like mentality is reflected in each of my characters.
Do you try to keep your stories within their pre-determined genres, or do you just tell the story your way regardless of genre expectations?
For the most part, I tell my story my way. But the happy ever after ending that is required in romance is sometimes a compromise.
Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kinds? Does music influence your stories?
No. Music distracts me. But many times, when I’m listening to a song while I’m working out or running errands, I’ll think, wow, that reminds me of the relationship between my hero and heroine. The song You Say (the Anthem Lights version) makes me think of the characters Lilah Evans and Philippe Renault in my current work in progress, tentatively titled Lilah’s Limit. A beautiful melody with lyrics full of love and hope.
Is your writing time planned out or structured? Do you go on writing ‘benders’?
My writing time is not planned out or structured. I don’t write at a certain hour every day. I don’t even write every day. I may have one day that I don’t write anything at all, but the next day, I may write six hours. So, I guess I’d qualify as a writer who goes on benders.
What to you is the most rewarding aspect of being a writer?
Connecting with people from all over the world. For someone from the UK, Australia, Canada or anywhere else thousands and thousands of miles away to tell me that they read my book astonishes me. It makes me feel somewhat omnipresent.
If you could pick anyone to narrate one of your books, who would it be?
Lawrence Fishburne. I love his voice. Deep, clear, commanding. It’s almost hypnotic.
Which character of yours is your favorite? Why? Whom would you pick to play him/her/it in a movie?
So far, Emma Tombs in the newly released Cowboy Desire Anthology by BVS is my favorite. In spite of all the terrible life experiences she’s been through and all of the awful things she’s done, she still believes in redemption and the power of love. She’s a complex character. I can’t really think of a young actress that could tap into her hidden layers. Maybe Reese Witherspoon could pull it off.
Do you write when you take a vacation, or do you prefer to simply relax?
I simply relax.
Do you prefer to read fiction that’s similar to what you write, or do you pick different types of stories?
I will read any type of fiction but I always seem to gravitate toward the darker, more disturbing stories, which oddly enough is similar to what I write.
What’s your favorite movie? Why?
Gladiator. Because I’ve always been fascinated with ancient Rome, especially the politics. And, I must say, I think Russell Crowe completely owns the role of Maximus. I can’t imagine anyone else playing that part as well as he did.
What’s a question I haven’t asked that you’d like to answer?
You didn’t ask me if my kitty jumping up on my keyboard when I least expect it sparks my creativity. Just kidding, of course. I think you pretty much covered everything.
THANK you, Suzanne! It was an honor to host you.
SUZANNE’S BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE FROM BOTH AMAZON AND BARNES AND NOBLE. (I’d post links, but Amazon’s link is rather invasive and makes my page go all buggy. Sorry ’bout that!)
TO CONNECT WITH SUZANNE:
On twitter @Suzanneromance
TO READ MY REVIEWS OF SUZANNE’S STORIES: