Author Spotlight with Susan Hanniford Crowley
K.S. Hello and welcome to the blog. I am very excited to have you here. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself.
S.H.C. I’m a cross-over author from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and when I’m not being paranormal and writing sizzling love scenes, I edit for a science fiction and fantasy magazine (not a romance venue). I have been married for 31 years, have two grown daughters, and am currently questing for a cat. My collection of dragons keeps getting bigger. I still have no talent with plants no matter how hard I try, and I’m wild about paranormal romance. It’s the greatest fun.
K.S. Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?
S.H.C. I love to write in my pajamas. I think it’s because it keeps me in that half sleep, half awake world.
K.S. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?
S.H.C. I was eight when I started writing stories about squirrels. When I was 12, I wrote a spy novel that was passed around covertly throughout my class in school. I’ve always wanted to write novels. It was how to write it that was a question for me.
K.S. What genre do you write?
S.H.C. I write in paranormal romance which is wonderful as by RWA definitions it encompasses science fiction romance and fantasy romance as well as stories about supernaturals.
K.S. What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career? Or, who is your favorite author and why?
S.H.C. My favorite author also became my first editor—Marion Zimmer Bradley. When I read THE MISTS OF AVALON and THE FIREBRAND, I felt transported. That’s my goal for my readers to be transported and to have fun. When I switched over to paranormal romance, the world opened up to me in how to express my characters and their lives. I love the utter freedom and abandon of it.
K.S. What does your family think of your writing?
S.H.C. My husband is very supportive. He’s a very romantic guy and very inspiring. My daughters grew up with mom being a writer and going to science fiction conventions. When I expanded into paranormal romance, they were all for it.
K.S. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book?
S.H.C. I had written three full length manuscripts before the fourth which became THE STORMY LOVE LIFE OF LAURA CORDELAIS. When I switched into paranormal romance, I joined RWA and a local chapter. The education with the romance authors was just enormous. After almost 25 years, I joined them and their workshops are so good, I got a better handle on the different parts of writing. They are crystal clear in their suggestions and examples and how to write. If you get a chance to get to a writer’s conference given by a RWA chapter, sign up immediately. Their education is priceless.
K.S. What inspired you to write your novel?
S.H.C. Dreams. I dreamt about Laura and David for months before writing the book. I actually didn’t want to at first as I was working on something else. But the characters were persistent.
K.S. Can you tell us a little about your novel?
S.H.C. Here’s an Excerpt from THE STORMY LOVE LIFE OF LAURA CORDELAIS:
The blood oozed into her mouth, as he pressed his arm against her lips. At first, she choked and sputtered but then finally accepted it. Laura tried not to think about what it really was. The warmth reminded her of ginger tea with a citrus tang.
“Since I am your sire, my blood will give you a balanced mind. You will not need to feed again until tonight.”
After a few more minutes, she pushed him away. The wound on his arm healed before her eyes. Wide-eyed, she smiled. “I feel so strong and well. I don’t ache or hurt anywhere.” Then his reference to being her sire struck her. “So you own me now!” Her anger flared again along with her strength. She slapped him.
“What was that for?” He held his hand to his cheek.
“Oh, I don’t know. You made me a vampire and now you own me. Take your pick.”
David gazed upward. “This isn’t going well.”
“Who are you talking to?”
Laura scoffed. “A vampire talks to God? Does God answer you?”
David frowned at her and sighed. ”God apparently has one hell of a sense of humor.”
“What does that mean?”
“Never mind. Let’s get back to the subject at hand. No, I do not own you. I have no claim on you whatsoever. You are free to decide where you want to be and with whom. I’ll help you get started, that’s all.” With every word, he seemed more uncomfortable. “We do have a blood tie though, so if you ever need my help, just think of me and I’ll come. I’ll find you.”
Her anger dissipated. Laura enjoyed seeing him vulnerable. And he didn’t hit her back. She smiled. “I don’t know your name.”
“I’m David Hilliard.”
This time she gently touched his face. “I’m Laura Cordelais.”
He held her hand to his cheek and closed his eyes.
Laura gasped as she realized her surroundings. “Do you live here?”
“No.” He chuckled. “I just needed to get you out of the sun. I have an apartment.”
“Well, that’s a relief. I thought I’d have to live in a cemetery.”
They both laughed.
Laura looked around at the grim tomb. A spider crawled up the stone wall nearest her, and she trembled. “I’m afraid of small, closed spaces. And bugs.”
He enclosed her in his arms. “Don’t be afraid. As soon as it’s dark, we’ll leave.”
Her mouth was so close to his, she could almost taste him. Then he pressed his firm lips against hers.
Hmm. He tastes of honey. I love honey.
Their fangs knocked together. Laura giggled nervously.
“Shall we try that again?” he suggested.
David gently took her chin and tilted her head slightly. Then his lips possessed hers again. Laura tingled from head to toe and wondered if a vampire was capable of love. She hoped David was.
When their lips parted, Laura frowned.
“I’m still angry with you.”
“Really? You don’t sound that angry.”
“I’m furious with you. I mean you made me a vampire.”
“Are you furious?” He carefully pushed a hair off her face and kissed her forehead.
“Now that’s not fair. Are you using your hypnotic powers on me?”
“No. I want everything between us to be real.” He kissed her left temple and moved down her jaw line. His mouth caressed her lips. His tongue rubbed her fangs.
K.S. Where can we find your novel?
S.H.C. You can find my two novellas (which are a prequel and a sequel) as well as the novel at All Romance Ebooks http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thestormylovelifeoflauracordelais-374695-139.html
And at Amazon Books as a Kindle and other fine ebook stores. I’m currently waiting for a print release date.
K.S. Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?
My website is http://www.susanhannifordcrowley.com
My romance blog that I share with friends is http://nightsofpassion.wordpress.com It’s always fun with something new every day and a wealth of writing information.
I also have The Writing House which talks only about writing and the writer’s life http://thewritinghouse.blogspot.com
I’m on Twitter as SHCrowley and I’m Susan Hanniford Crowley on Facebook.
K.S. Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?
S.H.C. Get the best possible education on writing you can from writers who sell books. You’ll learn the craft and the business, which is what you need to be published now. Don’t be afraid to go to someone else’s conference, because the craft of writing doesn’t change from genre to genre. Okay, writing hot love scenes may not be your cup of tea, but at a local romance writer’s conference that’s one or two workshops. The rest have titles like writing a great hook (that’s your book’s beginning), creating strong characters, how not to have your plot’s middle sag, etc. I could go on and on with all the workshops that apply to writers across the board. And in my too many years of experience, no one does it better than the romance authors. We have authors from other genres at our conferences all the time.
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