The girls of Night Owl Romance are pleased that you have granted us an interview
We would love to get to know you
Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I'm a single mom raising two high schoolers, a boy and a girl, really good kids. They're my greatest joy in life. I'm a proud military vet! I was one of the first women to graduate the US Air Force Academy. Then I served in the USAF 7 yrs flying jets. Since getting out in 1989, I've flown with United Airlines. I love food, art, photography, film, writing...of course...and reading. In my off time, I relax, travel, play with my Border Collie, and love going to the movies. (the Terminator is my absolute fav because of the love story, wish it had ended happier :) )
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
OMG, hard question. I'd say, maybe Cameron Tucker from the Scarlet Empress. Not only is she thin and pretty, she's a kick-ass fighter pilot, PLUS, she has Kyber who is the King of Asia, great sex, lots of money, and she gets to live in a palace!
What's your favorite genre to read?
Science fiction romance! I love reading and watching SFR, so no surprise that I started writing what I could never find enough of on the shelves.
Who or what influences you when you write?
My life. I live an adventure-filled, often surreal life, and bits and pieces of what I experience and who I meet leak into every book even as I am writing it. From mundane to outrageous, in some from my real life makes it into my stories.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Why, I lay abed on silken sheets with my pool boy massaging my feet as I dictate my prose to my secretary (6-foot-three, oiled, muscled, all-male) perched on the edge of the mattress...er, sorry...fantasy life taking over again. The real story is that I drop my kids off at school and write until it's time to pick them up. When overseas flying, I wake up (in Asia) at like 2 am and write until whatever city I'm in comes awake. I try to exercise everyday--30 minute walk/jog and pushups. It keeps me and the muse healthy. Oh, and the dog happy, too!
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
Long walks usually help free the log jam. If it's bigger than that, I simply at some point have to write through it. I'm a professional and there are deadlines I must keep.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
I'm so excited about what's coming up! Moonstruck: A Tale of the Borderlands (6-08) is next after How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days (out now!). It's a slightly darker, more complex spin-off of my Otherworldly Men series, and takes me back to my SFR roots begun with my award-winning Star series of books.
Moonstruck: A Tale of the Borderlands kicks off the Borderlands books, what I hope will be an ongoing SFR series. Moonstruck takes place almost entirely on a spaceship after the Drakken surrender and concerns the difficulties in combining the former enemies (as well as Earth) in a cohesive force. They have to learn to work together, and it makes for some great conflict! I pair a female admiral, who I loved writing, with a Hordish second-in-command and former pirate, and a mixed crew of Drakken, Coalition, and Earthlings.
Here's the cover quote: "Grant delivers a riveting plot, compelling characters and a heart wrenching love story..This is a can't-put-down read that draws you in from the first page and doesn't let go until the tension-filled final chapters. I highly recommend it." -Linnea Sinclair, RITA award winning author of Games of Command and The Down Home Zombie Blues
Here's the back cover copy:
PEACE IS FOR LITTLE GIRLS.
And Coalition starship admiral Brit Bandar is one tough woman. A mere intergalactic treaty could never get her to trust the Drakken Horde. There was too much bad blood between the Coalition and the Horde and, for intensely personal reasons, Brit wasn't sure that she was through spilling it! But now a peaceful accord has made Finn Rorkken, a notorious Drakken rogue, second-in command on her starship - and through some grand cosmic irony - front and center in her thoughts.and her heart.
Either title sat easily on Finn's battle-hardened shoulders. Though second-in-command to "Stone-Heart" Bandar? That one would take some getting used to. Peace required as much sacrifice as war, so he'd comply even if his reaction to the gorgeous admiral fell decidedly outside protocol. But would he end up kissing or killing her if the galaxy's tentative truce turned into all out war?
Can I say again how excited I am for this one to come out? It's due on the shelves end of May 2008.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
I mentioned my next two books already, and there's more. It's a really busy year for me. I'm working on a novella for Mysteria II (Berkley), a non-paranormal (eek!) military suspense for Silhouette Suspense, and another full-length novel for HQN, probably a second Borderlands book. All three are nearly due at once! Oy!
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? In general and in you're writing career.
In five years both my kids will be in college, freeing me up quite a bit, if not my wallet! In my writing career, I'd like to see SF romance take off and my career with it. I've tried writing other stuff but my heart's in this mutt of a genre that is often seen as the poor step-cousin of the more popular paranormal genres.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
Looks aside, my perfect hero is a man with a strong sense of honor. They may be scruffy pirates or military commanders, or even assassins, but that honorable streak is strong.
What do you do for inspiration?
Simply put, I live my life and daydream. Lots of daydreams. Watching great movies, especially SF movies and SF TV shows helps, too. For example, I've just returned from almost 2 weeks of exploring Russia and Scandinavia on vacation. I saw the most amazing things, and feel the muse pumped up with great new ideas! I blogged about the trip: www.susangrant.blogspot.com Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
Young adult. What type of book have you always wanted to write?
What I write now. What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
I don't usually enjoy the research process. That's why I prefer to write what I know. And that's why so many of my books center on the military (or fictional shipboard/airplane life, chain of command, etc) or flying, or visiting exotic places, because I have experienced those things for myself. If I had to choose a favorite based on the research, I have to say I enjoyed the 2176 series the most (The Legend of Banzai Maguire, The Scarlet Empress) because I learned so much about American Revolutionary history, and cool technologies like magnetic levitation. Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
They hinder the muse somewhat because I prefer more time to "incubate" an idea, but deadlines also light a fire under my butt to get the book done! Otherwise I'd dawdle. So there's good and bad in having the deadlines.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I have always been creative, and need to create. I always enjoyed writing, but never thought to attempt a novel until I met another mom who'd written a novel. She hadn't published it but I was so taken with the idea of writing a book, I thought: if she can write a novel, I can write a novel! And so I did. That was 1997. It ended up being a massive historical saga with no SF whatsoever! It remains "under the bed." I changed directions and started writing a blend of SF and romance, and sold a little over a year after completing the book, a miracle in this tough-to-sell industry. That was in 1999. I've been lucky to have been published continuously ever since. What would you like to tell your readers?
I hope you will buy my books and other SFR writers' books--new. If we don't have the sales, our little sub-genre of SFR will die away. If you want more like them, buy the books whenever you can. I--and the other SFR authors--thank you from the bottom of our outer-space-loving hearts. Truly. I would not be here writing what I love if not for reader support! What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
Best advice: there has been a lot of good advice, but one of the best is to not chase writing trends
Worst: put away The Star King and write something else: "no one will ever buy a book with a sterile alien hero and a 43-year-old heroine") Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I just start writing after making a very rudimentary outline, and only because the editor requires it! Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
No, I do not. My deadlines are too tight. But I do exchange my manuscripts with an amazing SFR writer, as well as two good friends who simply love to read--and have good eyes for catching errors. What was your first published work and when was it published?
My first published book was the time travel romance Once a Pirate. It was first published in Feb 2000 and is still for sale in stores and online. I hear Dorchester is going to reissue it with a new cover! Hooray! The one it has and has always had is a Stef Ann Holm retread. I always wanted my OWN cover. So have Carly and Andrew. What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
Please visit my website. There I have a printable book list to help with all my series. http://www.susangrant.com/books/booklist.htm
Thank you for this opportunity!