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Susanne Marie Knight

Award-winning author Susanne Marie Knight specializes in Romance Writing with a Twist! She is multi-published with books, short stories, and articles in such diverse genres as science fiction, Regency, mystery, paranormal, suspense, time-travel, fantasy, and contemporary romance.
Originally from New York, Susanne lives in the Pacific Northwest, by way of Okinawa, Montana, Alabama, and Florida. Along with her husband, daughter, and feisty Siamese cat, she enjoys the area's beautiful ponderosa pine trees and wide, open spaces--a perfect environment for writing. For more information about Susanne, please visit her website at www.susanneknight.com.


Q: What made you start writing and when did you start?
For me, reading novels turned into telling stories, which evolved into writing novels. I've been writing for seventeen years, combining fantasy with my own particular kind of reality, thus my motto: Romance Writing With A Twist.

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?
To answer this question, I'll mention authors I read as I was growing up specifically in the three areas that I write: romantic suspense/mystery, science fiction, and Regencies. For powerful stories that stretch the imagination, I thank Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein. For the elegance and charm of Regencies, I'm indebted to Georgette Heyer. For the challenge of a juicy murder mystery, I applaud Agatha Christie. Also, I'd like to commend Stephen King on his story-telling ability, his willingness to experience the world of electronic publishing, and his determination to overcome a horrific accident. I particularly enjoyed his book, ON WRITING.

Q: What type of books do you write? Is there a reason you write (for instance) historical romance rather than science fiction?
I'm a self-confessed incurable romantic. When I was growing up, the one thing I thought that was missing in most novels I read was romance--romance wasn't heavily emphasized. So when I started to write, I had to add my own dash of "happily ever after." I'm very fortunate because I combine romance with the genres I'm interested in: Regency, science fiction, suspense, paranormal, mystery. These are all my favorites to write and to read.

Q: What type of writing schedule do you have? Is it flexible, or do you have a goal for each writing session?
I need to write when I have the most energy flowing so I schedule my writing time for the mornings. Barring the normal interruptions of life, (!) I write three days a week. What's best for me is to have a solid block of time so I can "lose" myself in the story. My goal is to continue writing until I finish a scene or until a new character enters the mix. Then I'm usually done for the day.

Q: What one thing do you like the most about being a writer, and why? What do you like the least?
I love being a writer because for me, writing is a form of fantasy--a chance to live vicariously by experiencing things perhaps I've only dreamed about. Where else can I travel to the center of the galaxy, journey back in time, or hold conversations with a Shakespeare-quoting ghost and still be home in time for dinner?! I write to express myself, to tell stories, to see how my characters interact with each other, to discover a compelling tale. I love to stretch my limits and see if I can deliver on a plot or theme--perhaps in a different genre.

Q: What one thing do you like the most about being a writer, and why? What do you like the least?
What do I like the least? Hmmn, I guess the hardest part is the drained feeling I have at the end of the day. I tend to get so involved in writing that time passes very quickly and before I know it, my shoulders and back are aching from being in a hunched over position for hours on end. Plus, to be truthful, slaving away in Martian mines is really hard work! Not to mention the strain of engaging in a proper conversation with a British lord or two!

Q: How much of your own life and experiences do you put into your books?
I like to include a *little* something from my life experiences in each novel. It's usually something small, but special to me. For example, for THE COMING, I traveled through the Bermuda Triangle--twice--and lived to tell about it! PAST INDISCRETIONS--I do have family in Missouri. JANUS IS A TWO-HEADED GOD--I used to wear a Yankees baseball cap as a kid. In August's upcoming Regency THE CONTRARY CONTESSA--as a child, it was really was a "sin" for food to grow cold! GRAVE FUTURE--I did get lost in the Poconos looking for a friend's summer home. THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD--at one time I did have oddly colored hair like the heroine. LORD DARVER'S MATCH--I almost overturned a row boat. With thirteen books to my name, I could go on and on.

Q: What comes first--the plot, the characters, or the setting?
I'd say the plot, then the characters. Actually, I usually start my stories with the "what if" scenario. What if "having a nice spot of tea" took on a sinister meaning? (TAINTED TEA FOR TWO) What if a young woman learned about a cure for her sick brother... but had to travel to the center of the galaxy to obtain it? (JANUS IS A TWO-HEADED GOD) What if a golden coin had the power to change one's fortunes? (THE MAGIC TOKEN) What if a lonely woman's dream man turned out to be her arrogant, new boss? (LOVE AT THE TOP) These are just a few examples. I use "what if" to figure out where I'm going, then I choose my characters and let them decide what will happen next. This is not the most efficient method to use, however I enjoy writing novels this way, because I rarely know how my characters are going to solve their problems!

Q: Do you ever suffer from writer's block? Have you found any effective ways for dealing with it?
Yes, every project has at least one writer's block allotted... usually more! My advice is to take a complete break from your work. Perhaps concentrate on another area of writing, like doing some form of self-promotion or organizing your files. Creative writing is a "right brain" activity; you use the right hemisphere of your brain for creative and emotional behavior. To give that side of your brain a rest, try activities that involve your left brain, which include organizing, writing factual articles, mathematics, etc. Very often, while you're concentrating on an unrelated task, you're actually thinking about your writing. Once you're refreshed, it's amazing how the ideas then seem to flow and you're soon back at the keyboard, quickly pounding out your words.

Q: What's your current writing project? How did you come up with the idea?
I've started a new Regency entitled, A CONTINENTAL MARRIAGE. An earl's unwanted American granddaughter has to decide which side of the Atlantic she prefers. The idea of feisty American pitted against a proper Englishman intrigues me and as always, I'm following the "what if" scenario.

Q: Tell us about one fan letter you received that really touched your heart.
Receiving feedback from fans is always a thrill! :)) One reader told me not only did she reread my time-travel Regency, TIMELESS DECEPTION, but the second time while reading it, she was so engrossed she almost missed her train stop! And a fan just wrote to tell me how much he enjoyed PAST INDISCRETIONS because I "cleverly bring together the past and mythology." To hear how your book touches a reader's heart is the ultimate compliment, and all fan letters are GREATLY appreciated.

Q: Anything more you'd like to say?
I am very honored to have my newest book, THE COMING, published by Awe-Struck ebooks/Earthling Press, along with January's release, PAST INDISCRETIONS, and the award-winning JANUS IS A TWO-HEADED GOD. Be sure to look for THE CONTRARY CONTESSA, to be released in August. If you like Romance Writing with a Twist, I invite you to visit my website at: www.susanneknight.com and sign up for my free e-newsletter.