Author Spotlight – Susan Hayes
1. Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing? What genre do you write?
I’ve been writing since I was old enough to realize that letters made words, and words put together could become stories. I’ve always loved to write, but I didn’t get serious about it until the death of my little brother. His passing made me realize that time is short, and if I wanted to chase my dreams, I should get moving. Since that day, I’ve written more than twenty-five books in a variety of genres including science fiction, paranormal, and contemporary.
2. What inspired you to write your first book? I had been writing freelance comedy articles for a couple of websites, including Cracked.com. I started wondering if I could switch from non-fiction/humor to writing novels and decided to give it a shot. Since I loved reading romances, writing one seemed a natural choice.
3. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’ve discovered that inspiration is everywhere. A photo. A snippet of conversation overheard in a grocery store. A glimpse of an old couple walking together as I drive home from work. Life is full of stories.
4. Where/When do you do the most of your writing?
I write during my lunch hours at work, and most evenings you can find me in my office at home. I have to have music or a television show on for white noise, and my cat is usually a few feet away, supervising.
5. What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment?
Not giving up. My first book was rejected several times. So was my second book. Even after I was accepted by a publisher, there were hurdles to overcome and so much to learn. It was daunting, but I persevered and I’m glad I did. I love getting to do what I do every day.
6. What series/book did you write that has the biggest following?
The 3013 Series is the one that has the largest readership. Those readers are fantastically supportive and enthusiastic. 3013 has three authors writing in the same, shared world and it’s a great adventure for all of us.
7. Is there anything that you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I’m a pantser. Which means I write by the seat of my pants and don’t know how the story is going to go until the characters and my muse get together and work their magic. Sometimes that works very well. Other times it means that the story can take a surprising turn and I have to go back and tweak the beginning to adapt to the new twist.
8. Are the experiences of your characters based on any of your own or people that you know?
I think every writer bases at least some of their writing on their own life and experiences. I know that I have included elements of my brother’s death and the impact that had on my family in a few stories. My Wilde Brothers series is about a set of brothers who are all connected to law enforcement. My father was a police officer, and I worked as a civilian support staffer at the same police department as him for ten years. Those experiences are absolutely woven into that series.
9. Is there a particular niche or direction you would like to expand your writing portfolio into?
Having written in a variety of genres, now, I have discovered that I have the most fun writing sci-fi and paranormal. They feed my inner geek. I’ll be focusing on those two genres in the future. (At least until my muse informs me differently.)
10. Describe your latest WIP.
I’m currently working on 3013: FURY, which will be out in May, 2016. It’s a sci-fi romance about Danor and Verak, two Krytos (a shifter alien race) brothers who have set their sets on Gina Falcone, a fiercely independent human woman who makes her living as a freighter pilot. To find their Happily Ever After, the three of them will have to overcome the re-appearance of old enemies, new threats, and the challenges of forging three separate lives together, forever.
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