Author Spotlight featuring Lisa Suzanne
Thank you so much Lisa for taking the time to answer these questions for my Blog and being my Inaugural Author Spotlight.
I am a major fan of your work, as you know, and can’t wait to share with my followers!
First off, Congratulations on A Little Like Destiny! I fell in love with this book and already need a reread! How did the premise of this book and characters come to you?
Thank you so much! I’m so excited about this series. This is a long story, but here’s the condensed version:
I’m not sure where exactly the premise and characters came from because I’ve known them a really long time. I remember sitting in a dorm room writing on a yellow legal pad, and I think some of what I was writing had to do with these characters. I graduated college in 2002, so I think I’ve known them somewhere around 15 years. These characters were what ignited my passion for writing. I wrote the original series over the course of many years before I started publishing. Before I became a fulltime author, I was a teacher. I’d come home from school and add more to my story, but I was always too shy to share my words with anyone.
This was the series I finally printed out for my husband probably five or ten years ago… all 300,000 words of it… and he read it and told me I should look into publishing. I loved these characters so much that I was too scared to put them out there as my first published book. Instead, they’re going out as my 14th, 15th, and 16th. Ha! Every time I finished writing a book, I’d open up this document to start the editing process, but then I’d get overwhelmed that I had over 300,000 words to edit and I’d move onto a new project.
When I finished writing Outwait, I decided I wanted to take the bones of the original series and bring these characters into 2017 with me. I mean, Reese had a flip phone. I couldn’t just leave her with a flip phone! The original story is VERY different from the current one, but the current one has some kind of magic to it that I can’t even explain. I might post some excerpts of the original version to my website so you can see how different they are. I love how it’s turning out, and this entire ride has been beyond anything I could’ve ever imagined. Some of my early readers even told me they need a support group, so I created a Facebook group (Vail Tail Fangirls – come join us!).
How many books are you planning in this series? What will be their titles?
I’m planning this to be a three-book series, but I’m almost done writing the third book and I’m not ready to say goodbye to these characters just yet. Book 2 is titled Only Ever You, and it releases September 28. Book 3 is scheduled for a late October release and I can’t tell you the title just yet!
With Mark Ashton being a Rock Star Idol in the book and you’re currently doing a music countdown challenge on your social media pages until the book release. What are you currently listening to? Any songs that stood out to you while writing A Little Like Destiny?
I always listen to music while I’m writing, and the playlist for this one has been a lot of rock music and a bunch of nineties songs. Every book I’ve ever written has one song I played on repeat while writing it, but I couldn’t find that song for this book. I did a song challenge in my reader group a couple months ago and someone mentioned a remake of “The Sound of Silence” by Disturbed. I’d just heard it on the radio a day or two before she mentioned it, and that became the song I listened to on repeat while I wrote book 2. The bands that appear the most on the playlist for this series are Maroon 5, Matchbox Twenty, Buckcherry, Nickelback, Motley Crue, Metallica, Stone Temple Pilots, Third Eye Blind, and Pearl Jam.
Before embarking on being a full time author, you were a High School English Teacher. How was it living this double life writing and teaching? Did any of your past students find out?
When I first started publishing, I’d been teaching at the same school for six or seven years. I decided to write under a pen name (my first and middle name), and I told them that I was publishing but didn’t tell them my name. They begged and pleaded, but I said I’d never tell! I told my colleagues as well, but I only told my closest friends my actual pen name. When I switched schools for the last two years of my teaching career, I only told my best work friend, and it was after we’d been working together for half a year. I didn’t tell any of my students, which was really hard because I had several who loved writing. I’d try to give them advice and talk about the publishing process without giving anything away. I posted on my “real name” Facebook account about my pen name (and several former students friended me once they graduated), so the secret is out now. People were shocked, but the support has been great!
One time my principal came up as a suggested friend on my author Facebook account! I’ve known him for a long time and I confessed to him at a happy hour once that I wrote books, and when I told him my pen name, he told me he thought I wrote kids books. I told him… well sometimes they lead to having kids… Hahaha!
I really like your book characters’ names how do you come up with them?
Thank you! Some come easier than others! The only one that sort of has a story is Mark Ashton. When I first started writing his character, I loved Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray, so I picked Mark as a first name. Then I needed a cool sounding last name and Ashton Kutcher was really popular at the time. So Mark Ashton was born. Ha! I liked the name Reese because I’d originally pictured her as a pretty blonde like Reese Witherspoon. And I’m not sure why I picked Brian. I just always liked the name! As for my other books, sometimes I search baby name sites, sometimes the character names him/herself, and sometimes I put in a place holder name until I can come up with a better one. That happened in my Vintage series. I picked Parker because I was obsessed with Parker Hurley at the time, and the name just stuck and Parker James was created.
Where do you prefer to write? Coffee shop, home, outside, hotel?
I usually write at home, but twice a week, my parents watch my 19-month-old and I go to Starbucks for a couple of hours. I usually write at the kitchen table, on the couch, or in bed. I like writing outside once in a while, but that’s not an option in Arizona in the summer!
I’m always curious what Romance Novel Author’s significant others think of their work/job? My husband has a strong opinion about what he thinks I am reading about in my books… **Cough*** book porn ***cough*** haha
Haha! My husband is the most supportive husband I could ever dream up. He reads all my books even though contemporary romance isn’t his preferred genre. He talks plot with me and helps me figure out where to go when I write myself into a corner. He cares about my success as much as I do. He’s also my “business manager” and tracks my ads, checks my newsletters before I send them out, gives opinions on teasers and covers, etc. He’s part of every step of the process!
What is your coffee/tea drink of choice?
At home, I drink coffee all day (half-caff so I don’t get jittery fingers when I’m trying to type hahaha). Just a regular cup with a lot of sugar free French vanilla cream. At Starbucks I usually get a skinny vanilla latte.
Do you have a certain thing that you do to celebrate your latest book release?
I do! Every time I publish a book, I order a 34 X 22 canvas print of my book cover. I hang them all up in my “office” book room. I also usually go out to dinner and celebrate with something alcoholic.
Answer the following question on my Instagram post to enter to win an
Answer the following question on my Instagram page on the pictured post below to enter to win an eBook of A Little Like Destiny! This giveaway is open TODAY ONLY and closing at 9pm PST!
What is your favorite part of the Author Spotlight about Lisa Suzanne?
CONGRATULATIONS Lisa on A Little Like Destiny!
I cannot wait for Book 2 in the series. If you haven’t picked up this book yet, GO NOW!
Reserved and responsible Reese Brady refuses to miss her chance with bad boy rock star Mark Ashton. After one steamy night, she’s convinced the emotional connection they shared was just a figment of her imagination. After all, he’s a womanizer whose affairs are highly publicized.
Reese strives to leave that night behind her after a handsome business mogul asks her to dinner. Her relationship with Brian Fox quickly escalates into something meaningful, but Reese never expects the secret that emerges when he finally invites her to his penthouse.
She fell in love with a rock star the last time she was there. How could she know she’d fall in love with his brother next?
I promise this book is a MUST READ!
Lisa Suzanne is a romance author who resides in Arizona with her husband and baby boy. She’s a former high school English teacher and college composition instructor. When she’s not cuddling baby Mason, she can be found working on her latest book or watching reruns of Friends