Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Character Discoveries - Susan Stephens

One of the most exciting things for me about writing is the discoveries I make as characters come alive on the page.

The only downside to that is the amount of re-writing involved as back-story, or a sudden unexpected turn of events feeds into the future thinking and actions of a character. Rewriting four or five times can quickly turn 50,000 words into 200,000 or more.

In The Venetian's Bed, my May release for Harlequin Presents, proved quite different because the opening chapters were based on a real-life experience.

As I started writing the story I knew how Nell felt when her young daughter Molly was taken ill with an asthma attack during a gondola ride along the narrow canals in Venice, because I had been in Nell's place years ago. I was that disorientated, terrified, disempowered mother, and it is only now, with my daughter's blessing that I can turn those horrendous few hours into the opening of a romance.

I have an on-line Daily running at the moment on e-harlequin entitled The Venetian's Defiant Woman and this story reflects the magic and allure of Venice, but also harks back in parts to that fear of the unknown which I felt on my earlier visit to this beautiful city.

Magic is stripped away when someone you love is at risk, as happens in the opening chapters of In The Venetian's Bed. Fortunately for Nell and her little girl, Molly there is a happy outcome to the story as thankfully, there was for me and my daughter all those years ago.

As Nell and Luca Barbaro’s story progresses, and fantasy takes over from reality, the magic of Venice comes to the fore. Nell and Luca enter the erotic world of Carnival where anything can and does happen...


Pup-Dog News

Those of you who read my Susan Stephens' Blog will know that I have recently lost a beloved fifteen year old dog and adopted two wonderful and challenging rescue pup-dogs, Betty and Molly.

Do come and join us on my Writing Diary at where you can keep up with their progress and see photographs of them. Or simply pop along to share the fun and take part in the contests. Don’t forget to sign up for the Birthday Babies club while you’re there to ensure you receive a birthday card and a little something on your special day.

Happy reading everyone!

Susan Stephens


Maureen said...

Congratulations on the new book Susan! I am so sorry that you lost your dog and wish you good luck with your new puppies.

Mona said...

Hi Susan,

Sorry that you've lost your dog. I know the meaning of that. I've lost a pigeon once. She was sick and I tried everything with no luck. Ever since then I haven't tried to get any again. I'm afraid of repeating that same experience. Anyway your puppies look adorable, have fun playing with them.

principessa said...

Your dogs are simply wonderful, sweet and adorable. I am in love with them. What you are doing is a labor of love and you should be commended for this sacrifice. I don't wonder though after losing your dog after 15 years. You feel a void. Best of luck and best of health for all of you.

traveler said...

My son got a rescue dog over a month ago who looks just like your dogs. Same build, and size and the exact same face and coloration. His dog is as frisky as can be, 1 year or a year and a half and his name is Bogie.

C.Gwynn said...


I am so sorry to hear about your beloved dog. I understand what you are going through. Our pets are like family members.

Your new family members are darling!

Many happy years coming your way.

Lois said...

As for the asthma attack part. . . when I have an attack, since a kid, I always watched a Star Wars movie (recall what Darth Vader sounds like? LOL) but that sounds cool, this time in a romance novel. :)


Angie-la said...

{{{{Susan}}}} I know how hard it is to lose a beloved pet.
We lost our dalmatian, Fancy, a year ago in December and I still think about her
daily. She was 12 and we'd had her since she was 8 weeks old. We have 4
dachshunds and a cat as well. I always have to have a couple of doggies and/or kitties around. :0) What can I say? I just love 'em!

The new book sounds really good. It is amazing that you could take a traumatizing
experience like that and turn it into something positive!

Lee said...

Message from Susan Stephens --

Hi everyone,
I'm so sorry to take so long getting back here, but one of my rescue dogs has been taken seriously ill. She'd been on a drip for 2 days at the vets and this has really thrown me.
I had some better news tonight, and I have to ring tomorrow morning to see how she's getting on. I have fingers and everything crossed.
It's so good to hear from you all.
Susan x

Michele L. said...

Oh gosh, that is so hard losing a favorite pet. Yes I have lost a dog a couple of times now. I cried a lot, because I took it so hard.
I wish you good luck with your new dogs.

Congrats on the new book! All my best to you,

Kate Walker said...

Susan you know I've been following the story of your lovely dogs from the sad day you lost Fin through to the lovely new arrivals - and now I have my fingers crossed so tightly that the sickness they're suffering will soon be well again

Thinking of you and Betty and Molly your lovely pups


Unknown said...


Sorry about your pets, although I dont have any, many of my friends do and to them their pets are part of their family.

Therefore, I wish you good luck with your puppies. They sure look cute!


diane said...

Best wishes and I hope that you have luck and health with Betty.

sharon said...

Congrats on your new release. Best wishes for the sweetheart.

pearl said...

Congrats on your new book. Sorry about your dog and hope that Betty is doing well.

Unknown said...


I'm so sorry about the loss of your beloved dog. Congratulations on your two new canine family members though. They are precious!

The book sounds wonderful!