Thursday, January 24, 2008

Virgin Voyage! Suzanne Forster

Hello, all! I’ve had the privilege of working with Lee Hyat on several projects, but this is my first time blogging, and I’m thrilled finally to be here and have the chance to say hello. I’ve had fun reading the blogs too. It’s great to be in the company of so many wonderful authors. As I read the blog entries and the comments, I had to smile at how much we writers have in common.

It seems most of us share the agony and ecstasy of writing to deadlines—the ecstasy for me being driving to the nearest Fedex, putting the manuscript in the mail and then hoping I can find my way back home because I’ve been holed up for so long that my own neighborhood looks like an alien planet. Many of us belong to plot groups and couldn’t survive without them. Some of us live to hear the UPS guy ring the doorbell, as long as he’s delivering beautiful new cover flats or maybe even a long-awaited royalty check—and not a mangled, copy-edited manuscript to revise. And obviously, Linda Conrad and I love pets.

Linda’s blog this week featured a great picture of her and a fluffy white friend, who probably keeps her company as she writes. When Lee suggested I include a picture with my blog, I debated whether to upload the cover of my current release or a snapshot of my best buddy, Mandy, a mischievous tabby who delights in adding her own flourishes to my manuscripts when I’m out of the room. Mandy solved that for me by refusing to pose. I like to think she was selflessly insisting that I go with the book cover, but I have no doubt that she intends to play the starring role in a future blog.

On a totally different topic, I don’t know why summer is considered the busy reading season. I think winter was just made for reading, don’t you? I love to curl up on a chilly morning by the fireplace, warm in my fleece pajamas and furry slippers, sipping hot tea or maybe some steaming cocoa. Sometimes I drag the comforter down there with me, and often Mandy curls up beside me for added warmth. If it’s really cold, I might not even get out of bed that morning, just read under the covers until the chill is off the air.

Winters evenings are great too, with the addition of some soft lighting to read by. What’s your favorite reading situation for this time of year? And wouldn’t it be fun if we could hibernate with our books? Maybe that’s the winter equivalent of being stranded on a desert island.

To my way of thinking, winter is also better for writing books, and for the same reason. There’s plenty of cold weather to discourage you from going out, even here in southern California, where I’ve lived since the late seventies. Most folks think socal is balmy all year around. I wish! We have our El Ninos and our El Ninas, although I’ve never been able to tell one from the other. They both seem to involve vertical sheets of rain, high winds, and even freak events called microbursts that somehow combine hurricane force winds and mini-tornadoes—and yes, they’re as bad as they sound.

I have a strong preference for the good old-fashioned dark-and-stormy-night variety. And since we’re speaking of storms, check out the book cover above for The Arrangement, my current release. That’s the one for which Mandy graciously relinquished the spotlight. It’s a romantic suspense from Mira Books—and how’s that for some moody weather? I thought the art work beautifully captured the contemporary gothic overtones of a story about a woman who finds herself trapped in a sham marriage, playing the role of devoted wife to a prominent man who has very mysteriously concealed his real wife’s death.

Gothic romances were my first loves as a reader, so it was a thrill for me to revisit that sub-genre in a contemporary situation, and some of my readers seemed to enjoy it too. An Amazon review by Merrimon Crawford actually referred to the book as magnificent. She said it was “suspense better than Hitchcock! 5+ stars.” I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that one.

When I finished The Arrangment I found I’d become so attached to the story it was difficult to let go. I took a much longer than usual break, returned to my childhood home and went to my very first high school reunion, and only then was I able to plunge into my next project, another romantic suspense called The Private Concierge. I don’t know yet whether The Private Concierge will have a dark and stormy cover. I haven’t seen the artwork, but as soon as they send me a mockup, I’ll upload it here and I’d love to know what you think.

Meanwhile, here’s a little preview of The Private Concierge. It’s actually the opening blurb from my story proposal, but who knows, it might even show up in some form on the back cover of the book:

She was Lucy, a runaway who was forced into the oldest profession at a tender age. He was the vice cop who ensnared her and put her in juvenile hall. He’s been haunted by her ever since. And she will never forget the humiliation of handcuffs, police cars and jail cells. Or the “client” who changed the course of her life.

Today she is Lane Chandler, a new woman, a legitimate business tycoon. Her private concierge service is prized by high-profile clients across the country. Today he is a ruined man. And destiny is about to put them on another collision course.

His best friend, an all-star outfielder, dies mysteriously and scandalously, and three other prominent personalities are embroiled in scandals that ruin their careers and their lives. The police dismiss the incidents as unrelated. But he sees what the police cannot. The one thing that links them is her … the private concierge.

I hope you enjoyed that sneak peek! Thanks for the opportunity to say hi and spend some time with you.

Here’s wishing you lots of warm and wonderful winter reading,


Lois said...

Well, hiya! :) Fancy meeting you over here! :) And it was a mighty great first blog!


Nathalie said...

Great to see you here!
Warm winter... it is -30C, not quite warm!!!

Wolfy said...

What a fun blog, and I loved the peak at your book you are working on.

I love to read curled in bed under the comforters when the weather is cold outside.

Estella said...

I love your books, Suzanne.
I curl up on the couch, by the woodstove, with an afghan and read the evening away.

Lily said...

Thanks for blogging :)

I am also a big fan!

Jane said...

Hi Suzanne,

I just read "The Lonely Girls Club." I enjoyed it very much.

Suzanne Forster said...

What lovely comments! And what fun to see some familiar names. Great to see some new ones too.

Thanks for taking the time--and for your very kind comments about my work. It's been great fun, and I look forward to dropping by again, maybe with some candid shots of my writing buddy, Mandy. I'll stick my mug in there too, if she'll let me.

Suzanne, who thought it was chilly in socal until she saw that -30!

Maureen said...

That story sounds diffent and interesting. I would love to hibernate in the winter and just read but the world does not cooperate.

Unknown said...

The story sounds great! I loved the Lonely girls club and the Arrangement.