This week's Author Feature is on author Susanne Hampton.
Connect with Susanne around the web:
Connect with Susanne around the web:
Website - susannehamptonwriter.com
1. How do you keep coming up with fresh characters and stories?
People, places and events around me provide a constant source of storylines. Indirectly snippets here and there make me think of potential characters and stories and places I visit create perfect settings. My third book, Falling for Dr December, to be released in December 2014, is set in Uralla, in country New South Wales and came to me after visiting the town for my nephew’s wedding last November. I instantly fell in love with the setting and the people of this close-knit community and it provided the perfect backdrop for the story. It made me think about how different country life is from life in the city so I brought my heroine, Laine a photographer from New York, to Uralla where the handsome hero, Pierce is a country GP. Creating new characters and stories is not my problem….finding the time to write all of them is definitely the issue for me.
2. What do you like to read?
I enjoy reading Harlequin romance novels across all of the series as I have friends who write for Harlequin Presents, Sexy and Historical as well as Mills & Boon Medical. I also love Danielle Steel, Maeve Binchy and Nora Roberts. Currently I’m reading Maggie Shipstead’s debut novel Seating Arrangements.
3. What's your favorite place to read?
Outside in the sun. I have just been told by my doctor that I have a vitamin D deficiency – probably from too many hours indoors so a seat in the sun in my perfect spot for reading. If it’s cold outside then a seat by the window will be my preferred place.
4. What are some of your reading pet peeves?
When I read I don’t like to be pulled from the book with a hero or heroine’s name that his difficult to pronounce. If I stumble in my mind and feel clueless on how to say it in my head then I will more often than not stop reading the book. This also happens if the fictitious town setting has a name that is too complicated. I don’t believe that using a unique name for a character makes them unique - this should be achieved by actions, descriptions and dialogue not by name alone.
5. Do your characters stick with you after you've finished a book and if so, how do you handle it?
Yes they do stay with me and I think of them as living their lives at the same time as the new characters. Not unlike extended family members who live separate lives but you catch up at special family gatherings. I hope to keep readers up to date with their favorite characters’ their lives in future books. For instance book number four, which I am currently writing, is set in Neo-Natal Intensive Care and I have returned to the Eastern Memorial Hospital in Adelaide where Matthew and Beth met in A & E in my debut book, Unlocking the Doctor’s Heart. Readers will hear about what has happened to Beth and Matthew since they married. They do not play a role but they are mentioned so that readers feel a part of the continuing story. I want them to smile as they hear about characters they grew to love in past books.
6. How do you handle writer's block?
A long walk on the beach with my dogs or a chat about nothing in particular over the phone to a girlfriend can be a great distraction and help. Sometimes a relaxing bubble bath will let me put everything in order. I light a candle, close my eyes and let my thoughts fall into order and sort out any issues with the plot, conflict or character motivations.
7. What motivates you to write your books?
I love writing and particularly happy ever after. In this world there is so much sadness that it is wonderful for readers and for me to escape into a world where nice things happen to good people. The characters may have sadness in their past, hurdles to overcome and lessons to learn but happiness will always triumph and that makes me equally happy as I write the stories.
8. Tell us a little about your book...
Back in Her Husband’s Arms is the story about a love that never died. Sara and Tom are both oral surgeons who once loved each other deeply and passionately. Unfortunately their whirlwind romance didn’t provide the time to work through their very different priorities particularly in regard to having a family. They have been separated for three years and their divorce is imminent, in fact only weeks away from becoming final. Sara has accepted a position at a teaching hospital in San Antonio, Texas and is in Melbourne for two days to finalise her work visa at the American Embassy when she unexpectedly bumps into Tom at a restaurant. The love they once shared was so strong that neither has really closed their heart and when they meet again it doesn’t take long to rekindle their feelings. They spend one last night together before they walk away from each other but fate finds them working together for the few weeks until Sara leaves for the US. Unfortunately the issues that forced them apart are just as powerful now. Tom is faced with watching his wife walk away forever if he cannot find a way to accept her need to have a family and reveal to her a secret from his past.