My guest this week is USA Bestselling Author Susan Boyer!
Susan M. Boyer is the author of the Liz Talbot mystery series. Her debut novel, Lowcountry Boil is a USA Today Bestseller, an Agatha Award winner for Best First Novel, a Macavity nominee, a 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award recipient, and a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist. Lowcountry Bombshell was released September 3, 2013. LOWCOUNTRY BONEYARD is due out in April 2015.
Susan lives with her husband and an inordinate number of houseplants in Greenville, SC. susanmboyerbooks.com
R: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.
I’ve loved books my entire life. I was that child who came home from the library with as many books as she could carry. I especially loved mysteries from an early age. I not only loved Nancy Drew, I wanted to BE Nancy Drew. At some point I figured out I was better with a pen than a gun.
R: What writers in your genre would you say have made the greatest influence on your writing?
Sue Grafton and Charlaine Harris.
R: Tell us about your Liz Talbot mystery series. How did the idea for the first, LOW COUNTRY BOIL, come about?
I think I’ve had Liz Talbot percolating in the back of my brain for many years. She grew from my love of mysteries. I guess I created my grown up Nancy Drew, who knows her boyfriend much better.
The setting, Stella Maris, South Carolina, came to life after we’d lived in the Charleston area for a while. I love the Lowcountry, so I made it my literary landscape.
R: Tell us about the second in the series, LOW COUNTRY BOMBSHELL! Are you a Marilyn Monroe fan?
I’m a huge fan—she fascinates me. I think there were so many layers to her, and she was so much smarter than many give her credit for. What happened to her was such a tragedy.
R: Your next is called LOW COUNTRY BONEYARD? What’s that about?
In LOWCOUNTRY BONEYARD, a gentleman from old-money Charleston hires Liz to find his daughter, who has disappeared. He believes she has been the victim of foul play, but she’s of legal age, and the police believe she simply left home.
R: Do you have an “how I got my agent” story you’d like to share? How did you feel when you got the call your first novel had sold?
I met my current agent, the fabulous Stephany Evans at an RWA convention. It’s a rather long story, but she and I started working together after my first novel had sold. When I got that first call from Henery Press, I was dancing on air for days.
R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
I need to be completely alone in the house. I like it quiet except for the soundtrack of ocean waves. And chocolate always helps.
R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
I love to sing Karaoke. It’s just fun—I sing for my own pleasure, not necessarily that of others. I like to add props—a special pair of shoes, a boa, a hat. One of my favorite selections is Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, by Marilyn Monroe
R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done?
Probably going white water rafting on the upper Gauley. There are class five and six rapids on that section of the river, and I had small children at the time.
R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?
I hope they will have been entertained, and look forward to finding out what Liz Talbot gets into next. I hope readers enjoy spending time with all the characters on Stella Maris, and come to fell as if they know them and want to visit with them again. I guess, in a sense, I want to give readers that small-town experience I love so much.
R: What are you working on at the moment / next?
After LOWCOUNTRY BONEYARD, next up is LOWCOUNTRY BORDELLO.
R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A bit of both. I start with an outline. I always know who did what and why at the beginning. Otherwise, it would be difficult for me to work out how Liz solves the case. But I do let her take me off to places I hadn’t planned, and sometimes I revise the outline as I’m writing.
R: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks? :)
Well, singing Karaoke is the only “party trick” I have. I do enjoy game nights and movie nights with friends. I like to travel, and of course I read a freakish number of books.
R: Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
Read everything you can. Read in your genre and others. I think reading taught me most of what I know about writing, and it’s an ongoing process.
R: What book is on your TBR shelf you can’t wait to get to?
Midnight Crossroad, by Charlaine Harris. It’s not out yet, but it won’t be long.
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? Night
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Oh, cat, of course. But I do love dogs as well.
Beach or Pool? Beach
Steak or salad? Both, please.
Favorite Drink? Pinot noir
Favorite Book? Oh, I couldn’t possibly pick just one…
Favorite TV Series? Right now, it’s Justified.
Favorite Movie? Tough! So many favorites. But I’ll say Sweet Home Alabama
Favorite Actor: Matthew McConaughey
Favorite Actress: Sandra Bullock
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Pina Colada
Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be __Marilyn Monroe_________________
If I had just one wish, it would be____for my children to stay happy and healthy_____________________________________
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be _I can’t think of anyone. Being me is a lot of fun.______
Susan will give away a copy of Lowcountry Boil in the winner’s choice of format to one lucky commenter!
To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:
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* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
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Winner will be chosen at random using random.org. Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Contest ends midnight, May 22thh. Good luck!