Interview and Contest: Susan Mallery

Jen: The Romancing the Book Staff is very excited to welcome Susan Mallery to the blog today. Susan, will you please share a short bio with us?

Susan: New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women and the relationships that move them. Publisher’s Weekly calls Susan’s prose “luscious and provocative,” and Booklist says, “Novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling.” While Susan appreciates the critical praise, she is most honored by the enthusiastic readers who write to tell her that her books made them laugh, made them cry, and made the world a happier place to live. Susan lives in Seattle with her husband and her tiny but intrepid toy poodle. She’s there for the coffee, not the weather.

Jen: Tell us about Only Mine and where it can be purchased.
Susan: With ONLY MINE, I return to the quirky small town of Fool’s Gold, California, known as “The Land of Happy Endings.” ONLY MINE was released on July 26 and is available everywhere that romances are sold.

Fool’s Gold is a picturesque tourist town in the Sierra Nevada foothills with one small problem… there’s a man shortage, and the national press has caught wind of it. The strong, independent women of Fool’s Gold are not happy about being portrayed as lonely and desperate. In ONLY MINE, a reality TV dating show has come to film in Fool’s Gold. Dakota Hendrix, one of the Hendrix triplets, has been assigned by the mayor to make sure that Fool’s Gold doesn’t come off looking stupid.

Between playing reality TV wrangler and hiding an emotional secret from her mother and sisters, Dakota has plenty on her plate. The last thing she needs is an angry, rugged Alaskan pilot in her face. But Finn Andersson isn’t going to leave Fool’s Gold without his fame-seeking younger brothers, and they’re determined to be on TV.

You can read free excerpts at www.foolsgoldca.com. You’ll find lots of freebies and fun bonus content there, too!

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Susan: I was a lifelong reader, but I didn’t start writing until I was in college. Actually, I was within a year of graduating when I took an evening continuing ed course on writing a romance novel. I majored in accounting, but that evening class I squeezed in between my credit courses was the one that changed my life. I graduated, turned down a great job offer, and put everything I had into becoming published. I accumulated 50 rejections, cried my eyes out with every one. One day, I received two rejections on the same day, and I seriously thought about giving up. I forced myself to go back to work that same day, to write more… and that was the book I sold.

Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?

Susan: No. I was an only child, and neither of my parents were writers.

Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?

Susan: Not really. I write best in a quiet room. Preferably my office, but I often work in hotel rooms when I’m traveling.

Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?

Susan: If it’s a really great idea, I will find a way to write it down. Ideas are too easy to lose. Of course, there are times when I scramble for paper to capture an amazing idea that’s going to change the world, and then I look at it later and wonder what on earth I was thinking.

Jen: Do you have a theme, object or person that appears in all of your stories?

Susan: I do. The theme “finding family” appears in almost all my books in one form or another. Romantic love is a part of that, but it’s more than that. I think people seek connections with others. We all need to feel like we’re part of something bigger than ourselves. In Fool’s Gold, the whole town becomes family for each other. The people of Fool’s Gold take care of each other in a way that’s truly moving to me… and pretty darn funny, too. This is a town that loves a casserole.

Jen: Have you noticed your writer’s voice has changed over the years due to experience? If so, how?

Susan: I think my storytelling skills have changed and grown over the years, but I wouldn’t say that my voice has changed. I have always written wildly romantic books filled with humor.

Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?

Susan: I’m not sure I identify with her, but one of my favorite characters in the Fool’s Gold books is Mayor Marsha. Marsha is the longest serving mayor in the state of California. The town sees her as a mother figure, and like all mothers, she’s a master at ninja guilt tactics. No one dares to say no to Mayor Marsha, which causes all sorts of trouble in their lives.

Jen: What has been the highlight of your career to this point?

Susan: The first time I saw my name on the New York Times bestsellers list was a thrill, but I think the highlight of my career was winning the National Readers’ Choice Award.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Susan: ONLY MINE is the first of the Hendrix triplets’ romances. The other two triplets will fall in love in ONLY YOURS and ONLY HIS, which are due out in September and October. I think they’re two of the funniest stories I’ve ever written. There’s one particular two-word phrase that makes me chuckle every time I think of it. Can’t wait to hear how readers react.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Susan: My website is www.susanmallery.com. I’m also very active on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Susan: Do you enjoy reading ongoing series like the Fool’s Gold romances, or do you prefer standalone books?

Jen: I understand you have a couple contests running at your site.  Can you tell us more?
Susan: I am holding a blogger contest from the end of June through October 15. We’ve created a super fun “Fool’s Gold Summer Kisses” magazine with insider articles from the Land of Happy Endings. If bloggers post the magazine widget to their blog and then email my assistant at jenel@susanmallery.com, they’ll have a chance to win a Fool’s Gold tote bag with picnic blanket and stainless steel thermos. Plus free books, of course! Email Jenel for information on where to get the widget code.

And then we have the contest featured in the poster to the left. Just go to http://www.susanmallery.com/members/contest.php and if you’re not already a member sign up.  One lucky winner will be chosen on Sept 1.

Jen:  Susan, thanks so much for stopping by Romancing the Book.
Readers, I have a few of Susan’s books up for grabs to two lucky winners.  They are books off of my shelves, have been read once but are in otherwise mint condition.  Below are the contest details:
  • The prize is an ARC of Only Mine and Susan’s Desire Trilogy The Million Dollar Catch (which includes The Substitute Millionaire, The Unexpected Millionaire, and The Ultimate Millionaire).
  • The contest is open to US residents due to shipping.
  • You must leave a comment for entry.  Make your comment meaningful (something more than “please enter me in the contest”) and let me know which prize you’d prefer to win.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT gmail.com.  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday, August 7.
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