I am very pleased to be chatting with Best Selling Author and lovely lady Susanna Craig, so sit back and let’s get to know about more about Susanna…
A love affair with historical romances led Susanna Craig to a degree (okay, three degrees) in literature and a career as an English professor. When she’s not teaching or writing academic essays about Jane Austen and her contemporaries, she enjoys putting her fascination with words and knowledge of the period to better use: writing Regency-era romances she hopes readers will find both smart and sexy. She makes her home among the rolling hills of Kentucky horse country, along with her historian husband, their unstoppable little girl, and a genuinely grumpy cat.
Reading Chick: Hi Susanna, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today, Firstly what five word’s would you use to describe yourself?
Susanna: Private (or introverted, reserved…choose your synonym. Not “shy,” though!). Smart. Organized. Determined. Sarcastic (for better or worse).
Reading Chick: If you could live in any era and place, When and where would it be? And Why?
Susanna: The temptation is to say Regency England, because I am curious about what life was really like there and then. Experiencing it would be very different from researching and reading about it. But since I’m also a fan of modern technology, hygiene, medicine, and so on, I’m happy to stay in the 21st century.
Reading Chick: I don’t blame you, Who was your childhood hero?
Susanna: You know, I had to write an essay on this in high school, and I couldn’t do it then, either! I don’t know why this topic is such a challenge for me. I certainly admire many people. As a kid, I looked up to my parents a lot, and now that I’m a parent, I appreciate even more the sacrifices they made and the values they tried to instill in me. I was inspired to become a teacher because of some of the excellent teachers I had. I suppose like every girl in the 1970s, I wanted to grow up to be some combination of Dorothy Hammill and Wonder Woman!
Reading Chick: What an interesting take on my question. What is your favourite time of the year?
Susanna: This is surely influenced by the fact that I’m a professor, but autumn is definitely my favorite season. It’s the real start of the “new year” for me, and I love feeling that everything is fresh and anything is possible for me and my students. I enjoy the changing leaves and the cooler weather, too; I’d much rather be wearing a sweater and boots!
Reading Chick: Out of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?
Susanna: Probably Tempest from To Tempt an Heiress, because she was a lot of fun to write. She has so much energy and passion—she doesn’t doubt herself, just charges ahead and does what has to be done. But she might be a little exhausting to hang out with! I also have a real soft spot for Edward, the hero of To Seduce a Stranger; he’s the character who holds the Runaway Desires series together in my mind, and he’s kind, honorable, hard-working…basically all the things we need our real-life heroes to be.
Reading Chick: Where doe’s your inspiration for your books come from?
Susanna: Mostly, I’m inspired by my reading, especially novels from the period in which my books are set (the later eighteenth century). So far, I’ve managed to sneak in a little Austen reference in each book. But I certainly draw on my own experiences as well; the little girl, Clarissa, in To Kiss a Thief, is modelled after my daughter, and the heroine of my work in progress, The Companion’s Secret, is a novelist. And sometimes inspiration comes from unexpected places. The opening scene of To Kiss a Thief actually was a dream—I jotted down notes as soon as I woke up and then scurried to come up with a story to match.
Reading Chick: What three tip’s would you pass on to an aspiring author?
Susanna: Write a lot. Don’t worry if it’s crap. It’s the only way you’ll get better.
Listen to advice, but trust your gut. It’s your book, after all.
Believe in yourself—if you don’t, no one else will.
Reading Chick: If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, dead or alive)
Susanna: Oooh…so much pressure! Would I have to come up with thought-provoking questions to get the conversation started? Would I have to cook??
I would love to meet Jane Austen…if it could be the sharp-tongued, witty Austen who reveals herself in her letters and books. I suspect she’d be reserved in person, though. I’d probably have to invite her sister Cassandra along too and just eavesdrop on the conversation.
Most of all, I’d like to be able to bring my dad back for a day, so he could meet his granddaughter and I could tell him about these books I wrote.
Reading Chick: Awww! That is so lovely! Thank you Susanna for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun . . . What is your all-time favourite naughty but nice food?
Susanna: Chocolate ice cream!
Oh yummy! Thank you Susanna.
Susanna’s new book To Seduce A Stranger is released on 11th April, Susanna loves hearing from her readers so why check out the links below.
After her much older husband dies—leaving her his fortune—Charlotte Blakemore finds herself at the mercy of her stepson, who vows to contest the will and destroy her life. With nowhere to turn and no one to help her, she embarks on an elaborate ruse—only to find herself stranded on the way to London. . .
More than twenty years in the West Indies have hardened Edward Cary, but not enough to abandon a helpless woman at a roadside inn—especially one as disarmingly beautiful as Charlotte. He takes her with him to the Gloucestershire estate he is determined to restore, though he is suspicious of every word that falls from her distractingly lush lips.
As far as Charlotte knows, Edward is nothing more than a steward, and there’s no reason to reveal his noble birth until he can right his father’s wrongs. Acting as husband and wife will keep people in the village from asking questions that neither Charlotte nor Edward are willing to answer. But the game they’re each determined to play has rules that beg to broken, when the passion between them threatens to uncover the truth—for better or worse. . .