>RT Update: Roving Reporter Mona interviews Susan Lyons!


 Romantic Times Convention Update

My apologies to our readers for my tardiness, but the RT Aspiring Writer classes are intense and leave very little time for correspondence. We were fortunate to have several different authors speaking to us on the various aspects of the craft, and whenever possible, I approached them to request an interview. 

Since most interviews center on their work, I wanted to focus on the author and find out how they got started in the business. So far, they’ve been surprised and pleased to answer my questions. 

My first interview was with Susan Lyons / Susan Fox. Our readers may be familiar with her Awesome Foursome series, Champagne Rules, Hot in Here, Touch Me, and She’s on Top, as well as novels, Reality Check, Sex Drive, Men on Fire (with Rachelle Chase and Jodi Lynn Copeland), Sex on the Beach, and Sex on the Slopes. Writing as Susan Fox, she also authored Love, Unexpectedly.

I found Susan to be a very warm, intelligent, charming, and witty woman—exactly the qualities we all wish for in a friend. Our conversation was comfortable and laid back even though she is furiously working to meet a deadline this week. And because of the casual nature of our interview, her comments are paraphrased rather than verbatim. It’s a shame that smiles and laughs don’t translate to paper, because they would be sprinkled throughout her answers. 

If you enjoy books with a social conscience that may not follow traditional boundaries, then you will enjoy her books.


Mona: How did you get started writing professionally?

Susan: Writing technical and professional papers (as an attorney). A friend gave her a copy of Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, and Susan soon discovered she was a fiction writer at heart.

Mona: How many books did you write before being published?

Susan: Roughly ten. To avoid getting discouraged, I refused to keep an actual count.

Mona: Is she a plotter, pantser*, or combination?
(*A writer who writes the story by the seat of their pants is a pantser)

Susan: I’m a combination, but I lean more toward the pantser side.

Mona: Who is your favorite character or type of character to write?

Susan: I prefer to write characters with integrity who are decent, reliable, and morally strong. I admire female characters with qualities similar to Mary Tyler Moore. For males, I like to use Atticus Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird” as a role model because of his strength of character.

Mona: When writing a series, do you prefer to continue uninterrupted or take a break and write something different to clear your mind?

Susan: Either way is fine. When continuing a series, it’s easier to continue in the same vein from book to book. But when I set it aside to write something different, the change can trigger new ideas.

Mona: Who had the most influence or encouraged you to write?

Susan: The friend who gave me “Writing Down the Bone” was my influence. They knew there was a writer hiding somewhere inside and didn’t give up on me. 

Mona: What interferes the most with your writing?

Susan: Stopping to do promotions.

Mona: What is the biggest drawback to writing?

Susan: Also promotion. It’s a necessary part of writing, but when I’m working under deadline, it can be very time consuming.

Mona: Who was your favorite teacher and what subject did they teach?

Susan: At university, my first year sociology professor opened my eyes to discrimination in the world, and as a result, my writing contains strong social commentary. 

Mona: If you weren’t a writer, what type of work would you be doing now?

Susan: A photographer, because it offers a different way of seeing the world.  
(in fact Susan Lyons is a rather fabulous photographer already…check out her pictures on her web page)

Mona: What is the best thing about writing?

Susan: There are many good things and it’s hard to list them. But telling my stories through the characters and touching the hearts and minds of the readers is one of the best.

Mona: Are you ever overwhelmed with the attention you receive?

Susan: Not yet. (She laughs at this)

Mona: If you were to write in a genre you had never tried before, what would it be?

Susan: Women’s fiction. The romance, the close relationships between women, and using places familiar to me are the things that touch me the most. In fact, in between writing my other books, I’ve written chapter one of her first book in that genre.

Mona: What would you like people to know right now?

Susan: I am excited to announce Cosmopolitan Magazine has chosen my book, “Sex Drive”, as their featured Red Hot Read excerpt.

Thank you, Susan, for giving up some time you really needed to work toward your deadline, and for making this a very enjoyable experience for a very green writer.

 Reporting from RT
~Mona Leigh 

PBD would like to thank both Mona and Susan for this interview – aspiring writers – rock on! 

Visit Susan Lyons’s Website


4 responses to “>RT Update: Roving Reporter Mona interviews Susan Lyons!

  1. >Awesome interview! I checked out Susan's photography…amazing stuff!Thanks Mona & Susan!

  2. >Thank ou Mona and Susan! Sounds like RT is awesome…

  3. >Mona, good job on the paraphrasing. Thanks for the fun interview after a long day of workshops. People talk about RT as being a big party (which it is!) but the pre-convention tracks for serious writers are intensive and amazing. I'm surprised that anyone has the energy at the end of those 2 days to do anything but sleep! By the way, I just wanted to say, with all that social commentary and stuff (LOL), my books are actually pretty light. They're all about the characters and the romance and the other stuff (e.g., multiculturalism and interracial relationships) are just kind of slipped in there. I like my characters to have fun (as well as great romance and sex, of course), and to be able to laugh at themselves.If anyone reading this is attending RT, do come find me and chat. I'm on a panel on Sin-Sational Scenes Thursday morning, in Club RT Friday at 3:00, and of course at the book fair. And, of course, wandering around to workshops and probably also hanging out in the bar – at least once I get the book that's due on April 30 sent off to my editor! I'm down to the final fine-tuning… Finishing will definitely call for a drink. (Or two…)

  4. >Susan – thank you so much for the insight! Enjoy RT!!!

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