Multi-genre author Susan Whitfield uses gruesome weapons, strong women, quirky characters and humor in her novels. Her published mysteries include Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck,Hell Swamp, & Sin Creek. Killer Recipes cookbook is also available. Her first women's fiction, Slightly Cracked, released in October in digital and print. She interviews authors from every genre on her blog. For more information, go to www.susanwhitfieldonline.com
A voracious reader, Kathleen Ball quickly discovered the world of romance novels and she knew she was home. Kathleen wrote her first book two years ago. She was shocked to find out that people loved what she wrote. All of Kathleen's novels are award winners. Callie's Heart is her first published novel. It is the first book in The Lasso Springs Series. Kathleen lives in Texas. She moved there from Rochester, New York and is having the time of her life exploring Texas culture. Kathleen is married to her wonderful husband Bruce and they have one son, Steven. They just welcomed new additions to their family, a new daughter in law, Brittany and her cute as a button son, Colt.
She feels blessed to be supported in her writing by her family and friends.
Where do you live, and how has your environment affected your writing?
I live in Fort Worth, Texas. I moved here from New York six years ago. I never thought I'd ride a horse and hand out in stables but I do.
How many books have you written?
I have written five novels.
Give a short synop of your most recently published book.
Callie Daniels' mother has one dying wish. She wants neighboring rancher, Garrett O'Neill, to marry her seventeen year old daughter. It's not supposed to be a conventional marriage. Garrett O'Neill would keep Callie's ranch safe and Callie would go away to college.
Four years later, Callie comes home with stars in her eyes and happily ever after in her heart. She plans to make their marriage real until finds the new housekeeper, Sylvie in Garrett's arms.
Heartbroken, Callie takes off to her own house, which they closed up four years ago. She stays there with Old Henry, a longtime friend and ranch hand, until her new horse injures her. Garrett forces Callie to move back in to his house.
Callie finally gets her heart's desire. Alone in a line shack, they make sweet love for the first time. Unfortunately the love light is gone from Garret's eyes the next morning.
Is it available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?
Callie's Heart will be available April 1st as an ebook.
What do you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing so far? What advice can you give other writers?
Join writing groups online, writers are the nicest people I've met. Believe in yourself, give yourself a pat on the back when you meet a goal, whether it's a certain word count or finishing your novel. We don't get raises or Atta boys from bosses. We have to congratulate ourselves.
We all know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?
While I was writing, I made friends and I watched. An online presence is a must. A website, facebook, booktown, twitter. There are more. Share other's work on your sites. Buy their books and review them. Learn how to use twitter and build up a following. Retweet other's tweets. I'm hoping that all the time I took networking will pay off.
Can you tell us your writing goals/projects for 2012 or beyond?
Callie's Heart is available in April. Texas Haven in June. Ryelee's Cowboy in August. Lone Star Joy in September and Stetson's Storm in February 2013.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
(Good morning, everyone. I'm reposting a unique interview from 2011. I invited David Fingerman back over to talk about his new book, but as you will see, David turned the table on me. I hope you enjoy the conversation.)
I am honored to be making my third appearance on Susan Whitfield’s blog. Other than the release of my new mystery, Playing the Hand She’s Dealt, the amazing and fantastic sequel to the equally amazing and fantastic Silent Kill, my life hasn’t change all that much since my last interview here. So, for something a little different I thought it might be fun to turn the table on Susan and interview her.Happily (for me), she agreed.
And as you can tell, David is sooooo modest. LOL.
Susan, welcome. First off, how does it feel being the interviewee instead of the interviewer on your own blog?
LOL. Well, David, I’ve been interviewed quite a few times but not on my OWN blog. I’m honored that you’re interested.
I'd be willing to bet a lot of people are interested. When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer, and then a mystery novelist?
I’ve been writing since about third grade, so it’s pretty much been a lifelong dream. However, I didn’t really get serious about it until I was retiring from a high school principalship. They say write what you read, and I truly love a good mystery. I tried to write a steamy novel, but I blushed so much I just couldn’t go through with it.
What’s a typical day for Susan Whitfield?
Normally I grab a huge cup of joe (some people refer to my cup as a planter) and start writing. Unfortunately, right now I have to dress and go to physical therapy in the mornings because I tore me Achilles tendon, power-walking between writing sessions to get into better shape. That’s thrown my routine off and now I’m writing sporadically in the afternoons. So my routine is quite atypical right now.
Ouch! Here's wishing you a speedy recovery.
Thank you. I'm wearing an ugly heavy boot and my husband calls me a platypuss:-(
LOL, brave man.
You’ve completed four Logan Hunter novels thus far.How do you keep Logan Hunter fresh and exciting?
I have to remember to let her age and change over the course of the novels. She was inexperienced in Genesis Beach as an intern at the Genesis Beach Police Department, and then once she was an official North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agent in Just North of Luck, she tackled (quite literally) a serial killer in our beautiful Appalachian Mountains, got herself into all kinds of jams in Hell Swamp, and had truly life-changing experiences in Sin Creek.
In each book, she matured a little more, changed from heavy dark eye glasses to contacts, and married another agent. (I use internal thoughts in my first-person novels so readers can get inside Logan’s head and emotions.) Sin Creek was difficult to write because there’s so much raw emotion in it. Punch Street, the fifth novel in the Logan Hunter series, is about seven pages at this point. I’m currently writing a non-series novel, entitled The Goose Parade of Old Dickeywood, about lifelong friendship.
We'll get more into the Goose Parade in a couple minutes. How are you and Logan Hunter similar/dissimilar?
Boy, that’s a loaded question.
First of all Logan is over six feet tall, blond, and toothpick thin. I, on the other hand, am 5’6” and shrinking, have salt and pepper hair, and am not a toothpick. I have to admit there is a lot of me in Logan. I believe in saying what I mean and meaning what I say. I believe in doing what’s right even when it’s not popular. I like bending rules as much as Logan does, but I seldom break them completely unless there’s no other choice. She’s more adventurous than I am; I write adventures but you won’t find me sky-diving…unless I develop more courage or dementia as I age.
Well, let's keep a happy thought. Changing gears for a moment, please tell us the history and thought processes behind the cookbook, Killer Recipes.
Ah, good question. I met a lady here in North Carolina who came to an event just to meet me. She’d written a cookbook and I bought one. Later, as we kept in touch, she told me how good sales were, and she was considering another cookbook. I started to think about that and all the wonderful recipes I have. Since I had a fairly large audience of writer friends from networking, I asked if folks would consider donating recipes for the cookbook in exchange for promotion at the bottom of each one.
I decided that all proceeds from this book would be donated to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in honor of my grandson, a cancer survivor. I didn’t think it would be right for me to pocket proceeds since the book couldn’t happen without the support of other writers. Authors all over the country responded in an overwhelming way, and Killer Recipes has become a unique cookbook we can all be proud of. My publisher, L&L Dreamspell, liked the idea so much that they didn’t give me a chance to query, and they donate all of THEIR profits for this particular book as well. Good folks, indeed.
Indeed they are ~ and a great cause! And what a great holiday gift (hint hint).
Yes, giving this book is giving twice. You can order all of my books through my site, www.susanwhitfieldonline.com or www.amazon.com and other online stores. They're all available in print or digital formats. I love having the cookbook on my Kindle.
On a very serious and scary note, and I’m sure it’s a nightmare of anyone who has reached any level of celebrity status, but I seem to recall you were harassed by a stalker some time back. I certainly won’t ask details, but what would you advise your fellow authors to do if ever in a similar situation?
Your memory is still sharp, David. While the person never came to my house and never called my house, she showed up at several of my signings and tried to discourage people from buying books. I really think it backfired, though, because it 's obvious that she is unstable. She wrote a personal attack on Facebook about me, and posted a terrible review on Amazon about what a bad writer I am. The post was up 3 weeks before I knew about it. I contacted Amazon.com and told them about the woman, our past, and the Facebook comment. They removed the review immediately. The scariest part was that the following weekend, I had a signing back in my home county, and she’d messaged me that she was going to go. I “unfriend” her, and contacted a deputy who worked with me when I was a principal. He arranged for a deputy to ride by the bookstore every few minutes during the hours I was there. She never showed. I guess she was playing with my head.
I’m not sure what I’d advise someone else. My situation was strange and it really wasn’t about writing at all. I’ve never had another experience like that and hope I never do again. However, after that lengthy answer, I will also tell you and readers to whatever you have to do to keep yourself safe. There are plenty of nuts out there.
That had to have been not only scary, but very frustrating and time consuming as well. I'm glad it's long behind you.
Thank you , David. I hope it’s over.
I see on your website that Punch Street is due out in 2012. Would you mind giving us a sneak peek into that novel?
Punch Street (working title) is the next Logan Hunter novel, dealing with bullying, a major issue that’s been around since the beginning of time but seems to be in the news so much more since Internet and texting arrived. Logan and another agent go undercover in a school to get to the bottom of a student’s death. Remember, not all bullies are children. They come in every size and package.
Not only an excellent soundingplot - but very timely.
I also noticed that you’re working on a stand-alone book, The Goose Parade of Old Dickeywood. Would you be willing to share any secrets on what that is about?
Writing this stand-alone has been a hoot, for sure. It’s about lifelong friends who’re now going through menopause, marital problems, and health problems. Their friendship endures even through misfortune and conflict. The title comes from the fact that they live near a pond that is overcrowded with geese, only one of many conflicts that arise.
I can already sense the fun you're having writing this. That's always a good sign that it will be an equally fun book.
What else does the future hold for Susan Whitfield?
My first goal is to get well and back to full-blown writing here shortly, complete Goose Parade and PunchStreet, and dig into all the research I’ve gathered about my ancestor, a Knight of the Bath. I hope to write an historical novel about him, son-in-law of King Henry I.
It certainly sounds like you're keeping your writing plate full.
I have to stay busy. I don’t idle well.
Susan, thank you for being such a good sport and letting me turn the tables on you. I hope you had fun being on the other side of your blog.
I certainly did, David. That was a great idea and I appreciate your support. I also wish you tremendous success with your new book.
Thank you. As mentioned above, Playing the Hand She's Dealt is the sequel to Silent Kill. In Silent Kill, Louise Miller was after a psycho-killer. In Playing the Hand, someone is after Louise. Not only does he want her dead, but he first wants to destroy her piece by piece. A great mystery if I do say so myself.
I can’t wait to read it. BTW, as I repost this interview, I'm walking a mile every day and not limping. It feels good to be back. Hugs!