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Queensland, Australia
I'm an Australian author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Action/Adventure, and Historical fiction. I live in Queensland, Australia. www.noelleclark.net

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A day in the life of: Author Susan D. Taylor Susan Arden

This is the fourth instalment in a series entitled ‘A Day in the Life of”, where we have a private and privileged chat with authors from all around the world, asking them about their routine in a typical writing day.

In previous interviews, we’ve had Louise Forster (Australia); Sharon Struth (USA), Catherine Cavendish (Wales), and now another well-known writer of passionate romance, erotic romance, and all things hot and steamy.

Susan D. Taylor  -  Susan Arden
Ladies and gentlemen, may in introduce you to this week’s guest author - Susan D. Taylor and her alter ego, Susan Arden.

Susan hails from Tennessee in the USA, and shares her home with her husband and several pets, including two Blue Heeler dogs (I thought they were an Australian breed, Susan), plus a menagerie of cats, geckoes – and a snake!

As Susan D. Taylor, she writes contemporary erotic romance and passionate women’s fiction. As Susan Arden, she writes western, paranormal, speculative erotic romance.
Here’s a list of Susan’s books so far:

  • Secret Desire
  • Ocean of Love
  • Tempted by Trouble - Erotic Western Book 1 Bad Boys Series
  • Twice Tempted - Book 2 Bad Boys Series
  • The Cowboy Rode a Harley - June 2013
  • Collared for a Night coming July 2013 through Crimson Romance
  • Blood Brothers – Book 2 Rocky Mountain Shifters, through Decadent Press

Noelle: Susan, welcome to Journeys with Noelle, and thank you for taking the time to talk with us here. You sound like a very busy lady. This year alone, you’ve had two books already published, and I believe a third – Collared for a Night - is coming on July 22. Do you have a set routine for writing that allows you to be so prolific?
Susan: I work maybe 16 hours a day writing and working to promote other authors. I have severe ADHD from a neurosurgery complication. The good news is this means I can tightly focus on one thing to the exclusion of others. Switching gears can be daunting. And things come and go for someone with my condition. I’m highly interested in something, intensely, for a moment. Then on to the next. Writing gives me that ability to switch gears again and again. The bad news…well let’s just skip that nonsense.

Noelle: Can I ask you about your writing space. Do you have an office or study – a place that you are not disturbed when you’re working?
Susan: I have several places I write depending upon how I’m feeling. An office-yes. Private. But I also like to be next to my husband or my daughter when she visits (each week this summer for her grad school practicum – I’m so happy!!), not to mention two crazy dogs and cats. I can write anywhere at home I guess is the answer.

Noelle: What is it in your writing environment that inspires you? Maybe a gorgeous view? Or the company of your pets?

Susan: I live in a beautiful part of Tennessee on some acres but truly, when I write, I’m inside my
head. It’s like a movie is unfolding and I’m watching the characters, eavesdropping really. If I’m lucky, I type fast enough to capture what’s being said.

Noelle: When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

Susan: I love to garden. And do yoga. I’m not too inspired to do much more. The nonsense of neuro complications took me out of one life without notice and dropped me into a zone that involved a big, black box for a long time. Then I learned that not everything was as it seemed. Sometimes when a person is forced to close their eyes, their vision alters if they become fluid. When I learned to see things with a different set of eyes, doors opened up that I’d never noticed. It took a couple of years and hours in meditation (Zen Buddhist) to relearn how to find my way. My heart still clenches when thinking about being a teacher. I adore children. Right now my physical eyes tear up but I’m glad I had that moment to tuck away.

Noelle: Your previous profession was as a teacher. Do the disciplines needed to be a teacher help you to focus on the daily tasks of writing, promotion, editing?
Susan: In special education, you learn to either accept the “NO” that is constantly hurled or you learn to conceptualize way outside the curve. I think this translated into a frame of reference of “let’s try that.” Definitely, there’s carry-over of assessing the current level of functioning, and then setting goals and objectives to achieve say branding. This comes directly from task analysis which is what special education (IEPs) are based upon. Breaking down a goal into observable steps like in making a sandwich. 

Noelle:  From what I can tell, you aren’t just about writing sex in your books. You’re smitten with the ‘love bug’, and all your characters fall head over heels in love with their hero or heroine. Yet the sex scenes are intense. Do you allow your characters to just go crazy in love, and express it through their intimate times?
Susan I think human beings are meant to experience love on several levels. The psychology of love
isn’t isolated to thoughts. Hormones connect us by physical responses (visceral) and that’s what writing erotic romance is all about. And finding that soul mate. I’ve got mine ladies. #27 motocross rider extraordinaire. Oh yeah!! We met, fell in love and eloped five months later.

Noelle: So, you have your own, real-life hero! J What characteristics must your characters have? Are they strong, unyielding, do they push the boundaries?
Susan: A sense of humour. Albeit self-deprecating at times. Intelligence. I hope. There’s a softness or sweetness. It can be taken as weakness by some. I like the analogy of the bamboo that bends in a storm, without breaking. Boundary pushing, I’m trying. That’s a big issue in Collared for a Night and Rule Breakers, a new series. Negotiating how to control one’s desires. Pushing a character when everything around the him/her is so out-of-control.

Noelle: So, do you deliver a ‘happy ever after’ fix to the readers every time?
Susan: Well, I do have a couple of pieces that the endings are not exactly happy. I’m still working on them and toying with letting one just do its thing as an erotic horror tale. It’s pretty jarring and I know I’ll get ripped for it.

Noelle: I found a quote from you which I’d like to share: "I love the concept of falling in love. The type of romantic journey that is so intense, it borders on insanity."--Susan D. Taylor. You really are about love first, sex second aren’t you? Is this confined to your characters, or is there just a little bit of yourself in this concept?

Susan: Well without kissing and telling, I think I’ve been on the fringe of insanity. I lost my first husband and I can tell you, it wasn’t pretty in how I responded. I didn’t let go of him in my heart—couldn’t let go—and stalled in the initial stages of grief. But, God watches out for children and fools, so luckily I came through.
Noelle: Your latest release – Collared for a Night – will be out very shortly with Crimson Romance. Are you able to share with us anything about the story?

Susan: The tale is molten level in heat. Paranormal shifter romance starts out in Denver then moves to Vegas. Spoiler: major cat-fight goes down. Release date is July 22.
Noelle: I can’t wait for Collared for a Night to come out. Where can readers find this, and your other books?

Susan: Amazon and B&N at first. Then the other retailers come on board. Collared will be in print in a few months.
Noelle, Thank you bunches for this interview. I Y hanging with you and your writing is so creative and entertaining. Much affection to you as always. Cheers, baby!

Noelle: I’ve loved having you here Susan. You’ve really shared a lot of yourself and I appreciate that. Good luck with your new releases, and with the new series. Thank you so much for talking to us.
Follow Susan with these links:

Susan Taylor: Goodreads
Susan Arden: Goodreads



  1. Noelle, Fabulous time hanging with you. Thank you so much letting me tag along on your journey. Namaste!

    1. The pleasure was all mine, Susan. I loved having you aboard. Thanks. :-)

  2. What a great post ladies. Susan very touching in places. And brave. Collared sounds steamy as hell and may you not get ripped for taking chances on these other stories. Enjoyed this post very much you two. Fabulous.

  3. Thanks Shey. I agree, Susan's been very gracious and brave. Glad you could pop by.

  4. Nice interview ladies! Susan, loved learning a bit about your books and writing process. Your books sound great!

  5. Thanks Sharon. Glad you could stop by. :-)