Today I welcome fellow Queensland writer Susanne Bellamy to my blog. Susanne writes contemporary romance novels set in exciting and often exotic locations.
Susanne’s current releases are:
- White Ginger
- One Night in Sorrento
Susanne, which comes first – the plot or the location?
Do Arne from White Ginger, and Luca from One Night in Sorrento, have anything in common?
Apart from being tall, dark and sexy? Heroes have to be heroic in their actions; what they do speaks volumes about their personal values and attitudes. Arne fights to protect his town and reef from a big developer as well as being honourable towards Amelie. He is also a fabulous uncle to his sister's young daughter. Despite it being Rhiannon's fault, Luca offers her a ride after their near disastrous meeting and helps her achieve her goal. Neither hero is perfect, both have faults but they are intrinsically good men with whom the reader might imagine living a long and happy life. They both have a sense of humour and engage in witty repartee. Did I mention Luca rides a big, black motorbike and wears leather while Arne is most at home in swimmers or a short wetsuit? Whatever they wear (or not!), they are fine specimens of men, eye candy extraordinaire!
Your heroines, Rhiannon and Amelie: do they have any similarities/major differences?
I like women who are the intellectual equals of their men but a certain amount of vulnerability is fine if packaged with inner strength and determination. Amelie is visual and highly creative whereas Rhiannon has a logical brain and has assisted her step father with his engineering research. Both women are in unfamiliar countries; Amelie is in Kauai for three months to work on her fabric designs while Rhiannon had taken her ill step father's place. She is on her first trip to Italy to present his designs to a luxury car manufacturer. Amelie has had a bad experience with her ex-fiance yet is still open to possibilities with Arne. Rhiannon has never ridden a motorbike but discovers how exhilarating it can be—Amalfi, motorbike, wrapped around a sexy Italian man wearing leather?
Do you think the characters are influenced by the location? I mean – would Rhiannon (for instance) have acted differently if she had been at home in Australia?
Location definitely influences characters' behaviour. Much of Rhiannon's anxiety and reaction to initial events was based on the fact she couldn't understand Italian whereas if she'd been in an English speaking country, the problem would never have arisen. Amelie has to face her greatest phobia in order to help Arne and the location is a key factor.
What do you think readers will enjoy most about your novels?
How do you balance writing with all of life’s responsibilities? Which ones do you have to juggle?
Until now, I've been juggling full time work and family needs with writing but 2014 is my year to write almost full time while I take long service leave. My biggest problem is 'pfaffing around' because I feel like I have so much time now! I balance writing and other 'stuff' according to the day's needs. House work takes a back seat when I'm writing. The dust will still be there tomorrow but the idea might disappear if I don't get it down. And evenings are time to spend with my husband who works long hours.
What is a typical writing day for you? Do you stick to a regimented pattern of writing so many words per day?
Where do you like to write? At your desk, or perhaps wherever looks comfortable at the time?
Is there anyone who stands out as a mentor in your writing career?
Annie Seaton—she is such a dynamo and generous with her time and assistance in so many areas. Shirley Wine deserves a mention for beating out my early tendency towards 'purple prose'.
What is the most challenging aspect of being a writer?
Are you able to share with us what you are working on now?
Entangled Press. I’m writing Book 4 in The Emerald Quest, a romantic suspense series that spans two centuries.
My book is set in Hawaii in 1960, just after it became the fiftieth state of the USA. It will be the story of Eva Abbott and Luc Martineau. It is scheduled for release in May 2015.
Congratulations! That is wonderful news and I'm looking forward to seeing that one. Susanne, thanks for visiting today, and for sharing so generously with us.
Like most authors, I’ve always loved reading and I read broadly, following whatever my current passion is. Perhaps curiosity killed the cat but it is lifeblood for an author and I am curious. I enjoy researching and I love creating new characters then chucking the proverbial rocks at them and making them work for their happy ending.
I am also mad keen about travelling to new places, as well as revisiting some old favourites. Paris will always be one of my top spots, and I fell in love with Scotland when we visited the west coast (it had nothing to do with the fine single malts), but I only recently had my first real trip to Italy. Four weeks in four different parts of the country--tick off one of my Bucket List items! I’ve enjoyed New Year in Kathmandu and trekked in the Annapurnas, sailed in Ha Long Bay on a junk, and stayed on a floating hotel beside a tethered elephant in Thailand. I love the Peak in Hong Kong and the cable car ride in Singapore. My heroes have to be pretty special to live up to the real life one I married. He saved my life then married me. We live on the edge of bush land on a mountain in beautiful sunny Queensland, Australia, together with our two children and two dogs. I write contemporary romance novels set in exciting and often exotic locations.
Amelie Mackenzie chases her artistic dreams in Hawaii after a life detour. That means no more ex-fiancé…and definitely no men to distract her. Should be easy, but how will she resist the hot and sexy marine biologist fighting a battle against a corrupt developer?
Arne Keloki is fighting a resort development which will damage the reef protecting his small Kauai town. Although being with Arne could be dangerous for Amelie, in more ways than one, some attractions cannot be ignored. Will she succumb to the smoldering attraction or will Arne lose his chance forever?
Rhiannon steps out of her comfort zone when she travels to Sorrento for a meeting in borrowed business clothes. The last thing she expects is to miss her meeting, and end up in the company of Luca, a sexy Italian bike rider.
What will one night in Sorrento bring?
Wrong Matt’s warm, long-fingered hand covered hers and stilled her jerky movements. As he pressed her hand against his chest, calluses at the base of his fingers, the kind that came from hard, honest labour, scraped over her knuckles. Strong, tanned and downright gorgeous, Wrong Matt did more than shuffle paper and the touch of his work-hardened hands comforted her.