Name: Suzan Tisdale
Where are you from: Illinois
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:
Married to love of my life, Kevin, for over 8 years now. Together, we have four children and three grandchildren.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’ve just released my fourth novel, McKenna’s Honor.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve written for what seems like forever. I didn’t publish anything until December 2011.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I published my first novel, Laiden’s Daughter, in December 2011.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I wanted to give my mom a Kindle for her birthday. I thought it would be cool if when she turned it on for the first time, one of MY books was on it.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I am a pantster. I don’t use an outline. I kind of fly by the seat of my pants. I write the entire book, then go back and tweak it, fix it, edit it.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title? Honestly? I don’t know! The voices tell me what to write.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes! Happily Ever Afters DO Exist!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
All of my heroes and heroines are fictional. However, I do try to keep the period itself — clothes, food, types of castles, etc. — as realistic as possible and true to the period.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Wow…that is a great question! All of them have influenced me in one way or another.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
“The Naked Truth About Indie Publishing”
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes! Laura Howard, Lily Baldwin, Allie Brennan…there are way too many to mention!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Rowan’s Lady. It is my fifth book and will start the Clan Graham Series. Its due out in October.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Barb Batlin-Massabrook. She is a friend I met early on, on Facebook. She, and the rest of my street team are just wonderful women!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes! It is what I do for a living now.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Yes. I would have made it longer.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
No…like I said, I feel like I’ve been writing forever. Since childhood.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! Here is the Prologue:
The Black Death did not discriminate.
Like fire from hell, it spread across England, Wales, Italy and France. Untethered, unstoppable.
It cared not if the lives it took were of the noble and wealthy or the lowly born and poor. It showed no preference for age or gender. It took the wicked and the innocent. It took the blasphemers and the righteous.
The Black Death took whomever it damned well pleased.
It took Rowan Graham’s wife.
Rowan would not allow his sweet wife to die alone, cold, afraid, and in agony, no matter how much she begged otherwise. He would not allow anyone else to administer the herbs, to apply the poultices, or to even wipe her brow. He was her husband and she, his entire life.
Knowing that the Black Death had finally reached Scotland, Rowan’s clan had prepared as best they could. The moment anyone began to show signs of illness, they were immediately taken to the barracks. Seclusion was their only hope at keeping the illness from spreading.
Within a week, the barracks could hold no more of the sick and dying. The quarantine was all for naught.
By the time Kate showed the first signs of the illness, the Black Death had taken more than thirty of their people. Before it over, Clan Graham’s numbers dwindled to less than seventy members.
At Kate’s insistence, their three-month-old daughter was kept in seclusion. It was the last act of motherly love that she could show her child. In the hours just before her death, Kate begged for Rowan’s promise on two matters.
“Ye shall never be afraid to speak of me to our daughter. It is important that she know how much I loved her, and how much we loved her together.” ’Twas an easy promise for Rowan to make, for how could he ever forget Kate?
’Twas the second promise she asked that threatened to tear him apart.
“And ye must promise ye’ll let another woman into yer heart. Do not save it long fer me, husband. Yer too good a man to keep yerself to a dead woman.”
He swore to her that yes, someday he would allow his heart to love another. Silently however, he knew that day would be in the very distant future, mayhap thirty or forty years. For there could never be a woman who could take Kate’s place in his life or his heart.
“I love ye, Kate, more than me next breath,” Rowan whispered into her ear just before her chest rose and fell for the last time.
Fires were built to burn the dead. When Rowan’s first lieutenant came to remove Kate’s body to add it to the funeral pyres, he refused to allow Frederick anywhere near her. Rowan’s face turned purple with rage, his chest heaved from the weight of his unconstrained anguish. He unsheathed his sword and pinned Frederick to the wall.
“If ye so much as think of laying a finger to Kate, I shall take yer life,” Rowan seethed. Frederick knew it was a promise Rowan meant to keep.
Later, with his vision blurred from tears he could not suppress, Rowan bathed his wife’s once beautiful body now ravaged with large black boils. He washed her long, strawberry blonde locks and combed them until they shined once again. When he was done, he placed a bit of Graham plaid into the palm of her hand before wrapping her cold body in long linen strips.
Alone in the quiet hours before dawn he carried her to final resting place under the tall Wych Elm tree. He stayed next to her grave for three full days.
Frederick finally came to see him late in the afternoon of the third day.
“I ken yer grievin’, fer Kate was a fine woman.” Frederick said. “Ye’ve a wee bairn that needs ye, Rowan. She needs ye now, more than Kate does.”
Rowan was resting against the elm tree, with his head resting on his knees. In his heart he knew Frederick was right, but that did nothing the help fill the dark void that Kate’s death left in his heart.
For a brief moment, Rowan could have sworn he heard his wife’s voice agreeing with Frederick. Deciding it best not to argue the point with either of them, Rowan took a deep breath and pulled himself to his feet.
For now, he would focus on the first promise he had made to Kate.
“Ye be right, Frederick,” Rowan said as he slapped one hand on his friend’s back while wiping away tears with the other. “I need to go tell me daughter all about her beautiful mum.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I’m usually challenged 24/7. 😀 But one of the things that annoys me is writer’s block.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
There are simply too many!
I love Julie Garwood, Tanya Anne Crosby, Laurin Wittig, Carmen Caine, Tarah Scott…They each have superb writing skills!
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, but I would like to!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Carrie at Seductive Musings. I won’t use anyone else!
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I don’t find it hard or difficult. I love doing what I do.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes. Lack of light depresses me. 😀
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write from your heart, with fervor and zeal. Your heart will never let you down. And for heaven’s sake, get an editor!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love, love, LOVE my readers! They are the best! I love hearing from them. I really have the best readers.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done ?
US Supreme Court Justice.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website?
if so what is it? http://www.suzantisdale.com