February 15, 2011
There is nothing better than reconnecting with an old friend. Years may have passed, yet once reunited, it feels as if it were merely days. The comfort of experiencing unconditional love quickly washes away life’s worries. Like that first cup of coffee in the morning, an old friend wakens your spirit like none other.
This month’s Jen’s Jewels Susan Elizabeth Phillips shares my love for reconnecting with old friends in her latest release CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE. Using former characters from previous bestselling novels, Phillips whips up an unforgettable romantic read about a free-spirited woman named Meg Koranda. Set in the tiny town of Wynette, Texas, the story takes off at full speed and never once slows down.
As part of this interview, William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers has donated five copies for you, my favorite readers, to try to win. So, don’t forget to look for the trivia question at the end. And as always, thanks for making Jen’s Jewels a part of your reading adventure.
Jen: A New York Times Bestselling romance writer, your exemplary career has been quite extraordinary. So that my readers may get a glimpse into the life of the woman behind the words, please share with us your educational and professional background.
Susan: I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Ohio University and did post graduate work at the University of Iowa. I taught high school until our first child was born.
Jen: Describe for us the defining moment when you decided to take the plunge and pursue your dream of becoming an author.
Susan: It’s a long story! The best place to read about it is right here. http://www.susanephillips.com/bio.html
Jen: After co-writing a novel, you were somewhat pushed into writing on your own. In terms of the creative process, what did you discover to be the most challenging part of writing solo? And, what did you enjoy most?
Susan: I quickly discovered it wasn’t nearly as much fun writing alone as it had been with a friend. I suppose there was more freedom, but I did miss the camaraderie.
Jen: Your latest endeavor CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE truly mirrors its title. I couldn’t put it down! What I found fascinating about it was its connection to three prior novels. Why did you choose to incorporate previous characters into one, new story? And, please give us a brief overview of the premise.
Susan: Thanks for the compliment. CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE is a novel for everyone who thinks life is too short to read depressing books. It’s a classic attraction of opposites. Ted Beaudine is Mr. Perfect. Meg Koranda is Ms. Screw Up. He blames her for the way his bride bolted from his wedding. Now she’s stuck in a town that hates her a town where he holds all the power. It’s a love story, but it’s also a story about friendships and how we have to carve our own path through life. Both the hero and heroine of CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE are children of the heroes and heroines of FANCY PANTS and GLITTER BABY; so of course, I had to check in on those characters. I’d also written about Wynette, Texas, twice before, and I sure didn’t want to ignore its citizens, especially Kenny Traveler and Lady Emma Wells-Finch from LADY BE GOOD. That said, even though my characters tend to wander between books, CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE can absolutely be read as a stand alone novel. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Jen: Lucy and Meg have a tight bond of friendship that spans many years. Like oil and water, these two girls are polar opposites when it comes to goals in life; however, they are the closest of friends. What makes these two click?
Susan: These two have more in common than is immediately evident. They’re both the children of high achieving celebrities, but each has handled that in her own way.
Jen: Ted Beaudine is your typical hunky Texan who oozes charm and charisma. Why is Meg so put off by this man’s presence? What makes her believe that he is up to no good?
Susan: I think I’ll let the readers figure this one out. (I love that man!)
Jen: From bad to worse, Meg’s life quickly falls apart. Stranded and penniless, she must fend for herself in a town where she is hated by almost everyone. Why does Meg refuse to reach out to her rich and famous parents for help? What makes this particular situation of hers different from past debacles?
Susan: Yes, why won’t she reach out? She’s certainly done it before. What makes this time different? Hmmm…
Jen: Like any small Southern town, the women in Wynette, Texas are a tight-knit group not willing to let outsiders into their circle. Why, then, do they feel so threatened by Meg?
Susan: These women love Ted Beaudine like mother wolves. Anyone who upsets him, upsets them, and they can be mighty ruthless. (I adore them. Does that make me a bad person?)
Jen: Let’s switch gears now and talk about your promotional plans. Will you be participating in a media tour?
Susan: My tour began in St. Louis the day before the book was published. I then hit Tulsa; Dallas; Austin; Rancho Mirage; Orange County, California; Cocoa Beach and Merritt Island, Florida; and the Chicago Area. 13 days…10 flights…a lot of fun!
Here’s a link with more details of some more upcoming appearances. Hope to see everyone! ttp://www.susanephillips.com/signings.html
Jen: Do you participate in Author Phone Chats? And if so, how may my readers go about scheduling one?
Susan: I don’t. As everyone knows, I’m one of the planet’s slowest writers. When I’m not on tour, I pretty much have to limit myself to daily posts on Facebook and my website message board. Otherwise, I’d never get a book finished.
Jen: Please take us on a tour of your website.
Susan: Gladly. Everybody take your shoes off and let me have your coats… Can I get you something to drink? There’s a lot to do here, so I take your time.
Jen: Are you currently at work on your next book? And if so, what can you share with us?
Susan: It will be evident to everyone who reads CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE that the story of Lucy Jorik, the runaway bride, is next up. As of this moment, I’ve written about 300 pages and I am loving her adventure.
Jen: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to stop by and chat with my readers. I highly recommend CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE to all of my readers. Best of luck in 2011!
Susan: Thank you, Jen. I hope you’ll all take a few moments to visit me on either Facebook or my Message Board. Happy reading, everybody!
I hope you have enjoyed my interview with Susan. Please stop by your favorite bookstore or local library branch and pick up a copy of CALL ME IRRESISTIBILE today.
Better yet, how would you like to win one instead? Okay, be one of the first five readers to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the correct answer to the following trivia question and you’ll win. Good luck!
What is the name of the hunky guy in CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE?
Next month, I will be bringing to you my interview with one of my favorite authors, Linda Francis Lee. You won’t want to miss it.
Until next time…