Manic Readers
Author Interviews
Interview with Susanne Knight
Mar 5, 2009


Hi Susanne,
I'm so excited to have a chance to interview you. You are such a prolific writer and have won so many awards I am really impressed.

So let's get right to the questions about you and your books.

Tell us about some of the awards which you have won. I am sure you are proud of them all, as you should be. Which are you most proud of and why?
First, I’d like to say that 2009 is my tenth year anniversary of being published! And yes, you’re right, I am proud of all my books--to date 22, with 2 more in the publishing queue. It’s *wonderful* having your work recognized by industry professionals, publishers, and also readers groups. THE COMING won the Dream Realm Award for Best Speculative Fiction. The crystal trophy is absolutely lovely! COMPETITORS! finaled in last year’s competition, too. JANUS IS A TWO-HEADED GOD won Best Science Fiction Novel in the Preditors and Editors Reader Poll. That was so exciting and unexpected! I’ve also been an EPPIE Finalists six times, in diverse categories like Best Fantasy/Paranormal/Science Fiction Romance, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Anthology, and Best Historical Romance. Then there’s the Golden Wing Award (A CONTINENTAL MARRIAGE; the P.E.A.R.L Nominee for Best Time Travel (TIMELESS DECEPTION); the Awe-Struck Regency Winner (PAGING MISS GALLOWAY); the Golden Rose Nominees; and many top picks and favorites. I’m thrilled with each and every one of these awards!
How do you find the contests you enter and how many do you enter in a year? Do you have some that you enter every year? Why?
Announcements for contests usually are found on the Internet--on reader and publisher lists. With some, if you’ve entered before, they’ll give you a heads up to enter again. Sometimes contests or recognition will find you via reader recommendations! If I have eligible books, I enter the EPPIES and the Dream Realm.
Let's talk a bit about your publishing road - you have so many books out. Did you start doing contest before you sought a publisher - or the other way around?  Who encouraged you to start entering contests or was that something you just gravitated to?
I’ve always finished my manuscripts, then queried publishers, with the exception of HAVE CHRISTMAS CARD... WILL TRAVEL. A call had gone out from a publisher to write a novel in serial form; my idea was to set the Twelve Days of Christmas as a Regency and a time-travel. For me, submitting to contests and competitions comes later. These awards are wonderful recognition by professional writing organizations and from reader organizations. Early in my career, I’d read how awards were an excellent way to promote your book and also yourself as a writer, so I followed that advice. And when you win an award... what a fantastic rush!!
Tell us about your latest book. Where did you come up with the idea? Who is your favorite character you've created. Is that person in this book or a different one?
My latest book published is PAGING MISS GALLOWAY, winner of the Awe-Struck Regency award. A lady disguised as a man is a popular Regency theme with readers, so I thought I’d try my hand at it. I really enjoyed the challenges of making Danny/Danielle act at Lord Trelaine’s page!
My next book to be published (7/09) is FOREVVER, a science fiction romance. Here is the blurb: In the year 2102, the Fountain of Youth exists for only a select few. But you can’t cheat death ForEvver.
My current project is a murder mystery series about a fitness instructor with a talent for sleuthing. I’ve finished two of the books so far, and am planning to write two more this year.
For my favorite female characters, I’d pick Lexia Cappello from EPPIE Finalist for Best Historical Romance THE CONTRARY CONTESSA. She is the one heroine most unlike me. I truly enjoyed “living” in her world. What a saucy minx! This Regency is flavored with Sicilian cooking, giving it a special little twist. Also, Sophia (Sam) McLaren, from science fiction Preditors and Editors winner and EPPIE Finalist for Best Fantasy/Paranormal/Science Fiction Romance JANUS IS A TWO-HEADED GOD. Sam is extremely devoted to her sick brother, a quality I find very admirable. I had fun with her intergalactic journey to the fabled center of the galaxy.
As for a male character, I’m in love with all my heroes! How can I possibly choose?
What is a typical writing day like for you? (if there is such a thing as typical {smile})
I need to write when I have the most energy flowing so I schedule my writing time for the mornings--usually three days a week. Life has been rather crazy lately, (!) so I haven’t been able to write much. Fingers crossed things will calm down soon. <g> What’s best for me is to have a solid block of time so I can “lose” myself in the story. The first thing I do when I sit at the computer is read over the last scene or chapter that I wrote. This is to get back into the story. Then I start with the new writing. My goal is to continue until I finish a scene or until a new character enters the mix. Then I’m done writing for the day.
Which genres do you or have you written in? What is your favorite? Is there one you haven't tried and will you? What would you never (I know never say never) or at this point think you'll never write in?
I’m a self-confessed incurable romantic. When I was growing up, the one thing that was missing in most novels I read was romance. So when I started to write, I had to add my own dash of “happily ever after.” I’m very fortunate because I combine romance with the genres I’m interested in: science fiction, Regency, suspense, paranormal, mystery, contemporary, time-travel, and fantasy. These are all my favorites to write and to read. There are quite of few more genres out there, and I’ve started thinking about writing a western. That’s a completely new field for me! I’d also like to try my hand at a romantic comedy. As for never--you’re right, never say never. One never knows what the future will hold!
As writers we are always searching for other author's success secrets - do you have any? What advice would you give to other writers?
Hmmn, well, the advice I’d give to other writers is “Don’t worry about cleaning the house!” Oh, you probably meant writing advice. <g> But in a round about way, that’s good advice for writing as well. To me, it means, don’t let one area of your life infringe on another. A writer needs time to write. That’s not being selfish; that’s being practical. Each area of your life deserves your time, but not to the exclusion of the other areas. On occasion, life interruptions will occur (and sometimes they occur with a bang!), but on a normal day, make sure you budget your time according to YOUR needs and desires.
As for success secrets, I guess the most important thing is to persevere. Don’t give up; keep plugging away at your writing.
Where and how do you begin your stories? For instance The Wakefield Disturbance - This one is billed as a paranormal romantic suspense. - the blurb on your website says: Lara Wakefield receives messages from the dead. Her latest "client" is a murdered young girl who wants to be put to rest. The girl's killer, however, objects. Can Lara find the girl's body without becoming the next victim? Private investigator Stuart Manning wants nothing to do with supernatural phenomena. A retainer of $50,000 overcomes his reluctance. Lara's innate ability, integrity, and beauty cause him to have second thoughts about psychics, while deadly occurrences cause him to believe the little girl's murderer is still hanging around. How can Stuart protect Lara when the killer is always one step ahead? Where did this idea come from - How did you go about deciding which genre it would be - you know - the process you used.
Since I write in quite a few different genres, I alternate so that fans for that particular genre can look forward to a new book. So I knew I was due to write a romantic suspense when I started thinking about this book. I also wanted to write a paranormal about ghosts this time because many fans love ghost stories like my GRAVE FUTURE. That is why I cast this book as a paranormal romantic suspense. To begin, I like to come up with a title before I start writing. Sometimes that’s impossible, but usually I’m able to think of one that suits the project. To think of a title, I brainstorm, writing down whatever comes to mind. THE WAKEFIELD DISTURBANCE just wormed its way in. I have no idea why Wakefield, because that is obviously a last name. Now I had a last name for one of my characters, but which one? I thought about what kind of a Disturbance could be called The Wakefield Disturbance, and came up with the heroine having a psychic ability that causes a shimmer around her when she receives communication from the dead. That’s about it in a nutshell! Now that I had a heroine with this ability, I built the story and the hero around her needs.
Tell us about Susanne, the person. When you put down your pen or turn away from the computer screen, what hobbies, entertainment, family fun time or other things draw you back to the everyday world. How do you spend you non-writing time?
Reading, writing, and no arithmetic--that’s what I like to do. :)). Also, I enjoy computers, designing websites and book covers, producing book trailers and promotional materials. Okay, all of that is book related, isn’t it? Add to the list dancing, exercising, swimming, traveling, and watching movies. And don’t forget sleeping!
How and where can our readers find out more about you, your awards, your books and follow you?
The best place to learn more about my books and me is to visit my website: and my blog: My books are sold at a variety of places including,, and my publishers:,,, and I also have a newsletter and a monthly news flash. To sign up, email, and please put “Subscribe” in the subject line.
Thanks so much Susanne for taking the time from your incredibly busy life to chat with us. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you, Billie, for this wonderful opportunity to connect with Manic Readers! I’d like to add that while getting awards is thrilling, the most rewarding part of writing is receiving feedback from readers. It’s always an honor to hear how my writing has touched people’s lives. One reader said not only did she reread my time-travel Regency, Timeless Deception, but the second time while reading it, she was so engrossed she almost missed her train stop! And a fan wrote to tell me how much he enjoyed Past Indiscretions because I “cleverly bring together the past and mythology.” I also just received a letter from a reader in Massachusetts telling me how I deeply inspired and motivated her to write her own stories. Also, how I helped her to realize how reading and writing could be so much fun! There is no greater honor! To hear how your book touches a reader’s heart is the ultimate compliment, and all fan letters are GREATLY appreciated. Thanks again, Billie. I hope every Manic Reader enjoys my books!
Billie A Williams

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