Guest Author - Susan Berry

Guest Author - Susan Berry

As you already know, I love stories in all forms and across all genres, and I'm going to be talking about that A LOT very soon. But for today, I'd like to introduce another author to you (and a friend and business partner but more on that later too!): 

So, without further delay ...

Susan Berry

RMA: Hi SusanI Thank so much for taking time to talk with us today.

SB: Thank you for having me!

RMA: I know you're busy so I don't want to keep you for too long. Let's dive right in - I thought we'd start with a few questions to get to know you.

How long have you been writing?

SB: I have been writing professionally since 2015. However, I’ve written stories all through my childhood into adult life. I was a very creative child and liked to pretend. To me, writing is an extension of pretending only in the form of a written story.

RMA: I can't tell you how much that makes sense to me. Imagination was a HUGE part of my life as a kid too. What genre do you write and how did you choose to write in that genre?

SB: I write clean romance. I chose that genre because of my grandmother who introduced me to Harlequin Romances. She would buy several dozen a week at the second hand store and share them with me. Once a month she’d bring a new batch and exchange them for the ones I’d read. My grandmother passed away before I was published as an author. I wish she could have read one of my novels. I believe she would’ve enjoyed not only the story, but that I wrote it. There isn’t a day in my life that I don’t miss her.

RMA: That's an amazing story, and so cool that she played such an important role not only in your life but in helping you find your dreams. I bet she'd be unbelieveably proud in seeing you publishing now. And I guess that leads pretty well into my next question, because it sounds like you, (just like I did, just like I know a lot of other authors) started writing as a hobby. Taking your work into the public eye is a big leap. How did you decide to start publishing?

 SB: I started publishing out of necessity. I was a severely handicapped single mother with little income and needed money. I’d been writing stories for a while and took a chance and sent my finished manuscript for Dance of the Heart to a publisher I found on the internet. To my delight, the publisher offered me a contract. However, it turned out to be a difficult relationship which entailed financial problems on their end. I ended the relationship a year later and have been independently published ever since.

 RMA: Do you set your stories in local settings or do you prefer to write about far away places?

SB: I like setting my stories in local areas. I live in the Pacific Northwest and it has such beauty in all types of terrain and so much to choose from. Mountains in the west, dry and humid in the east, and even a rainforest. There’s farm land and orchards. All spectacular backdrops to falling in love.

RMA: See, that's something that always captiviates me. Some authors write about far away places (I'm one of those!) and others stick closer to home. But with such a rich backdrop where you live, I can't hardly blame you for drawing inspiration from it. Can you tell us more about one of your books. Which one was your favorite one to write?

SB: Now that’s a difficult question to answer and similar to asking which child someone likes best. My first novel, Dance of the Heart is a three book series so I am very close to those characters, especially the heroine Maggie. Her mother drowned in the family lake when she was young and left her family at a young age to avoid the pain. Returning years later, she found a renewed connection with her family and overcame obstacles to find happiness and fall in love.

My newest book, Beneath the Evergreens, the first book in my Cherished Hearts series, and a romance set during World War II in the evergreen forests of Washington. It follows the life of the Lumberjills. A group of young women who logged the forests while the men were off fighting in the war. I loved doing the research and I have a lot of admiration for those hard working women.

RMA: Do you want each book you write to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

SB: I write each of my books in a series with enough back story that they can stand alone although my readers do enjoy the progression of the story in each book. I have plans to write more of Maggi’s story this next fall so stay tuned!

RMA: Looking forward to check it out!  What is your favorite, under-appreciated novel?

SB: That’s a good question. I know of several independent authors who I feel have beautifully written and exciting novels that haven’t received the exposure appreciation they deserve. JP Sterling, Cindy Ray Hale, and RM Alexander are three of my favorites.

RMA: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

SB: I am always writing down stories, sometimes waking in the middle of the night with a story circling in my mind. My file is full of half-finished stories. When I get writer's block or find myself not moving forward in the novel I’m currently working on, I go back to those other stories and write to help clear my mind. Then, back to my manuscript until it’s finished. When it’s published, I look through my files of stories to see which one captures my attention and dive in. It may sound chaotic, but it’s very fun.

RMA: Just for laughs and giggles, as a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

SB: What a fantastic question. I would love myself to be an avatar of a strong woman (cape and all) who fights against the injustice faced by foster children. To help them feel loved and hopeful for a bright future. We all need to have someone in our corner who cares and is always on our side.

RMA: Awesome! Just once last question for you today. Where can we find your books?

SB: You can find my books on my website at: as well as on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and GoodReads.

RMA: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us! 

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