Today, I’m welcoming fellow Tule author Susan Sands to the blog. A self-described late bloomer, Susan began writing her first novel at age forty. She compares her challenging journey to publication as “raising another child—a difficult one.”
Susan has published five southern, contemporary women’s fiction novels set in Alabama. She describes her humorous small-town stories as fun, romantic, and filled with big family love. Susan also writes authentic place-as-a-character southern fiction with a humorous voice in addition to her Alabama series.
Susan has three grown children and lives with her dentist husband in Roswell, GA. She has a degree in elementary education. Susan participates in book festivals, book clubs, and writer’s conferences around the South and is the recipient of the 2017 Georgia Author of the Year award for romance.
I was so pleased to be able to sit and have a chat with Susan as she releases her newest novel, Noel, Alabama:
N: What inspired you to start writing?
S: I’d always been a huge reader and I adored books, especially happy ending stories. My kids were becoming independent, and I needed to find a creative outlet.
N: How many books have you written?
S: I’ve written more than I’ve published. But I’ve got five out there.
N: Which is your favorite?
S: Nan, you know that’s like asking which is my favorite child. I love them all, but I have an affinity for Forever, Alabama since so much of it is set in New Orleans. I grew up in Louisiana.
N: What is the most surprising thing you discovered about yourself while writing your book(s)?
S: It’s something I never lose interest in. Other things have come and gone, but writing took hold and never let go.
N: Can you share with us something about Noel, Alabama that isn’t in the blurb?
S: You will LOVE the secondary character, Alexis!
N: Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
S: I relate so much to Bailey because she left her small town, as did I. She never really felt like she fit in even though she lived there her entire childhood. Same here.
N: What do you hope your readers take away from Noel, Alabama?
S: That it’s okay to be a little different. To find your own path and not be and think like everyone around you.
N: Do you write listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this current book?
S: About half the time I need dead silence and the other times I need some kind of beat to write to. I have a writing playlist that has every genre under the sun on it.
N: If you had to describe Seth McKay in only three words, what would those three words be?
S: Patient. Loyal. HOTTTTT
N: Love that! What were the key challenges you faced when writing Noel, Alabama?
S: Keeping it so squeaky clean. NO cussing, NO kissing (until the end), and NO sexy time. Sounds like a drag, I know, but it was a good challenge and made me up my writing game in other ways. Love the characters and story that much more because of it.
N: Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell your readers about?
S: I’ve just gone under contract for three books set in Louisiana, my home state. The stories are set in the real-life town where Steel Magnolias was filmed. (my college town) SM filmed my senior year of college and I got to see all those amazing women and experience the takeover of the town by the movie people. So, this new series is special to me.
N: What do you like to do when you are not writing?
S: I cook, bake, read, paint, and hang out with my family.
N: What did you want to be when you grew up?
S: A mommy
N: Awww… so there with you! Favorite book when you were a kid?
S: All the Nancy Drews
N: If you could choose three people to invite for a dinner party, who would they be and why?
Just three? I’m not into celebrity at all. I would bring back all my grandparents and my dad…miss them so much.
N: Thanks so much for taking time to stop by, share your new book, and chat with me today, Susan!
After twelve years spent building her career in Los Angeles, Bailey Boone returns home to Ministry, Alabama. Except she forgot about the ghosts of Christmas past she left behind— especially her first love, Seth.
Bailey Boone wasn’t like the other girls in Ministry, Alabama. Her creative soul drove her from home—and Seth McKay—at eighteen. Now she’s home with a film crew to save her current Christmas project—and maybe get that promotion. But will Seth, her ghost of Christmas past, give her a reason to stay?
Stay well and stay safe, mes amies, but most of, stay grateful!